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The Expert View: Centamin, Rockhopper Exploration and Aggreko
by Harry Brooks on Dec 18, 2012 at 05:01
A roundup of some of analyst commentary on shares including Hunting and Oxford Instruments.
Our daily round-up of analyst recommendations and commentary, featuring Centamin, Rockhopper Exploration, Aggreko, Hunting and Oxford Instruments.
Back to ‘normal’ for Centamin
‘It is back to “normal” for Centamin (CEY.L),’ commented analysts at Westhouse as the shares yesterday continued to recover from last Thursday’s sudden 50% drop.
The company has now resolved both of two issues which had spooked investors last week: it has resumed gold exports form its Sukari mine in Egypt, while it expects its fuel supply to resume ‘in the coming days’.
While the shares managed double digit percentage gains on both Thursday and Friday, they remain 10p shy of the 52p price before Centamin announced the threats to its fuel supply and exports.
Westhouse analysts Nick Hatch and Rob Broke said: ‘We believe that provided operations resume in the next few days, the company could still meet its 250,000oz target for 2012.
‘We will review the cost of capital that we use in our Net Present Value analysis for Egypt (currently 16% nominal), but otherwise it is back to 'normal' for Centamin.’
Merchant Securities cuts target price for Rockhopper Exploration
Brendan Long, analyst at Merchant Securities, has reduced his target price for Rockhopper Exploration (RKH.L) based on the sum Premier has agreed to pay for a stake in the company's assets in the Falkland Islands.
Extrapolating from Premier's offer for a 60% stake in the Falklands assets, Long reached an implied total value of $1.476 billion. Long noted it's very unusual to be able to put a clear cash value on a firm's oil assets, and he called his estimate 'a remarkably good valuation point'.
'To the above value we have added $50 million to reflect the company’s cash balance,' he added. 'We have reduced this value by $14 million to reflect capital gains tax due. Finally we have introduced a $32 million value deduction to reflect general and administrative costs to first oil.'
Long's target price falls to 328p from 358p, but he reiterated his 'buy' recommendation.
Shares in the group closed at 154.1p on Monday, down 3.9p or 2.5%.
Seymour Pierce says 'buy' Aggreko as shares plummet
Caroline de La Soujeole, analyst at Seymour Pierce, has stood by her 'buy' recommendation on Aggreko (AGGK.L) despite the shares crashing yesterday after the temporary power firm warned over next year's revenues.
Although the company said it would meet profit expectations for 2012, the management were decidedly gloomy about the year ahead, projecting a £100 million fall in revenues. A reduction in military revenues as US troops are withdrawn from Afghanistan, uncertainty over Japanese contracts and the loss of 2012's Olympic boost will all take a toll, the company said.
However, the analyst said today's dip in the share price represents a good entry point. 'Aggreko is, in our view, a well-managed, quality business. The underlying drivers, namely the continued supply demand power imbalance in developing countries, remain strong.
'We remain BUYers of the shares. Short term share price weakness today would make a good entry point.'
Shares in the group closed at £17.60 on Monday, down 365p or 17.2%.
FinnCap stays positive on Hunting
David Buxton, analyst at FinnCap, has reiterated his 'buy' recommendation on energy services company Hunting (HTG.L) in spite of the company issuing a warning about revenues in the year ahead, resulting in a dip in the shares.
The interim management statement said trading was in line with expectations, and it also included positive news on a successful resolution of the Canadian tax dispute relating to Hunting's sale of Gibson in 2008, which will result in a cash inflow of £25 million.
However, the closing sentence of the chief executive's statement didn't bode well: 'The Board of Hunting is pleased with progress during 2012 however; the short term outlook is increasingly cautious due to the economic climate seen in a number of our operating regions.'
Buxton said this cautious statement probably refers to the uncertain impact of the 'fiscal cliff' in the US, but he said the shares still look to be a good bet. 'The shares appear decent value on about 12x for 2013. We therefore maintain our Buy rating, which is based on a target price-to-earnings ratio of 14.8x for 2013 which is similar to the rating the shares currently have for 2012.'
Shares in the group closed at 759.5p on Monday, down 46.5p or 5.8%.
Investec backs Oxford Instruments' Asylum Research acquisition
Michael Blogg, analyst at Investec, has put his recommendation and target price for Oxford Instruments (OXIG.L) under review following its acquisition of Asylum Research for $32 million.
Oxford Instruments will pay up to $80 million for the scanning probe/atomic force microscopy group, comprising a $32 million upfront payment plus up to $48 million tied to undisclosed performance milestones. The deal is due to be completed by the end of the month.
Blogg said the multiple paid for Asylum was very high at 1.6x sales given that the group had margins of just 5.6% last year. However, he added that there are lots of synergy opportunities, and Oxford Instruments has a good track record of increasing margins.
'Although the group does not say so, this looks to be neutralto-positive for earnings per share even on these low margins, since the group is sitting on £38 million of cash and the effective cost of finance should be low, with scope to enhance fairly quickly as the synergies are tapped,' he added.
Shares in the group closed at £13.85 on Monday, up 5p or 0.4%.