NetLink NBN Trust - OCBC Investment 2018-05-16: Unexciting But Offers Stability

NetLink NBN Trust - OCBC Investment 2018-05-16: Unexciting But Offers  Stability NETLINK NBN TRUST SGX: CJLU

NetLink NBN Trust - Unexciting But Offers Stability

  • NetLink Trust's FY18 NPAT exceeded IPO forecasts.
  • 3.24 S-cents DPU 5% higher than forecast.
  • Stable growth outlook.

Installation-related revenue 44% below IPO forecast

  • NetLink NBN Trust’s FY18 (19 Jun 17 – 31 Mar 18) revenue of S$228.6m came in 1.8% lower than its forecast as installation-related revenue of S$10.3m was 44% lower than forecasted, but partly offset by higher revenue across all other segments. Installation-related revenue was lower due to slower than expected project deployment by some customers, as well as change in customers’ deployment requirements being different from management’s projections.
  • FY18 total expenses of S$186.3m was 4.5% lower than forecasted mainly resulting from lower:
    1. operation and maintenance costs due to lower operating needs and deferments (timing reasons),
    2. actual average headcount than forecasted,
    3. other operating expenses due to deferred costs for IT maintenance, and
    4. finance costs due to lower debt drawdown than projected given the stronger operational cash flow.
  • Consequently, FY18 profit after tax of S$50.0m came in 10.8% higher than forecasted.

Resilient earnings a key thesis

  • Given the significant miss in installation-related revenue, we adjust our forecasts slightly to factor for the slower-than-expected growth of NBAP segment. That said, we also note that installation-related revenue formed only 4.5% of FY18 total revenue, indicating minor impact to our forecasts.
  • Over the longer-term, we remain positive over NetLink NBN Trust’s resilient business model and growth outlook with the development of new residential areas as well as increase in penetration rates. Furthermore, we continue to expect NetLink NBN Trust to be a key participant of growth in other connected services within the non-residential and NBAP space, especially with Singapore’s push to transform into a digital economy.
  • As of 31 Mar 2018, NetLink NBN Trust’s non-residential network supports 43,855 non- residential end-user connections, with 31,574 buildings reached, while its residential network supports 1,192,493 end-users, with 1,346,819 home reached and 1,482,711 home passed.

Slightly lower Fair Value of S$0.90

  • All considered and on above mentioned reasons, we forecast NetLink NBN Trust to deliver distributions to unitholders S$179.9m in FY19F and S$185.5m in FY20F. 
  • Consequently, we derive a lower S$0.90 (prev: S$0.91) fair value estimate.
  • (Maintain BUY)

Eugene Chua CFA OCBC Investment | https://www.iocbc.com/ 2018-05-16
SGX Stock Analyst Report BUY Maintain BUY 0.90 Down 0.910