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PETALING JAYA: The third-quarter earnings season was broadly within expectations, although it is no secret that the prolonged Covid-19 restrictions have kept expectations fairly low.
An analyst told StarBiz that while operating restrictions have been eased, companies continue to face challenges such as supply chain disruption and manpower shortage that have weighed on their performance.
“As companies are still adjusting to the new normal, we didn’t have high expectations on earnings, except for certain sectors,” he said.
Interestingly, the earnings disappointments due to the enhanced movement control order in Klang Valley in July were not as bad as expected, according to CGS-CIMB Research.
On the bright side, corporate Malaysia has seen some signs of recovery as the number of underperforming companies reduced in the third quarter of 2021 (Q3’2021).
The corporate earnings momentum is expected to improve in the ongoing fourth quarter as economic activities pick up.In Q3’2021, the outperformers among the FBM KLCI constituents under our coverage comprised two financial counters namely Public Bank Bhd (pic) and RHB Bank Bhd, two plantation stocks namely Sime Darby Plantations Bhd and Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, as well Axiata Group Bhd, Hartalega Holdings Bhd, IHH Healthcare Bhd and Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd.
CGS-CIMB Research pointed out that the Q3’2021 earnings revision ratio rose to 0.93 times from 0.53 times in Q2’2021, as positive surprises from higher commodities prices more than offset negative surprises from lockdowns.
Meanwhile, the revision ratio was 1.13 times in Q3’2020.
Revision ratio refers to the percentage of companies that reported higher-than-expected earnings against the percentage of companies that reported below-expectation earnings.
“The quarter-on-quarter improvement was due mainly to a higher ratio – 31% of the companies we cover – posting better-than-expected earnings in Q3’2021 versus 20% in Q2’2021,” said CGS-CIMB Research in a note yesterday.