Hextar Global Bhd (HGB) 1Q23’s Core PATAMI of RM8.6mn (QoQ: +20%, YoY: -44%) came-in below our and consensus estimates accounting for only 16% and 12% of full year forecast respectively. The deviation against our projection was mainly due to higher-than-expected operating expenses, finance cost and over provision on depreciation. HGB’s FY23 earnings outlook is expected to remain steady, to be backed by new income generation from specialty chemicals that will supplement income from agrochemicals business. Maintain a HOLD call with TP of RM0.74.
- Below expectations. HGB’s 1Q23 PATAMI of RM8.6mn (QoQ: +20%, YoY: -44%) trailed our and consensus’ expectations, accounting for only 16% and 12% of full year forecast. The deviation against our projection was mainly due to the higher-than-expected operating expenses, finance cost and over provision on depreciation.
- QoQ. HGB’s 1QFY3 revenue and PATAMI increased by 3% and 86% QoQ respectively. This was due to resilient revenue contribution from Agrochemicals segment that drove improved financial performance for the Group, counterbalancing lower revenue from the Consumer Products Segment. Conversely, improvement in PATAMI was due to the absence of one-off impairment losses as provided in 4Q22, lower finance costs and lower effective tax rate of 31.4% (-10.4 ppts QoQ).
- YoY/YTD. The Group revenue eased by 6.7% YoY to RM143mn primarily due to lower contribution from consumer productssegment and agriculture segment which offset the strong revenue growth in the Specialty segments - which benefited from robust revenue expansion from a strong global recovery and demand for specialty cleaning chemicals from institutions, hotels and restaurants as well as the oil and gas industry. The persistent downward pressure on selling prices of agrochemical products especially in the selling price of key Herbicides led to lower revenue from agriculture segment. On that score, PATAMI dropped by 45%, mainly due to higher finance cost and overhead expenses, added by lower share of result from JV that pressuring margin to drop to 6% from 10% in 1Q22.
- Outlook. We are optimistic on the long-term prospects of HGB due to its strong market position in the domestic agrochemical sector and the promising growth potential of the Specialty Chemicals segment. We believe these factors will contribute to the company's earnings growth in the long run. Moreover, the strategic decision to divest the consumer products segment is expected to improve the company's strategic positioning by allowing it to fully concentrate on its core chemicals business, especially in light of the financial challenges faced by the consumer products segment.
- Our call. No change in earnings forecast as earnings are expected to catch up from second quarter onwards. Maintain a HOLD call with TP of RM0.74 (Table 3) pending meeting with management
Source: BIMB Securities Research - 22 May 2023