Historical Financial Performance
LAFMSIA's revenue & profits have been in a steady uptrend until FY2014. Since then both revenue and profits have been sliding, with sharper decline in profits.
Graph 1: LAFMSIAs last 19 years revenue & profits
These are two things that I had noted:
2) After that, LAFMSIA's profits would recover strongly but that recovery would fizzle out in 5-6 years time and the profits would drop again, like in FY2004-2004 and FY2014-2015.
If the profit slump in FY2005 can be a guide, LAFMSIA should manage to avoid going into the red now despite incurring net losses totaling RM93 million incurred in 1H2017. For that to happen, LAFMSIA must report net profit totaling more than RM93 million in 2H2017. Is that possible? We will have to wait and see. FYI, LAFMSIA's net profit in a good quarter in FY2014 touched RM70 million. SO it is not impossible that it might avoid a loss-making year in FY2017.
Recent Financial Results
In QE30/6/2017, LAFMSIA's net profit dropped 10% q-o-q to RM44 million on the back of a 5%-decline in revenue to RM532 million. The decline in revenue exceeds 19% y-o-y which caused the group to fall into the red, like in QE31/3/2017.
Revenue dropped q-o-q mainly due to lower sales contribution from the domestic Cement and Concrete segments from a weaker market demand attributed to the competitive environment. Despite the lower revenue, the Group’s loss before tax for the current quarter of RM57.9 million has improved slightly compared to RM63.4 million in preceding quarter, mainly due to the lower depreciation charges and improved operating cost as compared with preceding quarter partially offset by lower gain on disposal of property, plant and equipment.
Like the other players in the cement industry, LAFMSIA is hit by the excess capacity and the slowdown in demand due to weakness in property development. The situation may change when the major infrastructure projects, such as LRT3 or MRT2 or ECRL, are expected to take off in 2018.
Table 1: LAFMSIA’s last 8 quarters’ P&L
Graph 2: LAFMSIA’s last 42 quarters revenue & profits
Latest Financial Position
As at 30/6/2017, LAFMSIA's financial position is deemed fair with current ratio at 1.13x and total liabilities to total equity at 0.44x.
We are unable to rely on the PER as a valuation model as LAFMSIA has a net loss of RM55 million in the past 4 quarters. Instead we have to rely on the Price to Book valuation model. What I did was to compare LAFMSIA prices during the 3 troughs with its Net Assets & Net Tangible Assets per share. You can see that LAFMSIA was trading fairly close to similar Price/Net Assets or Price/Net Tangible Assets in the previous trough in 2005.
Table 2: LAFMSIA's Price to Book Valuation in last 3 troughs
However LAFMSIA has run up 30% from its recent low without any improvement in earning yet. In that sense, LAFMSIA could be running ahead of its earning and that can be a recipe for a big drawback in price if disappointment ensued.
We can see from the weekly chart that LAFMSIA has broken above its immediate downtrend line, S2-S2 at RM6.00 as well as the "horizontal lie" AB at RM5.90. This double breakout has signaled the end of the downtrend and possibly the beginning of the next upleg.
Chart 1: LAFMSIA’s weekly chart as at Sep 15, 2017 (Source: Shareinvestor.com)
Below, you can see LAFMSIA was still in a long-term uptrend line with support at RM5.00.
Chart 2: LAFMSIA’s monthly chart as at Sep 15, 2017 (Source: Shareinvestor.com)
Based on technical breakout, LAFMSIA could be on the path of price recovery. If that panned out, the stock could be a BUY on weakness (at prices closer to RM6.00). However, any price recovery cannot sustain without earning recovery. Thus we should not take too large a position in this stock until we have seen an earning recovery in the quarters ahead. Good luck!