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PETALING JAYA: Swift Haulage Bhd’s proposed acquisition of Watt Wah Petroleum Haulage Pte Ltd will offer the group access into Singapore, which offers potential earnings uplift.
However, the impact will not be immediate as the additional earnings from Watt Wah will be offset by the borrowing cost to fund the acquisition.
Post-acquisition, Swift Haulage’s net gearing will rise from 0.83 times to 0.88 times, which is still manageable, said Kenanga Research.
However, MIDF Research said the cash consideration would effectively reduce Swift Haulage’s cash balance, which stood at RM34.6mil at end of the first quarter for financial year 2022 (1Q22).
The net asset value of the target company stood at S$1.5mil (RM5mil) as of June 30, 2022, it added.
Both MIDF Research and Kenanga Research made no changes to their earnings estimates at this juncture, pending the acceptance of the binding offer by the seller.
Both research houses are also positive on the deal.,
MIDF Research has recommended a “buy’’ call on the stock with a target price (TP) of RM1.18, while Kenanga Research has an “outperform’’ with a TP of RM1.01.
Kenanga Research said the acquisition was in line with strict criteria of assessing potential mergers and acquisitions with Watt Wah, which is seen as a perfect fit for the group.
It also complements its inland distribution, cross-border and freight forwarding segments.
MIDF Research said it likes the group as it is a dominant player in the container haulage business with 9% market share in Peninsular Malaysia and has above-average profit margins.
This is led by its large vehicle fleet and cost advantages from in-house supporting services and its earnings resiliency due to its dependency on trade volume.
However, the downside risks include delays in its primary warehouse capacity expansion plan and lower gateway port throughput arising from the supply chain issues.
Kenanga Research said the risks to its call include sustained high fuel cost, global recession hurting the demand for transportation service and delays in the group’s primary warehousing expansion plan.