Why the Computershare Limited share price is at a 52-week low

Credit: Alon

Computershare Limited (ASX: CPU) is a vertically integrated provider of share registry administration services, boasting a coveted list of Australian clients including the likes of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP), National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) and Woolworths Limited (ASX: WOW) (to name a few).

The group provides a global footprint of share administration solutions for listed companies, directly competing against Link Administration Holdings Limited (ASX: LNK) – owner of Link Market Services.

On Monday, Computershare’s share price hit a new 52-week low, posing the question of whether it’s time to buy shares in Australia’s largest share registry provider.

New lows

Computershare’s share price has trended lower following the historic UK referendum decision to leave the EU on June 24.

In my opinion, the market appears to be pricing in earnings attrition in Computershare’s ongoing business, arguably  in light of its recent acquisition of UK Asset Resolution’s (UKAR) mortgage servicing business.

UKAR Acquisition

As announced on 4 May 2016, Computershare was officially appointed manager of UKAR’s mortgage servicing activities for a period of seven years.

Under the terms of the long-term contract, Computershare will assist the UK Government exclusively to manage a portfolio of mortgages, receiving guaranteed fixed fees in the first four years in addition to a performance based fee structure.

Overall, the acquisition is expected to be modestly accretive to earnings per share (EPS) and result in total projected revenues of circa GBP600 million over the contract terms.

Brexit uncertainty

Despite the forecast boost to earnings, the slump in the Pound (versus the Australian dollar) post-Brexit means translated earnings are likely to be lower when the company reports results, offsetting most of the EPS accretion coming from the acquisition (on a translated basis).

Additionally, any Brexit-induced hit to consumer and business confidence could lead to higher mortgage defaults (if UK unemployment rises), meaning earnings could struggle following the fixed fee portion of the contract. This is especially concerning given the final three years’ fees are contingent on outstanding portfolio balances (and management performance).

Accordingly, uncertainty surrounding Brexit appears to be driving Computershare’s share price lower.

Foolish takeaway

Given the Brexit hangover risks associated with its new UK venture, I believe it’s still too early to understand the full impacts Brexit will have on Computershare’s earnings. Therefore, you shouldn’t buy its shares just because they trade at 52-week lows today, in my opinion.

Instead, investors should wait before purchasing to evaluate earnings growth in its current business (including the UKAR acquisition) to see if Computershare’s strategy can withstand the test of time.

As such, I will keep Computershare on my watch list for now and focus on this top dividend share instead. A strong yield and potential share price gains make this a great investment idea in my opinion.

Our Top Dividend Stock for 2016

Our resident dividend expert names his Top Dividend Share for 2016. Not only are the shares dirt cheap, the company is trading on a fat fully franked dividend yield. Simply click here to gain access to this comprehensive FREE investment report, including the name of this fast growing ASX dividend share. No credit card required!

Motley Fool contributor Rachit Dudhwala has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

Two New Stock Picks Every Month!

Not to alarm you, but you’re about to miss a very important event! Chief Investment Advisor Scott Phillips and his team at Motley Fool Share Advisor are about to reveal their latest official stock recommendation. The premium “buy alert” will be unveiled to members and you can be among the first to act on the tip.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by – this is your chance to get in early!

Simply enter your email now to find out how you can get instant access.

By clicking this button, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. We will use your email address only to keep you informed about updates to our website and about other products and services we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from Take Stock at anytime. Please refer to our Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information.