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Glanbia (GLB)

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Morgan Stanley sees challenging 2019 for Glanbia

15 Jan 19

LONDON (ShareCast) - (Sharecast News) - Glanbia offers investors access to the US cheese and fitness nutrition markets, but Morgan Stanley sees the 2019 outlook as "challenging" and has initiated coverage with an 'underweight' rating.
The €4.7bn market cap company, which is based in Ireland and joint listed on London's main market, is the largest US cheese producer but balances this low-margin dairy processing with the "more structurally compelling" fitness nutrition business.

Morgan Stanley see a "risk to earnings as the business navigates growth acceleration in a difficult environment", feeling the near-20% rally since mid-October "looks overdone" as the shares have outperformed the broader food names by almost 30%.

Looking at the sports nutrition arm, the company estimates it has a leading 13% share of a $13bn global fitness nutrition market that is growing by mid-single digits. Glanbia nutrition products are centred around whey protein supplements and include brands such as Optimum Nutrition, BSN, Isopure, thinkThin, Nutramino, ABB, Body & Fit and Amazing Grass.

MS analysts believe Glanbia "offers the best opportunity to play this trend as the company leverages geographical expansion opportunities and product innovation to drive volume growth and market share", with strategic priority being to grow the top line to €5bn by 2022 over margin expansion.

"We think growing share and expanding international presence is the right strategy for Glanbia, but are concerned about the impact on margins and cash flow near term."

Third-quarter results in early November were better than expected, with guidance maintained despite fears of a cut, the SlimFast brand was acquired and input costs moved favourably.

"However, we think the outlook for 2019 is challenging as the business focuses on growth amidst trade uncertainty and supply-chain difficulties. We therefore expect the stock to pull back and initiate at 'underweight'."

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Market Data

Currency Euro
Price  11.40
Change Today  0.13
52 Week High  18.98
52 Week Low  9.78
Volume 17,842
Shares Issued 296.05m
Market Cap  3,374.92m


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