Stock Recommendation for the Week, February 17

The Nigerian equities market maintained a downward trend with the ASI, dropping by 1.11% to 27,755.9 pts, with the market capitalization closing at N14.46 trillion as investors lost N162 billion during the prior week. All sectors closed negative WoW except Cement (+0.37%) and Construction (+0.13%). The deterioration was driven by the Food (-7.27%), Brewers (-2.02%), Oil & Gas (-1.34%), Insurance (-0.94%), Telecoms (-0.53%) and Banking (-0.21%) sectors. The key losers are NESTLE (-10.00%), DANGSUGA (-4.10%), GUINNESS (-16.56%) and MTNN (-0.85%), while GTB (+1.36%), BUA CEMENT (+1.13%) and WAPCO (+1.31%) yielded positive returns.

• Dangcem– STRONG BUY (FVE: N240.87): DANGCEM’s FY 19 earnings is expected to be pressured (EPS: N14, vs N22 in 2018) owing to lower volumes in Nigeria business (due to increased competition from BUA Cement) and some of its Pan Africa business, as well as high base of tax credits from 2018. However, DANGCEM currently trades at FY 19E P/E of 11x on our estimates, which is cheap compared to WAPCO and CCNN of 17.7x and 16.8x, respectively. We believe current valuation is unjustified given the superior ROE of 24%.

• Zenith Bank Plc – STRONG BUY (FVE: N31.50): Zenith bank 9M results saw a moderate expansion in PBT and PAT by 5.3% and 4.5% YoY respectively. We note however, that the banks valuation may remain depressed in the near-term given the regulatory overhang over the industry. Nonetheless, at current levels and based on our FY 19E dividend of N2.90, we view expected dividend yield of 15% as attractive and could be compelling to investors. We value Zenith at N31.50 which implies STRONG BUY by our recommendation.

• Guaranty Trust Bank Plc – STRONG BUY (FVE: N49.66): GTB’s 9M 19 earnings expanded modestly with PAT and EPS expanding only 3.4% YoY to N146.9 billion and N4.99/share respectively. Although we expect slower growth in EPS (+4% YoY to N6.53) over 2019, our case for GUARANTY remains the resilience in NIR, improved cost management, still strong loan book with moderate expansion in credit loss provision to 0.5%.

• Nestle Plc – OVERWEIGHT (FVE: N1447.39): Amongst the food producers, Nestle Nigeria Plc has managed to stay afloat, reporting modest growth in earnings amidst incessant competition. For 9M 19, EPS expanded by 11.2% YoY to N46.48 driven largely by the absence of impairment charges which created a high base for input costs over the same period last year. Asides from improved earnings, its strong cash balance, return on equity and 100% dividend payout further supports the case for an OVERWEIGHT rating.

• Seplat Plc – STRONG BUY (FVE: N828.90): Seplat’s total production declined in Q3 19, as the drop in gas production offset improvement in the oil segment. That said, we remain positive on growth in production (especially in oil) into 2020 as Seplat increases capex. Cashflows remain healthy. Upsides reside in the ANOH Gas project and acquisition of Eland Oil & Gas Limited, while decline in oil prices pose a threat to our estimates.

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