Coronavirus keeps Bel20 under control

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The Brussels stock exchange starts the week in a minor key. Sales pressure on AB InBev and Kinepolis point to virus fear. UCB does not see strong figures translated into price gains.

By Bel20

is down 0.7 percent on Monday afternoon at 3,411 points. With a loss of 1.7 percent, AB is heavyweight InBev

the red lantern. The brewery is one of the largest victims of the corona virus, due to the lower or lost sales in cafes and events. AB InBev will publish its half-year results on Thursday. “We anticipate a quarter less volumes in the second quarter. And a 40 percent decrease in gross operating profit (EBITDA), ‘says KBC Securities analyst Wim Hoste in a preview. Hoste also provides buying advice with a target price of 80 euros. “The progress in the search for a vaccine is positive for us in the long term.”

UCB

should also decline by 1 percent, despite stronger than expected half-year figures. Sales rose 12 percent to 2.61 billion euros. Gross operating profit (EBITDA) was also well above expectations with an increase of 8 percent to 783 million. Despite strong growth in the first half of the year, CEO Jean-Christophe Tellier maintains the relatively conservative forecast for the year. Turnover would be around 5.1 billion euros, compared to 4.9 billion in 2019. Analysts targeted an average of 5.2 billion euros. That immediately explains the price reaction.



We anticipate a quarter less volumes at AB InBev in the second quarter.

Wim Hoste

Analist KBC Securities

Kinepolis has the largest loss in the broad market

, with a 6 percent tap. The Security Council is looking into stricter corona measures on Monday, as the virus continues to take hold. Earlier it turned out that the mandatory use of a mouth mask in cinemas, it is not conducive to cinema visits. In China, that mouth mask is not even allowed to eat popcorn, which is the case in Belgium until further notice. In addition, Disney decided to postpone the release of some potential blockbusters.

The star of the day is MDxHealth

with a profit of 18 percent to 85 cents. MDxHealth announced in advance that SelectMDx is included in the NCCN guidelines (National Comprehensive Cancer Network), which is an important step in the commercial process of SelectMDx, which enables early detection of prostate cancer. ConfirmMDx was included in the NCCN guidelines in 2016 and saw a remarkable upturn in volumes afterwards, KBC Securities analysts Lenny Van Steenhuyse and Sandra Cauwenberghs note. “While MDxHealth was going through a period of operational improvement, the Covid-19 pandemic has most likely thrust the wheels of that recovery,” the analysts add. In other words, the news from MDxHealth is positive, but there is no reason for KBC Securities to change the neutral advice with a price target of 0.9 euros.

Econocom

wins 2.2 percent to 2.3 euros. The IT group is also working to reduce its debts. Econocom is conducting exclusive negotiations with the French Atos about the sale of its subsidiary digital.security. This daughter has 250 consultants and achieved a turnover of 29 million euros in 2019. Econocom has more than 10,000 employees and has a turnover of 2.9 billion euros. Analysts call the deal too small to impact their price target.

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  • UCB cautious after strong half year



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