TA Securities expects bumpy 2H earnings recovery for automotive sector on weak sentiment

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 27): TA Securities Research has maintained its ‘"underweight" rating of the automotive sector and said it expects weak sentiment to result in a bumpy earning recovery in the second half of 2020 (2H20).

The research house's analyst Angeline Chin maintained her "sell" recommendations for MBM Resources Bhd with a target price (TP) of RM3.09, Pecca Group Bhd (TP: 79 sen), Sime Darby Bhd (TP: RM1.71) and UMW Holdings Bhd (TP: RM1.85).

Meanwhile, she noted that Bermaz Auto Bhd (BAuto), with a TP of RM1.77, was still rated as a "buy" as the stock provides a total potential upside of more than 12%. 

According to the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA), the country’s auto sector total industry volume (TIV) plunged by 41.1% year-on-year (y-o-y) to 174,675 units in 1H20 amid the Covid-19 pandemic and the implementation of the movement control order (MCO). 

Chin said the MAA had revised upward its 2020 TIV forecast by 18% to 470,000 units from 400,000 units previously. Meanwhile, it increased its passenger vehicle sales forecast by 18.8% to 427,700.

“That said, the revised forecasts suggest that 2H20 TIV would be around 295,300 units or 4.1% lower than in 2H19. 

“Note that the MAA’s forecast of 470,000 units is 9% higher than our 2020 TIV forecast of 431,000 units. We do not expect the proliferation of car sales during the tax holiday period in 2018 to repeat this time due to absence of pent-up demand, which was seen in the last tax holiday period. 

“In addition, weakening consumer sentiment and stringent hire purchase loan requirements may dampen TIV growth. As such, we keep our TIV forecast for 2020 unchanged at 431,000 units, or a 29% decline year-on-year, due to challenging market conditions,” she wrote in a note today.