Heineken rises 2.19% on upgrade, higher 3Q earnings

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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 22): Heineken Malaysia Bhd shares rose as much as 2.19% during today's mid-morning trade, after Affin Hwang Investment Bank Research upgraded the stock to a 'Buy' with a higher target price of RM20.10 (from RM18.15).

At 10.21am, Heineken's counter was up 38 sen to RM17.70, after 469,600 shares traded.

Yesterday, Heineken announced its results for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2017 (3QFY17) with a net profit of RM65.87 million, up 15.7% from RM56.92 million recorded in 3QFY16, driven by volume growth as the market last year was recovering from volume impact as a result of price increase that occurred in July 2016, and a favourable brand mix.

In a research note earlier today, Affin Hwang analyst Tan Jun Zhang wrote saying Heineken's product mix continues to improve favourably, as it concentrates on growing the high-margin premium brands.  

"3QFY17 revenue was helped by the new mainstream cider brand Apple Fox launched in August 2017 and the commencement of sale of locally-brewed Strongbow Apple Ciders," he said.

"We believe that 4QFY17 is likely to be stronger q-o-q, on the back of the festive seasons and continuous cost optimisation to improve bottom line," Tan added.