Ausnet (ASX:AST) share price slides following full-year results

The Ausnet Services Ltd (ASX: AST) share price is treading lower following the release of the company’s full-year results. We take a closer look.

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The Ausnet Services Ltd (ASX: AST) share price is in negative territory following the release of the company’s full-year results.

During late-afternoon trade, the energy provider’s share price is fetching for $1.81, down 3.62%.

How did Ausnet perform for FY21?

Investors are sending Ausnet shares lower after digesting the company’s mixed performance over the past 12 months.

For the financial year ending 31 March 2021, Ausnet reported revenue of $1,924.5 million, down 2.7% on FY20’s result. Although marginally lower, the company stated that this is a sound effort despite navigating through a challenging external environment.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) also declined to $1,154.6 million, dropping 3.5% on the prior comparable period. Ausnet said geospatial impairment ($31 million) and its prior year gifted asset adjustment ($19 million) affected EBITDA.

Net profit after tax (NPAT) came to $302.1 million, an increase of 3.9% over this time last year. However, the company’s bottom line received a $25 million hedge accounting gain and a tax credit of $13 million. This brought the NPAT metric into a positive variance when compared against the prior corresponding period.

Cash flows from operations advanced over the period to $844.5 million, reflecting a 17.2% lift. This is due to strong receivable collections of the prior year of $42 million, including a $20.1 million improvement in tax paid.

Ausnet declared a 40% franked dividend of 4.75 cents per share to be paid to eligible shareholders on 24 June.

Management commentary

Ausnet managing director, Tony Narvaez touched on the company’s performance, saying:

Our response to the significant challenges during the year has demonstrated our resilience. We continue to adapt our organisation and strategy, to deliver value to all our stakeholders, as we play our role in supporting the energy transition. We remain focused on positioning our business to succeed in an environment of government policy change and intervention, extreme weather events and technological change.

Our transformation program will help us adapt to the changing energy landscape and deliver improvements across our key strategic priorities.

Outlook for FY22

Looking ahead, Ausnet noted that it remains focused on enhancing its key strategic priorities and accelerating growth. It provided the following guidance for the new financial year:

  • FY22 dividend guidance of 9.5 cents per share
  • FY22 franking outcome to be determined when FY22 tax profile is confirmed
  • Targeting $13.5 billion asset base by FY26, ($11 billion regulated asset base, $2.5 billion contracted infrastructure assets)
  • Forecast net debt to regulated and contracted asset base of less than 70% by FY26

Ausnet share price snapshot

Over the last 12 months, Ausnet shares have fallen close to 10%, with year-to-date performance sitting around 3% higher.

Based on today’s prices, Ausnet presides a market capitalisation of roughly $6.9 billion, with approximately 3.8 billion shares outstanding.

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