SPH – DBSV

Low growth but reasonable yields

Core 3Q earnings in line with expectations

Muted growth on cautious GDP outlook

Dividend yield remains attractive at 6%

Maintain Hold, TP unchanged at S$4.01

Highlights

Core 3Q results in line. Headline net profit fell 11.5% y-o-y to S$99.8m, slightly below our expectations, largely due to lower investment income (S$9.5m, -60%) and higher staff costs (S$94m, – 6%) as a result of bonus provisions. Core operations were otherwise resilient with revenue growth of 1%, helped by strong property rental revenue (S$48.7m, +13%). Despite worries about the global economy, print ad revenues remained resilient and registered marginal growth of 0.3%. This was offset, however, by slowing circulation revenue (-3% y-o-y to S$52.4m).

Revenue from the newspaper and magazine segment stayed relatively flat at S$261m vs S$263m in 3Q11. 9M12 earnings of S$281.4m now account for 72% of FY12’s earnings forecast, in line with expectations considering lower earnings, due to lower investment income. Investment income was strong in FY11 due to non-recurring recovery of losses arising from the Lehman crisis.

Our View

Growing rental income is key to growing volatility in media sector. We see SPH’s growing rental income as a key bulwark against potential volatility in ad spend and weakening circulation. The property segment now contributes 15% of revenues (13% last year) and 22% of profit before tax (14% last year). In contrast, newspaper and magazine’s PBT declined from S$95.7m to S$91.6m. The property segment has therefore become increasingly important in mitigating earnings volatility in the media segment, even as GDP expectations for Singapore this year are not expected to outpace last year.

Earnings growth likely to be muted, in line with Singapore’s cautious GDP growth expectations. Our DBS economist is forecasting GDP growth at 3.5% vs 4.9% last year. Since ad spend correlates well with Singapore’s GDP growth, we remain conservative over such growth in the coming quarters. We have imputed 2% growth in Ad Ex in FY13F, a marginal growth from our forecast of a 0% growth in FY12F.

Recommendation

Maintain Hold for 6% yield, TP unchanged at S$4.01. Even though growth may not be exciting, the stock is still attractive for its dividend yield of 6%. We therefore maintain HOLD with our sum-of-parts derived TP unchanged S$4.01.

SPH – DBSV

Low growth but reasonable yields

Core 3Q earnings in line with expectations

Muted growth on cautious GDP outlook

Dividend yield remains attractive at 6%

Maintain Hold, TP unchanged at S$4.01

Highlights

Core 3Q results in line. Headline net profit fell 11.5% y-o-y to S$99.8m, slightly below our expectations, largely due to lower investment income (S$9.5m, -60%) and higher staff costs (S$94m, – 6%) as a result of bonus provisions. Core operations were otherwise resilient with revenue growth of 1%, helped by strong property rental revenue (S$48.7m, +13%). Despite worries about the global economy, print ad revenues remained resilient and registered marginal growth of 0.3%. This was offset, however, by slowing circulation revenue (-3% y-o-y to S$52.4m).

Revenue from the newspaper and magazine segment stayed relatively flat at S$261m vs S$263m in 3Q11. 9M12 earnings of S$281.4m now account for 72% of FY12’s earnings forecast, in line with expectations considering lower earnings, due to lower investment income. Investment income was strong in FY11 due to non-recurring recovery of losses arising from the Lehman crisis.

Our View

Growing rental income is key to growing volatility in media sector. We see SPH’s growing rental income as a key bulwark against potential volatility in ad spend and weakening circulation. The property segment now contributes 15% of revenues (13% last year) and 22% of profit before tax (14% last year). In contrast, newspaper and magazine’s PBT declined from S$95.7m to S$91.6m. The property segment has therefore become increasingly important in mitigating earnings volatility in the media segment, even as GDP expectations for Singapore this year are not expected to outpace last year.

Earnings growth likely to be muted, in line with Singapore’s cautious GDP growth expectations. Our DBS economist is forecasting GDP growth at 3.5% vs 4.9% last year. Since ad spend correlates well with Singapore’s GDP growth, we remain conservative over such growth in the coming quarters. We have imputed 2% growth in Ad Ex in FY13F, a marginal growth from our forecast of a 0% growth in FY12F.

Recommendation

Maintain Hold for 6% yield, TP unchanged at S$4.01. Even though growth may not be exciting, the stock is still attractive for its dividend yield of 6%. We therefore maintain HOLD with our sum-of-parts derived TP unchanged S$4.01.

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