Monday, March 25, 2013
In 2012, Samsung (SSNLF) and Apple (APPL-$463.58) remained the dominant OEMs in the smartphone market, with the two companies accounting for 29% and 20%, respectively, of global shipments, up from 20% and 19% in 2011, according to IHS iSupply.
Looking ahead, some analysts have expressed concerns that Samsung, the world’s largest maker of mobile phones, televisions and computer memory chips, could become too dependent on mobile sales. In 2012, handsets and tablets accounted for 66.9% of the $26.7 billion in operating profitability, up from 51.9% (of $14.39 billion) in 2011.
“The high-end smartphone market has largely become saturated, while the fast Chinese growth in the lower segment will make it difficult for anyone to see strong profit growth there,” noted Kim Hyung Sik, a Seoul-based analyst with Taurus Investment Securities.
Like Samsung, Apple is becoming increasingly dependent on its mobile segment to drive top-line sales. In the first fiscal quarter of 2013 (ended December 29, 2012), net sales of iPhones and iPads totaled $30.7 billion and $10.7 billion, respectively, and accounted for 56% and 20% of aggregate sales (up from 52% and 19% in the prior year).
Year-to-date, the share price of Duke Energy (DUK-$70.28) has outperformed the S&P 500 Index by 180 basis points, posting a total return of 8.31%. However, at current prices the stock looks fairly valued, based on PE ratio, trading at a premium to other large-cap, regulated utilities, such as The Southern Company (SO), American Electric Power (AEP), and Consolidated Edison (ED).
What, therefore, could trigger an earnings miss and pressure Duke Energy’s stock price and targeted dividend payout ratio?
The unrecovered investment on the Crystal River Unit 3 asset is approximately $1.64 billion, which is equal to 70% of prevailing and agreed-upon ROE (calculated on the prevailing cost of equity), according to terms of a settlement with the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC). In written correspondence, company spokesman David Scanzoni confirmed that the company cannot begin to recoup its embedded costs through future customer rate hikes until the billing cycle starting in January 2017 (with collection accreting over a 20 year span). Additionally, $20 million listed as an offset (liability) in removal costs could prove too conservative, as the approved SAFSTOR decommissioning strategy will take between 40 – 60 years to complete!
While the foregoing reflects current estimates with respect to the retirement of the Florida facility, there is significant risk and uncertainty, too, with respect to the cost and recoverability of replacement power.
Continue Reading at YCharts: The Myriad Risks Underlying Duke Energy's Dividend Yield