Monday, September 9, 2013

Singapore Press Holdings: Continued headwinds for print (OCBC)

Singapore Press Holdings:
Fair value S$4.14
add: 12m dividend forecast S$0.24
versus: Current price S$3.99

Continued headwinds for print
• REIT spin-off success
• Continued headwinds for print
• Downgrade to HOLD with S$4.14 FV

We see SPH’s REIT spin-off as a positive move and believe management’s decision to hold a 70% majority stake makes significant sense. However, the latest 3QFY13 figures presented a picture of continued headwinds for the group’s core print business given the cumulative impact from cooling measures on property and automobile ads.
3QFY13 ad revenues fell 4.5% YoY in 3QFY13 and circulation revenues also dipped 3.2% YoY. With current headwinds for the print business and limited visibility in terms of catalysts ahead, we believe the risk-reward proposition for the counter has turned fairly neutral. Downgrade to HOLD with a lowered fair value estimate of S$4.14, versus S$4.94 (before the REIT spin-off) previously. Our barometer for an upturn in outlook ahead consists of two key groups of operating metrics: for its print businesses - ad and circulation revenue growth; and for its retail property segment – expedient and accretive capital deployment.

A REIT success but 18 S-cents bonus below view
As anticipated, SPH conducted a successful REIT spin-off for Paragon and Clementi Mall, yielding substantial cash proceeds and subsequently an 18 S-cents bonus dividend for shareholders. We see the establishment of a REIT subsidiary vehicle as a major positive for the group’s mall development business and believe management’s decision to hold a 70% majority stake makes significant sense – this enables accounting consolidation and for the bulk of property earnings to continue accreting to SPH. That said, the 18 S-cents bonus cash dividend was somewhat below view, particularly as the group was already sitting on an fairly hefty war-chest of ~S$0.9b investible funds as at end 3QFY13. We believe that, for investors, a key performance indicator for the group ahead is likely to be the degree in which management can expediently deploy excess capital for attractive returns.

Still seeing headwinds for the print business
In addition, the latest 3QFY13 figures presented a picture of continued headwinds for the group’s core print business. Over 3QFY13, operating revenue from the key Newspaper and Magazine segment fell 3.3% to S$259.3m. Given the cumulative impact from cooling measures and hawkish loan requirements on the property and automobile sectors, conditions for the print business remain challenging. We saw pressure on 3QFY13 ad revenues, which fell 4.5% YoY in 3QFY13, and circulation revenues also decreased S$4.9m YoY (down 3.2%) as the physical subscription base declined.

Downgrade to HOLD
Given current headwinds for the print business and limited visibility in terms of catalysts ahead, we believe the risk-reward proposition for the counter has turned fairly neutral. Downgrade to HOLD with a lowered fair value estimate of S$4.14, versus S$4.94 (before the REIT spin-off) previously. Our barometer for an upturn in outlook ahead consists of two key groups of operating metrics: for its print businesses - ad and circulation revenue growth; and for its retail property segment – expedient and accretive capital deployment.


Source/Extract/Excerpts/来源/转贴/摘录: OCBC-Research,
Publish date: 04/09/13

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