M1 – DBS

Hitting the right buttons for NBN

• M1’s acquisition of Qala demonstrates a clear strategy of leveraging on corporate broadband opportunities through National Broadband Network (NBN).
• TP revised to S$2.05, still pegged to 12x PER, as we roll over to average FY09F-10F earnings. M1 remains our top sector pick.
• 15% potential upside and 8% regular yield plus likelihood of an additional 10% yield in FY10F, through capital management.

A concrete step in the corporate data segment. M1 has acquired Singapore-based Internet Service Provider “Qala Singapore” for about S$17.9m in cash. Out of S$17.9m, S$3m would be paid only if Qala meets its annual targets in June 09. Qala has 9-year experience in providing data centre and broadband solutions to Singapore corporates.

Corporate data segment is worth over S$1 bn annually. Corporate data market is estimated to be worth over S$1 bn annually in Singapore, where SingTel is the dominant player. Despite NBN providing level playing opportunity in 2010, our earlier impression was that M1 could hardly make an impact in the corporate segment due to the lack of expertise and track record. However, by acquiring corporate data capability through Qala, M1 should be able to secure decent market share among SMEs and corporate customers. M1 can take care of consumer broadband segment on its own through its extensive island wide distribution network.

How much can M1 benefit from broadband? The household fixed broadband penetration is around 74% in Singapore, implying the market is not completely saturated yet. M1 is keen to gain 20% market share in the broadband market in the next five years. Overall, we estimate, M1’s top line could grow by about 20-25% in the
next five years from consumer and corporate broadband. While broadband margins are difficult to estimate, M1’s bottomline should grow by at least 10% in a similar time frame. We would model NBN benefits into our model, once we have more clarity on broadband margins.

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