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Results: Lynas share price on watch as profit surges 50% higher

The Lynas Corporation Ltd (ASX: LYC) share price is one to watch this morning after the Aussie rare earths miner reported a 50% surge in net profit.

What did Lynas report this morning?

For the full-year ended 30 June 2019 (FY19), Lynas reported a net profit after tax up 50% on the prior corresponding period (pcp) to $80.0 million in the second consecutive year of profitability for the group.

Even more impressive was that the Aussie miner saw earnings before interest and tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), EBIT and revenue all fall lower on FY18 numbers.

Lynas’ EBITDA came in at $100.7 million (FY18: $121.9 million) despite record production levels recorded throughout the year.

Total rare earth oxide (REO) production of 19,737 tonnes was delivered during the year, alongside record Neodymium and Praseodymium (NdPr) production of 5,898 tonnes.

Cash flow from operations (CFO) was another figure to fall lower, down 12.2% on pcp to $104.1 million, as sales growth was offset by lower average realised prices during the year.

What about the Malaysia situation?

Lynas did provide an update on its ongoing difficulties with the Malaysian government, reaffirming its pleasure that, as per its 16 August announcement, the government has agreed to renew its Lynas Malaysia plant operating licence.

However, Lynas Malaysia is yet to receive approval for the uplift in its lanthanide concentrate processing limit for calendar year 2019 (CY19), and production is expected to be weaker for the 6 months to year-end as a result.

Lynas said it expects that total NdPr production for CY19 should be similar to CY18 if approval is not received within the company’s expected timeline.

What’s the outlook for FY20?

While management did not provide specific guidance figures for FY20, Lynas said its NEXT project has been successfully completed as it progresses towards its “Lynas 2025” growth plans.

The company said demand continues to grow in markets outside China and it believes the vast majority of rare earths produced through to calendar year-end will be sold to customers outside China.

What about the Wesfarmers takeover bid?

Lynas didn’t mention the now-scuppered takeover bid in its latest results, with Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) having turned its back on its original $1.5 billion takeover offer for the Aussie miner.

Back in April, Wesfarmers launched a $2.25 per share bid for the largest producer of rare earth minerals outside of China, one which was quickly rejected by the Lynas board.

However, just last week, Wesfarmers said it would not be pursuing the proposed acquisition despite Lynas being granted the crucial Malaysian operating licence in mid-August.

Prior to market open, the Lynas share price was trading at $2.32 per share having surged 50.6% higher so far this year.

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Motley Fool contributor Kenneth Hall has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Wesfarmers Limited. 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 Scott Phillips.

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