Thursday, July 10, 2014

NCB: Still Waters Runs Deep


NCB has declined since it broke its uptrend line in July 2013. A retracement of nearly 100% of its gain from 2009 to 2013 means that this stock will a long time to recover. One can only hope that a bottoming phrase will kick in soon at RM2.80-3.00. Check out my last post (here).

 Chart 1: NCB's weekly chart as at July 9, 2014 (Source: Tradesignum)

Result Update

From Table 1, we can see that pre-tax profit improved q-o-q by RM6.5 million despite a drop in revenue of RM19.8 million. The improvement was due to lower losses in the Logistics operation of RM12.6 million which more than offset a decline of RM5.5 million in Port operation. Compared to previous year, pre-tax profit dropped by RM37.8 million while revenue dropped by RM25.3 million. The drop in profit was contributed by drop in pre-tax profit by both Port operation (of RM30.8 million) & Logistics operation (of RM7.4 million).

Table 1: NCB's segmental results

Table 2: NCB's last 8 quarterly results

Chart 1: NCBs last 27 quarterly results

Chart 2: NCBs last10 yearly results


In addition to the losses in the Logistics operation, NCB faces challenges from WPRTS, such as the depth of its berths (generally shallower than WPRTS) and productivity of its berths & cranes (lower than WPRTS). The commencement of its new berth, CT4 in December 2013 could address the issue of maximum draft as CT4, which has a depth of 17m, can cater to ultra large vessels. CT4 has ready demand from existing customers, particularly Wan Hai (as per a report from Maybank IB Research). 

Table 3: NCB & WPRTS's Infrastructures compared (Source: Kenanga Research)

Chart 3: NCB & WPRTS's Terminal Utilization (Source: Kenanga Research)

Chart 3: NCB & WPRTS's Crane & Berth Productivity (Source: Kenanga Research)


NCB (at RM2.95 yesterday) is now trading at a PB of 1 time and trailing PE of 59 times (based on last 4 quarters' EPS of 5 sen). On the other hand, the second port owner & operator in Port Klang, WPRTS (closed at RM2.74 yesterday) has a much higher PB of 6.1 times (based on NTA of RM0.45/share as at 31/3/2014) but a lower PE of 20 times (based on annualized EPS of RM0.139).


Despite the poor financial performance and bearish technical outlook, NCB may be worth considering for a long-term investment due to its substantial decline. The drop has brought out value in the stock as it trades at 1x its NTA per share.

In addition to the disclaimer in the preamble to my blog, I hereby confirm that I do not have any relevant interest in, or any interest in the acquisition or disposal of, NCB.

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