SunCon front runner for mega jobs

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KUALA LUMPUR: Sunway Construction Group Bhd (SunCon) is compelling, according to analysts, who maintain that is it a front runner for mega construction jobs that will be announced soon.

According to Hong Leong Investment Bank Research (HLIB Research), SunCon is poised to benefit from the upcoming Mass Rapid Transit 3 (MRT3) contracts, sizeable factory and data centre projects and RM500mil worth of in-house jobs.

It said SunCon‘s latest outstanding order book stood at RM4.2bil, translating into a decent 2.5 times cover.

“Contract replenishment has lagged expectations with only RM536mil replenished so far.

“The only notable contract secured in the second quarter ended June 30, 2022 (2Q22) is the Light Rail Transit 3 subcontract works worth RM191mil,” the research house, which maintained its “buy” call on the stock, added.

It noted that the group was in the midst of tendering for sizeable factories and data centre jobs which were worth RM1bil to RM1.5bil individually.

“Elsewhere, SunCon has around RM500mil worth of in-house jobs that could also be converted into awards this year,” HLIB Research said.

It also said SunCon could likely be preserving its balance sheet space to bid for the MRT3 turnkey package.

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“If unsuccessful, the company would still be a strong subcon candidate.

“All in all, management is maintaining their order book replenishment target of RM2bil,” it added.

RHB Research in its note to clients said SunCon’s outstanding construction order book should support its earnings visibility well into financial year 2024 (FY24).

Also maintaining its “buy” call on the stock with a target price of RM1.93, RHB Research said the group’s first-half 2022 (1H22) core earnings met its and market’s expectations, accounting for 52% and 55% of its and the street’s full-year projections.

“Looking ahead, we reiterate SunCon as a front runner for the elevated works portion of MRT3, given its lean balance sheet to take up large projects.

“Aside from that, its listed parent company should continue to support earnings visibility,” it added.

In its report, Kenanga Research said it ascribed a construction price-to-earnings ratio of 16 times to SunCon – the upper range of contractors under its coverage, given its strong backing from parent Sunway Group and its dominant position within the local construction space.

It said the group had “extensive capabilities and track record” in building, infrastructure, solar as well as mechanical, electrical and plumbing works.

Kenanga Research said risks to its call included sustained weak flows of construction jobs from both the public and private sectors, project cost overruns and liabilities arising from liquidated ascertained damages and rising costs of building materials.

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