,Helping the needy: Maxis personnel delivering food packages during the pandemic
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THE Covid-19 pandemic has made it difficult for companies to provide proper guidance on their future earnings and the telecom sector is not different.
This is despite the fact that telcos are generally said to fall into the category of gainers as the pandemic has hastened the adoption of technology.
Analysts say that Maxis Bhd met consensus estimates when it posted its second quarter results three months ending June 2021, over two weeks ago.
Maybank IB Research points out that “earnings delivery” for Maxis has so far not been an issue.
Maxis chief executive officer Gokhan Ogut says, “Our current performance should be a good indication on what to expect in the future”.
He says Maxis’ top-line, ebitda (earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation), profit after tax growth, cash flows and dividends declared were similar to the levels achieved in the past five to six quarters.
But a prolonged pandemic can create disruptions to its services.
“Anything can happen. That’s why it’s not easy to give guidance,’’ Ogut says.
“We now know as a business and even as individuals, how big disruptions can happen,’’ he adds.
For the first half (H121) of the year ended June 30, 2021, Maxis turned in RM4.49bil in revenue and net profit stood at RM694mil. Of that, mobile revenue contribution was RM3.35bil.
Its postpaid business was the biggest contributor to profit, bringing in RM1.9bil in the H121, while its prepaid business suffered a marginal drop to RM1.3bil.
Even though mobile revenue continues to grow, the promising sectors are the home fibre and enterprise segment.
Maxis is investing to expand its fibre network and focusing on growing its enterprise business as it transitions from a mobile player to a converged solutions company, offering end-to-end connectivity and applications.
Maybank believes Maxis’ enterprise segment growth would manifest meaningfully in the financial year (FY) 2022.
UOB Kay Hian has trimmed its FY22-23 earnings by 8% and 7% respectively, to account for higher direct costs. It maintained its “hold’’ call with a target price of RM4.50 a share. CGS-CIMB has lowered its target price by 4% to RM4.60 a share but maintained its “hold’’ call on the stock.
Maybank has also maintained a “hold” with a target price of RM4.40 a share, while MIDF has a “neutral’’ call on Maxis with a target price of RM4.50 a share.
AmInvestment Research upgraded its call after the recent results from a “hold’’ to a “buy’’ with a target price of RM5 a share. The house’s forecast on revenue for FY21, FY22 and FY23 is RM9.1bil, RM9.4bil and RM9.6bil respectively.