Maybank IB maintains 'buy' call on Aeon Co

  • Analyst Reports
  • Thursday, 21 May 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: Maybank Investment Bank research lowered its estimates on Aeon Co (M) Bhd's FY20-22 earnings on expectations of soft consumer spending in the near-term.

The research house, which kept its "buy" recommendation on the counter, said despite the gradual lifting of the movement restrictions, it expected weaker operating margins in the retail and property management services segments.

"We lower FY20-FY22E earnings by 10%-36% to derive a lower TP of RM1.23 (-37%) pegged to an unchanged FY20 PER of 22x," it said.

The government's move towards a conditional movement control order (CMCO) could result in higher retail sales volume leading up to the Aidilfitri festivity on May 24 and 25, which Maybank IB said will partially buffer the MCO sales impact in April.

"Re-opening of nonessential tenants at AEON malls should also lift rental income in sequential quarters," it said.

Meanwhile, Aeon could benefit from reduced costs in FY20 through utilities and rental rebates while it plans to defer any capex plans until its business environment turns more positive.

For 1Q20, Aeon's core net profit plunged 75% year-on-year to RM8mil due to the MCO's negative impact on operating margins. The result met only 7% and 8% of Maybank IB's and consensus full-year estimates.

However, 1Q20 revenue of RM1.2bil was in-line at 26% of the research house's full-year estimates.
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