Health care sector stocks hit hard by Covid-19 shutdown measures


Stocks in the health industry as of April 28 have slid by 18.13 per cent compared to the same period last year and are down by 19.3 per cent from end of 2019, Yuanta Securities Ltd reported. 

“Bumrungrad Hospital [BH], the industry leader, reported Bt4.179 billion profit for the first quarter of 2020, a 11.7 per cent drop year on year, due to a 2.5 per cent decrease in Thai patients and a 16.4 per cent drop in foreign patients,” said the company. “The main reason for this is the Covid-19 outbreak that has led to the government shutting down international and inter-provincial borders and limiting travel.” 

Yuanta Securities estimated the first quarter turnover of seven companies in the health industry — BDMS, Bangkok Chain Hospital (BCH), Vibhavadi Medical Center (VIBHA), Praram 9 Hospital (PR9), Ekachai Medical Care (EKH), Ladprao General Hospital (LPH) and Thai Nakarin Hospital (TNH) — to average Bt2.615 billion, down 26 percent year-on-year due to the outbreak. 

“Hospitals that rely on revenue derived from social securities can still make profit as normal,” said the company. “Even though the number of customers paying in cash is declining, the increase in social security compensation rate at around 5.6 per cent will help make up for the lost revenue. 

However, the company warned that hospitals dependent on revenue from overseas clients would be hard hit. “We estimate BDMS to turn in Bt2.024 billion profit, down 31 percent, PR9 to report Bt69 million profit, down 20 percent, and EKH will have only Bt17 million profit, down 61 percent. 

“The situation in the second quarter could worsen due to lockdown measures that Thai government has used since early April and will persist until end of May,” said the company. “However, the situation in the second half of the year could improve as the number of confirmed cases in Thailand is declining at a steady rate.”