Strong recovery predicted for number forecast operators

Berjaya Toto Btoto

PETALING JAYA: The number forecast operators (NFOs) may be facing a tough time now with the latest movement control order (MCO), but given the inelastic nature of their business, ticket sales are likely to recover strongly once all the outlets are allowed to reopen.

The recovery was strong after the first MCO was lifted in June 2020.

The recovery was about 75% of pre-pandemic ticket sales within the initial few weeks of reopening, RHB Research said in a report.

It added that the NFO business’ low cash burn rate of about RM10mil to RM15mil per month versus casino operator’s of about RM100mil per month should also partially mitigate the impact of MCO 2.0.

Given such a scenario, the research house continued to maintain a “buy” call for both Berjaya Sports Toto Bhd (BToto) and Magnum Bhd.

Its target price for BToto is RM2.49 a share while that for Magnum is RM2.97.

RHB said it continued to like the stock because of the resilience of BToto business, and financial year (FY) ending June 30,2022, yields of 7.8% are attractive for long-term yield-seeking investors.

“We continue to favour Magnum for its resilient NFO business.

Its 6.6% to 7.5% 2021-2022 yield is attractive for long-term yield-seeking investors, ’’ said the research house.

The research house cut its earnings forecast for both the companies.

For BToto and Magnum, the research house has cut its FY21 earnings by 14.0% and 12.3% respectively.

This is after lowering its ticket sales assumption to factor in the temporary outlet closures.

It also lowered its FY21 dividend per share to 13 sen and 14 sen (implying 89% and 88% dividend payout) from 15 sen and 16 sen for BToto and Magnum respectively.

“While we did not change our prize payout assumption, we highlight the risk of a high prize payout ratio, given the low ticket sales volumes, which may swing profitability, ’’ said RHB.

The key risks cited for both are luck factor, changes in gaming taxes, and regulatory risks. While adding weaker-than expected contributions from the overseas segment for BToto.

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