Stock Review

Stocks end flat, results season in limelight

Pakistan Stock Exchange closed almost flat during the week ended on 16th July 2021 at 47,834 points, up 0.6%WoW. The investors preferred to remain on sidelines eyeing Eidul Azha holidays. Average daily trading volumes contracted 4.0%WoW to 467 million shares. Major activity continued to be in the main boards items. Similar muted performance was recorded across all sectors with exceptions being Modarabas (up 57.3%WoW), and Textile Weaving (up 9.1%WoW).

Major news flows of the week included: 1) LUCK locking-in contract for setting-up plant for manufacturing of Samsung mobiles in Pakistan, 2) Covid positivity rate increasing to 6.1% from 3.8% at the start of the week while Sindh imposed restrictions on certain activities to counter the spread, 3) Cabinet deferring decision to cut Additional Custom Duty (ACD) and Regulatory Duty (RD) on LCVs and Cars in CBU condition, 4) Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad’s visit to Pakistan in relation to situation in Afghanistan, 5) SBP reserves reaching 4-year high with receipt of US$1 billion Eurobond influx, 6) GoP possibly renegotiating PPA with 12 IPPs on advice of the anti-graft watchdog, 7) Pakistan finalizing agreement with Russia for construction of North-South Gas pipeline, and lastly 8) The G20 Finance Ministers voting for setting a global floor on corporate tax.

Flow wise, foreigners emerged net buyers during the week with a net inflow of US$4.6 million, mainly in Cements, Techs, and E&Ps. On the local side, Insurance and Banks turned out to be the net buyers with US$12.7 million and US$1.7 million, respectively while Individuals and Brokers squared their positions indicated by net sell of US$10.0 million and US$6.3 million, respectively.

Top performers during the week were: GADT, STJT, PSX, SYS and GATM, while laggards were: HASCOL, SCBPL, GATI, PMPK and NESTLE.

Analysts expect post-Eid performance would be dependent on data points relating to Covid and developments on political front and negotiations with IMF. Moreover, result season is likely to pick pace determine performance outlook for individual stocks. Analysts continue to advocate for thematic plays including Cements, Steel and Construction-Allied, while textiles and PSO seems attractive on possibly stronger earnings invigorating investor interests. Refineries have recorded lackluster performance FYTD despite clarity on policy incentives. However, they believe earnings announcements would bring fresh interest in the sector.

Habib Metropolitan Bank (HMB) still trades at a significant discount of 37.5% compared to cluster exhibiting similar ROEs. Earnings are likely to sustain high watermark set in CY20 over the medium run through robust financing growth at the back of TERF/WC related loan disbursements, particularly to textile sector (40.4% share in advances), and bank re-energizing efforts to trim high cost deposits. The complete change of fortunes for textile players would not only fuel financing demand, but also possibility of recoveries from legacy textile NPLs (Rs8.9 billion—46.3% of outstanding NPLs fully provided). HMB in the previous year has already settled certain receivables, recording Rs2.2 billion in debt-asset swap. AKD Securities maintains buy stance on the stock with December 2022 TP of Rs56.8/share, offering an upside of 42.3%. Moreover, previewing 1HCY21 results, the brokerage house expects the Bank to post an earnings of Rs6.4 billion (EPS: Rs6.0) compared to Rs3.3 billion (EPS: Rs3.0) for the same period last year.

June 2021 total auto industry sales of 19,173 vehicles (-6%MoM/34%YoY), consisting of 11,569 passenger cars (-11%MoM/58%YoY), 2,181 LCVs (-21%MoM/59%YoY), and 352 trucks (-2% MoM/45%YoY) where sequential slowdown was likely on the back of uncertainty in pass-on of budgetary measures to consumers. FY21 total industry sales of 236,390 units (up 60%YoY) consist of 151,182 passenger vehicles (+57%YoY), 30,215 LCVs (+99%YoY) and 3,695 trucks (+20%YoY), showing a V-shaped recovery in demand after hitting the rock bottom in FY20 in the backdrop of industry shutdowns due to Covid-19. During FY21, passenger car sales witnessed strong resilience of premium segment vehicle market (1,300CC+ segment sales depicted a robust recovery of 91%YoY) whereas recovery of 56%YoY in 1000cc segment supported the sales momentum. The lowest growth was witnessed in below 800cc segment as sales clocked in at 45,916 units in contrast to 37,779 units in FY20, up only 22%YoY. Recently announced budgetary measures could trigger demand in the segment. Amongst major OEMs, PSMC/INDU/HCAR sold 88,032/57,236/29,291 vehicles during FY21, up 34/102/79%YoY, implying annual plant utilization (on stated double shift capacity) of 59/88/59% vs. 44/44/33% for FY20 as the industry dealt with pandemic stricken hurdles. While low interest rates and stable prices amidst muted Pak Rupee depreciation (2%YoY vs. 16%YoY in FY20) led to the revival in sales of local OEM’s. However, competitive pressures have now come to the fore. To get ahead of the game, analysts expect the local OEMs to bring major innovation in their product offerings by introducing newer models more frequently and adopting hybrid technology to increase their shrinking margins.

Pakistan Telecommunication Company (PTC) earnings continue to carry upward momentum, with the company posting an unconsolidated profit after tax of Rs3.7 billion (EPS: Rs0.73) for 1HCY21 as against net profit of Rs2.7 billion (EPS: Rs0.53) during the same period last year. For 2QCY21, earnings stood at Rs2.01 billion (EPS: Rs0.39), up 14.7%QoQ/34.5%YoY. Earnings outlook for the Company remains robust with PTCL targeting to further its outreach, planning capital expenditure of Rs20 billion — 30% of which would be utilized to expand FTTH network. It places the Company on a sweet spot where Pakistan is undergoing technological shift, and low vaccination rate in the country making normalization in economic activity harder to sustain while keeping preference for online channels intact. Moreover, the Company is actively penetrating in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) segment, locking-in contract with UBL in providing state-of-the-art network architecture for UBL Data Centre facility in Karachi amongst other projects. PTC is currently trading at an unconsolidated P/E of 8.1x which we believe to be unjustified given unparallel growth potential for the Company. Additional value is likely to be generated by the Company’s Ubank franchise.

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