Target Price

$AEM(AWX.SI) Full Year results will release around 23 Feb, time for a major gap up. As per previous results, I expect them to beat their own guidance which tend to be conservative. I expect the 4Q17 profit after tax of at least $10m which is slightly higher than the 3Q PAT of 9.4m. It could be more as they start shipping out their handlers from the new Penang plant in the 4Q. This will give a full year profit of $31.7m. Using a very conservative PE of 8.5 times, we should hit $4.11.
The bonus (literally) is I expect another Bonus Issue this year as there are only 65.5m shares and the management wants to increase the liquidity in the shares trading.
DYODD. Vested with 88k shares and still accumulating.

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Target hit earlier than expected due to the release of their guidance. I guess that they were concerned that the sudden price movement might be queried by SGX. Most of what I mentioned is quite accurate, 2017 FY guidance, Bonus Issue (BI) and 2018 guidance although I expected only guidance for 1st half 2018. Which company in Singapore gives guidance for a whole year? It really shows the level of confidence of the management. There is plenty of juice left in this company.
Last year's BI was one for two. Even with that the total outstanding shares is only 65.5 million which is really small compared with most companies on SGX. To improve trading liquidity and attract institutional investors, they really need to increase the number of shares. I am guessing a one for one BI this time.


Trading Halt! The results may have leaked out. They would have to release the 4Q2017 results early like for the 1Q2017 results. Early Ang Bao for all AEM shareholders!


Reply to @mj0101 : Actually I do not wish for a takeover. Although the offer price may be 20% higher or more, I think the potential of AEM is very high and there is much more to grow.

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time for small cap tech to move. muahahhahaha!


Reply to @limchris8 : singapore cosco weak la HHAHAHA parent in Hong kong is the true beast

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Price has started to move up, only one month till the 4Q2017 results Added 5k shares @3.25. Don't think prices would drop much before the results unless there is a major correction at Nasdaq. It is still not too late to get on the boat. The last share buy back was at 3.37 which means that the management thinks that the share price is undervalued at this level. The chairman has also been sounding very confident of 2018 prospects in an interview with CNA.
Besides the expected Bonus Issue, management has committed to a dividend policy to distribute at least 25% of profits. Based on FY17 net profit of $31.7M, this would mean a dividend of at least 12.1 cents giving a respectable yield of 3.56% at current price. Do note that AEM has paid out 5.5 cents in dividends for FY17.


Reply to @Pizzaprata : Good move. Buy when everyone is fearful


hope it drop for me to buy more.


Reply to @Fries : its not coming down anymore.

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If there is a high expectation of a surge in share price after results release, a lot of people will start to buy in ahead of results, hoping to profit by flipping out when the share price pops. Then the share price rise actually happens BEFORE results are announced. So when results are released, even if they are good, it’s expected, there is no strong share price jump, and all those folks who bought pre-results start to dump their shares. This happened during 2Q results - even though it was good, share price still fell after results.


Reply to @Invinciblesummer : Of course nothing is guaranteed, otherwise we would all be millionaires. However I think the price drop after 2Q2017 results released due to the following:
1. The price ran up a lot just before the results release so there was lots of profit taking.
2. There was a nervousness regarding tech stocks which have run up a lot at the time. UMS and Elec & Eltek suffered the same fate. There was also a sell off in Nasdaq.
Presently the price is even lower than after the 3Q results released. Also the share price shot up twice for the 3Q results, once when they updated the profit guidance and again during the results released which was exactly as expected! So things don't always go the same. Not a call to buy or sell.

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The surge in net profit can sustain?


Reply to @baldrichuang : Yes, for 3 years at least. Even if there is a drop in chips demand, Intel would want to replace all their old handlers as the new handlers are more productive and hence reduce their cost.


I think that the bigger factor for share price is the guidance that will be given by management for 2018, not the results which were achieved for 2017. Another thing is that management has said that they will only start shipping handlers out of the Penang plant starting in first quarter of 2018, not 4Q of 2017.


Reply to @Invinciblesummer : Yes, I agree the next guidance will be a big factor. They already have orders of $100m for 2018 last month and receive about $20m in orders per month so I expect a guidance of about $120m in rev and PBT of $19,2m for 1H2018 which is better than 1H2017.
Was there an announcement of the Penang plant starting in 1Q2018? The original plan was 4Q2017.


Should have 1 or 2 rounds before ER


Reply to @Martin_Seah : Hopefully but management is aggressive in their share buy back. Price recovered too fast after hitting 2.80.

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Intel Strikes Back

A couple of good news from $AEM(AWX.SI)'s main customer $INTC from the past week. According to the attached Maybank KE report, Intel has started ordering EUV equipment which are lithography tools used for manufacturing 7nm process nodes semiconductors. This means Intel is on tract to launch their 7nm chips in 2021 which means more orders for AEM next year. As I mentioned in my previous post, Intel has no choice but to push forward regardless of the poor yields in the new process nodes as they have to snatch back their technological lead from $AMD

The second news this week is that Intel has slashed their new 10th generation chips for high end desk tops (HEDT) by up to 50%, see link: https://www.cnet.com/news/intel-dramatically-cuts-prices-of-top-end-i9-gaming-chips/. This is unprecedented, faster chips at much lower prices. Intel has no choice as these are still the ancient 14nm process chips and Intel just squeezed out more performance from these chips by boosting the clock speed. However the cut in prices has put Intel chips back in the lead in the performance per dollar, see chart below. This will help Intel maintain demand for the older process chips.

However this lead will be short-lived as AMD is expected to launch their 3rd gen HEDT Threadripper 7nm chips in November. All these are bad for Intel but good for for equipment suppliers like AEM as Intel have to ramp up their 10nm process and start on their 7nm process next year.

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$AEM(AWX.SI) has finally broke 1.20, it's amazing that there are so many sellers at every pip despite the positive news recently. There are too many investors with only a short term view of AEM. The Maybank KE analyst has increased the target price of AEM to 1.50 which is the same as my estimate last month: https://www.investingnote.com/posts/1569229
I guess most are concerned that next year's orders have been front loaded to this year which means next year will be bad. However like the MKE analyst I am confident that next years orders of HDMTs will continue to be big as Intel will be ramping up their 10nm production as well preparing for the 7nm process (see image).
On top of that we have the Hybrid Project for Intel which should be ready for production by years' end. Currently Intel is using the HDMTs mainly for functional testing which Intel calls Class Test. AEM is developing the Hybrid solution which is an extension of the HDMT for System Level Testing (SLT) and Burn-in. Intel is still buying AEM's legacy STHI equipment currently for SLT. However the STHI is able to handle only one chip at a time as compared with up to 30 chips at a time for HDMTs. Therefore Intel will definitely be moving all SLT and burn-in to the new Hybrid solution to reduce the Cost of Testing (CoT).
Why does Intel need so much testing? They are facing huge yield problems with the new 10nm process. By having multiple performance characteristics, Intel may be able to salvage defective chips as lower performing processors for the low end market. This is called the Binning process, just Google it if you want to know more.
However I do not expect much contribution from the 5G cable test equipment from Huawei given the problems Huawei is facing and that these testers cost only a couple of thousand each. However I do hope that AEM can break Fluke Networks domination of Network cable testers in the long term. Please DYODD.

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Target Price

Nice Q2 results from $AEM(AWX.SI). The record revenue and profits is due to their key customer Intel rolling out their 10nm processors. I believe Intel will continue ramping up their 10nm processors due to yesterday's product release by AMD, see link: https://venturebeat.com/2019/08/07/amd-ceo...
For the first time in history AMD's server processors are faster than Intel's. This is critical as the server chips are the most profitable for Intel and they totally dominate the market with a 95% market share. Intel will want to snatch back the crown.
Currently Intel is rolling out their 10nm chips for Laptops for delivery for the holiday season end of this year. As they having serious yield problems, they are still producing the 14nm chips hence the need for more handlers from AEM. From Intel's April 2019 Investor Day Slide below, they plan to produce 10nm server chips from 1H2020. However AMD's product release yesterday will place much pressure on Intel to move this schedule forward regardless of the yields to snatch back the lead from AMD.
Another good news is that AEM's MEMs testing division, Afore has received an initial order from the world's larget MEMs sensor supplier. I mentioned this possibility in my previous post here https://www.investingnote.com/posts/1390601
Please DYODD. Vested 210k shares in AEM and 300 shares in AMD.

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After attending the $AEM(AWX.SI) AGM yesterday, I see 4 potential positive catalyst and one negative news for the stock price. First the positives:
The increase in sales is due to Intel’s decision to rollout their 10nm chips earlier. Those who follow Intel’s progress on 10nm will know that Intel is facing huge problems with 10nm. The yields are low which means more testing is required to ensure reliability. Furthermore Intel has no confidence on their 10nm chips so they continue to produce their 14nm processors, hence the need for new handlers from AEM. Therefore the high sales orders are expected to continue for this year at least in my opinion.
AEM shipped the first prototype to the new memory customer in Feb’19. The prototype is now under Qualifications approval by the customer. Once approved which is expected in the next couple of months, commercial deliveries will start. I believe this is a huge potential as volume of memory chips are huge as compared with processors and this success may trigger other memory chips manufacturers to come on board.
Huawei has accepted AEM’s solution and the first delivery will be in Jun’19. This tester is for testing the short reach cable links for the 5G network which operates at speeds of 100Gbps. It was Huawei that approached AEM to come out with a solution as there are currently no portable testers. This tester will enable Huawei to use the cheaper Multimode Fibre Optic cable for the 5G network. As Huawei will be aggressively rolling out it’s 5G network in China, this is another big potential customer. On top of this, AEM’s handheld cable tester, TestPro which was launched last year has won several awards. This recognition and the approval of network cable manufacturers on the use of AEM’s tester to make claims will enable AEM to penetrate the market for network cable testers currently dominated by Fluke Networks.
AEM’s MEMS tester division, Afore is a pioneer in WLP (Wafer Level Packaging) MEMS testing. MEMS with WLP are much smaller 1x1mm compared with 4x4mm normal MEMS. Currently the world’s largest MEMS sensor manufacturer in the world is conducting qualifications on Afore’s testers. Hopefully there will be good results from this.
Finally Novoflex which is 21% owned by AEM, has received authorization from MasterCard and Visa for their customized Smart Cards. Novoflex’s printed chip technology is not only cheaper but more secure as the chip cannot be removed unlike current Smart Carts. They are securing pilot testing with several banks globally with expected roll out by end of this year. As this is not AEM’s core business, most likely the business will be sold for a good profit.
As for the negative news, the management confirmed that there will an impact from Intel’s withdrawal from the 5G Modem business. As currently Intel is still producing 4G Modems, the impact will not be felt yet. The impact will also be mitigated as although the volumes are large the testing time of modems are much shorter than processors. Furthermore as modems are not part of Intel’s core business, some of the testing are outsourced to assembly and test companies. These companies do not use AEM’s handlers. My concern is that as Intel’s 4G modem performance is inferior to Qualcomm’s modems, Apple may switch from Intel to Qualcomm earlier, before the 5G phones are released.
There are also other technologies which AEM are working on but I will not mention here as those will take a longer time to bear fruits. Please see the attached pdf for the AGM presentation. I foresee a bright future for AEM. Please DYODD, vested 190k shares.

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Although the STI did no go up much (<2%) for the month of February, my portfolio performed much better (+11%) this month thanks to the following counters:
$Accordia Golf Tr(ADQU.SI)
$Silverlake Axis(5CP.SI)
$Sasseur Reit(CRPU.SI)

My conviction and patience have paid off. Even Oxley which have been on the downtrend for so long has finally started to move up, however it’s still underwater for me. Last week I took 23% profit for AGT. Today, I sold all my Silverlake shares at 31% profit. I also sold 20% of my AEM share at 33% profit. And for Sunpower, my average price is 0.44 and I will sell my 2nd batch after the results release tomorrow.
As for Sasseur Reit, I will be keeping them for now. It is still CD with a 3.541c dividend coming up. I believe their outlet sales can continue to grow and it should be able to payout a dividend yield of at least 8.5% after XD.
I first bought Sasseur reit 5 months ago. I did not buy much as there is no track record and the malls are in China, it will be difficult to monitor how there are doing. However I believe in their business model and even added more during the recent price drop before the results release. The results were better than expected and it proves that the Outlets model is resilient to online shopping and even the trade war! The 4Q DPU is 28% above forecast. This is despite the fall in the RMB/SGD exchange rate. The reason for the good performance is that the 4Q is historically the period with the highest sales and also that they no longer have to keep reserves in case of poor performance. This REIT is difficult to understand and is not for everyone, please see my previous post if you want to know more: https://www.investingnote.com/posts/1019661

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