Although revenues and profits at Cohort (LSE:CHRT) remain under pressure, I am confident that its long-term earnings picture remains solid.
The defence giant advised Wednesday that revenues dipped 10% in the six months to October, to £44.8m, while adjusted operating profit ducked 8% year-on-year to £3.6m. On top of this, it said order intake fell to £39.2m from £40.5m previously, and that its closing order book was down to £132.1m from £136.5m.
Cohort continues to make progress in a tough UK defence trading environment. Our earnings forecasts remain largely unchanged as performances at MASS and EID continue ahead of expectations, compensating for pressures at MCL and SEA. Our fair value calculation currently stands at 483p implying significant unrecognised potential. The recent share price fall seems unwarranted given the maintained outlook.
Cohort has announced that it has increased its holding in EID to 80% from 57% for the additional consideration of €3.97m from existing cash resources and debt facilities. The Portuguese government retains the remaining 20% and this is all in line with its previously announced strategy. EID brings new geographies, a good order pipeline and further growth opportunities. In addition, the company has indicated that it remains on course to meet FY18 expectations. HY18 results will be published on 13 December when we will adjust our forecasts for the increased holding.
While shares with high dividend yields are undoubtedly app1ealing in the short run, dividend growth could be more important in the long run. A business which is rapidly increasing its dividends each year could suggest to investors that it is very confident in its future prospects. This may lead to a rising share price as the stock market becomes more willing to place a premium valuation on the company in question.