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VCSEL growth underpins revenue upgrade

Update | Technology | 02 Jan 2018

IQE’s pre-close trading update noted that management expects FY17 revenues to be ahead of market expectations. Noting that the upgrade is driven by delivery of volume epitaxy on a programme that we infer is the new iPhone X, a programme which will continue throughout FY18, we raise our revenue estimates for both FY17 and FY18, but keep EPS numbers unchanged as the proportion of licence revenues in the mix is lower.


Funds raised to support VCSEL ramp-up

Update | Technology | 14 Nov 2017

IQE has announced its intention to raise up to GBP 95.1m (gross) through a placing of up to 67.9m new shares at 140p/share. The funds will enable IQE to expand capacity to support multiple VCSEL volume ramp-ups from FY19 onwards. We expect the share issue to be earnings neutral in the near term, and are encouraged by this signal of confidence from management as it prepares for the next step change in output.

JPJ Group plc

An attractive deleveraging bet

Outlook | Travel & Leisure | 14 Nov 2017

Jackpotjoy plc (JPJ) is the clear leader in the c £800m UK bingo-led market, with exceptionally high EBITDA margins and strong cash flow. The group's balance sheet is simplifying following a major earnout payment and we expect it to reach 2.0x net debt/EBITDA in 2019. With four sets of strong quarterly figures under its belt, JPJ's shares have risen 42% since the January listing in London. Nonetheless, at 7.9x P/E, 8.2x EV/EBITDA and 11.7% free cash flow yield for 2018e, the stock still trades at a significant discount to peers and we believe the re-rating will continue as value steadily transfers from debt to equity.


Photonics - the next growth wave

Outlook | Technology | 21 Nov 2016

IQE's ability to apply its epitaxial IP to multiple market segments enabled it to deliver strong profit growth during H116 as the business continues to diversify revenues. This diversification is set to continue, with technology innovations delivering strong growth in photonics applications and taking IQE into new segments such as the high-growth power electronics market. We see scope for further upward re-rating driven by continued growth in photonics sales.


Start of mass market VCSEL ramp-up

Update | Technology | 26 Jul 2017

IQE’s pre-close trading update notes a 16% year-on-year increase in wafer revenues in H117, driven by strong double-digit growth in photonics and currency tailwinds. Importantly, the photonics growth heralds the start of a mass-market ramp up in VCSEL (vertical cavity surface emitting laser) wafers for consumer applications, encouraging management to proceed with plans to substantially expand capacity ahead of anticipated demand in H218. We make modest upwards revisions to our estimates, noting the potential for further upgrades as there is greater clarity on photonics volumes.


Assessment of short-term VCSEL slowdown

Update | Technology | 29 Jan 2019

IQE's post-close trading update shows that the short-term dip in production for one of its volume VCSEL programmes had a more severe impact on FY18 performance than management originally estimated. Although we are cutting our FY18 EPS estimate by 10.6%, we note the underperformance compared with management's guidance given in November appears confined to FY18. Importantly, it does not affect the prospects for photonics growth in the medium term, which are based on multiple VCSEL opportunities. Our revised estimates give an indicative value of 73p/share.


Capitalising on market transitions

Outlook | Technology | 23 Nov 2018

IQE is benefiting from multiple megatrends as it supplies epitaxy for the photonics chips that transmit data in the volumes required for full adoption of the Internet of Things and provide the accurate visual information required for autonomous vehicles, Industry 4.0, augmented reality and virtual reality. This is driving a second wave of growth, with an estimated 66% increase in PBT forecast between FY16 and FY19. Our DCF analysis indicates that the share price is undervalued if photonics growth resumes in Q219 and is sustained over a five-year period, in line with management guidance.


Short-term VCSEL slowdown hits profits

Update | Technology | 15 Nov 2018

IQE has announced an immediate slowdown in shipments of VCSEL wafers, which materially affects FY18 revenues and profitability, and has issued revised guidance. Although we have cut our EPS estimates by 43% and 24% for FY18 and FY19 respectively, we note this is a short-term problem that does not impact the prospects for photonics growth in the medium term. Our revised estimates give an indicative value of 73p/share.


Multiple VCSEL programmes entering production

Update | Technology | 04 Sep 2018

During H118 IQE experienced double-digit sales growth on a constant currency basis in each of its three primary markets, although this was partly offset by a currency headwind. The investment in multiple VCSEL qualifications and the Newport foundry depressed margins, but underpins management’s expectations of a sustained photonics ramp-up in H218 and FY19. Acknowledging the currency headwind and one-off H118 photonics costs, we revise our estimates downwards.


Six more VCSEL projects in mass production

Update | Technology | 07 Aug 2018

IQE’s post-H118 close trading update notes the group continues to trade in line with current market expectations. Importantly, it comments on a significant increase in photonics revenues from product qualifications, underpinning management’s expectation of a photonics ramp-up in H218 and FY19. We raise our revenue estimates slightly but otherwise leave our forecasts unchanged.


Doubling in photonics revenues drives growth

Update | Technology | 29 Mar 2018

IQE’s FY17 results confirm that the photonics volume ramp-up referred to in the pre-close update has delivered the strong growth in revenues (16%) and PBT (18%) that was expected. Based on management’s guidance for this growth trend to continue, we upgrade our FY18 estimates and note the potential for sustained growth over the next three to five years.


Photonics driving second growth wave

Outlook | Technology | 18 Sep 2017

Towards the end of H117 one of the numerous development programmes for photonics applications that IQE has been working on moved to volume production. The programme, which we infer relates to 3D sensing in the iPhone X, potentially has a transformational impact on IQE’s performance. Until there is clarity on the rate of roll-out of the new phone however, our estimates, which are unchanged from the trading update in July, model a cautious ramp-up in IQE’s epitaxy sales. The share price is looking for performance substantially ahead of this, which our scenario analysis suggests is achievable. Importantly, even if demand for the iPhone X is muted, IQE is engaged in multiple photonics development programmes with the potential to generate transformational levels of growth.