Parkson Retail Asia
▊ Parkson’s management reiterated during the luncheon we hosted for management and investors in Singapore that Malaysia should benefit from a stronger 2H. However, investors hoping for corporate actions may be disappointed as there are no immediate plans. Nevertheless, we retain our positive view as the share price has yet to react to Malaysia’s recovering profitability. We maintain our Outperform call and target price, which is still based on 20x CY15 P/E, in line with regional peers. CY15 P/E is just 14x at the current share price. The stock may be catalysed by the improving profitability in Malaysia.
We hosted a luncheon for Parkson’s management and our clients. The main takeaways are 1) FY14 SSSG guidance was maintained – low-single-digit growth for Vietnam and Malaysia, and high-single-digit growth for Indonesia 2) Malaysia should see a stronger 2H, boosted by the national ‘Visit Malaysia’ tourism campaign, which saw a 20% spike in tourist arrivals in 2007 when the last such campaign was held. Parkson’s Greater KL stores which contribute slightly under 50% of Malaysia’s sales should benefit. Furthermore, the three stores that were closed for renovation will reopen by end-2Q14. Underlying consumer sentiment remains weak but has largely recovered from 4Q’s election hangover. December’s festive sales will be a key indicator. 4) Consumer sentiment in Indonesia is robust despite the fuel price hike and depreciating rupiah. Indonesia’s October sales were encouraging and expansion plans will go ahead. 5) Vietnam is more likely to see a full recovery in 2015.
What We Think
We think there is value in share price as it has yet to recover from its 35% plunge, despite Malaysia’s 1Q14 PBT of S$12.5m being close to the average of S$14.4m since FY12. Further, the three stores that will reopen in 2Q14 will contribute. They comprise about 6% of Malaysia’s GFA. Parkson’s valuations are supported by S$191m net cash. But share price catalyst is more likely to come from earnings recovery rather than corporate actions. Management indicated that there are no near-term plans for a special dividend or a share sell down by the major shareholder, The Lion Group, to improve liquidity.
What You Should Do
Keep accumulating the stock.
Publish date: 25/11/13