• Gamuda’s established regional presence, track record, and the current growth in DC investment position the group well for further opportunities, according to Hong Leong Investment Bank (HLIB) Research.

KUALA LUMPUR (May 27): Analysts foresee Gamuda Bhd (KL:GAMUDA) to bag more project portfolios in the data centre (DC) sector, after the engineering and construction company recently secured contracts for the construction of a hyperscale DC in Elmina Business Park, with a combined value of RM1.7 billion.

Gamuda’s established regional presence, track record, and the current growth in DC investment position the group well for further opportunities, according to Hong Leong Investment Bank (HLIB) Research.

"The latest win brings Gamuda’s unbilled order book to RM25.8 billion (an additional 7%), with DC jobs comprising 8% of the estimated unbilled construction order book,” HLIB said. These DCs projects offer "outsized earnings contributions", due to their shorter execution periods and superior margins, as compared to domestic tunnelling projects, the research house noted on Monday.

Looking ahead, HLIB anticipates additional order book expansion for Gamuda from the formalised contracts for several significant projects, including the Penang Light Rail Transit (with Gamuda’s stake valued at approximately RM5 billion), the Upper Padas hydro project (around RM3 billion), and Sydney Metro West variation orders.

Additionally, an award decision is expected for Package D of the Suburban Rail Loop in Australia, along with other infrastructure opportunities, HLIB noted.

On valuation, Gamuda shares are currently trading at an attractive 17.5 times forward earnings, according to HLIB, which raised its target price for the counter to RM6.88.

Analysts remain broadly bullish on Gamuda, with 17 out of 19 recommending 'buy' calls. The remaining two analysts, including TA Securities and CLSA, have recommended 'sell'. The consensus 12 -month target price stood at RM6.40, Bloomberg data showed.

TA Securities, which downgraded its rating to 'sell', cautioned that Gamuda is “fairly valued after the recent rise in its share price”. The research house, however, remains optimistic about the company’s job contracts.

Ahead of the announcement, Gamuda’s share price surged 47.1 sen or 8.44% to reach RM6.08. At the time of writing on Monday, the stock had climbed 3.12%, reaching its historical high of RM6.24, before paring some gains to trade at RM6.18 at 10am, still up 13 sen or 2.15%, valuing the company at RM17.23 billion.

TA Securities said the contracts won by Gamuda are expected to significantly boost its total outstanding order book, estimated to reach approximately RM26.3 billion, translating into 4.8 times construction revenue for the financial year ended July 31, 2023 (FY2023).

“Assuming a profit before tax margin of 9%, these projects are expected to contribute a net profit of RM116 million throughout the construction periods,” TA Securities added.

Last Friday, Gamuda announced that it had secured two separate contracts for the construction of a hyperscale DC in Elmina Business Park, with the first contract worth RM815 million awarded by Sime Darby Property Bhd (KL:SIMEPROP) for the construction, completion, testing, and commissioning of the DC.

The second contract, valued at RM928.6 million, is from Pearl Computing Malaysia and involves the fit-out, testing, and commissioning of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing works for the same DC in Elmina Business Park.

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