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What’s the outlook for the A2 Milk (ASX:A2M) share price in 2022?

A2 Milk shares have struggled in 2021. What could happen in 2022?
The post What’s the outlook for the A2 Milk (ASX:A2M) share price in 2022? appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia. –

It has been a difficult year for the A2 Milk Company Ltd (ASX: A2M) share price. Could things turn around in 2022?

In 2021 to date, A2 Milk shares have dropped 53%.

But from here, is the outlook good for the business? Or could things turn even more sour?

Analyst opinions on the A2 Milk share price’s prospects in 2022

Brokers are mixed on the business.

Credit Suisse is neutral on A2 Milk, with a price target of $5.75. That implies a mid-single digit return over the next 12 months with A2 Milk starting to regain some pricing power.

Citi has a buy rating on the business, with a price target of $7.30. UBS is also a buy, with this broker expecting a good recovery in the next few years. UBS is noticing the recovery in the first quarter of infant formula with an English label.

The brokers at Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG) currently rate the business as a sell/underperform, with a price target of $5.20. That would be a mid-single digit decline over the next 12 months if the broker is right. Macquarie thinks that the profit margins don’t seem as though they will be strong in the next few years.

Recovering demand but lower margins?

In the fourth quarter of FY21, A2 Milk ‘recognised’ stock write-downs and deliberately slowed sales, together with other planned initiatives, to reduce inventory levels and rebalance English label infant formula pricing across channels. It also swapped older distributor inventory with more recent stock to improve on-shelf product freshness.

When A2 Milk gave its latest trading update, it noted that English label infant formula sales in the first quarter of FY22 were down on the first quarter of FY21, but were “significantly up” on the fourth quarter of FY21. That fourth quarter of FY21 was constrained to reduce channel inventory levels.

English label infant formula sales are expected to be down in the first half of FY22 on the prior corresponding period, but ahead of expectations.

Turning to A2 Milk’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) margin expectations, A2 Milk said that the target margin is probably in the “teens” in the medium-term due to “expected” market conditions, investment and innovation.

Management also said that the target margin was “possibly” in the low-to-mid-20s in the medium-to-long-term subject to a market recovery that was better than expected, English label channel growth and market share gains.

A2 Milk share price valuation

Looking ahead to 2023, the Macquarie analysts think that A2 Milk shares are valued at 30x FY23’s estimated earnings.

On Citi’s numbers, the A2 Milk share price is valued at 27x FY23’s estimated earnings.

The post What’s the outlook for the A2 Milk (ASX:A2M) share price in 2022? appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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More reading

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This broker thinks the A2 Milk (ASX:A2M) share price is heading to $7.70

Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended A2 Milk and Macquarie Group Limited. 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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