Nestlé is Bursa’s most expensive counter


NESTLÉ (M) Bhd’s share price hit a historical high of RM85.80 yesterday, making it the highest-priced counter on the local exchange.

The fast-moving consumer goods maker now trades at 32.4 times, trailing 12-month earnings per share and 30 times its estimates for the coming year.

According to Bloomberg, the company has returned 12% so far this year and a gain of 13% in the past 52 weeks.

The stock rose 0.2% yesterday while the country’s benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI was little changed.

Nestlé managed to maintain a strong financial position despite increases in raw material prices and the devaluation of ringgit.

The company posted a growth in operating profit of RM519.23 million for the first half (1H) of the year ended June 30, 2017, compared to an operating profit of RM515.56 million a year ago.

Revenue improved in the second quarter (2Q), but rising costs bogged down its profit for the period.
Net profit eased 14.16% to RM162.07 million in the 2Q from RM188.8 million a year earlier.

The group’s revenue increased 3.23% year-on-year to RM1.28 billion as effective marketing and trade activities held for Ramadhan and Hari Raya Aidilfitri helped deliver the desired growth for the quarter, as well as good exports.

Nestlé declared 70 sen a share interim dividends paid on Sept 21.

The company said the domestic growth was based on effective marketing and trade promotions, as well as strong innovation/renovation projects.

MIDF Research believes the company’s profitability will further pick up in the 2H.