SMRT – JPMorgan

FY09 results in line, dividend maintained

• FY09 results in line, DPS maintained: FY09 earnings came in at $162.7MM (+8.5% Y/Y). A final DPS of 6 cents was declared, bringing full year DPS to 7.75 cents. This is the same as FY08. As a result, payout ratio decreased to 72% from 78%, against a minimum payout ratio of 60%.

• MRT ridership grew 8.7% in FY09 against 7.9% in FY08. However, management guided that lower growth should be expected in ridership in FY10. Coupled with the reduction in fares from 1 April onwards, 1Q10 MRT revenue is expected to be lower Y/Y. Circle Line Stage 3 will commence operations in May 2009. Management expects CCL to be lossmaking until all the stages are opened from 2010. We estimate CCL to break even only from FY2012 (2H CY2011 onwards).

• Buses and taxis ended the year in the red: While full year bus ridership was up 3.9%, the segment ended the year with a $4.5MM operating loss although it turned around with a slight operating profit of $0.8MM in 4Q09. Taxis’ losses deepened to $6.3MM due to lower hired-out rate and disposal losses of taxis. Management expects the performance of the taxi business to recover in FY10.

• Risks of losing tenants remains low: Rental revenue and operating profit was up 37% and 39% Y/Y, respectively. Management highlighted that it has not seen pressure on rental rates due to the strong human traffic in its MRT stations in line with ridership growth. Recent rental renewals were in fact at marginally higher rental rates. Tenancy contracts generally last 3 years. However, CCL Stage 3 does not add meaningfully to new lettable space and being all underground stations, CCL will also have relatively less rental space than the above-ground MRT lines.

• Maintain Neutral: We trimmed our earnings forecast for FY10/FY11 by 4%/5% as we reduce our ridership growth assumption for MRT from 8% to 7% as well as factored in potentially higher idle rate for SMRT’s taxis due to increasing competition from other taxi operators. We also maintain our DCF-based Dec-09 PT of S$1.80.

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