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FLUXYS: Stepping on the gas

FLUXYS: Stepping on the gas

23.5.2011 9:45

Gas is becoming increasingly important in Europe’s energy mix and Fluxys is as a consequence benefiting from renewed interest in its Belgian gas infrastructure and its regulated returns. The more attractive shareholder remuneration also posts a strong floor under the shares which we rate Hold. After the firm dividend commitment and RAB update, we raise our TP to € 2,750/sh (from € 2,250/sh).

Gas, a world-changing commodity
We see gas as a world-changing commodity with numerous advantages (clean, flexible, proven and relatively cheap). But with gas reserves depleting, Europe is becoming increasingly dependent on gas imports. Thanks to its central location in the CWE region, Fluxys should see high interest in its gas infrastructure, especially for its LNG terminal in Zeebrugge but also the storage facilities and cross-border connections.

Dividend play
With a 100% pay-out of net profit plus the revaluation of surplus on tangible assets as and when they depreciate, Fluxys’ dividend policy has become quite attractive for investors. At the current price, the company trades at an implied gross yield of 7.7%.

Prefer Elia over Fluxys
Considering the low free float (10%) share illiquidity (€ 60,000/day) and sub-par transparency, we prefer Elia (Accumulate € 31.5/sh) over Fluxys. The acquisition of 50Hertz made Elia Europe’s 5th largest TSO, which can profit from a change in the German regulatory regime, has better growth prospects and is more forthcoming towards the investor community.

Valuation
We stick to our Hold rating, but increase our TP to € 2,750/sh from € 2,250/sh. The high dividend will not only attract value investors, but will also improve the financial structure of the group by raising the debt to the level allowed by the regulator. We have applied no discount for the lack of liquidity and transparency given the firm commitment towards the dividend.


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