Excerpts from analyst's report

Phillip Securities Research analyst: Colin Tan

Company Background
Hi-P International is a vertically-integrated turnkey contract manufacturer, serving some of the biggest names in the mobile phones, household & personal care appliances, computing and peripherals, medical devices and industrial devices. Customer base include well-known brand names such as Apple, Motorola, Blackberry, Xiaomi, P&G, Colgate and Braun. The company has over a dozen manufacturing plants primarily in the People’s Republic of China, Poland, Singapore and Thailand and is expected to commence production at its new Nantong plant from end of 4Q14. 

Yota_pack12.14YotaPhone2 from Russia: Hi-P designed and manufactures this 5-inch dual-screen Android smartphone which is now hitting markets in various parts of the world. File photo.

Components and assembly for major smartphone brands
Hi-P has helped Apple to manufacture components and provides assembly for its iPhones and iPads. It is also one of the two suppliers for Xiaomi Mi4’s metal frame. The company also designs and manufacture the YotaPhone 2, a 5-inch dual-screen Android smartphone with sales launched in Russia, UK and the UAE and is expected to hit China and South-East Asian markets in the 1st quarter of 2015.
Catering to the “Metal” trend in smartphones
More smartphones are adopting metal frames and shifting away from plastic encasing. Hi-P has invested in metal technology, equipment and training to cater for rising demand for metal components in smartphones and capture the opportunities. 

Opportunities abound from IoT and consumer wearables
Emerging Internet of Things (IoT) trend may also offer potential growth opportunities for Hi- P’s wireless SBU, as the industry geared toward smart home initiatives. IDC forecasts the IoT market to grow at 7.9% CAGR from 2013 to 2020. Demand for consumer wearables may also add on to potential opportunities for the company. 

Investment Merits

APS_YaoYao Hsiao Tung (right), executive chairman & CEO of Hi-P.
NextInsight file photo.
» Strong sales of Xiaomi phones would lead to significant boost to revenue.
» New Nantong plant will improve cost structure and expand production capacity.
» New dual-screen YotaPhone 2 offers potential sales boom.
Risk Factors
» High FX volatility among USD, RMB and SGD may result in significant impact, given its high net transactional currency exposure. Business operates in highly competitive and volatile industries.
» Sales heavily reliant on key major customers. 

Investment Actions
We opine the stock is undervalued as it trades at 1.0x fwd P/B, below its peers. We recommend a BUY with a target price of S$0.88, based on a peer’s multiple of 1.2x forward P/B, implying over 20% upside potential from current share.

Recent story: Hi-P INTERNATIONAL: Set to reap rewards from YotaPhone2's success

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