KUALA LUMPUR: Kenanga Research remains cautious on KESM Industries Bhd's plans to introduce new products as it rolls out an aggressive capex strategy given the underutilisation of its existing facilities.

In a note, the research firm said KESM has indicated an aggressive capex plan of about RM106m for new equipment over the next two quarters to cater for new products relating to advance driving assistance system (ADAS), tire-pressure measuring system (TMPS), power management and networking chips.

Howeer, the semiconductor manufacturer does not expect to see significant im

Kenanga stays cautious over KESM’s new products plan

KUALA LUMPUR: Kenanga Research remains cautious on KESM Industries Bhd‘s plans to introduce new products as it rolls out an aggressive capex strategy given the underutilisation of its existing facilities.

In a note, the research firm said KESM has indicated an aggressive capex plan of about RM106m for new equipment over the next two quarters to cater for new products relating to advance driving assistance system (ADAS), tire-pressure measuring system (TMPS), power management and networking chips.

Howeer, the semiconductor manufacturer does not expect to see significant impact from these new products as the qualification process takes time, especially for the automotive sector which is more stringent than the smartphone sector.

“Overall, we remain cautious on the group’s aggressive capex commitment given existing facilities still running below optimal levels.

“Also, the latest headline on lockdown resumption in China does not bode well for its facility in Tianjin which contributes about 30% of group revenue,” said Kenanga.

The research firm noted that KESM continues to be in a slump as it has not been able to capitalise in the strong demand compared to its peers due to a legacy product portfolio for its burn-in and test services.

“In a time of chip shortage, especially for automotive components that are manufactured based on matured nodes (where yield rates are already well optimised), customers are likely to cut down on burn-in processes in favour of quicker time to market.

“Not helping either is the fact that customers also have in-house burn-in facility which further puts KESM in an unfavourable spot when overall burn-in demand is low,” it said.

Kenanga maintained its FY22 core net profit assumption at RM1.8mil but slashed FY23 estimate by 28% to RM7.2mil.

It reiterated “market perform” on the stock with a lower target price of RM7.50, from RM8.30 previously.



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