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Simons Trading Research

Author: simonsg   |   Latest post: Tue, 15 Jan 2019, 08:47 AM

 

Venture Corporation - Still Resilient

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Most Resilient to US-China Trade War

  • Maintain BUY albeit with a lower ROE-g/COE-g Target Price of SGD17.48, as
    1. we proactively lower FY18-20E EPS by 2-9% for macroeconomic uncertainties; and
    2. increase COE from 7.1% to 8% to factor in increased volatility.
  • We continue to believe its Southeast-Asian production footprint, rising R&D, and customer & end-market diversity could cushion effects of the US-China trade war and/or a potential downturn in US capex spending.
  • Stronger than expected pace of recovery and/or dividends could be catalysts.

Growing Headwinds

  • Many of VENTURE CORPORATION LIMITED (SGX:V03)’s customers are US-based. Recent softening of manufacturing indicators both globally and in the US may heighten end-market caution in the coming quarters. This may temper the pace of Venture Corp’ sequential earnings recovery.
  • That said, Venture Corp still believes its recovery will be underpinned by a production ramp-up of a broad base of new products in its TMO and N&C segments.

Fundamentals Still Strong

  • Although sentiment on the stock may be negative in the near term due to macro uncertainties, we believe:
    1. Venture Corp is a potential beneficiary of the US-China trade war, given its sizeable production out of Singapore and Malaysia,
    2. exponential rise in R&D since 3Q16, which is expected to underpin future revenue growth, and
    3. strength in end-markets for test & measurement, medical and life-sciences, from policy-related spending.
  • This could cushion a potential downturn in US corporate spending.

Dividend Yields Intact

  • Our Target Price is now based on 2x FY19E P/BV, from 2.5x previously. It implies 14.4x FY19E P/E, just slightly below its 14-year mean of 15.3x.
  • Strong cash generation should continue to support dividend yields, in our view.

Earnings Revisions

  • We cut FY18-20E EPS by 2-9%, as Venture Corp’s sequential earnings recovery in 4Q18-2019 could be potentially tempered by lower capex appetite in the US due to end-market caution. Aside, manufacturing activity in Malaysia and Singapore, which account for a combined 80% of Venture Corp’s production, is contracting. The Nikkei Malaysia Manufacturing Dec 2018 PMI hit 46.8, its lowest in 6.5 years while Singapore’s electronics PMI was 49.8 in Dec 2018.
  • Amid macro uncertainties, we see resilience from:
    • New products. Venture Corp’s sequential recovery should be underpinned by a gradual ramp-up of a broad base of new products in its TMO and N&C segments. Their value-add should be higher than previous generations, given increased R&D involvement in recent years.
    • Customer growth. Consensus still expects sales of Venture Corp’s well-known customers to increase by 4-5% in 2019-20. While consensus revenue-growth expectations for these customers have been tempered over the past six months, their cuts have not been material.
    • Diversified end-markets. In the TMO segment (57% of FY17 revenue), there remain pockets of end-market strength. Agilent, Thermo Fisher, Keysight and Illumina delivered strong results in latest quarterly earnings in part due to spending by governments / academia and on 5G infrastructure. Strong growth from China has been a consistent theme.
    • Potential benefits of US-China trade war. China makes up only 15% of Venture Corp’s production. We think Venture Corp could benefit from customers routing their production away from China.

Valuation

  • Our ROE-g/COE-g Target Price is now based on 2x FY19E P/BV, from 2.5x previously. This is largely because we have increased our beta from 0.7x to 0.85x to capture increased volatility of the stock following heightened macro uncertainties.
  • Our new Target Price implies 14.4x FY19E P/E, just slightly below its 14-year average of 15.3x.
  • We do not think current valuations of 1SD below its 14-year P/E mean are warranted, as valuations of this level in the past reflected
    1. pricing pressure (1Q06),
    2. severe demand weakness (1H08-1H09, 4Q11) or
    3. a marked decline in the USD vs SGD (9M11).
  • Presently, we do not see such threats materialising.
  • We also continue to expect 2019-20E FCF of above SGD1/share, which should comfortably support DPS.

Source: Maybank Kim Eng Research - 07 Jan 2019

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Labels: Venture

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