Strong turnaround in second half for Velesto, says Affin Hwang

KUALA LUMPUR: Affin Hwang Capital expects a strong second half of 2022 (2H22) profit turnaround for Velesto Energy Bhd on the back of a higher capacity utilisation.

The research house said the drilling market outlook had turned more favourable compared to a quarter ago with demand and charter rates on the rise. 

Barring any unforeseen disruptions, it said Velesto should end 2022 with a full-year 59 per cent utilisation. 

"Management is also sticking to its bullish tone as it expects utilisation to rise close to 80 per cent in 2023 from our existing 65 per cent assumption.

"Velesto has locked in roughly 18 per cent utilisation so far, with most of the potential contracts still under negotiation under Petronas' umbrella package," it said.

Meanwhile, the firm said the estimated higher 72 per cent rig utilisation in 2H22, above Velesto's 60 per cent breakeven level should lead to a strong profit turnaround and narrow 2022 losses significantly. 

It said 2023 was shaping up to be a strong recovery year driven by a recovery in both rig demand and charter rates. 

"We reaffirm our Buy rating and target price of 11 sen on Velesto. 

"We believe market expectation on Velesto has bottomed and downside on its share price appears limited. 

"We see value emerging and believe that the current share price has not factored in the improving drilling market outlook," it added.

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