Tuesday, September 22, 2020

BH Q2 slump rings alarm bells for hospital stocks

Aug 07. 2020
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By The Nation

The price of hospital shares dropped sharply due to uncertainty among investors over weak second-quarter performance after Bumrungrad Hospital's profit dropped by 93.9 per cent to Bt44.42 million from the same period of the previous year at Bt724 million.

Hospitals' share price on Thursday (August 6) fell by 50.30 points, or 1.07 per cent, to 4,635.04 points. The price of Praram 9 Hospital (PR9)'s shares closed at Bt6.60 per share, down Bt0.15 or 2.22 per cent, Bangkok Dusit Medical Services (BDMS) closed at Bt21.20 per share, down Bt0.40 or 1.85 per cent, and Bumrungrad Hospital (BH) closed at Bt109 per share, down Bt1.50 or 1.36 per cent.

Suwat Wattanapornprom, director of Asia Plus Securities's research department, expected the profit of other hospitals to take as big a hit as BH, especially hospitals that get a lot of foreign patients because the number of these patients have dropped significantly due to the Covid-19 fallout that has resulted in countries' lockdowns and travel restrictions.

"We expect hospitals' second-quarter performance to be the worst this year because the Covid-19 situation in the country began to ease, while some countries began to lift lockdown measures," he said.

"However, hospitals that have a lot of foreign patients would recover slower than hospitals that have domestic patients because foreign patients still face a lot of difficulties."

He added that the securities company had cut BH's profit forecast for this year by approximately 30 per cent to Bt1.6 billion from the previous forecast of Bt2.3 billion because the hospital's second-quarter profit was worse than expected.

"We weighted investment in hospital shares same as the market," he added.

Meanwhile, Piyachat Ratanasuvan, senior director at Kasikorn Securities, said investors were concerned about weak hospital performance as BH's second-quarter profit was worse than expected.

"We expect hospitals' performance to recover by the third quarter of this year because the number of domestic and foreign patients is expected to increase," she said.

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