May 26, 2022

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Americanas (AMER3) emerges as the winner in the sector after balance and stocks rise, but analysts still reiterated caution

Americanas (AMER3) emerges as the winner in the sector after balance and stocks rise, but analysts still reiterated caution

Reinforcing the view that it is a winner in the sector due to its good product assortment and freshness in the margins, Americana (Amer 3) Recorded first quarter numbers which are considered positive — which could have been better had it not been for the cyberattack that took down the group’s websites for a few days in March.

However, the macroeconomic scenario and greater uncertainty with increased competition are factors that should limit better sentiment regarding shares of the sector in general (including Americana) in the view of some market analysts. This is despite the fact that the short-term reaction to the balance sheet is positive. In this regard, it is worth noting that the shares jumped by 8.60%, to reach 24.62 Brazilian reais, the highest levels during the day, but closed with a more modest rise (from 1.68% to 23.05 Brazilian reais).

A positive highlight was a 22% year-over-year increase in Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV), driven by 28% growth in physical stores with the economic reopening. A group focused on low-ticket products provides resilience in the face of the overall scenario.

Online GMV grew 20% year over year despite a cyberattack in February, which halted sales for 5 days (the company estimates that the incident affected sales growth by 10 percentage points in the quarter).

Morgan Stanley notes that total sales data was two percentage points lower than its forecast, but three points higher than the consensus.

XP Analysts also highlighted strong revenue growth and improvement in profitability, with gross profit margin improving 0.4 points year-over-year, despite a stable online penetration of 77% of GMV, while Ebitda (Ebitda, or EBIT) margin and consumption and consumption growth, on net revenue) of 1.8 points year over year, driven by synergies obtained with the integration of Lojas Americanas and B2W and the monetization of Ame Digital.

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“While higher interest rates limited earnings, with the company reporting a net loss, overall we see a strong sales/margin balance for Americanas starting in 2022,” Morgan Stanley analysts note.

XP also highlights the company’s net loss of R417 million due to higher financial expenses due to higher interest rates, as well as a cash burn of R$1 billion, due to first-quarter seasonality combined with higher capital expenditures (capital expenditures).

For Bradesco BBI, the outperformance in GMV e-commerce growth with respect to two of the three Americanas pairs is evidence of the group’s diversity, something that should help the company maintain resilient growth throughout the year as a whole. .

“Despite inflationary pressures on operating costs, we view the overall outlook for margins as relatively benign given that the sector as a whole is in ‘margin rebuilding mode,’ so we believe Americana can likely achieve gains by about 1 percentage point Ebitda in comparison. annual comparison to the consensus projection,” BBI evaluates.

Caution continues

Despite the good numbers, and even among those optimistic about the stock, the current scenario is seen as challenging for stocks, which have accumulated a decline of about 25% in 2022.

Morgan Stanley, for example, notes that the integration of Americanas continues to advance, with a complete unified distribution network and management emphasizing synergy goals. Since merging operations in January 2022, Americana has completed customer data integration, consolidated inventory and logistics network, and back office integration.

“We continue to believe that the simplified operating and retention structure is a positive plus for Americana,” they assessed. However, taking into account the competitive scenario of e-commerce in Brazil, it highlighted the selectivity and remained with an equal recommendation (performance in line with the market average, equivalent to neutral), with a target price of R$36, it is still a potential possibility. By 59% compared to the previous day’s close.

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Also taking into account current market conditions, BBI finds that a short-term stock reclassification is unlikely (although it does highlight an immediate positive reaction to the asset). Therefore, it maintains a neutral recommendation, with a target price of R$39 for the AMER3 asset, and there is still a 72% upside potential compared to the previous day’s close.

For Credit Suisse, looking forward, a relatively more favorable outlook in comparison to its peers still holds for Americanas as it is likely to continue to perform well in its physical channel and decent online sales.

“However, it appears that investors remain skeptical about e-commerce, given the uncertainty along the way when it comes to interest rates not only in Brazil but also in the United States, affecting stock markets around the world.” , evaluation. However, analysts continue to recommend outperformance (performance above the market average), with a target price of R$36, or a potential 59% higher than Thursday’s close.

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