Monday, 14 April 2008

Sage - "Steady in turbulent seas"

Sage's IMS statement states quite simply that it 'performance to March 08 was in line with analyst's forecasts". It helpfully adds that:
"the current average of 11 analysts forecasts for the half year to 31 March 2008 is as follows: Revenues £617m, EBITA £145m, and pre-tax profits (pre-amortisation) £129m.
The current average of 19 analyst forecasts for the full year to 30 September 2008 is as follows: Revenues £1,248m, EBITA £297m, and pre-tax profits (pre-amortisation) £266m."

So I'll turn to my friend Nick Hyslop - analyst at RBC - to say what that means.

Nick writes:

  • RBC are expecting sales of £602m for the half year, leading to PBT before amortisation of £126m.
  • Sage derives 31% of its operating profit from the US, and with the sharp decline in the US growth rate, some forecasters are predicting a bigger disappointment here .
  • However, Sage's resilience in previous downturns results from the critical nature of its accounting product in the running of small businesses.
  • We believe our forecasts are slightly below consensus and we are encouraged by this update with the full results due on 8 May .

In other words, one of Holway's two remaining 'Boring Award Holders" looks set to continue its Boring (consistently good) record. Regardless, Sage shares are down 4% (10.30am) this morning.

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