Morgan Stanley relève son avis sur EDF de « equal-weight » à « overweight », avec un objectif de cours revu de 19€ à 23€, estimant que le titre se traite avec une trop fort décote malgré une croissance bénéficiaire très soutenue attendue dans les prochaines années. L’annonce permet à EDF de signer la plus forte hausse à la mi-journée au sein du CAC 40.
L’argumentaire des analystes Emmanuel Turpin et Anne N. Azzola est le suivant:
[cleeng_content id= »251655005″ description= »Plus d\’analyses et de commentaires à découvrir… » price= »0.19″ t= »article » referral= »0.05″] »Defensive characteristics – a high-quality asset base + quasi-regulated business model. EDF is less exposed than most integrated utilities to the weak power price environment, as two-thirds of its French volumes are sold under regulated tariffs. Overall, we estimate that nearly 60% of group EBITDA is quasi-regulated. This brings three benefits: moderate earnings growth; downside protection should commodity prices weaken further (not our base case); and an ability (recognised by the rating agencies and the bond market) to sustain higher gearing.
EDF has a low carbon intensity production mix (97% nuclear and hydro in France), which offers some upside should CO2 prices rebound. Nuclear production should improve from a low 2012 output as reliability improves and the extended maintenance scheme is implemented. This should lead to high-margin revenue growth over the next few years, as load factors improve from 73.3% in 2012 to 75.7% in 2015, on our estimates.
Better earnings growth and less commodity-dependent than peers. We forecast 1% EPS CAGR in 2012-15, mainly due to rising tariffs and nuclear production, and despite an accelerated depreciation policy in French generation. This relatively low growth rate still compares favourably to a peer group hampered by declining market prices and disposals.
Dividend supported by sustainable payout ratio and solid earnings base. We consider a DPS of €1.15 as relatively safe for EDF, based on the existing 55-65% payout ratio and our earnings forecast for 2013-15, in all our scenarios for tariff increases this summer. This implies a sustainable yield of c.8%, with some upside risk. For example, compensation for Edison’s gas contracts, should it materialise this year (not our base case), could give an extra €0.10 of DPS. Based on the compensation obtained in 2012, EDF’s management is confident that further compensation will be awarded, either in 2013 or 2014. The French government stands to benefit most from the dividend paid by EDF: its 84% stake implies c.€2bn of income per year.
Attractive short-term multiples: EDF is currently trading on 9.0x 2014e PE, one of the lowest in the sector, and at an all-time low relative PE versus the sector (Exhibit 5 p5). This is mainly explained by the uncertainty surrounding the energy review and regulated tariffs, in particular, in our view. However, we expect the ongoing energy debate to shed some light on some of the key uncertainties over the course of the year.
Catalysts on the horizon: The energy debate, led by the government, should bring clarity on a number of key topics for EDF, in our view: For example: (i) The outlook for the Energy mix in the wake of the government’s plan to reduce the share of nuclear power over time. (ii) The role of energy efficiency and renewable newbuild in reaching this target, in contrast to outright nuclear closure. (iii) The implications for potential life extension versus closure at 40 years. (iv) How will France finance this ‘energy transition’, and, importantly, (v) The implications for tariff increases this year and over time. Overall, we believe the outcome may be more balanced for EDF and therefore more positive than most anticipate. As regards tariffs, we assume a 2% increase for all customers this summer.
NAV-based valuation skewed to the upside: Our base case NAV of €19.0 implies 25% upside from current levels, which, added to a c.8% DY, suggests a total shareholder return of more than 30%. We assume Fessenheim is closed in 2016, in line with the government’s plans, there is no life extension for nuclear plants beyond 40 years, and some hydro concessions are lost at the renewal stage. Our model assumes no benefit from potential cost-cutting. Our bull case of €30 (97% upside) assumes a more ‘company-friendly’ 2%/4% tariff scenario to 2015 (+€4.3), and life extension to 50 years (+€6, including higher valuation and lower provisions). Our €10 bear case assumes a tariff freeze in 2013, followed by below-inflation tariff increases, no life extension, a further 60bps reduction in the nuclear provision discount rate to 4.2%, and an adverse outcome to the regulatory review for Distribution. The resulting risk-reward is skewed to the upside.
Balance sheet stabilised despite high capex: Management obtained government backing to secure the CSPE tariff deficit and add it to the dedicated asset funds, in so doing reducing the company’s economic net debt by c.€5bn at the end of 2012. The issuance of €6.4bn of hybrid debt in January helped improve net debt/EBITDA by 40 bps. Net financial debt/EBITDA stood at 2.6x at the end of 2012 (pro forma) and should fall to 2.5x by 2015, mainly due to EBITDA growth. Economic net debt to EBITDA stood at a historical high of 4.8x at the end of 2012, and should only moderately decline to 4.6x by 2015, on our capex estimates. The credit rating agencies recently confirmed EDF’s A rating, the best in the sector, a reflection of the low risk of the business and the backing from the French State, the main shareholder. EDF will unveil its new business plan in 4Q: a reduction or a deferral in non-essential capex would be a strong positive for the stock.
Where could we be wrong? There are material risks surrounding political decisions and long-term liabilities, and, to a lesser extent, commodity prices. We examine the key risks of the equity story on pages 8-10 of this report. »
Résumé sur une page, cela donne ceci:
Et le modèle de valorisation par somme des parties: