Monday, February 28, 2011

Proton closes at 14-month low of RM3.86, sees RM126m erased from market cap

KUALA LUMPUR: Shares of PROTON HOLDINGS BHD [] closed 23 sen lower at RM3.86 on Monday, Feb 28, the lowest since Dec 22, 2009 after it posted losses in the third quarter ended Dec 31, 2010.

According to stock market data, Proton saw RM126.31 million erased from its market capitalisation and it was reduced to RM2.119 billion.

Maybank Investment Bank Research downgraded the national car maker to Sell with a lower RM3.40 target price.

'Proton's 3Q loss rattled the market. We think Lotus' strategy to turnaround will set back Proton's financials in the near term, for any tangible results can only be crystallised beyond 2013,' it said.

OSK Research said Proton's loss was a surprise, on the back of higher spending incurred for the turnaround of Lotus as well as the lower volume sold on the domestic side.

'We trim our earnings projections by 32% and 33% respectively for FY11 'FY12 and arrive at a lower TP of RM4.23 (from RM6.22), premised on 8x FY12 EPS.

'We highlight the risk of further expenditure incurred on account of Lotus amid concerns that the turnaround may take longer than expected. Downgrade to NEUTRAL from BUY,' it said.

Source: The Edge, 

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