Weekly Ratings, Targets, Forecast Changes

Weekly Reports | Mar 05 2018

By Rudi Filapek-Vandyck, Editor FNArena


The FNArena database tabulates the views of eight major Australian and international stock brokers: Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Macquarie, Morgan Stanley, Morgans, Ord Minnett and UBS.

For the purpose of broker rating correlation, Outperform and Overweight ratings are grouped as Buy, Neutral is grouped with Hold and Underperform and Underweight are grouped as Sell to provide a Buy/Hold/Sell (B/H/S) ratio.

Ratings, consensus target price and forecast earnings tables are published at the bottom of this report.


Period: Monday February 26 to Friday March 2, 2018
Total Upgrades: 20
Total Downgrades: 14
Net Ratings Breakdown: Buy 42.69%; Hold 42.17%; Sell 15.14%

The final week of the February local reporting season continued to reveal a true frenzy among stockbroking analysts, with FNArena registering 20 upgrades and 14 downgrades for individual ASX-listed entities for the week ending Friday, 2 March 2018.

Among those receiving upgrades, Costa Group received two, as did Spark Infrastructure. Among the downgrades, Caltex received two, and was the sole recipient of more than one downgrade (both went to Neutral from Buy).

When it comes to target prices, the resurrecting Nine Entertainment claimed prime glory for the week enjoying a gain of 21%, followed by NextDC, ERM Power and Costa Group. On the flipside, the largest reduction (-5%) was for bling retailer Michael Hill, followed by Ramsay Health Care, HT&E and Domain Holdings.

Average increases to consensus price targets are significantly higher than average reductions.

Earnings estimates saw some ginormous increases with Perseus Mining, QBE Insurance and Iluka Resources all enjoying increases in excess of 100%, followed by Speedcast International, BlueScope Steel and Reliance Worldwide. Here consensus reductions are equally firm with Macquarie Atlas Group suffering most (-44%), followed by Virgin Australia, Orocobre and Alumina Ltd.

The week ahead will be considerably quieter representing the traditional lull post an eventful month.


ARDENT LEISURE GROUP ((AAD)) Upgrade to Hold from Lighten by Ord Minnett .B/H/S: 2/4/1

First half results were significantly below forecasts, largely related to one-off charges in theme parks. Ord Minnett is encouraged by the trends in theme parks and Main Event, with some early signs that the turnaround effort is working.

The broker upgrades to Hold from Lighten based on valuation. Target is raised to $1.95 from $1.73.

BEADELL RESOURCES LIMITED ((BDR)) Upgrade to Buy from Neutral by Citi .B/H/S: 1/2/0

2017 results were weaker than expected but the headline loss included a non-cash write-down of low-grade stockpiles.

Citi upgrades to Buy/High Risk from Neutral/High Risk, as the share price has been slapped down and the Tucano upgrade is now funded, but stresses that debt and high operating expenditure makes the stock high risk. Target is reduced to 15c from 21c.

BEGA CHEESE LIMITED ((BGA)) Upgrade to Buy from Neutral by UBS .B/H/S: 1/1/0

First half results were ahead of estimates. UBS found the market's reaction to the strong result was tempered by lower-than-expected guidance for FY18 earnings and commentary regarding margin pressure.

The broker believes this provides an attractive entry point and upgrades to Buy from Neutral. Target is reduced to $7.90 from $8.30.

CAPITOL HEALTH LIMITED ((CAJ)) Upgrade to Buy from Accumulate by Ord Minnett .B/H/S: 1/0/0

First half results were in line with expectations. Ord Minnett believes the company is set to participate in strong industry growth rates and its balance sheet offers opportunities for acquisitions.

Meanwhile, attention is on the proposed takeover of Integral Diagnostics ((IDX)) as successful completion is far from certain. Regardless of the outcome, the broker believes the stock presents good value and upgrades to Buy from Accumulate. Target is $0.32.

COSTA GROUP HOLDINGS LIMITED ((CGC)) Upgrade to Buy from Neutral by UBS and Upgrade to Accumulate from Hold by Ord Minnett .B/H/S: 3/0/0

First half results were ahead of estimates. The produce result was the highlight for UBS, beating forecasts by around 31% and driven by citrus and tomatoes. Berry revenue was flat, reflecting heavy deflation over the half.

UBS upgrades estimates for earnings per share by 3-5% across FY18-20. The broker believes the company is well placed to outperform and the valuation is attractive. Rating is upgraded to Buy from Neutral. Target is raised to $7.50 from $6.80.

First half results were ahead of forecasts and show significant progress, Ord Minnett observes. Citrus underpinned the result and the broker expects citrus to decline next year, although positive export prices should restrict the impact.

Ord Minnett increases earnings forecasts by 16% for FY19, noting management is building its growth options, driven by berries, avocados, mushrooms and expansion overseas. Rating is upgraded to Accumulate from Hold. Target is raised to $7.52 from $6.03.

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