DAILY MORNING NOTE | 3 May 2023
Singapore stocks ended 0.4 per cent higher on Tuesday (May 2). Sats led the gainers, rising 3.2 per cent to close at S$2.62. Other top gainers included Yangzijiang Shipbuilding and City Developments Ltd, which were up 2.4 per cent and 1.9 per cent, respectively. The trio of local banks also ended the day higher, with OCBC leading the pack to rise 0.6 per cent. DBS was up 0.4 per cent, and UOB gained 0.1 per cent.
US stocks ended the trading day lower on Tuesday, with regional bank stocks recording another day of plummeting values. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished 1.1 per cent lower at 33,684.46. The broad-based S&P 500 fell 1.2 per cent to 4,119.60, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index declined 1.1 per cent to 12,080.51. Crude oil futures also finished the day down more than five per cent.
Capitaland Ascendas Reit saw its average rental rates go up by 11.1 per cent for leases renewed in the first quarter of 2023, higher than the 8 per cent reversion rate in the previous quarter. The renewal rates were highest for the Reit’s Australian assets, whose average rents increased by 14.3 per cent in the quarter, according to a bourse filing on Tuesday (May 2). Singapore assets saw a positive rental reversion of 11.2 per cent, while those in the United States came in at 11.3 per cent. Assets in the United Kingdom and Europe saw no change in average gross rent in the quarter. The Reit manager expects rental reversion to be in the positive mid-single-digit range for the financial year of 2023. The Reit achieved 94.4 per cent portfolio occupancy in Q1 2023, a slight dip from 94.6 per cent in the previous quarter. It also said that its portfolio weighted average lease expiry stood at 3.8 years, with lease expiry being well spread, even extending beyond FY2037.
The manager of Mapletree Logistics Trust (MLT) on Tuesday (May 2) warned of more uncertainty ahead, as higher interest rate costs and foreign exchange fluctuations continue to impact its performance. Ng Kiat, chief executive officer of the manager, noted that on a full-year basis, MLT’s borrowing costs have risen by about S$6 million. MLT’s gross revenue rose 7.7 per cent to S$730.6 million for FY22/23, while net property income (NPI) was 7.2 per cent higher at S$634.8 million. The amount distributable to unitholders climbed 10.8 per cent to S$432.9 million, including partial distribution of gains from divestments.
The interest rate curve on the latest tranche of the Singapore Savings Bond (SSB) has flattened further. The June issuance, which opened on Tuesday (May 2), is offering a first-year interest rate of 2.81 per cent, and a 10-year average return of 2.81 per cent. In comparison, the May issuance was offering a first-year interest rate of 3.03 per cent and a 10-year average return of 3.07 per cent.
Jardine Matheson Holdings has announced the appointment of new group chief executives for two of its companies Mandarin Oriental and DFI Retail Group, on May 2. Laurent Kleitman has been appointed Mandarin Oriental’s group chief executive, replacing outgoing group chief executive James Riley, who has been in the role since 2016.
Ford Motor posted US$1.8 billion in first-quarter net income, reversing a previous-year loss, as the company rebounded from supply-chain troubles and commanded top dollar for its pickup trucks and SUVs. The auto maker said after the close of trading Tuesday that strong recovery in output of F-series pickups and buyer demand for high-end models fueled its bottom line. The company stood by its earlier forecast of US$9 billion to US$11 billion in pretax profit for the year.
AMD reported better-than-expected revenue and earnings for the first quarter, however its second-quarter forecast missed Wall Street expectations, overshadowing optimism from company executives that the battered chip market will start to recover in the second half of 2023. The company recorded an EPS of US$0.60 per share adjusted vs. US$0.56 per share expected, revenue of US$5.35 billion vs. US$5.3 billion expected. AMD said it expected about US$5.3 billion in sales in the current quarter, versus Wall Street estimates of US$5.48 billion.
Uber Technologies said continued demand for its ride-share and delivery services boosted its revenue in the first quarter, offsetting weak results from its smaller freight division. Revenue for the three months through March rose 29% from a year earlier to US$8.82 billion. It also increased the number of consumers and trips, and the value of transactions, on its platform. The sales expansion was in line with Wall Street’s expectations. Uber projected continuing growth and said it expects adjusted earnings of between US$800 million and US$850 million in the current June quarter.
Pfizer on Tuesday (May 2) beat analysts’ estimates for first-quarter profit on strong demand for its newly acquired drugs and steady demand for its Covid products. The company has said it expects 2023 to be a “transition year” for its Covid products, before potential returning to growth in 2024. Sales of its Covid-19 vaccine Comirnaty were US$3.06 billion in the first quarter, topping estimates of US$2.37 billion, according to Refinitiv data. Antiviral treatment Paxlovid sales came in at US$4.07 billion, also beating estimates of US$3.13 billion. The company said it expects significantly lower sales contributions from Covid products in the second quarter from the first quarter.
Marriott International reported better-than-expected first-quarter results on Tuesday (May 2) as the US hotel operator benefited from a global rise in occupancy and room revenue led by domestic travel in China. US hotel operators who have been grappling over the past year with an uneven recovery in Chinese demand are now benefiting from pent-up-demand throughout Asia Pacific, particularly in Greater China. That has boosted operators just as a worsening economic outlook in the US threatens to dampen consumer spending in the second half of the year.
Hindenburg Research said on Tuesday (May 2) it has a short position in activist investor Carl Icahn-controlled energy-to-pharma conglomerate Icahn Enterprises, making it the latest in a string of recent high-profile targets of the US short seller. Hindenburg alleged that the valuation of IEP units was inflated by more than 75 per cent and that “IEP trades at a 218 per cent premium to its last reported net asset value (NAV), vastly higher than all comparables.” Hindenburg also claimed Icahn was operating a “ponzi-like economic structure,” selling its units to new investors to support its dividend payouts.
Source: SGX Masnet, Bloomberg, Channel NewsAsia, Reuters, CNBC, WSJ, The Business Times, PSR
Recommendation : ACCUMULATE (Maintained); TP: US$120.00, Last Close: US$102.05
Analyst: Maximilian Koeswoyo
– 1Q23 results were within expectations. 1Q23 revenue/normalized PATMI was at 23%/25% of our FY23e forecasts, excluding a pre-tax valuation loss of US$0.5bn from investment in Rivian Automotive.
– Revenue grew 9.4% YoY, beating top-end of company guidance with margin improvements in North America and International segments. AWS was up 16%, but growth is expected to further decelerate to 11% in 2Q23.
– We maintain our ACCUMULATE recommendation with an increased DCF target price of US$120.00 (prev. US$117.00) using a WACC of 6.4% and g of 5%, taking into account a lower planned CAPEX spending.
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