Rating Update: Stock Rating D-Negative (10/9/19)-Rogers Communications Inc (RCI).

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BUSINESS

Rogers Communications Inc. operates as a communications and media company in Canada. The company’s Wireless segment offers wireless telecommunications services to consumers and businesses under the Rogers, Fido, and chatr brands; and wireless devices, services, and applications. This segment distributes its products through independent dealer networks, company-owned retail stores, retail chains and convenience stores, e-commerce sites, call centers and outbound telemarketing, and other distribution channels. As of December 31, 2017, it had approximately 10.5 million subscribers. The company’s Cable segment provides high-speed broadband Internet access, digital television and online viewing, phone, and home Wi-Fi services to consumers, businesses, and enterprises; and monitoring, security, automation, energy efficiency, and smart control services.
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INVESTMENT RATING

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Reflecting future returns on capital that are forecasted to be above the cost of capital, RCI is expected to continue to be a major Value Builder.

Rogers Comm has a current Value Trend Rating of D (Negative).
This rating combines consistent signals from two proprietary PTR measures of a stock’s attractiveness. Rogers Comm has a neutral Appreciation Score of 44 and a slightly negative Power Rating of 35, with the Negative Value Trend Rating the result.

Rogers Comm’s stock is selling below targeted value. The current stock price of $47.92 compares to targeted value 12 months forward of $54.
This neutral appreciation potential results in an appreciation score of 44 (56% of the universe has greater appreciation potential.)
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Rogers Comm has a Power Rating of 35. (This slightly negative Power Rating indicates that RCI’s chances of enjoying favorable investment performance over the near to intermediate term are only average.)
Factors contributing to this slightly negative Power Rating include: is currently in an unfavorable positi; and recent price action has been neutral. An offsetting factor is earnings estimate behavior for RCI has been slightly favorable recently.

INVESTMENT PROFILE

RCI’s financial strength is average. Financial strength rating is 60.
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Relative to the S&P 500 Composite, Rogers Communications Inc has both Growth and Value characteristics; its appeal is likely to be to investors neutral towards Income; the perception is that RCI is normal risk. Relative weaknesses include: low financial strength, high financial leverage, and low expected growth. RCI’s valuation is moderate: high dividend yield, moderate P/E ratio, and moderate price/book ratio. RCI has normal market capitalization.

CURRENT SIGNALS

Rogers Comm’s current operations are eroding. Return on equity is falling, reflecting: and falling asset utilization.

Rogers Comm’s current technical position is mixed. The stock price is in a 11.2 month up move. The stock has appreciated 27.6% from its prior low. The 200 day moving average is in a downtrend. The stock price is above its 200 day moving average.

ALERTS

Rogers Communications Inc (NYSE: RCI) suffers from minimal negative changes in fundamentals: significant quarterly sales deceleration occurred.
The stock is currently rated D.
On 10/9/19, Rogers Communications Inc (NYSE: RCI) stock suffered a major decline of -18.6%, closing at $0.01. Moreover, this decline was accompanied by unusually high trading volume at 176% of normal. The stock has performed in line with the market over the last nine months and has declined -2.3% during the last week.

CASH FLOW

In 2018, Rogers Comm generated a very significant increase in cash of +$297 million (). Sources of cash were much larger than uses. Cash generated from 2018 EBITDA totalled +$4,374 million. Non-operating uses consumed -$155 million (-4% of EBITDA). Cash taxes consumed -$183 million (-4% of EBITDA). Re-investment in the business amounted to -$1,949 million (-45% of EBITDA). On a net basis, debt investors withdrew -$1,210 million (-28% of EBITDA) while equity investors pulled out -$580 million (-13% of EBITDA).
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Rogers Comm’s Non-operating Income, %EBITDA has exhibited little to no overall change over the period. This stability was accompanied by stability for the Rogers Communications Inc Peer Group as well. In most years, Rogers Comm was in the second quartile and top quartile. Currently, Rogers Comm is above median at -4% of EBITDA (-$155 million).

Rogers Comm’s Cash Taxes, %EBITDA has exhibited little to no overall change over the period. This stability was accompanied by stability for the Rogers Communications Inc Peer Group as well. In most years, Rogers Comm was in the top quartile and second quartile. Currently, Rogers Comm is above median at -4% of EBITDA (-$183 million).

Rogers Comm’s Business Re-investment, %EBITDA has exhibited a volatile overall uptrend over the period. This improvement was accompanied by an opposite trend for the Rogers Communications Inc Peer Group. In most years, Rogers Comm was in the third quartile and lower quartile. Currently, Rogers Comm is below median at -45% of EBITDA (-$1,949 million).

Rogers Comm’s Debt Investors, %EBITDA has experienced a very strong overall downtrend over the period. This downtrend was accompanied by a similar trend for the Rogers Communications Inc Peer Group. In most years, Rogers Comm was in the second quartile and top quartile. Currently, Rogers Comm is below median at -28% of EBITDA (-$1,210 million).

Rogers Comm’s Equity Investors, %EBITDA has enjoyed a strong overall uptrend over the period. This improvement was accompanied by stability for the Rogers Communications Inc Peer Group. In most years, Rogers Comm was in the top quartile and second quartile. Currently, Rogers Comm is above median at -13% of EBITDA (-$580 million).

Rogers Comm’s Change in Cash, %EBITDA has exhibited little to no overall change over the period. This stability was accompanied by stability for the Rogers Communications Inc Peer Group as well. (Since 2014 Change in Cash, %EBITDA has experienced very sharp improvement.) In most years, Rogers Comm was in the second quartile and top quartile. Currently, Rogers Comm is at the upper quartile at +7% of EBITDA (+$297 million).
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Rogers Comm’s Cash, %Revenue has exhibited little to no overall change over the period. This stability was accompanied by stability for the Rogers Communications Inc Peer Group as well. In most years, Rogers Comm was in the lower quartile and top quartile. Currently, Rogers Comm is at the lower quartile at +3%.

PROFITABILITY

RCI’s return on equity has eroded very significantly since 2009 but it experienced a very sharp recovery after the 2016 low.
This very significant erosion was due to very strong negative trend in pretax operating return and very small negative trend in non-operating factors.
The productivity of RCI’s assets declined over the full period 2009-2019: asset turnover has suffered a very strong overall downtrend that decelerated after the 2015 level.
Reinforcing this trend, pretax margin has experienced a downtrend but it experienced a very sharp recovery after the 2016 low.
Non-operating factors (income taxes and financial leverage) had a very small negative influence on return on equity.
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RCI’s return on equity is at median (23.3%) for the four quarters ended June, 2019.
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Operating performance (pretax return on assets) is at the upper quartile (7.9%) reflecting asset turnover that is substantially below median (0.42X) and upper quartile pretax margin (18.8%).
Tax “keep” rate (income tax management) is at the lower quartile (73.7%) resulting in after tax return on assets that is at median.
Financial leverage (leverage) is at the upper quartile (4.03X).

GROWTH RATES

There are no significant differences between Rogers Communications’ longer term growth and growth in recent years.
Rogers Communications’ historical income statement growth has been lower than balance sheet growth. Revenue growth has fallen short of asset growth; earnings growth has fallen short of equity growth.

Annual revenue growth has been -0.1% per year.

Total asset growth has been 5.3% per year.

Annual E.P.S. growth has been -0.3% per year. (More recently it has been 37.2%.)

Equity growth has been 5.9% per year. (More recently it has been 19.6%.)

Rogers Communications’ consensus growth rate forecast (average of Wall Street analysts) is 5.0% — in line with the average of the historical growth measures.
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Relative to the Rogers Communications Inc Peer Group, Rogers Comm’s historical growth measures are generally third quartile. Equity growth (5.9%) has been substantially above median. Total asset growth (5.3%) has been slightly below median. Revenue growth (-0.1%) has been below median. E.P.S. growth (-0.3%) has been below median.

Consistent with this pattern, consensus growth forecast (5.0%) is also slightly below median.
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PRICE HISTORY

Over the full time period, Rogers Communications’ stock price performance has been significantly below market. Between December, 2008 and October, 2019, Rogers Communications’ stock price rose +59%; relative to the market, this was a -51% loss. Significant price moves during the period: 1) March, 2015 – February, 2019: +65%; and 2) March, 2009 – March, 2013: +124%.
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TOTAL INVESTMENT RETURNS

Current annual total return performance of -2.5% is below median relative to the S&P 500 Composite.
In addition to being below median relative to S&P 500 Composite, current annual total return performance through September, 2019 of -2.5% is below median relative to Rogers Communications Inc Peer Group.

Current 5-year total return performance of 9.1% is below median relative to the S&P 500 Composite.
Through September, 2019, with below median current 5-year total return of 9.1% relative to S&P 500 Composite, Rogers Comm’s total return performance is upper quartile relative to Rogers Communications Inc Peer Group.
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VALUATION BENCHMARKS

Relative to S&P 500 Composite, RCI’s overall valuation is low. The highest factor, the ratio of enterprise value/revenue, is slightly below median. Price/equity ratio is slightly below median. Ratio of enterprise value/assets is below median. Ratio of enterprise value/earnings before interest and taxes is near the lower quartile. The lowest factor, the price/earnings ratio, is at the lower quartile.
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Rogers Comm has a large value gap compared to median valuation. For RCI to fall to lower quartile valuation, its current ratio of enterprise value/revenue would have to decline from the current level of 2.99X to 2.77X. If RCI’s ratio of enterprise value/revenue were to decline to 2.77X, its stock price would be lower by $-6 to $42.
For RCI to achieve upper quartile valuation relative to the Rogers Communications Inc Peer Group, its current ratio of enterprise value/revenue would have to rise from the current level of 2.99X to 3.72X. If RCI’s ratio of enterprise value/revenue were to rise to 3.72X, its stock price would increase by $21 from the current level of $48.

VALUE TARGETS

Reflecting future returns on capital that are forecasted to be above the cost of capital, RCI is expected to continue to be a major Value Builder.
Rogers Communications’ current Price Target of $55 represents a +14% change from the current price of $47.92.
This neutral appreciation potential results in an appreciation score of 44 (56% of the universe has greater appreciation potential.)
Reinforcing this neutral Appreciation Score of 44, the moderately low Power Rating of 35 contributes to an Value Trend Rating of D.
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Rogers Communications’ current Price Target is $55 (+55% from the 2018 Target of $35 and +14% from the 10/09/19 price of $47.92). This dramatic rise in the Target is the result of a +2% increase in the equity base and a +52% increase in the price/equity multiple. The forecasted increase in growth has a very large positive impact on the price/equity multiple and the forecasted increase in return on equity has a large positive impact as well. Partially offsetting these Drivers, the forecasted increase in cost of equity has a slight negative impact.
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PTR’s return on equity forecast is 29.9% — above our recent forecasts. Forecasted return on equity suffered a dramatic, variable decline between 2010 and 2018. The current forecast is significantly below the 2011 peak of 44%.

PTR’s growth forecast is 4.0% — slightly above our recent forecasts. Forecasted growth suffered a dramatic, variable decline between 2010 and 2018. The current forecast is well below the 2012 peak of 11%.

PTR’s cost of equity forecast is 10.2% — in line with recent levels. Forecasted cost of equity enjoyed a dramatic, steady decline between 2010 and 2018. The current forecast is steady at the 2010 peak of 11.0%.
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At Rogers Communications’ current price of $47.92, investors are placing a positive value of $7 on its future investments. This view is consistent with the company’s most recent performance that reflected a growth rate of 0.0% per year, and a return on equity of 26.4% versus a cost of equity of 9.6%.
PTR’s 2020 Price Target of $55 is based on these forecasts and reflects an estimated value of existing assets of $38 and a value of future investments of $16.

About John Lafferty 49646 Articles
During his career, John has developed valuation and stock rating methodologies, managed institutional portfolios and mutual funds, and provided equity research to institutional investors on thousands of companies. He has been Director of Research at PTR since its inception in 2004.

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