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25 Mar 2021 | 15:08

Broker tips: Keywords Studios, Intertek

(Sharecast News) - Analysts at Berenberg upped their rating on video games services provider Keywords Studios from 'hold' to 'buy' on Thursday, stating recent momentum was "too strong to ignore". Berenberg stated that since its downgrade to 'hold' at the start of 2021, Keywords' shares had pulled back by roughly 15%, which, when combined with its full-year 2021-22 underlying earnings estimates increasing by about 6% to reflect the "strong" exit growth rate into the 2021 trading year, means the firm's shares had actually de-rated by circa 20%.

While Berenberg acknowledged the stock was still not "cheap" on 27 times full-year 2021 enterprise value to earnings before interest and tax, the analysts stated they simply could not ignore the "very strong" operating momentum and likelihood for mergers and acquisitions which, in their view, will result in Keywords outperforming consensus estimates by as much as 15-30% in 2021-22.

"This bull-case scenario would put the shares on a more palatable 23x-17x FY 2021-22 EV/EBIT," said Berenberg, which also raised its target price on the stock from 2,890.0p to 3,110.0p.

"We expect Keywords' addressable market to outgrow the video game segment (at a 7% CAGR) as developers continue to outsource a larger percentage of the development cycle. We believe that Keywords' best-in-class end-to-end platform and geographical reach will allow it to capitalise on this growth in outsourced game development, organically win market share and thus outperform the market."

JP Morgan said Intertek was its preferred name among testing, inspection and certification companies as the broker said the sector was positioned for growth.

Analyst Sylvia Barker said she was getting ever more questions about how TIC companies compared on exposure to environmental, social and governance measures and the scale of the revenue opportunity.

Barker said Intertek was in a good position in food and life sciences testing, which are large and structurally attractive markets.

JPM also noted that Intertek's Alchemy asset has unique exposure to training, sticking by its 'overweight' rating and £65.0 price target for the FTSE 100-listed group.
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