Jay's market diary

What I learnt from Petron AGM

Publish date: Fri, 16 Jun 2017, 05:41 AM

Yesterday was Petron’s AGM but unfortunately I’m out of town. However, my nephew was there to attend on my behalf and so below are the notes in Q&A form he took down for me. Hope this would help shareholders who are not present and also appreciate if shareholders who are present can add on or correct if there are any missing or inaccurate points.


1.     Retail market share

1Q15: 16.6%, 1Q16:17.4%, 1Q17:19%

2.     Breakdown of gross profit




Marketing margin



Refinery margin



Inventory gain/(loss)



Gross profit




3.     Reason for profit improvement in 2016?

Improvement in gross margin

4.     Reasons for decrease in other income, increase in other operating income and decrease in other operating expenses

Lower realized forex hedging gain, higher service station license fee and higher deposits, lower realized forex losses

5.     Factor of increase in sales volume

Expansion program, innovative products, customer service, promotions

6.     Expansion plans

16 new stations so far this year, 23 completed and to be opened soon, target at least 50 for full year

7.     RON100 and Turbo 5 sales

So far encouraging and they help in branding

8.     Hedging policy

Commodity 40%, Forex 80-90%, the remaining natural hedge from exports

9.     Capex plans

RM150m for 2017 to expand network and logistics and improve refinery efficiency

10.   $1.5b expansion of refinery and new petrochemical plant

Still reviewing options, including debt and equity funding, will update shareholders once they have decided

11.   Impact of weekly petrol pricing

No impact on profitability as retail petrol still under APM for gross profit of around 5c per litre (5c calculated based on refined product price), net profit depends from station to station

12.   1Q17 cost of sales increased by 15% while Brent only increased 8%, why?

Forex ringgit depreciation

13.   Are the good performances sustainable? Is management confident of repeating the good results?

Volume and operating efficiency yes, marketing business is also doing very well

Margins are up to market forces, best if there is a stable market

Overall management is confident

14.   High % held by Petron holding and plans to address public spread

Due to MGO last time. No plans for now

15.   RPT with Petron Fuel International (PFI)

Buy and sell products with PFI. Depending on the distance between service stations and terminal, if Petron station is near to PFI terminal will buy petrol from PFI, vice versa

16.   Fire incident

No effect on operations and supply, refinery operational again within a week. Have risk management, emergency response and business recovery plans when somehow preventive steps fail

17.   Litigation case

Already won the case in Court of Appeal and Federal Court, plaintiff still not satisfied and appeal to Federal Court to review the decision, hearing on 24 Aug 2017.

18.   Fair value instrument (pg 100 of AR)

Mark to market hedging instrument for commodity

Realised gains go into cost of sales, unrealized gains go to other income/expenses

19.   Strong cashflow, higher dividend?

Petron Corp has 25% dividend policy but Petron Malaysia not subject to it. Will review annually and decide whether to have a policy and how much to pay shareholders

20.   Is lower crude price beneficial to Petron Malaysia?

As downstream player, more concerned on margins

21.   % of revenue from retail and commercial

70% retail, 30% commercial

22.   LPG market share


23.   How are properties valued? Any revaluation?

Cost basis. No revaluation as it is costly and not Petron’s plan to profit from land appreciation

24.   Is the refinery Euro-4 compliant and where is RON100 produced?

Already compliant, RON100 produced locally in Port Dickson

25.   How much export sales

Very low less than 5%, only by-products

26.   Out of 580 stations, how many owned by listed Petron?

55-60%, new expansions will also be around that %

27.   Next mandatory shutdown date


28.   Refinery at full capacity, does Petron import from Philippines?

Refinery at 60% utilization, all sold for domestic, except by-product

29.   Amortization of PPE

Leases and turnaround costs back in 2015. Lease amortised based on terms of lease, turnaround based on 3 years to the next maintenance

30.   Why are there sister companies and how are RPT conducted?

All these date back to Exxonmobil times when Exxon and Mobil merged. Part of the anti trust provision is that both companies have to be segregated even though branding may be shared. So are Exxonmobil Malaysia before Petron Corp bought over. So nothing sinister and all RPT are conducted on arm’s length


My takeaway

1.     Marketing/retail biz is doing very well

They are gaining market share and has robust expansion plans

2.     No major capex in the near term

Only expansion of service stations and refinery efficiency improvement since refinery already Euro-4 compliant. RM150m capex plan shouldn’t eat much into its cashflow, so the company should achieve net cash by next quarter or at least end of the year

3.     New plant expansion still premature

No details provided. If eventually it happens, most likely majority of funding will come from debt since they have a plant as security and the company has strong cashflows.

4.     Main source of profit is not dependent on crude price

Dependent on the price differential/margin/crack spread

5.     Number of petrol stations still room to grow

Now we know the listed Petron owns around 320-350 stations, the rest are by its sister companies. This may be relatively low compared to Shell around 900 or Petdag more than 1,000. But good thing is Petron is growing faster both in terms of number of stations and market share

6.     No hanky panky with related companies

The explanation provided on why related companies exists and how they conduct RPT are perfectly understandable. And I don’t suspect that there are any transfer pricing issue between them


What I still do not understand

1.     Breakdown of gross profit

Refinery profit is much lower in 2016. When I look at crack spreads data, it is lower in 2016 compared to 2015 but not that much lower. I suppose maybe we need to include inventory gain/loss together since crack spread already take into account your crude oil price. So maybe when crude price dropped in 2015, there’s inventory loss but refining gross profit benefited as a result. The opposite happen in 2016. Just a guess.

Meanwhile, it is weird when marketing/retail profit increased by 30% in 2016 when I don't think their volume grew that much. As Petron refine crude oil and pass it down to its stations or dealers before selling to final customers, I’m not sure how they classify between refinery and marketing profit. Maybe some of the refining gain is passed down to marketing?

2.     Refinery apparently not at full capacity and they do not import

As pointed out by others, we understand that its refinery is not running at full capacity but initially we thought that it was by design and it is insufficient for them to cater to their local sales. However, it doesn’t seem like the case based on what they answered.



Overall, I’m quite happy with the info I got (I will give my nephew a big angpow next CNY).

The company gives me the impression that it is very well-run and is a growth company with ambitions to expand.

Unfortunately I don’t think I can claim to fully 100% understand the business. However with the new info, my investment case hasn’t changed. I still like Petron for its growing biz, stabilizing refining margins and strong free cashflow. Previously I expect RM1-1.20 EPS for 2017, this haven’t changed post results but probably I’m looking at the higher end rather than lower end. 

Why am I so conservative? Because ultimately they are still in commodity biz and like what management guided, their profitability is still to a certain extent dependent on market forces. So I still treat 40c EPS a quarter as bonus but would still be perfectly happy for around 30c EPS each quarter. If it achieves RM1.20 EPS, it is trading at slightly less than 7 times PE.

Alternatively, I prefer to look at free cash flow. Using market cap/FCF may not be comprehensive as companies may have different capital structure, so I prefer EV/FCF.  I compare the EV/FCF of Petron against Hengyuan, PetDag and another supposedly cashflow generating machine, Litrak. As some of you may know, cashflow sometimes may fluctuate over time so I took past 2 years plus latest quarter annualised and their average. With that I get this result which I think is pretty self-explanatory.


  Market cap Cash Debts EV FCF EV/FCF
  RM million RM million RM million RM million RM million times
2015         1,491.00          175.52    1,481.05         3,147.58          685.36         4.59
2016            609.00          355.61    1,416.91         2,381.53          (32.63)     (72.98)
1Q17         1,743.00          339.72    1,414.01         3,496.73          (46.14)     (75.78)
Average               3,008.61          202.19       14.88
2015       24,685.98     (1,291.27)       211.82       23,606.53          344.72       68.48
2016       23,633.40     (2,431.64)       118.77       21,320.53      1,856.72       11.48
1Q17       24,030.60     (2,323.68)       104.98       21,811.91          818.15       26.66
Average             22,246.32      1,006.53       22.10
2015         2,635.00         (334.64)    1,283.00         3,583.36          257.36       13.92
2016         3,098.76         (424.45)    1,291.39         3,965.69          242.20       16.37
1Q17         3,109.30         (552.65)    1,229.71         3,786.36          387.01         9.78
Average               3,778.47          295.52       12.79
2015         1,350.00         (159.27)       543.82         1,734.55          249.73         6.95
2016         1,120.50         (171.64)       307.96         1,256.82          302.64         4.15
1Q17         2,211.30         (204.84)       251.49         2,257.95          359.09         6.29
Average               1,749.77          303.82         5.76


If Petron trades at 10 times EV/FCF (similar to Litrak but still below its average), EV should be RM3.6b. Excluding net debt, market cap should be around RM3.5b or roughly RM13!

With stable margins, growing retail biz (more than 300 petrol stations and counting), strong free cashflow of >RM300m a year, strong balance sheet (turning net cash soon), does it deserve to trade at current valuation?

I will leave it to market to decide


Lastly, again a share of some crack spread data

2Q17 vs 1Q17 vs 4Q16

Tapis: 8.50/8.47/6.78


Gulf: 12.91/11.96/10.61

Northwest: 11.59/9.50/9.42


Happy investing




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14 people like this. Showing 22 of 22 comments


Thanks jay. Petron financial results has always seemed to me to be quite volatile in the past. They can make 100m in one quarter and lose 70m in another. That has been my experience trading this company 2 or 3 years ago. Is there any reasons for the volatility?

2017-06-16 06:26


Thx for great work n info....

2017-06-16 07:29


Thanks Jay for the sharing. May I know where you obtain the crack spread info?

2017-06-16 08:07


Thanks Jay. Great analysis

2017-06-16 08:37


Thanks Jay, great stuff. Better than most sell side analysts in my opinion.

2017-06-16 08:37


Thanks for valuable analysis!

2017-06-16 08:59


Thanks for sharing. This is better than those who shout like a mad man, to buy and to sell in this forum. :-)

2017-06-16 09:43


This is better than those selling online investment courses. New Zealand, here I come!

2017-06-16 10:50


very detailed report...still cannot stop people buy in > $9 , on low PE now below $8....still die already don't know why.

2017-06-16 12:12


Thank you Jay

2017-06-16 12:16


2015 , volume sold 30.4 m barrels, 4833 m litre, Net profit 221m , net profit per litre : rm0.045 , 2016 volume sold 32m barrels, 5088m litre,net profit 237m, net profit per litre : rm0.0466 .

2017-06-16 12:32


[ What I learnt from Petron AGM - Jay ]

Wow, i really learnt how to sharper my edge from Jay's article.
Thanx to Jay & his nephew to share excellent infos from Petron - Agm.

2017-06-16 12:42


excellent info but cannot stop stock from $9 to $8........

when oil comes down HRC will suffer more than Petron.....

HRC have to take higher price crude charge to cost of sales.

Petron suffers from stock losses.....but effect on HRC worse....better still , of course......don't buy HRC or Petron.


2017-06-16 12:46


For the 5c gross profit, I think it's fixed under the APM scheme. So even if your revenue falls (same volume, lower petrol price), the gross profit should stay the same, GP margin might look better in %.

They are not only selling petrol though. They still have refinery, LPG and jetfuel biz, plus inventory gain/loss effect. So it won't be that straightforward. but I suppose petrol volume x 5c would be a staple gross profit for them, a base for them to build on

2017-06-16 13:09


for some people, only old man kyy is their golden rule (almost like an obsession). whatever kyy buys, they buy. whatever kyy don't buy, they don't buy. they forgot kyy has a lot of money to lose, they don't

2017-06-16 13:11


lets just charge it to social work for time spend here.

by Jay > Jun 16, 2017 01:11 PM | Report Abuse

for some people, only old man kyy is their golden rule (almost like an obsession). whatever kyy buys, they buy. whatever kyy don't buy, they don't buy. they forgot kyy has a lot of money to lose, they don't

2017-06-16 13:38


haha. good comment Jay

2017-06-16 18:21


no need such brainer analysis...this PETRON is CYCLICAL DOWNSTREAM+TURNAROUND O&G stock...buy when oil price collapse sell when oil price above USD 55/barrel...

2017-06-16 20:05


very informative, thank you!

2017-06-17 00:30


about the EV calculation, is it to add cash or to subtract cash from MC ?

2017-06-17 09:24


Thank you Jay, really appreciate it very much. Could u share where you obtain the crack spread info. Thanks ya~

2017-06-19 16:28


such brainy work cannot stop people from buying at $9, now $ 7...and that is the real point.

there are in reality lots of uncertainties in its accounts and wildly fluctuating quarterly earnings.

nothing is more foolish than buying on good results.

2017-06-27 11:35

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