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Author: kimeng   |   Latest post: Mon, 23 Jul 2018, 10:26 AM

 

M1 Ltd: 9M17 Largely In-line With Expectations

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  • Met 73% of our 9M17 estimate
  • NB-IoT network takes time to ramp up
  • Maintain HOLD

9M17 Revenue Growth Driven Mainly by Fixed Services

M1 Ltd’s (M1) 3Q17 revenue grew 1.0% YoY to S$251.6m driven mainly by fixed services (+19.9%) and mobile post-paid (+3.4%) revenues but partly offset by weaker handset sales (-13.6%) and international call services (- 7.0%). Fixed services revenue growth was driven by a 20.0% YoY increase in customer base despite recording 6.1% decline in ARPU, while mobile revenue growth was mainly driven by higher post-paid customer base and flat YoY ARPU.

3Q17 operating expenses rose at a slower pace of 0.6% YoY to S$209.1m due to a 21.8% decline in advertising and promotion expenses, offset by higher depreciation. Consequently, EBITDA increased 1.3% YoY to S$75.5m. However, NPAT fell 4.8% YoY to S$32.7m as taxation increased 13.1% to S$7.2m. For 9M17, revenue rose 2.3% YoY to S$763.9m driven mainly by fixed services and handset sales.

However, operating expenses grew 4.8% to S$633.3m due to higher handset costs and higher wholesale costs of fixed services. Consequently, 9M17 NPAT declined 13.9% YoY to S$68.6m and EBITDA fell 5.0% to S$228.0m, which formed 72% and 73% of our FY17 forecasts, respectively.

No Change in FY17 Outlook Guidance

For FY17, M1 keeps its guidance unchanged:

  1. capex to be around S$150m,
  2. expects NPAT to decline YoY for FY17, and 3) intends to maintain 80% dividend payout ratio for FY17.

Looking ahead, we believe competition within the mobile segment will continue to put pressure on ARPU with the impending entry of TPG as well as the announced intention of MyRepublic to launch mobile services as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO). While M1 has recently launched nationwide NB-IoT network, it expects mass adoption to take time as a new technology and with the eco-system still evolving.

Separately, we do not expect M1’s ICT business to contribute materially in the near-term as it needs time to ramp up as well.

Supported by 6.8% Forward Dividend Yield

With a set of in-line 9M17 results, we keep our forecasts unchanged and note the lack of any near-term catalysts driving earnings. Hence, we maintain our HOLD rating and the same FV of S$1.65.

Source: OCBC Research - 17 Oct 2017

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