KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 30): LPI Capital Bhd shares rose as much as 24 sen or 1.47% to RM16.62 so far today after the insurer declared a dividend of 42 sen per share.
The group also reported higher net profit at RM314.05 million for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2018 (FY18) compared to RM313.79 million a year earlier.
At 11:18am today, LPI shares were traded at RM16.54, with 42,600 units transacted. The counter was among Bursa Malaysia's top gainers.
MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd analyst Khoo Zhen Ye wrote in a note today that LPI's FY18 core profit of RM314 million translated to 103.1% and 101.4% of MIDF and consensus full-year estimates respectively.
"FY18 core profit results came in within expectations. We revised the earnings forecast of FY19 downwards from RM358.0 million to RM335.0 million, representing a -6.41% y-o-y adjustment in view of the increased competition in the industry upon liberalisation of both motor and fire insurance and greater pricing pressure.
"In light of our earnings revision, we adjust our TP (target price) to RM16.10 (from RM16.70). All in, we maintain our NEUTRAL stance on LPI Capital," Khoo said.