Grab and Sea Q1 Earnings Preview

In this article we examine the key things that investors should look out for from Grab and Sea, as part of their upcoming Q1 earnings results.

With a combined market capitalisation of over US$60 billion – Sea and Grab are arguably two of South East Asia’s most important and most watched technology companies. 

While it has been a volatile period for technology stocks across the board over the last 18-months, analysts remain bullish on Sea and Grab as we head into their upcoming earnings reports.

When will Sea and Grab Report Earnings?

Sea (NYSE:SE) is set to report its first quarter (Q1) earnings on 16 May, at 7:30 PM Singapore / Hong Kong Time.

Grab (NYSE:GRAB), by comparison, is set to report its first quarter (Q1) earnings on 18 May, at 8:00 PM Singapore / Hong Kong Time.

Sea Q1 Earnings Preview: What to Watch For

Across the board, analysts expect Sea to report total Q1 revenue of US$3.1 billion, which would mark a slight deceleration on the company’s prior quarterly revenue of US$3.5 billion. 

That expected revenue slow down comes as Sea’s all-important Digital Entertainment segment (Garena), comes under pressure. Digital Entertainment revenue was down 32.9% year-on-year to US$948 million in the last quarter, and some analysts, such as Jonathan Woo from Phillip Securities, expects a further deceleration in growth going forward. 

After a decade dominated by a growth at all costs mentality, investors are increasingly prioritising efficiency, profitability, and sustainable growth. This view was recently highlighted by Sea’s CEO – Forrest Li – who last quarter told investors:

‘As we continue this transition and maintain our focus on sustainable growth, our approach is to do less but do it better as we serve our users across our digital ecosystem.’

Sea’s prior quarter was also its first profitable one, with the technology giant reporting earnings per share of US$0.76.

Analysts expect Sea to build on that earnings momentum in the coming first quarter. The analyst consensus is for Sea to report Q1 earnings per share of US$0.68.

Sea Share Price Outlook

More broadly, Sea has a Buy rating on average and an average estimated price target of US$98.72 – implying potential upside of ~13% from where the stock traded on 12 May.

Grab Q1 Earnings Preview: What to Watch For

Like Sea, Grab’s management has taken decisive steps to improve the profitability of the business, while simultaneously emphasising a focus on maintaining its competitive advantage in categories like Mobility and Food Delivery. 

Echoing the view of Sea’s leadership, in the last quarter Grab’s CEO – Anthony Tan – stressed that going forward, ‘we will remain laser-focused on driving sustainable growth, and improving the efficiency of our ecosystem.’

Following a blockbuster fourth quarter of growth, analysts expect Grab’s growth to cool in the coming period, with the average analyst Q1 revenue forecast standing at US$492.7 million. 

On the bottom line, analysts expect Grab to remain loss making in the first quarter, with the analyst consensus for the company to report a Q1 loss of US$0.06 per share. 

As a key positive, with Grab recently bringing forward its EBITDA breakeven guidance to Q4 of FY23, investors will likely be keen to see further improvements in the company’s earnings profile. 

In the prior quarter, Grab saw its group-level EBITDA improve 63%.

Like Sea, analysts are bullish on Grab: The stock has a Buy rating on average and an average price target estimate of US$4.21 – implying potential upside of ~31% from where the stock traded on 12 May.  

Grab Share Price Outlook

Analysts from Benchmark are particularly positive on Grab’s prospects going forward, in recent research note arguing that:   

‘We anticipate market consolidation as subscale players struggle to survive and ultimately exit. With a dominant market share in mobility (~70%) and food delivery (~50%), we view GRAB as a significant market consolidator in SEA.’

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