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Broker tips: DS Smith, Man Group

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Friday 19 Apr 2024

Broker tips: DS Smith, Man Group

(Sharecast News) - Numis downgraded its stance on packaging group DS Smith on Friday to 'hold' from 'buy' as it said there was insufficient upside to retain a buy rating.
It noted the shares have rallied by around 30% year-to-date and now trade on FY25 EV/ EBITDA and price-to-earning multiples of 6.8x and 11.3x, respectively, which are close to the stock's medium-term averages.

"The competitive tension indicated by two competing bidders for DS Smith raises the prospect of a materially higher valuation of the stock in the near-term," Numis said.

"While we cannot rule out a competitive bid situation emerging, we think prospects may be limited by Mondi's historic lack of appetite for large scale M&A and modest valuations paid for previous acquisitions."

Numis said it expects the shares to trade closer to the value implied by International Paper's proposal and revised its price target up to 415p from 385p.

Numis put out the research note before Mondi announced that it would not be making an offer for the rival packaging group, clearing the path for a takeover by International Paper.

Investment management firm Man Group reported an improvement in assets under manager in the first quarter, but net outflows during the period caught investors by surprise, causing shares to drop sharply.

The company said AUM totalled $175.7bn by 31 March, up from the $167.5bn reported at the end of the 2023 financial year.

The increase was a result of a $9.8bn positive swing in investment performance, slightly offset by $1.6bn in net outflows.

However, according to analysts at Jefferies, consensus forecasts were for positive net flows of $1.3bn.

In terms of product categories, notable increases in AUM were recorded for 'Japan equity', 'credit and convertibles' and 'global equity'.

"Occasional roadbumps are not unexpected at Man, but the fact that AUM - incl. Absolute Return, driven by strong performance and despite the outflows - is at record highs demonstrates the enduring and more consistent growth in mgmt. fee profitability," Jefferies said.

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