Bots Crash AOT by 10% while Analysts See More Upside to Target Price

The share price of Airports of Thailand PCL (SET: AOT) crashed over 10% this week, from the opening price at THB 69 on Monday, to the closing price at THB 62.25 on yesterday (Thu 23 Nov). The price was at a 20-month low which is the same level during the covid. Given AOT should benefit from the increasing headcount in Thai tourism, many analysts viewed the stock should be traded at a higher price.


According to yesterday market statistics from Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) website, THB 4.6 billion or 40% of AOT total trading value was done by “bots” or trading programs, while the total trading value of AOT was THB 11.4 billion which accounting to 28.42% of SET total value traded. AOT market capitalization was wiped out by over THB 53.5 billion in just a single day. However, one could argue that these “bots” were just set to cut loss when the price fell, causing the spiral downward price.


Despite the fall, analysts saw the opportunity to buy AOT as they estimated the total number of Thailand visitors in the next year to be around 135 million headcounts. Refinitiv consensus from 18 broker firms, gave AOT’s average target price at THB 78.82, the near peak price in 2019 before Covid-19 pandemic.


Phillip Securities estimated Chinese tourists in Thailand might be cut by half to around 4 million, compared to 11 million before the pandemic, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). This is due to the Siam Paragon mass shooting incident and the lengthy passport process. However, Phillip’s analysts still recommend buying AOT with THB 77 as a target price, from AOT’s almost monopoly nature as a gateway of Thailand.


Meanwhile, Pi Securities was disappointed by AOT’s actual net profit that came out at THB 8.7 billion, which was even lower than its adjusted THB 8.8 billion from THB 9.2 billion earlier estimate. Pi’s analysts cited the slower recovery of Chinese tourists than expected and bonus handout during the September calendar year-end of AOT. Pi’s analysts still recommend buying AOT with THB 78 as a target price.


KGI Securities commented that the Chinese tourists number increased by only 2.2% MoM in October, despite the free-VISA policy from the Thai government. Even with additional help from Indian tourists, AOT is risking having a lower financials estimate next year. However, KGI’s analyst recommended buying AOT with a target price at THB 86 per share.