Euronext Brussels: the wild heights of 1 cent

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April 3, 2024
Today at
15:01

An inflation windfall also turns the Brussels exchange rate board light green. WDP receives a double top-up from Barclays.

Write it down: June 6. at the stroke of 2:15 PM. Then the European Central Bank’s first interest rate cut since September 2019 will roll across investor screens. That seems almost certain, now that an inflation windfall appears to have paved the way for ECB President Christine Lagarde.

This is in striking contrast to the Federal Reserve. Investors have recently begun to doubt again whether the American central bankers will have room for a first cut since 2020 at their meeting on June 13. Investors currently estimate the chances to be no more than 50/50.

After a faltering start, European investors took courage from the inflation windfall after the off day on Tuesday when trading resumed after the Easter long weekend. Bel20 is listed in Brussels

0.5 percent higher at 3,847 points.

This time, however, the most striking winner should not be found in the star basket. Not even in Bel Mid or Bel Small, but with the nanocaps: the technology company Crescent

rises 36 percent to 0.012 euros. It was – very recently – on November 17 since the share, whose stock ticker ‘OPTI’ still recalls the former name Option, was worth another cent.

The status of centenary share was quickly explained: the full annual accounts will not be released until April 30, but an update in February already showed that the company will be in the red for the 2023 financial year for the eleventh year in a row. However, there was better news on Tuesday: according to a short announcement, Crescent is in discussions with a Dutch group for the sale of subsidiary 2invision. The sales price would be approximately 7 times EBITDA (operating profit before depreciation).


The sale of 2invision would thus resolve the debt position and – more importantly – the continuous search for working capital

Guy Sips

KBC Securities analyst

KBC Securities analyst Guy Sips, the only bank analyst who still monitors the microcap, estimates the takeover sum around 7 million euros. ‘The sale of 2invision would thus resolve the debt position and – more importantly – the continuous search for working capital.’

Sips puts his advice and price target in brackets pending the annual figures and/or the long-promised share bundling to put an end to the status of a penny share.

WDP is back in the Bel20

0.3 percent higher to 25.94 euros. After a weak start to the year, the brokerage house Barclays immediately increases the advice from ‘sell’ to ‘buy’ for the specialist in logistics real estate, the price target goes from 25 to 29.5 euros.

“Despite the easy tradability of the share, we believe that investors are relatively ignoring WDP,” writes analyst Paul May in a sector report on logistics.


If you take the actual cash flow, WDP is cheaper than sector peer Segro

Paul May

Barclays analyst

May notes that investors focus on the 20 percent premium compared to the net asset value, but does not think this is entirely justified. ‘In the case of WDP, the net asset value is calculated on the basis of current rental income, versus potential rental income in the case of a (British, ed.) sector peer such as Segro

. If you take the actual cash flow, WDP is cheaper than Segro’.

Given its more risky profile, May remains the sales recommendation for logistics real estate developer VGP

maintain, with a price target of 90 euros. “We find the development of land banks riskier and prefer recurring rental income,” it said. VGP drops 0.6 percent to 102.4 euros.

Finally, the third Brussels logistics player receives neutral advice from Barclays: Montea

. “Montea offers an interesting return and an attractively low debt ratio of less than 40 percent, but we see better growth profiles or easier tradability elsewhere,” the judgment reads. Montea crumbles 0.3 percent to 81 euros.

Barclays’ favorite in the sector is Tritax Big Box

. This is a London-listed warehouse operator with a tax-advantaged REIT status that is purely focused on the British market. According to May, Tritax offers an interesting profit yield (profit/market value, ed.) of more than 6 percent and, partly thanks to the recent (and not particularly well-received) acquisition of UKCM, an expected annual growth of almost 10 percent on average over the next five years.

Bazooka

Tessenderlo

shows a spurt of 6.4 percent to 25.1 euros. The conglomerate has been buying up its own shares in bulk for years, but is now pulling out the bazooka: purchasing 2.3 million shares for a maximum of 69 million euros.

“The buyback is opportune, as the share is trading below its book value,” a press release said. The share had fallen to the lowest level in four years last week after disappointing annual results.

Eye-catcher

After a cautious start, the European stock exchanges are still opting for profits. This is partly thanks to an inflation windfall, which appears to pave the way to a first interest rate cut by the ECB in June. The Bel20

Thanks to a recovery, the chemical duo Solvay and Syensqo is the leader with a gain of 0.5 percent to 3,850 points.

At first glance, Thursday appears to be a rest day for investors, a kind of bridge day between the European inflation report on Wednesday and the American jobs report on Friday.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Euronext Brussels wild heights cent

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