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Profit crash: Why Qube Holdings Ltd shares are falling today

Logistics giant Qube Holdings Ltd (ASX: QUB) has reported an 18% fall in underlying net profit to $86.5 million for the 12 months ending June 30 2016.

Despite the lower result which was largely due to tough trading conditions in the Ports and Bulk division due to the cessation or restructuring of four major contracts, in my opinion there are still a number of reasons for investors to remain positive on the stock’s outlook.

Here’s why…

Revenue and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) both fell by around 8% to $1.3 billion and $246 million respectively in FY 2016 but in light of the economic headwinds faced this was a commendable result.

Underlying earnings per share (pre amortisation) came in at 8.2 cents per share (cps) and the full year dividend amounted to 5.5 cps. With the shares trading at $2.65 this equates to a price-to-earnings ratio of 32 times and a yield of 2.1%.

While that might not scream value, FY 2016 was in many ways a transformational year for Qube with a number of strategic initiatives undertaken that position the company on a solid footing going into FY 2017.

Firstly, in conjunction with Brookfield, Qube acquired the Patrick container terminal assets which were previously owned by Asciano Ltd (ASX: AIO). This is a strategically important portfolio of assets which should provide long term cash flows to Qube. Qube’s management has noted, “Patrick is the most efficient, lowest cost container terminal operator in the country as a result of its two automated terminals in Brisbane and Sydney.”

Secondly, during the year Qube reached an agreement to acquire a 33% shareholding in the Moorebank land and related project in Sydney from Aurizon Holdings Ltd (ASX: AZJ). This will see Qube move to 100% ownership of another strategically important asset.

Foolish takeaway

With strong structural tailwinds for container volumes, Qube offers investors exposure to an attractive suite of logistics assets. These assets are hard to replicate, deserve a premium price and should offer defensive earnings streams to long-term shareholders.

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Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur 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.

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