Agfa will publish its 2Q11 results on Wednesday 24 August before market, followed by an analyst meeting at 11am CET and a conference call at 3pm CET.
Agfa has already warned that 2Q would be a difficult quarter (even more so than 1Q11) due to the high silver prices. This is well reflected in our and consensus forecasts we believe. But barring major positive surprises in the 2Q results, we will have to lower our FY11 and FY12 forecasts due to the rising silver price and growing evidence of an economic slowdown. We will review our investment case after the release - our Accumulate is balanced between an attractive valuation from a longer-term perspective, but pressure on earnings in the short term due to the high silver price.
2Q11 –a difficult quarter: despite an expected 4% y/y increase in sales (mainly on the back of the Pitman consolidation in Graphics), we expect a 75% drop in REBIT to € 21m, due to substantially higher silver prices than a year ago (we estimate a $ 32 average cost for silver in 2Q11, compared to only $ 17 a year ago). This is in line with consensus expectations. Also Agfa warned at the (better-than-expected) 1Q release that 2Q would be more difficult due to a further rise in the silver price.
FY outlook: since a few weeks, the silver price has been on the rise again, trading above $ 42 after having settled at a $ 35 - $ 36 level for a few months. As a result, we will probably have to lower our FY11 estimates again, barring major positive surprises in the 2Q figures of course. Moreover, growing evidence of an economic slowdown will likely also trigger lower FY12 estimates. Keep in mind that particularly in the case of Agfa Graphics , a large proportion of sales and especially profits are generated by sales of consumables, and that these are very GDP-sensitive. Healthcare should be somewhat more recession proof we believe.
Our estimates, target price and investment case will be reviewed following the 2Q release. From a longer-term perspective the valuation seems very attractive, but the short-term outlook is very challenging due to high silver prices and the likelihood of a material economic slowdown.