Saturday, 2 November 2013

Tough call for DiGi

DiGi.com Bhd is expected to achieve a profit of between RM1.4 bil and RM1.6 bil for FY2013 because of the typically challenging Q4 performance, despite having posted better profits in Q3, analysts say.

DiGi reported a comprehensive gain in the third quarter ended Sept 30, led by growth in the non-SMS data and prepaid market, according to analysts. For Q3, the telco posted a higher net profit of RM446.71 mil, from RM315.37 mil, on an improved revenue of RM1.70 bil.

For the nine months, DiGi’s net profit was RM1.16 bil. However, analysts forecast a net profit of no more than RM400 mil for Q4 compared with the preceding quarter, given that historically, the telco registers lower earnings for this period.

BIMB is forecasting that the telco will achieve an annual profit of only RM1.4 bil, a RM195 mil increase from 2012 results.

BIMB Securities analyst Thong Pak Leng adds that DiGi has never achieved more than RM400 in net profit for Q4.

“[DiGi’s] Mobile Internet and smartphone penetration have reached 60.2% and 34% [in Q3] respectively vs q-o-q’s 60.1% and 30.4% respectively. We expect this will continue to grow, with the current changing trend and higher affordability of smartphones,” he says in his report.

“Unless it has a tax writeback waiting, chances are not high that it will reach its targeted profits,” he adds.

While the GST takes effect only in FY2015, analysts say it will be a challenge for DiGi to compete with the other major telcos especially Maxis Bhd, now headed by former DiGi CEO Morten Lundal.

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