9 May 2018 · 3 min read

2018 Earnings forecasts: Another Trump bump for energy

Rising oil price continues to support 2018 earnings forecasts

While our concerns on valuation remain in place, in the short-term market performance is more closely linked to the trend in forecasts profits. Those looking for a reason to sell equities on this basis are likely to be disappointed. As we approach the half-year point, median earnings growth forecasts for the US remain robust at 18% while eurozone and UK equities are at 8%. For now, our base case remains that the benign derating – equities moving sideways while interest rates and profits increase - will continue.

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Elaine Reynolds
2 May 2018

Implications of Rabat Deep 1 results

Following on from this weeks’ announcement that Eni’s Rabat Deep 1 well offshore Morocco had encountered only limited hydrocarbon indications, partner Chariot Oil & Gas has provided an early set of conclusions regarding the outcome of the well.Under the terms of its farmout to Eni, Chariot was fully carried for the cost of the well.

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20 April 2018 · 5 min read

High equity valuations face macro headwinds

Factors behind record run of corporate profitability may be fading

We have had a cautious view on global equities for longer than has been comfortable. In truth, over the last 12 months this view has been 50% right at best. European markets, including the UK, have delivered relatively little capital growth. However the US and emerging markets have moved significantly higher. When the headlines are focussed on geopolitical events, it is also easy to lose sight of the anchor of equity valuations. We have updated our equity valuation measures and find that the US market in particular remains notably expensive while European markets still appear overvalued. We recognise that this has in part been justified by the record run of corporate profitability but the factors driving this phenomenon may now be going into reverse.

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Gavin Wood
17 April 2018 · 3 min read

Deutsche Beteiligungs – reduced earnings guidance for FY18

Lower market valuation multiples have materially affected H118 net income

Deutsche Beteiligungs (DBAG) has announced that it expects to report net income for the year to 30 September 2018 that is moderately (10% to 20%) lower than the €43.0m average of the last five financial years (the reference for previous guidance), equating to net income of between €34m and €39m for FY18. Previous guidance, first given at the time of the FY17 results and confirmed with Q118 results, was for a significant (more than 20%) increase in net income. The revised forecast is based on DBAG’s c €20m expected net income for H118, which reflects lower market valuation multiples being applied in the valuation of portfolio companies at 31 March 2018. DBAG’s guidance assumes constant market valuation multiples and so is subject to upward or downward revisions following significant market moves.

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16 April 2018 · 3 min read

2018 Earnings forecasts: Still robust, for now

Corporate sector soldiers on despite increasing geopolitical tensions

Geopolitics will in our view continue to present headline risk for the rest of the year. The US/China trade détente has broken apart as the US administration addresses the prospect of China challenging for dominance in the world economy. This weekend’s military response to the use of chemical weapons in both Salisbury, UK and Syria may for now be described as “mission accomplished” but it remains to be seen what the response would be to any further provocation. At the same time, there has been a run of disappointing economic data in the eurozone. Nevertheless, earnings estimates remain relatively stable for now in aggregate as the recent strength of the oil price leads to upgrades in energy, offset by modest downgrades in other sectors.

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Elaine Reynolds
28 March 2018

UK independents pick up blocks in Mexico’s Round 3.1

Premier Oil was awarded three blocks, while Cairn Energy has picked up one block in the latest shallow water round offshore Mexico. Premier beat off bids from five other consortia for Block 30,  which was the most hotly contested of the round. The company holds a 30% WI in the Sureste basin block, which will be operated by DEA and partnered by new entrant Sapura.

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23 March 2018 · 3 min read

Market declines: US LIBOR or US trade war?

Headlines scream trade war while a surge in US LIBOR is tightening US financial conditions

It is very easy to point the finger at US trade sanctions against China as a reason for the recent declines in equity markets. The prospect of a near-term confrontation, in respect of access to markets and IP protection (a free competition zone perhaps rather than a free trade area), is clearly unhelpful for global equity sentiment. China’s transition from a catch-up nation to an economic competitor always had to be resolved at some stage. However the second dynamic at work during Q1 18 is a rapid rise in US LIBOR, over and above that of official US interest rates. This is tightening monetary conditions rather faster than policymakers may have intended.

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Elaine Reynolds
20 March 2018

Some way to go for FAR in FAN

FAR has today released independently assessed resource figures for the FAN deepwater basin discovery offshore Senegal. RISC assigns 2C recoverable resources of 198mmbbls, based on data from the FAN-1 discovery well, drilled in 2014. Given that the well encountered thin reservoir sands of disappointing quality, the JV has since focused on appraising and developing the more attractive SNE field that sits nearby in shallower water on the shelf.

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20 March 2018 · 2 min read

Social Media’s Dieselgate?

The risks include fines, increased regulation and a change in consumer preferences

The recent controversy over social media and the use of its user data is likely to persist. Many users may not understand that researchers can accurately profile individuals on something as simple as their Facebook “likes”. The potential for influencing in subtle ways both consumption and more controversially political behaviours through targeted advertising should be clear. Multiple investigations across jurisdictions may now cast a harsh light on business practices which may otherwise have continued under the radar. Global digital titans which have become in effect brokers of user data are therefore under threat on another front, in addition to a recently proposed digital revenue tax.

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15 March 2018 · 2 min read

2018 Earnings forecasts: US stable, modest declines in Europe

Watch for ebbing economic momentum as survey data peaks

Despite the increase in equity market volatility, there has been little follow-through to economic fundamentals to date. US earnings forecasts have stabilised and are indicating mid-teens profits growth for 2018, of which approximately one-half appears to be due to US tax reform. US economic surprise also remains relatively strong. In Europe however, unweighted earnings estimates have continued to fall, if modestly, and perhaps more importantly here economic surprise indices have turned sharply lower. We view this as partly due to Brexit uncertainty in the UK and a rising EUR exchange rate in continental Europe.

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