Share price of Cominetel Corporation Bhd plunged in early trade on Nov 29, falling 29.66% or 43 sen to RM1.02 on extended heavy selling pressure. It opened at RM1.45 unchanged. At 9.03am, it plunged to RM1.02. Within the first hour, there were 5.77 million shares done at prices ranging from RM1.02 to RM1.49. At 10am, it was trading at RM1.02, the lowest since May 10. There were 1.08 million sellers at RM1.02 but no buyers. Yesterday, the share price hit limit down. Falling 65 sen to RM1.45, wiping out six weeks worth of gains. The company was queried by Bursa Malaysia over the sharp fall in the share price.
The Edge reported this back in June 2007:
Telecommunication solutions provider Comintel Corp Bhd is focusing on securing value-added projects for its manufacturing services and communication and system integration divisions to help address its thin margins and loss-making position. "In a way, we are moving away from our traditional contracts to value-added projects, where margins are better but risks are higher," its managing director Lim Keng Hock tells The Edge.
One such project that the company hopes to secure is the nationwide implementation of the C4i system for the police force, which is worth some RM1.5 billion over five years. The C4i system, developed and patented by Comintel, involves the integration of all base operations for command and control purposes. It provides the police with improved command, control, communication computing and information capability to enhance the force's ability to respond quickly to emergencies.
The rollout of the system's pilot phase was commissioned in 2005 and it has become fully operational in the Klang Valley. According to Lim, the system has improved the force's response to emergencies. The missing link in the overall effectiveness of the system is the "999" number connectivity because Telekom Malaysia Bhd is reluctant to give it up to the police force, he adds. This is despite a government directive in 2005 to route all calls made to the police and ambulance and fire services to police headquarters at Bukit Aman or any other centre set up for the purpose, he says. At present, Telekom operators handle "999" emergency calls, of which about 90% are crank calls. With the C4i system, Lim says, crank calls will drop substantially and the police force will be able to respond and take action swiftly.
Last December, Comintel's subsidiary Comlenia Sdn Bhd was awarded a RM115 million turnkey contract by MiTV Corp Sdn Bhd for the rollout of a new broadcast network and infrastructure over three years. MiTV is migrating its broadcast technology network from the existing video codec standard to the MPEG4/H.264 advanced digital video codec standard.
Also, Comlenia, which provides system integration services, has recurring revenue of about RM20 million annually from the Royal Malaysian Navy for the maintenance and system upgrades of four Corvettes. In terms of manufacturing contracts, Comintel recently secured a three-year deal from Motorola Inc to design, develop and supply various categories of products to the latter. "The new contract with Motorola enables us to participate in the design on portable radio. Also, Comintel is able to command better pricing, with no more discounts given," Lim says. He adds that the company is also looking at value-added contracts in its manufacturing division. "We are developing our own products, such as dual-band phones. From now till 2010, people will be moving into IT phones. In the interim, there is a gap for migration. We plan for mass production of dual-band phones sometime in September. Already, British Telecom, Google and MSN are interested in our products." "We will either manufacture the phone under our own brand or we might brand it for our clients. The intellectual property for this phone belongs to the group," Lim says. He adds that Comintel plans to sell the dual-band phones, which support WiFi (wireless fidelity) and GSM bandwidths, at about US$399 (about RM1,363) each. "We are only commercialising in September, so we are looking to sell between 50,000 and 100,000 phones this year." Lim says based on research, demand for such phones is estimated at 50 million units worldwide next year. "We are going to be the first one to launch the phone. If we can capture 10% of the market, it will be good," he adds. Moving forward, Comintel executive director Loh Hock Chiang says the company is eyeing contracts worth RM500 million to RM1 billion related to IT and telecommunication solutions this year. These contracts, which will provide better margins to the company, will help turn around Comintel for the financial year ending Jan 31, 2008.
"This year, based on what we are looking at now, we should be profitable. We are looking at a 10 sen earnings per share target. We anticipate that the manufacturing division will grow but at the same time, our system integration will more than double. Margins from system integration projects can give the company better margins," Loh says.
In FY2007, Comintel went into the red with a net loss of RM3.03 million from a net profit of RM1.43 million last year. This is despite a higher revenue of RM324.3 million against RM297.9 million in the previous year. "Revenue for FY2007, mainly from the manufacturing division, has gone up while margins are thin. Furthermore, with the appreciation of the ringgit, we convert less from our billings, which is denominated in US dollars," Loh explains.
He adds that losses were incurred due to lower government spending as a result of the Eighth Malaysia Plan being in its tail end and huge investment in research and development.
K&N Kenanga has a research report dated October 1st 2007, which recommended a HOLD on the counter. The stock was 92 sen then. The report's recommendation: