Today we will publish a short update on Agfa following the FY release. Agfa published better-than-expected 4Q results in terms of sales and REBIT, but higher restructurings depressed EBIT and net income. Net debt came down substantially. The higher restructuring charges show that Agfa is still taking steps to deal with its structural challenges including the declining film market. Visibility on 2012 remains poor due to macro weakness and high (and volatile) silver prices. We upped our profit estimates and our target but we reiterate our Hold rating.
4Q11 not as weak as feared: 4Q sales and profits beat our and consensus expectations in both Graphics and Healthcare. At the group level, 4Q sales came in flat y/y at € 805m, ahead of our and consensus expectations, while REBIT ended up at € 43m, down 43% y/y but much better than the € 22m we expected and the € 20m CSS. Restructurings were higher than expected (€ 55m, mainly costs linked to early retirement), which led to a bigger-than-expected operational loss of € 12m (KBCS predicted a € 5m profit, the CSS a € 9m loss) and a net loss of € 43m, down from a € 33m profit a year ago.
FY12 estimates upped: We have reviewed our estimates after the better-than-expected 4Q profits. Our FY12 REBIT forecast is now at € 139m from € 105m, while our EPS ends up at a negative € 0.01 from a negative € 0.18. Unsurprisingly, Agfa did not provide clear guidance, but said that –assuming rawmat prices remain stable – the company should continue to restore operational efficiency and move towards double-digit recurring EBITDA margins in the mid to long term.
4Q profits fell steeply due to higher silver prices, but the impact from the recession on the top line seems smaller than expected in both GS and HC, so the results were not as weak as had been feared. The higher restructuring charges show that Agfa is still taking steps to deal with structural challenges, including the declining film market. Visibility on 2012 remains low due to macro weakness and high (and volatile) silver prices. As a consequence we stick to our Hold rating although we up our target to € 1.70 from € 1.50 on the back of our higher estimates.