Euronext Brussels: Floridienne buzzes, Onward moves

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April 2, 2024
Today at
12:47

Update
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April 2, 2024
18:03

Despite less good annual results, Floridienne rose on Tuesday. Onward has filed a major commercialization application in the US. Miko was profitable again last year and received a reward from investors for this.

Although the European stock markets started in the green, they ended the day with a loss on the first day of the second quarter. The average share on the old continent lost 0.7 percent.

The first quarter was surprisingly strong for European equity markets, despite the economic slack. The prospect of interest rate cuts, even if they will come somewhat later than expected, creates optimism and fuels hopes for an economic recovery in the second half of the year. This should also be reflected in the company results.

However, hopes for significant interest rate cuts were dented after good figures on American industry on Monday. For the first time since September 2022, the ISM indicator, a gauge of economic activity, recorded growth for the industry. As investors adjusted their expectations for significant interest rate cuts by the US central bank (Fed), long-term interest rates in the US rebounded.

This had an impact on the European bond markets. The German ten-year interest rate rose more than 10 basis points to 2.4 percent and the Belgian ten-year interest rate also rose by 11 basis points to 2.99 percent.

Normally this is bad news for the Bel20 due to the heavy weighting of real estate in the indicator, but the Brussels barometer managed to limit the loss to 0.4 percent to 3,830 points. The chemical giant Solvay was the strongest gainer with a gain of 1.2 percent. Also the materials group Umicore

, which reached a new multi-year low in the first quarter, advanced 0.4 percent. Umicore is benefiting from the higher raw material prices. These also explain Solvay’s climb.

The annual results that Sofina

published on Thursday evening, made it clear that 2023 was a year of stability for the Boël holding ‘in a volatile environment’. Sofina increases its dividend by 11 euro cents to 3.35 euros per share.

The stock exchange Degroof Petercam maintains the buy recommendation for the Brussels holding company with a new price target of 280 euros (instead of 273 euros). Analyst Kris Kippers notes that the published net asset value as of December 31, at 274 euros per share, is slightly higher than the first estimate when the newsletter was published in January.


Given Sofina’s track record, we do not understand the continued skepticism of investors.

Kris Kippers

Analyst Degroof Petercam

“Given the track record, we do not understand the continued skepticism of investors,” Kippers writes. He calculates the current net asset value at 289 euros, which implies a discount of 28 percent compared to the stock price.

The stock exchange Kepler Cheuvreux believes that Sofina’s net asset value is moving in the right direction in the first quarter. The stock exchange mentions as supporting factors the rise in the stock markets, the resumption of activity in private equity (unlisted shares) and on the mergers and acquisition markets, and a positive operational momentum for direct investments.

At the same time, the discount compared to the net asset value has increased from 18 percent at the end of 2023 to an estimated 30 percent on March 31. That is much higher than the historical average of 10 to 15 percent. “That suggests the stock is oversold, potentially offering investors an attractive entry point.” The analyst raises his price target from 257 to 263 euros and repeats his buy recommendation.

Sofina gained 0.3 percent to 208.60 euros.

Waiting for course Miko

Miko

presented significantly improved annual figures for 2023. Despite the continued work from home, the Turnhout family business was able to sell more coffee. Operating profit doubled and there was a net profit again, while 2022 ended with a small loss. In terms of dividend, Miko returns to the level of the pre-corona period: 1.87 euros per share.

Miko has been hit hard on the stock exchange in recent years. Since mid-2021, the price has more than halved, on the one hand due to the sale of the flourishing plastics department, and on the other hand due to lower coffee consumption in the office due to working from home.

No price was formed during the first fixing, but during the second the share shot up 22 percent to 59.60 euros.

‘Disruptive factors’

Floridienne

, which is also listed on the fixing market, shot up 2.9 percent to 720 euros. However, 2023 did not have a super year for the Walloon holding company. Unfavorable weather conditions, lower metal prices and significant investments had an impact on the annual results. The dividend remains stable at 2.50 euros gross per share.

Floridienne had to deal with a number of ‘disruptive factors’ in 2023, says KBC Securities analyst Guy Sips. In addition, the financial results suffered from one-off costs related to the acquisition of Biotrop, the hyperinflation-related accounting treatment of the Turkish activities and write-downs at the recycling company SNAM.

The analyst lowers his price target from 870 to 835 euros and maintains his ‘buy’ recommendation. 2024 looks promising, he says.


With an expected review time of five to nine months, we believe approval before the end of the year is feasible.

Thomas Vranken and Jacob Mekhael

Analysts KBC Securities

Onward Medical

rose more than 5 percent to 5.02 euros. The medtech company has filed an application with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its Arc-Ex system in the US. With Arc-Ex, the spinal cord is externally stimulated, so that people with a spinal cord injury can move again or better. If the FDA gives the green light, Arc-Ex will be Onward’s first commercial product.

“With an expected review time of five to nine months, we believe approval before the end of the year is feasible,” say KBC Securities analysts Thomas Vranken and Jacob Mekhael. They maintain their price target of 9.30 euros and their buy recommendation.

Eye-catcher

The European stock markets started the second quarter in red. In the Bel20, Sofina rose slightly after Thursday evening’s annual figures. Miko rose strongly on the fixing market after a higher than expected profit.

Eurostat publishes inflation figures for March. Economists expect inflation in the euro zone to have fallen to 2.5 percent, compared to 2.6 percent in February. Core inflation, excluding food and energy, may have fallen to 3 percent, down from 3.1 percent. The evolution of inflation will determine when the European Central Bank cuts interest rates for the first time.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Euronext Brussels Floridienne buzzes Onward moves

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