MAG replaced its 4D Powerball game with a new one, Magnum Life. Thus far, we understand that the latter has been more popular than the former had been in the past. In our view, this development cannot be negative and can only be positive for MAG. We continue to like MAG as a tactical BUY and for its attractive net dividend yields of >7.0% p.a.. Catalysts are:- (i) sharp reduction in tax penalty of MYR476.5m (MYR0.33/shr) and (ii) IPO/trade sale of 6.3%-owned U Mobile.
4QFY2/18 earnings surprised on the upside, mainly attributed to stronger contributions from the automotive segment and steady YoY growth at the duty free, and property and hospitality segments. We raise FY19-20 earnings forecasts by 9-10% and TP to MYR6.60 (+60sen; SOP-valuation).
1Q18 results were slightly ahead of our estimates as YoY earnings were mainly driven by Pavilion KL Mall's outperformance and occupancy rate improvement at Intermark Mall. We nudge up our FY18-20 earnings forecasts by +7% p.a. and raise our DDM-TP by 10sen to MYR1.55 (unchanged cost of equity of 7.9%).
1Q18 core earnings made up 22%/21% of our/consensus full-year forecast, in-line as we expect stronger quarters ahead; recall that 1Q is typically the weakest quarter for ViTrox. Our forecasts are unchanged. Following a 18% retracement in share price YTD, there is limited downside to our unchanged MYR5.00 TP, pegged on 19x CY19 EPS (20% premium to regional peers' valuations). As such, ViTrox is now a HOLD.
KLCON Index: Technical Rebound in Motion by Nik Ihsan Raja Abdullah
FBMKLCI was little changed yesterday. At day's end, the benchmark index added 0.34pts to 1,852.27, aided by the recovery in banking stocks. Advancers were led by MAYBANK, DIGI and SIMEPLT. Broader market turned positive for the first time this week with gainers outpacing losers by 442 to 349. A total of 2.04b shares worth MYR2.13b changed hands. As Wall Street extended its gains, there could be spill-over effect on the local bourses.
U.S: Merchandise-trade deficit shrank in March to a six-month low as imports plunged by the most in two years, according to preliminary figures released by the Commerce Department. Goods-trade gap narrowed to USD68b from USD75.9b the prior month. The smaller deficit reflects a 2.1% drop in imports that spanned all categories except autos, while exports jumped 2.5% to the highest level in records dating to 2008. (Source: Bloomberg)
U.S: Orders placed with factories for business equipment eased unexpectedly last month after a smaller February advance, indicating a more moderate pace of capital spending, a Commerce Department report showed. Non-military capital goods orders excluding aircraft fell 0.1%, after rising 0.9% in February. Figure is proxy for business investment. Shipments of those goods, which are used to calculate gross domestic product, decreased 0.7%; February revised down to a 1% gain. Bookings for all durable goods, items meant to last at least three years, jumped 2.6% following an upwardly revised 3.5% gain. The decline in shipments of non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft was the largest since May 2016 and indicates business spending ended the first quarter on a weak note. (Source: Bloomberg)
U.K. Consumer confidence drops as wages boost fails to add cheer. U.K. consumer confidence slid this month after a year of faster inflation and meagre wage gains. GfK's gauge slid to minus 9 in April, down two points from March and marking the 28th consecutive month without a positive score, the firm said in a report. Measures of personal finances, for both the past year and next 12 months, deteriorated, as did an assessment of the general economic situation. The report underscores the strain which U.K. consumers are under, even as data suggests real incomes may finally be about to start rising. While workers are now enjoying the strongest wage growth in almost three years and sharp price increases are fading, Brexit still clouds the outlook. (Source: Bloomberg)
Japan: Factory output rose for a second consecutive month in March, a sign that the economy's expansion continued into 2018. Industrial production rose 1.2% in March from February, when it gained 2%. Year-on-year output rose 2.2% YoY. The unemployment rate in March was 2.5%. The job-to-applicant ratio was 1.59. Prices in Tokyo, stripping out fresh food, rose 0.6% YoY in April. Retail sales fell 0.7% in March from February, when they rose a revised 0.5%. (Source: Bloomberg)
Ireka Corp: Unit lands construction job worth MYR91.96m in Melaka. The group has secured a contract worth MYR91.96m to build an additional structure at Pantai Hospital Ayer Keroh in Melaka. The job has a contract period of 24 months and should be completed by April 15, 2020. Ireka said the contract is expected to contribute positively to earnings for the financial years ending March 31, 2019 onward. (Source: The Edge Financial Daily)
PPB: To acquire LTAT's 16.8% stake in Hillcrest for MYR59.06m. The group is acquiring the Armed Forces Fund Board's (LTAT's) 16.8% stake in Hillcrest Gardens S/B for MYR59.06m. Hillcrest's audited consolidated net assets as at Dec 31, 2017 stood at MYR199.55m, including 147.78 acres of freehold land in Taman Seri Gombak and Taman Puchong Utama. The purchase consideration represented a premium of 76% over 16.8% of audited consolidated net assets. In comparison, LTAT's original cost of investment for the stake in 1976 was MYR1.2m. (Source: The Edge Financial Daily)
Choo Bee: Plans 1-for-5 bonus issue. The group has proposed to undertake a bonus issue of up to 21.98 million bonus shares on the basis of one-for-five existing shares held to reward shareholders, while enhancing its marketability and trading liquidity. (Source: The Edge Financial Daily)
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