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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Astro: Earnings Soared

Results Update

For QE31/1/2016, Astro's net profit increased by 92% q-o-q or 46% y-o-y to RM204 million while revenue was up marginally by 2% q-o-q or 4% y-o-y to RM1.374 billion.

Revenue rose y-o-y mainly due to an increase in subscription, advertising and other revenue of RM7.8 million, RM24.8 million and RM21.0 million respectively. EBITDA  margin  increased  by  0.6%  against  corresponding  quarter  mainly  due  to  lower  staff  related  costs, and lower impairment of receivables. This was offset by higher content costs and cost of merchandise sales.

Net profit increased by RM65.1 million or 47.2% compared with the corresponding quarter. The increase in net profit is  mainly due to increase in EBITDA of RM27 million, lower net finance cost by  RM30.0 million due to lower  unrealised forex  loss  arising  from  unhedged  finance  lease  liability  of  RM19.4 million  and  unhedged  vendor  financing  of RM34.7 million,  offset  by  an  increase  in  transponder’s  lease  interest  of  RM6.8 million  and  increase  in  share  of post-tax result from investment accounted for of RM12.9 million, offset by higher tax expenses by RM11.2 million. 


Table: Astro's last 8 quarterly results


Chart 1: Astro's last 18 quarterly results

Valuation

Astro (closed at RM3.00 yesterday) is now trading at a trailing PE of 25 times (based on last 4 quarters' EPS of 11.83 sen). At this PER, Astro is full valued. If Astro can maintain its last quarter's performance for a full year, the group's EPS would rise to 16 sen while its PER would drop to 20 times. At a PER of 20 times, the stock would be attractive.

In addition, Astro paid out dividend quarterly which amounted to 12 sen for the last 4 quarters. Thus, its DY is at a decent 4%.

Technical Outlook

Astro has been drifting downward after it peaked at RM3.70 in June 2014. The price moves in a downward channel, RR-R1R1) wth support at RM2.40-2.50 & resistance at RM3.00.


Chart 2: Astro's weekly chart as at Mar 22, 2016 (Source: ShareInvestor.com)

Conclusion

Despite the improved financial performance, Astro's rating remains a HOLD due to its expensive valuation and bearish technical outlook.

Note:
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, Astro.

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