ComfortDelGro - RHB Invest 2022-09-08: One Less Thing To Worry About


ComfortDelGro - One Less Thing To Worry About

  • The exclusion of ComfortDelGro from the STI removes a technical overhang and lets investors focus on its fundamental earnings outlook, which we believe remains strong amidst the recent removal of most COVID-19 related curbs in Singapore. While we expect ComfortDelGro to report a sequential improvement in earnings, investors could be waiting to assess:
    1. The impact of the amended lower service fee from Sep 2022 onwards; and
    2. whether ComfortDelGro extends the taxi rental rebates beyond end-Sep 2022.

Exclusion from the STI clears one technical uncertainty.

  • ComfortDelGro (SGX:C52) will soon be out of the STI, and we see this as a much-needed relief, as a technical overhang on its share price is now cleared. Read also SGX market update: Emperador to Join The Straits Times Index (STI) w.e.f 19 Sep 2022.
  • Investors can now realign their focus on assessing the impact of near-term events on ComfortDelGro's earnings outlook, which in our view remains quite robust on the backdrop of its rail and taxi businesses witnessing higher ridership and demand respectively.

Revisiting the taxi rental rebate will be next.

  • ComfortDelGro has seen a consistent decline in its taxi fleet size and a sharp rise in demand, which has helped to support the earnings growth for its drivers. This offers ComfortDelGro an opportunity to reduce or do away with the 15% rental rebates that it is currently offering its taxi drivers until end-Sep 2022.
  • The S$5 daily rental rebate (offered by the Government to taxi drivers, as part of the S$1.5bn support package) announced in June, has already ended in August.

Investors could still be waiting to assess the earnings impact from lower bus service revenue.

  • We expect ComfortDelGro to see an improvement in its Singapore rail ridership in the coming months. We believe the y-o-y higher rail ridership and transition of the Downtown Line to the New Rail Financing Framework 2 should translate into the y-o-y higher rail earnings.
  • Nevertheless, investors could still be waiting to assess the impact of lower bus service revenue, which took effect this month, on ComfortDelGro’s public transport earnings. Our view is that the improvement in the rail business should help offset some reduction in its bus service fees.

ComfortDelGro's valuations now look a lot more compelling.

Shekhar Jaiswal RHB Securities Research | https://www.rhbgroup.com/ 2022-09-08
SGX Stock Analyst Report BUY MAINTAIN BUY 1.750 SAME 1.750