Sunday, May 9, 2021

SPH: Told my family members to cut loss

SPH restructuring is a bad deal for shareholders, in the near to middle term.

While a demerger from Sembmarine did Sembcorp good, there are several differences. 

1) Sembcorp Industries shareholders receive Sembmarine Shares. SPH shareholders get nothing, in fact, they lose NTA value for "nothing"

2) SCI post demerger can focus on renewables, and while one can argue that SPH can now focus on property, SPH is now a property company commanding a valuation that is on par with Capitaland and don't see how it can be compared to Capitaland. In fact, UOL is trading at 0.65 book value, and smaller but established players like CES, Centurion with students accommodation business and also workers accommodation business is trading at 0.47 PB.

HongKong Land, btw trades at 0.3. 

I would agree that SPH would have a different asset portfolio but I think you get the drift. 

3) Valuation wise, we can also value a company by dividends yield. SPH used to be a dividends stalwart, I used to owned it too.  Stripping away revaluation loss, SPH earns about 150 mio for the last 2 years. Assume 30% payout, it is 2.5 to 3 cents dividends. If you think think 3% yield is fair price, then for 3 cents to give 3% yield, SPH is $1. 

Hardly compelling, unless you say SPH is going to double its earning in the next few years.

4) Operational or strategic expansion

Finally, I wouldn't really want a CEO with no control over its own emotions to be heading a company. 

To be fair, SPH faced a lot more constrains then a normal listed company, the NPPA makes selling the business to another party highly tricky if not impossible. 

But, there are profitable ones too.

https://www.investopedia.com/stock-analysis/021815/worlds-top-ten-news-companies-nws-gci-trco-nyt.aspx

The top 2 are well known and all are listed entities.

And why throw it the towel in the middle of a pandemic ? 

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