Warning: set_time_limit(): Cannot set max execution time limit due to system policy in /customers/b/b/b/brandspurng.com/httpd.www/wp-config.php on line 92 Investment Recommendation - Buying Lafarge’s Recovery Story as Profit Jumps by 158.96%… - Brand Spur

Investment Recommendation – Buying Lafarge’s Recovery Story as Profit Jumps by 158.96%…

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Lafarge Africa Plc recorded strong operating performance in H1 2020 as its Profit After Tax (PAT) rose by 158.96% to N23.33 billion due to significant declines in finance costs and administrative expenses.

Lafarge Africa’s impressive performance was despite the COVID-19 pandemic which nearly shut-down economic activity, especially in the cement sector, amid Federal Government’s imposed lockdown on some states such as Lagos, Ogun, Abuja and Kano where daily consumption of cement is relatively high; and, the dwindling revenue from its cementitious products such as aggregate and ready-mix concrete.

The cement company’s revenue increased marginally by 2.25% to N120.54 billion in H1 2020, hence increasing profit margin to 19.35% from 13.44% printed in H1 2019.

The increase in revenue was chiefly from the company’s segment revenue from cement (constituting 98.38% of the total revenue) which rose by 3.47% to N118.58 billion; however, segment revenue from aggregate and ready-mix concrete (comprising 1.62% of the total revenue) plunged by 26.20% to N1.44 billion in H1 2020.

Notably, the third-largest cement company in Nigeria stepped on the path of recovery after disposing of its foreign subsidiary, Lafarge South Africa Holdings (Proprietary) Limited – which was a drain on the group’s profitability given its relatively thin gross margins –, in July 2019 at a gain of N108.97 billion.

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Lafarge Africa Plc. (WAPCO): Basking in Restructuring Gains

Lafarge South Africa Holdings, before it was sold in July 2019, printed loss after tax of N6.83 billion in H1 2019, despite the N42.41 billion revenue recorded in the same period.

Going forward, we expect WAPCO’s increased profitability to be sustained, amid further ease in restriction of movements – which should stimulate the use of cement – and reduced cost lines, especially finance costs.

Hence, our “MODERATE BUY” recommendation on WAPCO’s shares.

…Nigeria’s Huge Infrastructural Gap Presents Opportunity for Lafarge

The huge infrastructural gap in Nigeria presents a huge opportunity for Lafarge Africa Plc, especially for its ready-mix concrete which is well suited for road construction – Lagos State Government constructed part of the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) roads with WAPCO’s ready-mix concrete.

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Given the relatively bad state of the roads in Nigeria today, coupled with the quest for stronger and durable roads by the Federal and State governments, we see an increasing opportunity for Lafarge Africa Plc to further grow its revenue. Also, the use of cement is expected to be stimulated by the need to bridge the significant housing deficit in Nigeria
in the face of large population size and the worsened insecurity.

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…Sale of Foreign Subsidiary Strengthened Balance Sheet Position

WAPCO significantly reduced its debt position to N54.95 billion as at H1 2020 from the humongous N275.26 billion printed as at H1 2019, using the proceeds from the sale of its foreign subsidiary (USD317 million).

Hence, the group’s total liability effectively fell to N143.66 billion from a high of N406.78 billion, even as its net debt position crashed to N15.07 billion as at H1 2020, from N255.72 billion as at H1 2019 amid improved cash position.

The reduced debt position accounted for the lower finance costs, which stood at N4.42 billion in H1 2020 from N13.33 billion in H1 2019 – we expect the company to further widen its margin amid lower interest rate environment and low debt level.

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Similarly, with the sale of Lafarge South Africa Holdings, and the N89.2 billion rights issue in 2019, shareholder value increased to N352.14 billion, up from N139.38 billion, thus, lifting its shareholder’s value per share to N21.86 as at H1 2020 from N8.65 as at H1 2019.

The recent positive developments boosted Lafarge Africa’s financial performance to earn our ‘Bb’ rating, as it ranked favourably compared to other players in its industry.

…Where in the Midst of Players Does WAPCO Stands?

With cement production plants in Ewekoro and Sagamu in the South West (4.5MMT production capacity), Mfamosing in the South-South (5MMT production capacity) and Ashaka (1MMT production capacity) in the North East of Nigeria, totalling 10.5MMT, WAPCO is well positioned across the country to further increase its revenue.

Also, Lafarge Readymix Nigeria Limited, one of the subsidiaries of the group and a market leader in quality concrete solutions, operates in three strategic regions of the country: Lagos, Port-Harcourt and Abuja.

However, Lafarge Africa still needs to up its competitive strategy in order to gain more market share from its competitors such as Dangote Cement Plc (with 29.3MMT production capacity and 60.6% market share) and BUA which is ramping up production capacity to 14MMT by 2021.

Cowry Research

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Investment Recommendation - Buying Lafarge’s Recovery Story as Profit Jumps by 158.96%… - Brand Spur

Trend Micro Placed in 2021 Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms

Recognized for Completeness of Vision and Ability to Execute

 

HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach - 13 May 2021 - Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO: 4704; TSE: 4704), a global cybersecurity leader, today announced that it has been positioned by Gartner as a Leader in the Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platform for its offering, Trend Micro Apex One. The evaluation was based on specific criteria that analyzed the company's overall completeness of vision and ability to execute.


Trend Micro is continually innovating and anticipating emerging threats. Our flagship Apex One endpoint protection platform features broad coverage against today's most critical threats. Our customers are protected using a range of techniques including virtual patching, which immediately protects against exploits until the vendor patch is applied.

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Read the full Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platform report at: https://resources.trendmicro.com/Gartner-Magic-Quadrant-Endpoints.html

"The endpoint has become a key battleground as determined threat actors try to take advantage of the pandemic to target distributed workforces and vulnerable remote access infrastructure. But throughout this difficult period, we've been there for our customers," said Wendy Moore, vice president of product marketing for Trend Micro. "I'm delighted to see us recognized again for doing what we do best: Protecting global organizations through innovative, cloud-first and platform-based security. We will continue to focus on offering simple, robust and industry-leading protection through our cybersecurity platform."

At the heart of the company's cybersecurity platform is Trend Micro Vision One, which delivers visibility and XDR using telemetry from Apex One in addition to email, servers, cloud workloads and networks for faster detections and investigations.

Magic Quadrant reports are a culmination of rigorous, fact-based research in specific markets, providing a wide-angle view of the relative positions of the providers in markets where growth is high and provider differentiation is distinct. Providers are positioned into four quadrants: Leaders, Challengers, Visionaries and Niche Players. The research enables you to get the most from market analysis in alignment with your unique business and technology needs.

* Gartner disclaimer: Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in our research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.


About Trend Micro

Trend Micro, a global cybersecurity leader, helps make the world safe for exchanging digital information. Fueled by decades of security expertise, global threat research, and continuous innovation, Trend Micro's cybersecurity platform protects hundreds of thousands of organizations and millions of individuals across clouds, networks, devices, and endpoints. As a leader in cloud and enterprise cybersecurity, the platform delivers a powerful range of advanced threat defense techniques optimized for environments like AWS, Microsoft, and Google, and central visibility for better, faster detection and response. With 7,000 employees across 65 countries, Trend Micro enables organizations to simplify and secure their connected world. www.trendmicro.com.hk


#TrendMicro


Investment Recommendation - Buying Lafarge’s Recovery Story as Profit Jumps by 158.96%… - Brand Spur
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Latest News

Trend Micro Placed in 2021 Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms

Recognized for Completeness of Vision and Ability to Execute

 

HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach - 13 May 2021 - Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO: 4704; TSE: 4704), a global cybersecurity leader, today announced that it has been positioned by Gartner as a Leader in the Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platform for its offering, Trend Micro Apex One. The evaluation was based on specific criteria that analyzed the company's overall completeness of vision and ability to execute.


Trend Micro is continually innovating and anticipating emerging threats. Our flagship Apex One endpoint protection platform features broad coverage against today's most critical threats. Our customers are protected using a range of techniques including virtual patching, which immediately protects against exploits until the vendor patch is applied.


Read the full Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platform report at: https://resources.trendmicro.com/Gartner-Magic-Quadrant-Endpoints.html

"The endpoint has become a key battleground as determined threat actors try to take advantage of the pandemic to target distributed workforces and vulnerable remote access infrastructure. But throughout this difficult period, we've been there for our customers," said Wendy Moore, vice president of product marketing for Trend Micro. "I'm delighted to see us recognized again for doing what we do best: Protecting global organizations through innovative, cloud-first and platform-based security. We will continue to focus on offering simple, robust and industry-leading protection through our cybersecurity platform."

At the heart of the company's cybersecurity platform is Trend Micro Vision One, which delivers visibility and XDR using telemetry from Apex One in addition to email, servers, cloud workloads and networks for faster detections and investigations.

Magic Quadrant reports are a culmination of rigorous, fact-based research in specific markets, providing a wide-angle view of the relative positions of the providers in markets where growth is high and provider differentiation is distinct. Providers are positioned into four quadrants: Leaders, Challengers, Visionaries and Niche Players. The research enables you to get the most from market analysis in alignment with your unique business and technology needs.

* Gartner disclaimer: Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in our research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.


About Trend Micro

Trend Micro, a global cybersecurity leader, helps make the world safe for exchanging digital information. Fueled by decades of security expertise, global threat research, and continuous innovation, Trend Micro's cybersecurity platform protects hundreds of thousands of organizations and millions of individuals across clouds, networks, devices, and endpoints. As a leader in cloud and enterprise cybersecurity, the platform delivers a powerful range of advanced threat defense techniques optimized for environments like AWS, Microsoft, and Google, and central visibility for better, faster detection and response. With 7,000 employees across 65 countries, Trend Micro enables organizations to simplify and secure their connected world. www.trendmicro.com.hk


#TrendMicro


Investment Recommendation - Buying Lafarge’s Recovery Story as Profit Jumps by 158.96%… - Brand Spur
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