Kenanga Research said in a note that it expects continued volatility ahead given the risks of a further wave of the pandemic and potential new mutations, while the low interest rate regime is expected to keep domestic retailers' participation robust.
"With the risk of new wave of pandemic coupled with challenging vaccine distribution, trading interests in healthcare, technology and industrial products, and services are likely to be sustained into 2H 2021," it said.
The research house raised its FY21 earnings by 9% as it increased it FY21 SDV assumption to RM4.7bil with FY22 ADV at RM3.7bil.
It also increased its dividend per share estimate to 44 sen from 40 sen previously, and does not rule out a consecutive special dividend payment ahead.
Kenanga maintained its "market perform" recommendation on the stock with a lower target price of RM8.80 as it applied a conservative five-year mean price-earnings ratio of 19.3x to FY22 earnings per share of 45 sen.
For the first quarter, Bursa Malaysia's Patami of RM121mil beat Kenanga's and consensus expectations at 35% and 36% of respective estimates.