CIMB Research retains Hold for IFCA MSC

The Star Online | 17 Nov 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: CIMB Equities Research is maintaining its earnings per share (EPS) forecasts and target price, based on an unchanged 30% discount to sum-of-parts (SOP) to reflect its small market cap.

It said on Friday that IFCA remains a Hold as it does not see any immediate catalysts for the stock.

“An upside risk is if its China’s business takes off in a big way over the next few quarters. Downside risks are weakness in the domestic market. 27% of its share price is currently backed by net cash,” it said.

Its target price was 42 sen, which is three sen above the last traded price of 39 sen.

Commenting on the results, it said IFCA’s 9M17 revenue rose 17.1% on-year to RM62.9mil, driven by higher export and domestic revenue.

IFCA posted 9M17 net profit of RM5.9mil vs. RM4.4mil loss in 9M16. The company has been in the black the past five quarters. CIMB Research said the 9M17 export revenue rose 21.9% on-year to RM30.6m while 9M17 domestic revenue increased a slower 12.5% to RM32.3mil, an indication of further recovery in the domestic market and continued strong sales in China.

As for 3Q17, the revenue was up 11.7% on-quarter, mainly due to higher hardware sales during the quarter, but 3Q17 pretax profit was down 15.6% on-quarter due to lower profit margin from hardware sales.

Due to weak domestic market conditions, IFCA continued its cost cutting measures over the past few quarters.

“This has helped keep it in the black over the past few quarters but we are of the view that the company needs to focus more on growing its topline instead of cutting costs.

“What is positive is IFCA continues to generate maintenance revenue, which we estimate to be at RM15mil-RM20mil annually,” it said.

At end-October, the company announced it was embarking on a transformational programme, IFCA 2.0.

The areas which IFCA is focusing on include community engagement, digital transformation, mobility, e-commerce, artificial intelligence and business intelligence.

“We are positive on IFCA’s strategy to transform its existing business but are not sure how long it would take for the company to show positive results from IFCA 2.0.

“IFCA’s new upcoming initiatives also include an accelerator programme for the domestic property market, targeting developers and its customers.

“We are hopeful over the next few quarters, IFCA 2.0 could help boost the company’s topline growth. We have not assumed any potential earnings from IFCA 2.0,” CIMB Research said.