Weekly stocks recommendation (March 25-30)   

March 25 (Lagos) - The Nigerian bourse closed relatively flat last week with the ASI shedding -0.01% WoW to close at 31,139.35 points while market capitalization lost N1.2billion to end the week at N11.6 trillion. 

This was induced by bearish sentiments in the Breweries (-4.84%), Cement (-0.06%), Personal Care (-1.78%), Food (-2.02%) and Oil & Gas (-9.03%) indices which capped gains in Banking (+2.41%) and Insurance (+0.43%) indices. Exploring the sectoral performance revealed mixed performance across bellwether stocks (NB: -7.33%, DANGCEM: -0.16%, NESTLE: -2.91%, SEPLAT: -7.86%, ACCESS: +18.120% and GUARANTY: +5.93%).

Zenith Bank Plc ( ZENITHBANK ) – STRONG BUY (FVE: N38.17): Following a mark down in its stock price, Zenith offers a more attractive entry point. The stock trades at a FY 19E P/B of 0.9x, at a discount to GTB of 1.3x. Our FVE of N38.17 translates to a STRONG BUY rating based on current pricing. Strong valuation for Zenith is hinged on i) expansion in assets yield from increase in loan book which would more than outweigh funding cost to support moderate expansion in NIM ii) increase in NIR due to resilience in fee income and iii) improvement in asset quality with non-performing loan (NPL) ratio of 4.5% (FY 18: 5.0 %) and slower expansion in cost of risk (CoR) to 1.0%. At current price, expected dividend of N2.92 over FY 19E translates to a dividend yield of 13.3%.

Guaranty Trust Bank Plc ( GUARANTY ) – STRONG BUY (FVE: N49.66): Our case for GUARANTY remains the resilience in noninterest revenue, improved cost management with cost to income ratio expected to moderate 50bps YoY to 36% and still strong loan book with a moderate expansion in credit loss provision to 0.5%. Reflecting our expectation of increased transfer of salary accounts to GUARANTY following the Quick Credit Scheme, we model 12% YoY growth in deposits over 2019. However, reflecting the sticky funding cost, we see a slight decline in net interest margin by 7bps YoY. Overall, we see a slower growth in EPS by 4% YoY to N6.53.

Fidelity Bank Plc ( FIDELITYBK ) – STRONG BUY (FVE: N2.92): Fidelity is set to publish its FY 18 result this week. We expect higher net interest income and revaluation gains to support earnings over the last quarter. Over FY 18, we are optimistic on its earnings growth with EPS expected to expand 26% YoY to N0.82. Beyond our modelled expansion in Net Interest Margin over 2019, we expect stronger support from NIR (+19% YoY) during the year which will be central to earnings over 2019. Our estimates put PBT at N30 billion (+16% YoY) with EPS printing at N0.95 (+17% YoY).

Guinness Nigeria Plc ( GUINNESS ) – STRONG BUY (FVE: N77.31). Despite stiff competition across the brewery sector, we expect the wider portfolio mix of Guinness and gains from the Spirit segment to support a slower moderation in margins. Also, a lower finance cost after recent deleveraging of its FCY debt using proceeds from rights issue, we see improved profitability for the company.

Unilever Plc ( UNILEVER )– STRONG BUY (FVE: N49.19): We have a STRONG BUY rating on UNILEVER with our FVE of N49.19 (+13.1% upside), supported by our expectation of strong growth from the food business over 2019, given its resilience over the last two years - having maintained a double-digit growth. In addition, given Unilever’s strong cash balance and our anticipation of slight uptick in yields, we expect the company to report a higher net finance income over the year.

reporting for easykobo.com on Monday, March 25 2019 from Lagos, Nigeria

Source - analysts at ARM securities Ltd. This article is copyright of ARM Securities Ltd and not to reprinted or reproduced without express permission of ARM securities ltd. All rights reserved.

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