We decided to slightly lower our 2012/2013 forecasts for the Materials Sciences clusters on cautiousness about future end market demand and also perceived declines in selling price spreads over raw materials (for caprolactam). We did not change our forecasts for the Life Sciences clusters for the coming years. Note that we did not change our 4Q11 forecasts neither.
All in all, we lowered our 2012 EBITDA forecast by 5.5%, from € 1,225m to € 1,157m (vs a € 1,205m consensus number on Bloomberg), while lowering our 2013 EBITDA forecast by 4% to € 1,237m. We now forecast a 4% decline in Performance Materials revenue this year vs -2% previously with a 10.0% EBITDA margin (vs 10.5% previously). For Polymer Intermediates we forecast an 18% revenue drop in 2012 (vs -14% previously) with a 15.5% EBITDA margin (vs 18.0% previously).
The changes lead to a reduction of our EPS forecast from € 3.31 previously to € 3.15 for 2012 and from € 3.64 to € 3.50 for 2013.
The changes in estimates do not really impact our view on the company. Over the past decade, DSM has transformed itself into a Life and Materials Sciences company. This dual track strategy offers some interesting cross fertilization opportunities, while the Nutrition business gives DSM a higher earnings resilience than most of its chemicals peers. The company has a very strong balance sheet and could easily spend over € 2bn on acquisitions while still maintaining its single A credit rating. Furthermore, the company has a solid emerging markets presence representing about 40% of total revenue. Finally, valuation multiples are deemed quite attractive, certainly in a sum-of-the-parts perspective. BUY and € 50 target price are maintained.