This report shows our stock valuation on Proton that is listed on Bursa Malaysia, by using 2009 as the latest financial year. Fundamental analysis framework is being used. First, we start with the qualitative aspects of a company like Business Model, Competitive Advantages, Management, Financial and Information Transparency, Government’s Role, Customers, and finally Latest News. This will be shown on sector Qualitative factors section. Next we dive deeper to company analysis. We estimate the intrinsic value of the company’s common stock using the general approaches in fundamental analysis. It consists of Price/earnings ratio, Price/cash flow ratio, Price/book value ratio and Price/sales ratio. This will be shown on fundamental tools section. Based on the various values that we have estimated above, we find a single value that most appropriate as company’s common stock price and compare it with the current market price. Determination on it will include whether the stock is overvalued, undervalued or correctly priced, and recommendation to investors is given. This will be shown on Dividend Discount Model section. Finally, we provide our own insights and reasoning, and this will be shown on Insights and reasoning section.
2.0 Qualitative Factors
2.1 Business Model
The main business activities of the Group encompass vehicle engineering, research and development, manufacturing, distribution, sales and after-sales services. The Group is also involved in financial services and property management in supporting the main business activities. The Group also has in its portfolio, the world renowned Lotus sports cars.
2.2 Competitive Advantages
On 2 September 2008 Detroit Electric announced plans to progressively roll out affordable electric vehicles worldwide by the end of 2009. Proton cars are to be used and tested in order to validate Detroit Electric’s technology and explore the potential to collaborate to create a range of pure electric cars. Detroit Electric has to date integrated its electric drive systems into Proton’s Lotus Elise and two Proton passenger cars. Detroit Electric hoped to collaborate with Proton to sell electric cars for the Southeast Asian market or to use Proton’s existing manufacturing platform to produce electric cars under the Detroit Electric brand. The company planned to roll out 30,000 electric cars by 2010, as he demonstrated their performance at a Proton test circuit in Shah Alam, west of the capital Kuala Lumpur. Detroit will use Proton’s tooling and production line for its vehicles, but with different styling than Proton’s existing line. In return, Proton will get to sell its own cars in South-East Asia with the Detroit lithium-ion electric power train inside–the incredibly sci-fi sounding Pure Electric Magnetic Flux Motor. Fossil fuel is a finite resource so we will have to find an alternative energy source, like the primary drive of the car is electric and the motor can be supplied with current in many different ways – fuel cells, batteries, wireless transmission, or maybe we will see a future where our roads are magnetized to interact as linear induction motors with vehicles running over it. Proton expects to record RM2billion in the next four years in line with its strategic agreement with Detroit Electric for licensing and assembly.
Proton is exposed to a multitude of risks, either residual or inherent in the course of its daily operations. Ensuring that these risks are effectively managed and capitalised is imperative in order to ensure maximization of shareholders value. The Group Risk Management Unit is available to ensuring that an appropriate risk management framework exists within the Group and is effectively implemented to manage the key risks of the organization on an on-going basis like Market Risk, Credit Risk, Country Risk, Regulatory and Intellectual Property. Major initiative includes Risk Assessments for Business Planning, Risk Assessment for New Product Introduction, and Risk Awareness and Profiling Sessions.
2.4 Financial and Information Transparency
Sufficient transparency implies that a company’s financial releases are written in a manner that stakeholders can follow what management is doing and therefore have a clear understanding of the company’s current financial situation. For Proton, its financial situation is sufficiently showed out in its annual report clearly.
2.5 Government’s Role
Proton is Malaysia’s largest investor in research and development, spending about RM5 billion on it. Government policy also has kept the Proton cheaper than other makes by the simple strategy of taxing the competition, while giving Proton exemptions or rebates from these same taxes. Duties on packages of parts for assembly into complete cars in Malaysia is said to average about 30%. Proton is exempted from most of these.
Proton exports cars to the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Australia and the company is aggressively marketing its cars in several other countries including the Middle East. Besides that, Proton has also been exporting a small volume of cars to Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Thailand, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Taiwan, Cyprus and Mauritius.
2.7 Latest News
Latest launch of the Exora – Malaysia’s first home-grown MPV has surpassed even the most demanding market as n terms of quality, the Exora is PROTON’s first model to breach the 80% CFC (Concern Free Car) level and having surpassed all European crash regulations, the Exora is at par with the other MPVs in the market. This proven that Proton’s car quality has being bring to a better and safer level, as we usually complaint on Proton’s low quality design. Exora also won Asian Auto – VCA Auto Industry Awards 2009 – Best Local Assembly MPV too.
3.0 Fundamental tools
3.1 Price to Earnings Ratio
The Price to Earnings Ratio (P/E) is looks at the relationship between the stock price and the company’s earnings. Price to Earnings Ratio (P/E) = = RM = 11.64 * Earnings per Share (EPS) = = 33.6sen The P/E gives us an idea of what the market is willing to pay for the company’s earnings. The higher the P/E the more the market is willing to pay for the company’s earnings. The other way round, a low P/E may indicate as lack of confident by the market or it could mean is a sleeper that the market has overlooked. There is no correct answer for the interpretation of P/E because part of the answer is depend on the willingness to pay for the earnings. The more we willing to pay means that we believe the company has good long term prospects over and above its current position. Another investor may not see the same value and think that we are wrong. Because of that, some investors may read a high P/E as an overpriced stock and that may be the case, however it can also indicate the market has high hopes for this stock’s future and has bid up the price. In this case, we can said that the Proton’s P/E is overpriced because we can see that the company’s growing is very slow but the P/E is consider high, so we said that this is overpriced. Since there is unstable variable EPS trend between years to year, therefore we assume that the EPS trend will drop by 5% for next year. Besides that, we make this assumption also because of the slow growing of the company. Intrinsic Value = P/E estimated EPS* = 11.64 0.3192 = RM 3.72 *Estimated EPS = RM 0.336 95% = RM 0.3192 Intrinsic value is the value investors use a variety of analytical techniques in order to estimate for the stocks and hoping to find the true value of the investment exceeds its current market value. For this case, the intrinsic value is RM3.72 which is lower than the market stock price, RM3.91 this means that the company’s stock has more expensive than the true value.
3.2 Price to Cash Flow Ratio
The Price to Cash Flow Ratio (P/CF) is a ratio used to compare a company’s market value to its cash flow. This ratio seems better than P/E because it’s more likely to be accurate, as earnings data can be manipulated more easily than cash flow can. Price to Cash Flow Ratio (P/CF) = = RM = 9.68 * Cash Flow per Share =
= 0.404 The P/CF is used to evaluate the investment attractiveness, from a value standpoint, of a company’s stock. This metric compares the stock’s market price to the amount of cash flow the company generates on a per-share basis. This ratio is more reliable basis than EPS to evaluate the acceptability, or lack thereof, of a stock’s current pricing. Other than that, many investors also prefer P/CF since it removes the effects of non-cash factors like depreciation. By calculating the ratio, the ratio gives us the P/CF that indicates as of Proton’s stock at RM3.91 was trading at 9.68times the company cash flow of RM0.404 per share. The average P/CF tends to vary among industries. For more capital-intensive companies, P/CF is often lower than those businesses that have lower capital requirements. For this case, Proton’s seem that have a quite high P/CF that mean than this company have a lower capital requirement that not easy to progress. Since this company have lower capital requirement, mean that this company would not have much progress in the future. So that in theoretically this company may not have much change in operating cash flow activities or maybe drop. Therefore, we can make a estimation of the company’s cash flow per share may decrease by 3%. Intrinsic Value = P/CF estimated Cash Flow per Share* = 9.68 0.39188 = RM 3.79 *Estimated Cash Flow per Share = RM 0.404 97% = RM 0.39188 The intrinsic value calculated is RM3.79 which is lower than the market stock price, RM3.91 by RM0.12. This shown that there is not worth to invest on this company but besides this still got much consideration to consider before invest such as the future progress of the company. We also can consider to invest in this company since there is a very small different between the intrinsic value and market value.
3.3 Price to Sales Ratio
Formula: Sales Price Per Share = Total Revenues or Sales Average Shares Outstanding Beginning total shares outstanding = 462 056 923+87 156 079 = 549 213 002 Ending total shares outstanding = 462 056 923+87 156 079 = 549 213 002 Average Shares Outstanding =
Sales Price Per Share =
Price to Sales Ratio = Stock Price Sales Price Per Share
= 0.382 This ratio provides a relationship between the current price of the stock and the total sales per share of the company. The lower the result you get is, the higher the value the market places on the stock. If the P/S ratio were high, that would mean that each ringgit invested in the company would generate low sales revenues, and generally could be said that the company is overvalued. Investors often use the P/E ratio and the Price to Sales Ratio as complements of each other. Usually Price to Sales Ratio provided as a strong alternative only if P/E ratio is non-existent, in the other words, the company currently don’t have any earnings. If the company has high P/E, but a low P/S Ratio, it could imply that the company cannot turn all the profits into a net profit and generate value for their shareholders, which also mean that they failed to maximize the shareholder’s wealth. As a rule of thumb, companies with a P/S Ratio below 1.0 are recommended for a purchase. But in this case, currently the company had a profit of RM184.6 million, so the P/E ratio will be more preferable for us to decide whether to buy the stock, hold the stock or sell the stock. Although current P/S ratio shows a low ratio of 0.382 which if under condition of no earnings, it encourages us to invest to the company. But after consider the probability of company unable to turn sales into profit as well, and the high P/E ratio which brings the risk of over expectation over the stock, we recommend that take the P/E ratio as main indicate, which not to buy the stock. Investors believe the future value will go up due to proton cooperate with Detroit electric to assemble pure electric vehicles for export. So base on this information we assume the sales price per share will increase 5%. Intrinsic value: 10.236 x 105% = 10.75 10.75 x 0.382 = 4.10 In the future the stock price will increase to 4.10, it show the value is higher than 3.91. It means that the price of the stock has gone higher than what it has been recently. If you are looking at selling it, now is the time to sell.
3.4 Price to Book Ratio
Formula: Price to Book Ratio = Stock Price
Book Value per Share
Book value can be thought of as what would be left over for shareholders if a company shutters operations, pays off its creditors, collects from its debtors, and liquidates itself. If the P/B ratio is less than one, it can mean the market is nervous about the value of the company and is unwilling to pay full price. Not this only a P/B ratio below one can also mean investors have incorrectly valued the stock. Furthermore, a lower Price to Book ratio could mean that the stock is undervalued. However, it could also mean that something is fundamentally wrong with the company. As with most ratios, be aware this varies by industry. So in this case, the ratio is 0.46 the investor should not invest on this proton company due to the market is nervous about the value of the company and is not willing to pay full price. The total book value increase by sale or issue new shares units. Base on the historical Shareholding Statistics Analysis the book value will maintain due to proton never issue new shares to the market. Since they don’t have sale or issue new shares means the intrinsic value is remain the same.
3.5 Dividend Discount Model – DDM
Dividend Discount Model is a procedure for valuing the price of a stock by using predicted dividends and discounting them back to present value. The idea is that if the value obtained from the DDM is higher than what the shares are currently trading at, then the stock is undervalued. The DDM is calculating by the formula of: Value of stock = Dividend per share / (Required rate of return – Dividend growth rate) Which: Required rate of return (ROR) = Rf + Bi (Rm – Rf) Dividend growth rate (g) = ROE x b To calculate the DDM, firstly we need to compute the value of required rate of return, and then follow by the dividend growth rate. Required rate of return = Risk free rate + (market rate of return – risk free rate)* Beta of the stock = 2.053 + 1.037 (4.103-2.053) =4.179% Dividend growth rate (g) = ROE x b = 3.509% x 88.843% = 3.118% *Return on Equity (ROE): = Net Income/Average of Shareholder’s Equity
= 3.509% Stockholder’s Equity = Total Assets – Total Liabilities *Retention rated (b): = Net Income – Dividend Net Income
= 88.84% After get all the values needed for the DDM formula, we can come out the intrinsic value which count out with DDM: V0 =
= 3.77 * Dividend payout = 0.336 x (1 – 0.8884) = 0.04 Proton’s latest last quarter price of RM 3.91 per stock shows that the dividend discount model suggests that Proton is currently been overvalued. The difference between the actually price and the intrinsic value is RM 0.14, which is higher 3.77%. Theoretically it’s recommended that better sell off the stock on hand, because current stock has overvalued. But in our opinion, since the difference only RM 0.14, we can also choose to hold the stock and see the situation a while more. This is because based on the data of December 2009, stock price of Proton also fluctuate between RM 3.90 and RM 4.10, a narrow range. A high actual price doesn’t mean that it must be sell off, maybe is because of high expectation of market investors thought that Proton company can generate profit for them? Although currently it’s been overvalued, but since its stock price considered as quite stable also, which the range of fluctuation is not high, so we also can choose to hold the stock and see the situation first, before we make the decision. Maybe we will loss much of money just because of scared bearing some risk, indeed we know that, no risk equal to no return, sometimes although the calculation show a negative signal, but maybe we also can go through for it, some more the difference between the intrinsic value calculated and actual price just got RM 0.14 difference.
4.0 Insights and Reasoning
After look at the qualitative factors and the result of fundamental tools, we have different results that affect our decisions. For short term, we should consider hold it if we have buy any stocks from it. However, when we are looking on the long terms, things are getting different. Proton is still quite unstable yet, as it is fluctuate as the international market having changes. Currently, we can see the financial statements’ values are having rises and drops and resulting positive earnings and negative losses. This is because Proton only has better market in Malaysia, but not in international market. It only contributes a little percentage on international market share on automotive industry. But, thing may getting different in the future. First, we usually heard consumers complaining on the low qualities of Proton’s cars, thus results a broad mind that Proton produces dangerous and low quality cars, it is not worth to buy it if you are think your life worthy. However, by the latest production of Exora, things are getting different. To ensure our loved one is protected in the Exora, Proton had spent millions of dollar in crash testing the Exora. A total of 32 unit of the Exora had been destroyed during the process. The crash test is done using the Applus+ IDIADA facility in Spain. All those test were done to ensure the Exora obtain Euro NCAP 4 star standards. With all the safety features developed by the Proton’s engineer, the Exora managed to get the 4 star Euro NCAP rating out of the maximum of five. This meaning that our Proton’s cars is getting par with other famous branded cars on safety level. This is aided further by the lotus technician that doing handling adjusted of Proton’s cars. Proton’s cars quality is getting higher, is we believe it will improve furthermore in the future. When that happen and our broad mind of Proton low quality cars does not exist anymore, Proton will have a more stable market, not just in Malaysia, but in the international market. Next, what we concern is the partnership with Detroit Electric. As we known, the precious material on earth – petroleum is not infinite. It has its limit and going to finish soon. So, many will find alternatives to aid this problem, and electric cars are one of it. The Magnetic Flux Motor Technology ensure environment friendly and did not use single petroleum at all. We believe in future, when petroleum is almost finished, electric cars that charge their car through batteries will become greatly popular among the consumers, as that time petroleum price will be sky high and impossible to reach by normal consumers. Our opinion on Proton actions that partner with Detroit Electric is that Proton done a good job to looking in the future. Maybe other competitors will rise along, but Proton started earlier than other. This initiative will bring great advantages to Proton. When we have looking on those possibilities, we conclude that Proton having great potential to grow strongly in the future, maybe not in five or ten years, but after it, in the long terms. When that happens, the share prices will rise greatly and become a great share to invest with. Thus, we can actually invest our money on it, when the price is still low, as it may multiply its value greatly in the future, and bringing a very good return.
Fundamental analysis is the process of looking at a business at the basic or fundamental financial level. This type of analysis examines key ratios of a business to determine its financial health and gives you an idea of the value its stock. Many investors use fundamental analysis alone or in combination with other tools to evaluate stocks for investment purposes. The goal is to determine the current worth and, more importantly, how the market values the stock. Various analyses had done on Proton, and this report shows it all. From the qualitative – brief market analysis and relevant industry analysis, to the quantitative – the relative valuation techniques of fundamental analysis – Price/earnings ratio, Price/cash flow ratio, Price/book value ratio, and Price/sales ratio. From our interpretations, in short terms, Proton is still not a good company to invest with, due to its risk that seemly high compare to others. However, we have to remember that usually high returns are bringing by high risks. When we are looking into the long terms future, we believe that Proton will grow greatly and bring back great returns to us. In conclusion, if we are looking on the short terms, we should not invest on Proton due to its high risk and low return. But when we are looking on the long terms, we should do the opposite ways, as we forecasted that its return will multiply itself in the future.