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March 16th, 2023 | 12:01 CET

E.ON, Smartbroker Holding, Daimler Truck - Optimistic about the future

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Photo credits: Smartbroker Holding AG

Despite challenging market conditions with high raw material and energy prices, many companies beat analysts' forecasts for the full year 2022 in the slowly fading figures season. There is no question that the current fiscal year is also likely to be shaped by many external uncertainty factors. Nevertheless, many companies are defying the negative conditions and are on the verge of setting new records in 2023.

time to read: 4 minutes | Author: Stefan Feulner
ISIN: E.ON SE NA O.N. | DE000ENAG999 , SMARTBROKER HOLDING AG | DE000A2GS609 , Daimler Truck Holding AG | DE000DTR0013

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    Smartbroker Holding AG - Still on schedule

    With the announcement of the figures, Smartbroker Holding AG concluded a turbulent year in a challenging market environment and delays in the planned Smartbroker 2.0. project. More important than the figures for the financial year, however, were the statements from the old and new CEO André Kolbinger. He continues to expect a punctual relaunch of the new platform, which is to be developed in cooperation with Baader Bank, in the summer of the current year. Smartbroker AG expects further investments of around EUR 6 million to complete the project. It can be ruled out that Smartbroker Holding AG will still need various capital increases for the launch. Finally, the Group is sitting on a cash cushion of more than EUR 27 million as of December 31, 2022, thanks to the continued high-margin portal business.

    In the 2022 financial year, the Group generated HGB revenue of EUR 52.6 million, compared with EUR 56.8 million in 2021. Customer acquisition costs for Smartbroker amounted to around EUR 4 million last year, resulting in EBITDA after customer acquisition costs of around EUR 9 million. As a result of the weak capital market environment, the Berlin-based company suffered a significant decline in page impressions in the media sector, which led to a drop in revenues. EBITDA in this business unit amounted to EUR 15 million, with a high margin of 43%.

    According to management, 2023 will continue to be viewed as a year of transition since the migration of existing customers will only start in the second half of the year after the successful launch. While new customer acquisition activities are to be kept on the back burner at EUR 2 million, these will be significantly expanded in 2024. By then, at the latest, Smartbroker 2.0. is expected to contribute to revenue growth throughout the year and also significantly to the Group's profitability. The share of Smartbroker AG was stable after a significant increase above EUR 9, despite the announcement of a special write-down of EUR 8 million last week and is quoted at EUR 8.45.

    E.ON - Better than expected

    Despite a challenging market environment, Germany's largest energy supplier topped its forecasts and surprised most analysts with an optimistic outlook. Adjusted Group EBITDA rose to EUR 8.1 billion in fiscal 2022, EUR 170 million higher than the previous year's result and slightly above the forecast of EUR 7.6 billion to EUR 7.8 billion. Adjusted net income amounted to EUR 2.7 billion, compared with previous estimates of EUR 2.3 billion to EUR 2.5 billion. Economic net debt decreased by more than EUR 6 billion to EUR 32.7 billion in the 2021 financial year.

    By improving its financial structure, E.ON plans to expand its investment plans for the coming years. By 2027, the Essen-based company plans to increase investments by around EUR6 billion, or more than 20%, to a total of EUR33 billion. CEO Leonhard Birnbaum emphasized the urgency of restructuring the energy system: "The crisis makes it clear that decarbonization, the energy transition and the expansion of infrastructure must be massively accelerated. This means enormous tailwind for our business with reliable energy infrastructure and sustainable customer solutions. We also see major growth potential for this in the coming years. Therefore, we plan to expand our investment program to EUR 33 billion by 2027. In doing so, we are underscoring our claim to be a leading driver and shaper of the accelerated energy transition in Europe. However, we also expect regulation and politics to create the necessary framework conditions for this."

    The share climbed to a new high for the year of EUR 10.52 after the figures were announced. Swiss bank UBS left its rating for E.ON at "neutral" with a price target of EUR 10.20 after the annual figures and outlook for 2023.

    Daimler Truck - Further sell-off

    In contrast to the energy supplier E.ON, the signs for Daimler Truck continue to point to sell after the publication of the figures. Thus, the share again ranked at the bottom of the DAX ranking with a further minus of about 2.5% to EUR 29.75. The Company reported fourth-quarter figures last Friday that were below expectations.

    "We are not satisfied with our progress," said CEO Martin Daum, referring to the reduction of fixed costs, which are to be cut by 15% by 2025 compared to 2019. Daimler Truck's 2022 margins of 10.8% in North America and 9% in Europe were close to its 2025 targets of 12% and 8.1%, respectively. However, in Asia, where the Company faced lockdowns in China and restrictions on price increases in Japan in 2022, margins were just 2.6%, far from the 10% target for 2025.

    Deutsche Bank Research left its rating on Daimler Truck at "buy" with a price target of EUR 45. The truck maker's results were relatively weak, but the outlook for 2023 was solid, it said.

    Smartbroker Holding AG continues to stick to the launch date of Smartbroker 2.0. for the middle of the current year. E.ON was convincing with the figures for the past year and its outlook. Daimler Truck continues to struggle with the too-high fixed costs.

    Conflict of interest

    Pursuant to §85 of the German Securities Trading Act (WpHG), we point out that Apaton Finance GmbH as well as partners, authors or employees of Apaton Finance GmbH (hereinafter referred to as "Relevant Persons") may hold shares or other financial instruments of the aforementioned companies in the future or may bet on rising or falling prices and thus a conflict of interest may arise in the future. The Relevant Persons reserve the right to buy or sell shares or other financial instruments of the Company at any time (hereinafter each a "Transaction"). Transactions may, under certain circumstances, influence the respective price of the shares or other financial instruments of the Company.

    In addition, Apaton Finance GmbH is active in the context of the preparation and publication of the reporting in paid contractual relationships.

    For this reason, there is a concrete conflict of interest.

    The above information on existing conflicts of interest applies to all types and forms of publication used by Apaton Finance GmbH for publications on companies.

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    Der Autor

    Stefan Feulner

    The native Franconian has more than 20 years of stock exchange experience and a broadly diversified network.
    He is passionate about analyzing a wide variety of business models and investigating new trends.

    About the author

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