Singapore’s Nanofilm Tech Slumps, Wiping Out Over $460 Million From Billionaire Founder’s Net Worth – Forbes

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Nanofilm Technologies tumbled on Monday after posting underwhelming first-half results and the sudden resignation of chief operating officer Ricky Tan, wiping out more than $460 million from the net worth of company founder Shi Xu.

Shares of the maker of wear-resistant carbon coating used in products such as auto parts, optical lenses and smartphones sank 29% to close at S$4.25, the biggest decline since Nanofilm listed in October. Investors were disappointed after the company reported on Friday that its net profit slipped 3.1% to S$17.9 million ($13.2 million) from a year ago even as revenue increased 24% to S$96.6 million.

Since its market debut at an IPO price of S$2.59, Nanofilm shares more than doubled—touching a record high of S$6.53 on July 26—and then retreating. The rally boosted Shi’s net worth, catapulting him to the just published Singapore’s Rich List with a net worth of $1.8 billion.

Following the disappointing first-half results, John Cheong, head of small and mid cap equities research at UOB-Kay Hian in Singapore, told Forbes Asia he will cut his earnings estimates significantly and downgrade his buy recommendation on the stock.

While the sudden resignation of Tan—less than two months after the chief executive and executive director Lee Liang Huang resigned due to health reasons—is not a key concern, Cheong said: “The worry is the company may not be able to deliver. The valuation multiples are very high.”

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The company’s first-half net profit accounted for just 21% of the average full year 2021 net profit estimate of S$84.9 by eight analysts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The analysts’ average price target for Nanofilm is S$6.09, the data showed.

Nanofilm executive chairman Shi said on Friday the company is gearing up for future growth with the commissioning of a new manufacturing  facility in Shanghai and new projects in the pipeline. “We are building our business pipeline with strategic projects in existing and new markets that aim to take shape beyond 2021,” Shi said in a statement.

Shi started the company while working as an associate professor at Nanyang Technological University’s School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, which provided seed funding; it was spun off from the Singapore university in 1999. He and his wife Jin Xiao Qun, an assistant vice president at the company, moved to Singapore from China in 1991.