Am upgrades media sector to ‘overweight’ on election-aided adex growth

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 6): AmResearch has upgraded the media sector to ‘overweight’ after the results of the 13th general election, with optimistic advertising expenditure (adex) growth in second half financial year 2013 (2HFY13).

The research firm sees second half of 2013 dex as positive recovery as confidence is restored due to no structural change as Barisan Nasional (BN) has retained control of the Federal Government.

According to the research house, the industry had an adex growth of 19% in its first quarter of 2013 as reported by Nielson Media Research.

“The growth is believed to have been largely attributed to spending by political parties for the general election, which has partially offset the seasonally lacklustre 1QFY13 adex,” said the research house.

Nonetheless, non-government companies are still holding back on their advertising budget.

The research house noted Media Prima recorded a growth of 15% year-on-year (y-o-y), offsetting the print media that shrank 0.01% y-o-y. Astro recorded a growth of 70% y-o-y.

“We understand this huge jump was caused by additional Astro TV channels. A relatively good set of 1QFY13 result is expected from Media Prima, which is scheduled for release on May 8, 2013,” it said.

The research firm has reiterated its ‘buy’ call on Media Prima Bhd (FV: RM2.90/share), Media Chinese International Limited (FV: RM1.45/share) and Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd (RM3.10/share).

“This is due to attractive dividend yields between 5% - 8% with an upside potential strong net cash position and stronger adex growth prospects supported by a recovery in adex for 2HFY13,” it said.

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