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Weekly Ratings, Targets, Forecast Changes

Weekly Reports | Mar 11 2019

By Rudi Filapek-Vandyck, Editor FNArena

Guide:

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.

Summary

Period: Monday March 4 to Friday March 8, 2019
Total Upgrades: 8
Total Downgrades: 8
Net Ratings Breakdown: Buy 42.22%; Hold 43.15%; Sell 14.63%

Overall, activity among stockbroking analysts has taken a massive step back now that the February reporting season is over and dealt with. Though, of course, investors shouldn't forget corporate results are being issued all-year around and the week past saw no less than five companies releasing financial updates, of which Myer is the highest ranking on the ASX.

See FNArena's ongoing monitoring.

Irrespective of declining activity, FNArena still registered eight upgrades and eight downgrades for individual ASX-listed stocks for the week ending Friday, March 8, 2019.

Six upgrades moved ratings to Buy, including for Cochlear, Fortescue Metals Group, and Myer. Six downgrades moved to Neutral, including for ANZ Bank, Cimic Group, and Rio Tinto. Senex Energy and Tabcorp received one downgrade to Sell each.

Not much movement has been occurring in valuations and price targets, unless for Myer whose financial update was good for a 20% increase in consensus price target. The next one to follow on the week's table is Charter Hall, with a 2% increase.

With exception of Myer, the reductions in consensus targets show larger numbers led by Vicinity Centres (-4%), followed by Senex Energy and Nufarm. Unibal-Rodamco-Westfield is also still suffering reductions to targets, as is GUD Holdings.

Further adjustments to earnings estimates can look uncharacteristically huge for companies on low numbers, with lots of complex accounting or maximum leverage to commodity prices which explains the large adjustments on show for Atlas Arteria, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, Mineral Resources, Senex Energy, and new arrival Coles.

A similar observation applies to the negative side where NextDC's forecasts take a ginormous tumble, followed by Galaxy Resources, Western Areas, Freedom Foods Group, and Bingo Industries.

Myer's financial result puts the company on the positive side of the week's ledger, but it's insufficient to keep the balance of forecasts trending further south.

Upgrade

CHARTER HALL GROUP ((CHC)) Upgrade to Accumulate from Hold by Ord Minnett .B/H/S: 3/1/0

Ord Minnett raises estimates, expecting operating margins in funds management to increase to 53% over the next five years.

The broker believes the potential for increased economies of scale is strong and the company also enjoys a favourable portfolio composition.

Charter Hall is also becoming more capital efficient and there should be enough cash to sponsor the growth of the funds business.

Rating is upgraded to Accumulate from Hold and the target is raised to $9.75 from $9.00.

COCHLEAR LIMITED ((COH)) Upgrade to Buy from Neutral by Citi .B/H/S: 1/3/3

Citi downgraded to Neutral on February 20, but has now used a general sector update to reverse that decision on the basis of share price weakness that has gone too far, in the analysts' view.

Underpinning the decision to upgrade to Buy from Neutral is the prediction (conviction?) that the market share issue in the Americas will be resolved, and implant growth will resume in 2H20. Target price lifts to $198 from $190 on slightly higher forecasts.

FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LTD ((FMG)) Upgrade to Buy from Hold by Ord Minnett .B/H/S: 2/3/3

Ord Minnett raises assumptions for iron ore prices and now expects the disruption to Vale's production to last for around three years, post the most-recent tailings dam disaster and the acceleration of government shutdowns of a number of dams.

The broker believes the stars now align for lower-grade iron ore, with compressed discounts in a rising market. Spot prices for the Fortescue blend are US$70/t, only a -17% discount to the 62% iron benchmark.

The broker believes investors can still make money buying the stock, despite a strong rally in the year to date. This leads to an upgrade to Buy from Hold and an increase in the target to $7.30 from $6.70.

MYER HOLDINGS LIMITED ((MYR)) Upgrade to Hold from Sell by Deutsche Bank .B/H/S: 0/3/2

Deutsche Bank found some positive signs in the Myer first half result. Operating costs declined and sales trends improved.

The broker still believes the business is challenged and remains unconvinced that sales and gross margin can move in the right direction at the same time.

Still, the risk/reward is more balanced and the rating is upgraded to Hold from Sell. Target is raised to $0.50 from $0.36.

NUFARM LIMITED ((NUF)) Upgrade to Buy from Hold by Deutsche Bank .B/H/S: 5/1/0

After upgrading to Hold in January Deutsche Bank has now upgraded Nufarm to Buy, as the stock is now trading at a -16% discount to valuation.

The broker's valuation does not yet ascribe any value to Omega-3 canola and some delay for the acquired earnings to flow has also been allowed.

Nufarm is now trading at a -23% discount to the 10-year average of the one-year forward relative operating earnings (EBITDA) multiple, and at a -20% discount on a relative PE multiple basis.

SHOPPING CENTRES AUSTRALASIA PROPERTY GROUP ((SCP)) Upgrade to Neutral from Underperform by Credit Suisse .B/H/S: 1/2/2

Following the decline in the share price Credit Suisse now believes the stock is trading at fair value and upgrades to Neutral from Underperform. Target is steady at $2.25.

TPI ENTERPRISES LIMITED ((TPE)) Upgrade to Add from Hold by Morgans .B/H/S: 1/0/0

2018 results were below expectations and guidance. Profit was affected by several negative items including lower capacity utilisation, softer manufacturing throughput and inadequate staffing, Morgans observes.

Nevertheless, the company appears to be making progress and was profitable in the fourth quarter and the broker also expects volume gains to continue and further operating efficiencies to drive profitable growth.

While 2019-21 forecasts are lowered the broker's estimates for earnings remain in the black.

Rating is upgraded to Add from Hold and Morgans considers the current trading levels attractive for more speculative investors. Target is reduced to $1.31 from $1.71.

VILLAGE ROADSHOW LIMITED ((VRL)) Upgrade to Outperform from Neutral by Macquarie .B/H/S: 1/3/0

Macquarie finds positive momentum as the company turns around its business and executes on key initiatives. In theme parks, price increases and channel management drove a 34%-plus increase in ticket yield, offsetting declines in attendance.

Stronger second half earnings are also expected in cinema. The broker assesses the stock is "under-owned" at an institutional level because of historical governance concerns.

Hence, there is an opportunity for incremental buying over time, supported by restoration of the balance sheet. Macquarie upgrades to Outperform from Neutral and raises the target to $3.80 from $2.00.

Downgrade

AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP ((ANZ)) Downgrade to Neutral from Buy by Citi .B/H/S: 3/5/0

Citi analysts have used a general sector review to downgrade ANZ Bank to Neutral from Buy, with a slightly reduced price target of $30 (-50c). Earnings estimates have been lowered.

Citi's updated view is now that ANZ Bank is facing a prolonged period of revenue weakness. This, coupled with a likely pause in capital returns, implies the bank lacks positive catalysts on a 12 month view, explain the analysts.

Citi's sector pecking order is now Westpac ((WBC)) and National Australia Bank ((NAB)) on top as most preferred, followed by ANZ Bank and CommBank ((CBA)).

CIMIC GROUP LIMITED ((CIM)) Downgrade to Neutral from Outperform by Macquarie .B/H/S: 1/4/0

Macquarie downgrades to Neutral from Outperform as the stock is now trading close to its target. The broker believes the share price has also caught up with the traditional correlation to earnings. Target is raised to $50.90 from $50.26.

Macquarie forecasts growth of 8% in FY19 and believes this is attractive, considering the broader market is challenged. The broker believes the recent difficulties in the sector have strengthened the company's competitive position.

CIMIC is also cooperating with the US Department of Justice in relation to possible breaches of its code of ethics. This first emerged in 2011 and an Australian Federal Police investigation has been ongoing since 2012. Macquarie suspects the US development may expedite potential AFP outcomes.

GARDA DIVERSIFIED PROPERTY FUND ((GDF)) Downgrade to Hold from Add by Morgans .B/H/S: 0/1/0

First half results were in line and distribution guidance is reiterated at $0.09 per security. Morgans notes some good leasing activity during the half.

The company offers exposure to east coast office/industrial property with weighted average rent reviews around 3.3% per annum. Morgans updates forecasts to account for new industrial developments and does not assume any divestments.

The broker moves to FY21 as a base year for capturing the income from developments. Given the strong appreciation in the security the broker downgrades to Hold from Add. Target is raised to $1.35 from $1.29.

RIO TINTO LIMITED ((RIO)) Downgrade to Neutral from Buy by UBS .B/H/S: 2/6/0

Rio Tinto's balance sheet is in a strong position and the company is committed to returning free cash flow to shareholders.

In this regard, UBS believes increased dividends are more likely than share buybacks, given the 15% cap imposed on the Chinalco holding approaches as buybacks are undertaken.

The stock has rallied 23% in the year to date, supported by a strong iron ore price and a solid 2018 result. UBS does not consider the stock expensive by long-dated standards but it is fully valued.

Rating is downgraded to Neutral from Buy and the target raised to $94 from $88. The main risk to the broker's call is the iron ore market and further disruptions in Brazil as a result of the Vale tailings dam failure in January.

SMILES INCLUSIVE LIMITED ((SIL)) Downgrade to Hold from Add by Morgans .B/H/S: 0/1/0

There were grim faces at Smiles Inclusive after a disappointing first half result. Integration issues, practice underperformance and a lack of management oversight have brought loan covenants into question, Morgans notes. The bank is now working with the company.

With the CFO departing and CEO stepping down its an unsettling time for investors and while the broker has taken on board lowered FY guidance, previously assumed further acquisitions have been removed from valuation modelling until the broker is confident the business is back on track.

Target fall to 14c from $1.01. Downgrade to Hold from Add.

SENEX ENERGY LIMITED ((SXY)) Downgrade to Lighten from Hold by Ord Minnett .B/H/S: 3/1/0

Ord Minnett has reviewed the company's assets and finds them of lower quality relative to other CSG assets.

Well flow rates at the Western Surat Gas Project, in particular, are expected to be only 200-250gj/d per well versus the average in the area of 700gj/d per well.

Capital expenditure is to be deployed on a compression plant and pipeline and the broker questions the economic viability of the project.

Ord Minnett does not find much corporate appeal in Senex Energy and downgrades to Lighten from Hold. Target is reduced to $0.34 from $0.40.

TABCORP HOLDINGS LIMITED ((TAH)) Downgrade to Lighten from Hold by Ord Minnett .B/H/S: 5/0/0

Ord Minnett downgrades earnings estimates, driven by weakness in the company's wagering division. The broker notes growth in lotteries is being offset by persistent competition in wagering and the point of consumption tax (POCT) will reduce industry turnover in wagering revenue.

The integration with Ubet systems is also taking longer than anticipated. Ord Minnett downgrades to Lighten from Hold and reduces the target to $4.20 from $4.50.

VICINITY CENTRES ((VCX)) Downgrade to Neutral from Outperform by Credit Suisse .B/H/S: 1/2/0

Credit Suisse takes a more conservative view and continues to envisage a tightening of cap rates across DFO assets in the company's portfolio.

Regional, sub-regional and neighbourhood centres are expected to also experience heightened levels of scrutiny from valuers, nevertheless, and expansion of cap rates is factored in across the tail of the portfolio.

Rating is downgraded to Neutral from Outperform and target reduced to $2.67 from $3.00.

Total Recommendations
Recommendation Changes

Broker Recommendation Breakup

Broker Rating

 

Order Company New Rating Old Rating Broker
Upgrade
1 CHARTER HALL GROUP Buy Neutral Ord Minnett
2 COCHLEAR LIMITED Buy Neutral Citi
3 FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LTD Buy Neutral Ord Minnett
4 MYER HOLDINGS LIMITED Neutral Sell Deutsche Bank
5 NUFARM LIMITED Buy Neutral Deutsche Bank
6 SHOPPING CENTRES AUSTRALASIA PROPERTY GROUP Neutral Sell Credit Suisse
7 TPI ENTERPRISES LIMITED Buy Neutral Morgans
8 VILLAGE ROADSHOW LIMITED Buy Neutral Macquarie
Downgrade
9 AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP Neutral Buy Citi
10 CIMIC GROUP LIMITED Neutral Buy Macquarie
11 GARDA DIVERSIFIED PROPERTY FUND Neutral Buy Morgans
12 RIO TINTO LIMITED Neutral Buy UBS
13 SENEX ENERGY LIMITED Sell Neutral Ord Minnett
14 SMILES INCLUSIVE LIMITED Neutral Buy Morgans
15 TABCORP HOLDINGS LIMITED Sell Neutral Ord Minnett
16 VICINITY CENTRES Neutral Buy Credit Suisse

Recommendation

Positive Change Covered by > 2 Brokers

Order Symbol Company New Rating Previous Rating Change Recs
1 AIZ AIR NEW ZEALAND LIMITED -25.0% -50.0% 25.0% 4
2 SCP SHOPPING CENTRES AUSTRALASIA PROPERTY GROUP -30.0% -50.0% 20.0% 5
3 GUD G.U.D. HOLDINGS LIMITED 88.0% 70.0% 18.0% 4
4 MYR MYER HOLDINGS LIMITED -42.0% -58.0% 16.0% 6
5 NUF NUFARM LIMITED 83.0% 67.0% 16.0% 6
6 COH COCHLEAR LIMITED -31.0% -44.0% 13.0% 8
7 CHC CHARTER HALL GROUP 63.0% 50.0% 13.0% 4
8 FMG FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LTD -13.0% -25.0% 12.0% 8

Negative Change Covered by > 2 Brokers

Order Symbol Company New Rating Previous Rating Change Recs
1 ALX ATLAS ARTERIA 33.0% 83.0% -50.0% 6
2 VCX VICINITY CENTRES 17.0% 63.0% -46.0% 3
3 CIM CIMIC GROUP LIMITED 10.0% 30.0% -20.0% 5
4 CMW CROMWELL PROPERTY GROUP -33.0% -17.0% -16.0% 3
5 ANZ AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP 31.0% 44.0% -13.0% 8
6 RIO RIO TINTO LIMITED 25.0% 38.0% -13.0% 8
7 URW UNIBAIL-RODAMCO-WESTFIELD -25.0% -13.0% -12.0% 4
8 SXY SENEX ENERGY LIMITED 50.0% 60.0% -10.0% 5
9 TAH TABCORP HOLDINGS LIMITED 75.0% 83.0% -8.0% 6
10 MYO MYOB GROUP LIMITED -33.0% -25.0% -8.0% 3

Target Price

Positive Change Covered by > 2 Brokers

Order Symbol Company New Target Previous Target Change Recs
1 MYR MYER HOLDINGS LIMITED 0.453 0.377 20.16% 6
2 CHC CHARTER HALL GROUP 9.505 9.318 2.01% 4
3 FMG FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LTD 6.200 6.125 1.22% 8
4 RIO RIO TINTO LIMITED 91.737 91.023 0.78% 8
5 COH COCHLEAR LIMITED 169.113 168.113 0.59% 8
6 CIM CIMIC GROUP LIMITED 48.326 48.198 0.27% 5
7 ALX ATLAS ARTERIA 7.087 7.082 0.07% 6

Negative Change Covered by > 2 Brokers

Order Symbol Company New Target Previous Target Change Recs
1 VCX VICINITY CENTRES 2.690 2.830 -4.95% 3
2 SXY SENEX ENERGY LIMITED 0.464 0.476 -2.52% 5
3 NUF NUFARM LIMITED 7.730 7.905 -2.21% 6
4 URW UNIBAIL-RODAMCO-WESTFIELD 11.610 11.810 -1.69% 4
5 GUD G.U.D. HOLDINGS LIMITED 13.603 13.812 -1.51% 4
6 TAH TABCORP HOLDINGS LIMITED 5.025 5.075 -0.99% 6
7 MYO MYOB GROUP LIMITED 3.200 3.230 -0.93% 3
8 ANZ AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP 28.663 28.725 -0.22% 8

Earning Forecast

Positive Change Covered by > 2 Brokers

Order Symbol Company New EF Previous EF Change Recs
1 ALX ATLAS ARTERIA 45.357 23.373 94.06% 6
2 URW UNIBAIL-RODAMCO-WESTFIELD 46.964 33.509 40.15% 4
3 MIN MINERAL RESOURCES LIMITED 98.967 80.967 22.23% 3
4 SXY SENEX ENERGY LIMITED 1.375 1.125 22.22% 5
5 COL COLES GROUP LIMITED 66.929 58.714 13.99% 8
6 MYR MYER HOLDINGS LIMITED 3.690 3.560 3.65% 6
7 OZL OZ MINERALS LIMITED 59.799 57.798 3.46% 8
8 MHJ MICHAEL HILL INTERNATIONAL LIMITED 6.367 6.175 3.11% 4
9 VCX VICINITY CENTRES 17.720 17.300 2.43% 3
10 STO SANTOS LIMITED 46.984 46.129 1.85% 8

Negative Change Covered by > 2 Brokers

Order Symbol Company New EF Previous EF Change Recs
1 NXT NEXTDC LIMITED -0.033 0.133 -124.81% 7
2 GXY GALAXY RESOURCES LIMITED 1.267 3.468 -63.47% 5
3 WSA WESTERN AREAS NL 2.526 6.538 -61.36% 6
4 FNP FREEDOM FOODS GROUP LIMITED 8.933 11.300 -20.95% 3
5 BIN BINGO INDUSTRIES LIMITED 7.767 8.700 -10.72% 3
6 ORE OROCOBRE LIMITED 10.913 11.555 -5.56% 8
7 SGM SIMS METAL MANAGEMENT LIMITED 81.033 83.617 -3.09% 7
8 NUF NUFARM LIMITED 39.934 41.134 -2.92% 6
9 CMW CROMWELL PROPERTY GROUP 7.567 7.700 -1.73% 3
10 GUD G.U.D. HOLDINGS LIMITED 70.550 71.610 -1.48% 4

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