SingPost – OCBC
In Post We Trust
Singapore’s established postal services operator. Singapore Post (SingPost) is the designated Public Postal Licensee for Singapore. It provides domestic and international postal services, and is also a logistics provider in the domestic market with global service offerings to more than 220 territories/countries. Leveraging on its retail distribution network, SingPost also provides agency and financial services. In 1H09, the group achieved a 4.3% YoY rise in revenue to S$241.6m but incurred a 1.5% fall in net profit to S$76.9m. Excluding one-off items, underlying net profit was higher by 11.5% at S$77.7m.
Should remain dominant despite liberalisation. Despite the liberalisation of the basic mail services market in Apr 07, SingPost is still in a strong position to remain as the dominant postal services operator. Only it can hold the masterdoor keys to letterboxes provided by property owners and developers, including those in HDB estates, as dictated by the Info-communications Development Authority (IDA). With other advantages like an established distribution network, significant free cash flow, a monopoly over stamp issues and an entrenched brand name, we believe that the liberalisation should have limited impact on SingPost.
Defensiveness amid uncertainty. SingPost has stable operating and free cash flows given the nature of its business. It has also been increasing its dividend per share since its IPO in 2003 to S$0.0625 in FY08. With the uncertainty in today’s stock markets, its earnings are omparatively defensive. Although mail volume growth may be affected by e-substitution and the slowing economy, SingPost has undertaken proactive measures, as evidenced from its launched initiatives and diversification of services.
Initiate with BUY. The defensive nature of SingPost’s business and its dominant market position renders it an attractive investment. Its proactive measures demonstrate its resolution to safeguard its profits, making it an even more compelling stock. Moreover, with a long list of properties under its name, SingPost may be able to unlock asset value when the time is ripe. We initiate SingPost with a BUY recommendation and S$0.93 fair value, derived from the free cash flow to equity approach (cost of equity 8.8%, terminal growth 2%). SingPost has a dividend policy of minimum S$0.05 per share a year, implying at least a 6.3% yield. Assuming SingPost continues its S$0.0625 dividend per share in FY09, this would imply a 7.9% yield, which is attractive given its defensiveness.