ARB Holdings – H1:16 Results – Great Results, Overlooked Share

Share Code: ARH – Market Cap: R1.2bn – PE: 10.0x – DY: 3.8%

Download: ARB Holdings H1:16 Results Note

H1:16 – Better Than Expected Results Despite Macro Pressure

  • ARB produced excellent H1:16 results with revenue rising 12% to R1.2bn (H1:15 – R1.1bn), comfortably beating our FY 16E full year expectation of 4% y/y, though the Gross Profit (GP) margin slimmed to 22.4% (H1:15 – 22.5%).
  • The Group’s Operating Profit followed revenue upwards by 11% as overheads were kept incrementally in line with revenues and resulting in HEPS growth of 12% to 27.8cps (H1:15 – 24.8cps).
  • While all segments saw growth in revenues and profits, the Lighting Segment (Eurolux) produced the majority of the growth as market share, customer and product gains all lifted its Profits before Interest and Tax (PBIT) grew by 27% y/y in another excellent period’s performance.
  • Cash generation remains exceptionally strong, the Group net ungeared and the underlying property portfolio’s valuation flat at R181m (FY 15: R181m).

Our Thoughts: Management Transition Complete

  • An experienced Financial Director being appointed to ARB’s Board implies that the Group’s management transition is now complete.
  • This period’s strong organic growth indicates the operational competency of the management team, but they are cognisant of their need to execute on the Group’s acquisitive intentions.

Forecast, Valuation & Implied Return: Overlooked by Market

  • We view ARB as worth c.520cps (previously: 613cps) on an implied Price Earnings (PE) of 9.8x (previously: 12.3x). The de-rating in our fair value has to do with the rise in South Africa’s risk-free rate impacting on our Discounted Free Cash Flow (DCF) valuation, rather than any major variables relating to ARB itself.
  • Rolling our fair value forward at our CoE we arrive at a 12m TP of 609cps (previous 12m TP: 712cps). A 12m TO of 609cps places the share on a comfortable Exit PE of 10.4x, implying a 12m return of c.15%.
  • Key risks to the Group are unchanged from our original Initiation of Coverage. In fact, the macro risks remain even more pertinent in the current environment.

Download: ARB Holdings H1:16 Results Note

See our disclaimer.

ARB Holdings – FY 15 Results – Results Indicative of Quality

FY 15 Results Note – Share Code: ARH – Market Cap: R1.4bn – PE: 12.0x – DY: 5.0%

Download the ARB Holdings FY 15 Results Note

FY 15: Tougher Trading Environment Than We Anticipated

  • Amidst a tough domestic economy and a management transition, ARB Holdings reported flat FY 15 results with a small decline in the Electrical Division being offset by growth in the Lighting and Corporates Divisions.
  • The Group reported revenue of R2.1bn (FY 14: R2.2bn), strong cash generation and flat HEPS of 50.0cps (FY 14: 50.3cps).
  • These results were driven by an unexpected drop in activity and spending by Eskom (particularly in their rural electrification programme) and infrastructure-related work in a slowing, troubled domestic economy.
  • The Group’s finances remain robust and management has declared a normal and a special dividend of 20.1cps (FY 14: 20.1cps) and 10cps (FY 14: 10cps) respectively, implying that the Group’s share is trading on a Dividend Yield (DY) of c.5.0%.

Our Thoughts: Quality Business, Tough Market, Acquisitive Intentions

  • Given the tough environment, we see ARB Holdings’ good FY 15 results as indicative of the Group’s underlying quality.
  • The macro-environment will be the biggest challenge for the Group’s short-term organic growth ambitions, but the long-term strategy of expanding the Group’s product lines, geographies and markets (both organically and acquisitively) should yield upside.
  • In the short- to medium-term, though, it is likely that any major growth will be driven by acquisitive actions taken by the Group. While this is hard to forecast (and we do not even try), management have reasserted their intentions to conclude strategic and meaningful acquisitions in due course.

Forecast, Valuation & Implied Return: Comfortably Priced

  • We revise our fair value to 613cps (previously 715cps) putting the share on a Price Earnings (PE) of 12.3x. This arrives at a 12m TP of 712cps (previously 836cps) on an Exit PE of 12.9x implying a 12m return of c.20% with acquisitive upside risk to these numbers
  • Key risks to the Group are unchanged from our original Initiation of Coverage. In fact, the macro risks remain even more pertinent in the current environment.

Download the ARB Holdings FY 15 Results Note

See our disclaimer.

Wescoal Holdings – H1:15 Results – Big Strides Forward

H1:15 Results Note – Share Code: WSL – Market Cap: R380m – PE: 12.4x – DY: 2.0%

Download Wescoal Holdings H1:15 Results Note

H1:15 Results: Strong Results

  • Wescoal reported its H1:15 results with Revenue rising 93% boosting Operational EBITDA (which excludes once-offs) to R84m (H1:14 – R49m) and HEPS grew by 33% to 15.2cps (H1:14 – 11.4cps).
  • The Group also concluded a financing agreement for its Elandspruit mine, acquired the Muhanga plant, added an extension to both Intibane and Khanyisa’s Life of Mine (LoM) and integrated MacPhail into its Coal Trading segment.

Our Thoughts: Big Strides Forward, Underrated Trading Business

  • The successful acquisition and integration of MacPhail into the Group’s Coal Trading segment now makes this enlarged business the largest coal trader in South Africa. We do not believe that this dominant position’s value is fully appreciated by the market and see significant (though hard to value) upside coming from this base.
  • The timing and ultimate profitability of Elandspruit, though, will still have a significant impact the Group’s future. We have assumed that its Water Use License (WUL) is issued during December 2014 and mining starts in the first month of FY 16E.

Forecast, Valuation and Implied Return: Under Appreciated

  • We raise our fair value by 5% to 254cps (previous: 240cps), as the various Group projects de-risk, the mine extensions add uplift and MacPhail synergies are increasingly realized.
  • The implied PE of 13.0x is not very illustrative, though, as Elandspruit is currently adding to our valuation, but not yet contributing to the Group’s profits.
  • Based off this fair value, we keep our 12m TP flat at 294cps (previous 12m TP: 301cps), implying a 51% return on an Exit PE of 10.0x, though with plenty of up- and downside risks attached.
  • Note the numerous key risks to our view hereon at the end of this report given the junior mining status of the stock.

Download Wescoal Holdings H1:15 Results Note

See our methodology here and note our disclaimer here.

ARB Holdings – FY 14 – Growth Despite the Odds

FY 14 Results Note – Share Code: ARH – Market Cap: R1.8bn – PE: 15.5x – DY: 3.8%

 

FY 14: In Line With Our Expectations

  • ARB Holdings reported their FY 14 results with revenue growing by 14% to R2,2bn (FY 13: R1,9bn) versus our forecasts of R2,3bn.
  • The Group achieved better margins than we had expected due to both a rising contribution from the higher margin Lighting segment and from the Group driving purchasing savings across its business in H2:14, which saw HEPS rising nicely by 27% to 50.3cps (FY 13: 39.6cps) versus our expectation of 52.1cps.
  • The Group remains highly cash generative and declared both a dividend of 20.1cps (FY 13: 16.2cps) and a special dividend of 10cps (FY 13: 10cps), yet remained ungeared (R197m net cash).
  • While cognisant of the tough trading environment, management remain focussed on both organic growth and, potentially, adding the elusive “third pillar” (acquisition) to the Group.

Our Thoughts: High Quality Group, High Quality Share

  • ARB has proven itself a remarkably high quality group in some very tough trading conditions as it successfully executes on its communicated strategies of expanding product lines, geographies and markets (both organically and acquisitively).
  • While our valuation metrics indicate the share is fully valued, the “quality” quotient is a hard one to quantify and likely to prove very valuable for the long-term investor.

Forecast, Valuation and Implied Return: Attractively Priced

  • Our fair value for ARH is 715cps on a PE of 14.2x (previously 622cps). Rolling this forward at our Cost of Equity (CoE), we arrive at a 12m TP of 836cps (previous 12m TP: 727cps) on an Exit PE of 14.7x implying a total return of c.7%.
  • The key risks stated in this report remain the same from our Initiation of Coverage on the Group. Also note the newly added risk relating to the phasing out of incandescent lamps in South Africa and the uncertainty it creates in the Lighting segment.

See our disclaimer.

Wescoal Holdings – FY 14 Results Note – Positives Dampened by Eskom

FY 14 Results Note – Share Code: WSL – Market Cap: R374m – PE: 12.9x – DY: 1.3%

Download the full Wescoal Holdings FY 14 Results Note

FY 14 Results: Once-off Costs Create Earnings Miss

  • Wescoal reported its FY 14 results with revenue rising 70% to R1.1bn (FY 13: R0.7bn), largely driven by the H2:14 inclusion of the MacPhail acquisition into the Group’s Coal Trading segment.
  • Excluding the once-off profits on the sale of mineral assets during the period, the Group recorded an “Operational” EBITDA growth of 124% and HEPS rising to 15.7cps (FY 13: 12.4cps),
  • While the Group’s revenue slightly surpassed our forecast of R1.0bn, restructuring and relocation costs in the Coal Trading segment (R6m), intangibles amortisation (R2m), higher than expected costs and a more aggressive rehabilitation programme at Khanyisa and a general dip in Eskom-related volumes of coal collectively saw the Group miss our target HEPS of 21.2cps.

Our Thoughts: Uncontrollable Eskom and Spot Price Variables

  • The Group has identified mine extensions for Khanyisa and Intibane while Elandspruit is progressing well towards an expected first production during January 2015.
  • MacPhail is integrating well into the Group’s Coal Trading segment and the enlarged business’s prospect look positive.
  • Two key variables that will determine the Group’s short-term prospects are (1) Eskom-related coal volumes, and (2) the Rand-price of inland coal. Both variables were soft during FY 14E and—while hard to forecast—indications point to upside here.

Forecast, Valuation and Implied Return: Relatively Flat Update

  • We lower our fair value by 5% to 240cps (previous: 253cps), as the time value of money has been offset by a lower spot coal price and slightly lower Eskom volumes.
  • The implied PE of 15.3x is not very illustrative, though, as both Elandspruit and MacPhail are currently adding to our SOTP, but not yet (fully) contributing to the Group’s profits.
  • Based off this fair value, we marginally raise our 12m TP by 4% to 301cps (previous 12m TP: 287cps), implying a 48% return on an Exit PE of 12.2x (which still would not include a full year’s steady-state contribution from Elandspruit).

Download the full Wescoal Holdings FY 14 Results Note

What do you think of ARB Holding? Let us know…

See our methodology here and note our disclaimer here.

ARB Holdings – Good Story in a Tough Market

Initiation of Coverage – Share Code: ARH – Market Cap: R1.4bn – PE: 12.7x – DY: 2.2%

Download the full ARB Holdings Initiation of Coverage Report Here

Business Overview: Market, Store and Product Expansion

  • ARB has built a scalable electrical products distribution and wholesaling business off the back of a core cable product supply with key growth drivers being the expansion in product lines, movement into new territories, markets and industries and selected strategic bolt-on acquisitions.
  • The Electrical Division is predominantly a wholesaler of cables, overhead lines and related electrical components in Southern Africa.
  • In mid-FY 12 ARB Holdings acquired a 60%-stake in Eurolux (Pty) Ltd, a fast growing importer and distributor of light fittings, lamps and ancillary electrical products.
  • The Group Services segment includes the strategic and operational activities as well as holding the underlying property portfolio of the Group with a book value of R163m.

Key Issues: Macro-economic Variables Worrying

  • With many frothy indicators, the construction, building and related market in South Africa has many short-term downside risks including the current labour environment, the rising interest rate cycle and the upcoming elections.
  • Despite this, South Africa’s infrastructure needs are significant as encapsulated in the National Development Plan (budgeted c.R827bn spend) and the building materials market stands to benefit handsomely from this (eventual) roll-out.

Forecast, Valuation and Implied Return: Attractively Priced

  • Our fair value for ARH is 622cps on a PE of 13.5x. Rolling this forward at our Cost of Equity (CoE), we arrive at a 12 month Target Price (TP) of 727cps on an Exit PE of 12.7x implying a return of 21% from the current levels.
  • The two key risks to our above valuation methodologies are (1) the major macro-economic variables in South Africa (noted above), and (2) the timing and successful implementation of ARB’s product, store and market expansion drive (including any potential future acquisitions).

Download the full ARB Holdings Initiation of Coverage Report Here

What do you think of ARB Holding? Let us know…

See our methodology here and note our disclaimer here.

Accentuate – H1:14 Results – Tough Trading Period

H1:14 Results Note – Share Code: ACE – Market Cap: R73m – PE: 11.3x – DY: 0.0%

H1:14 Results: Tough Trading Period, Hampered by Weak Rand & December

  • Accéntuate reported disappointing H1:14 results that saw sales rise 7% to R157m (H1:13 – R146m), but margins compress and Operating Expenses rise by c.13%. The rise in opex was partly due to Suntups duplicate leasing costs (eventually this business will moved into existing Group premises) and distribution costs being passed onto the Group by the higher diesel price.
  • This culminated in profit attributable to shareholders falling c.49%, HEPS being reported below our expectations at 2.81cps (H1:14 – 6.01cps).
  • Two small acquisitions were made during the period, being Suntups (wooden flooring) and Degrachem (metal treatment chemicals).

Our Thoughts: Promising Start to H2:14E

  • Floorworx saw a particularly tough December 2013 that appears to have reversed during January 2014, but the volatile Rand has affected most its businesses units negatively in the short-term.
  • In the long-term, though, the weak Rand creates a massive competitive advantage for the Group’s East London manufacturing asset (key in Floorworx) that positions the business well for the (very) slow recovery in some key indicators in the local construction and infrastructure market continues.
  • The South African elections (coming early May) create some short-term downside risk, as we believe that public sector spend is likely to be interrupted before, during and after this period.

Forecast, Valuation and Implied Return: Underpinned by Tangible NAV of c.90cps

  • We lower our fair value to 86cps (previously: 122cps), which is underpinned by ACE’s current TNAV of c.90cps and arrive at a 12m TP of 100cps (previously: 142cps), on an Exit PE of 11.0 (which is arguably inflated due to the trough earnings the Group is trading through currently as well as the fact that Ion Exchange Safic adds to our DCF SOTP but doesn’t add to the Group’s profits at this point).
  • Our 12m TP of 100cps (previously: 142) implies an attractive 73% return, but note the risks to our view later in this report.

See our disclaimer.

Wescoal Holdings – H1:14 Results – A Precursor of Prospects

H1:14 Results Note – Share Code: WSL – Market Cap: R374m – PE: 12.0x – DY: 1.3%

H1:14 Results: Intibane & Higher Coal Price Lift Results

  • Revenue rose 33% to R466m (H1:13 – R351m), driven mostly by Intibane’s three month contribution and a slightly higher average coal price. Operating leverage lifted EBITDA by 75% and HEPS grew 65% to 11.4cps (H1:13 – 6.9cps).
  • The Coal Trading segment saw lower volumes squeezing margin and really had quite a dismal trading period. The conclusion of the MacPhail acquisition (still contingent on Competition Commission approval) will likely add significantly to this segment in H2:14E and, especially, FY 15E.
  • Despite investing c.R51m during the period, the Group was highly cash generative and management sees the potential for further mid-tier coal asset acquisitions as majors continue to dispose of non-core assets from their portfolios.

Our Thoughts: MacPhail Exciting, but Awaiting CompCom Approval

  • The only outstanding condition for the MacPhail acquisition is the Competition Commission (CompCom) approval.
  • We have adjusted our forecasts to reflect our anticipated effective date for MacPhail (13 November 2013), assuming the CompCom approves of the deal, and have inserted c.R2m worth of restructuring costs into H2:14 while modelling annual savings of c.R9m being realized from FY 15E onwards.
  • Downside event risk is if the CompCom does not approve of the merger of Chandler and MacPhail. In this event, our 12m TP would drop by at least c.14cps or c.5%.

Forecast, Valuation and Implied Return: 12m TP Raised 17%

  • We lift our fair value by 19% to 253cps (previous: 213cps), implying a PE of 15.1x. This PE is not very illustrative, as both Elandspruit and MacPhail are not yet adding to profits.
  • We raise our 12m TP by 17% to 287cps (previous 12m TP: 246cps), implying a 43% return on an Exit PE of 6.4x.
  • As Wescoal is a junior miner, we draw your attention to the risks we identify in the body of this report.

Five Things to Look for in a Turnaround

Turnarounds are risky, but if they work that can often create staggering investment returns as a deeply discounted share rebounds to fair value and, perhaps even, moves into a higher rating as a growth stock as the rest of the market grows in confidence.

But how do you know if a turnaround is going to work?

The short answer is that you don’t know. But, try focusing on the following aspects when analyzing a business for the potential of turnaround prospects:

1.) Solvency: The less debt you have, the more time for the turnaround you get

Debt is a time sensitive funding structure as interest is incurred over time and, particularly in structured debt, have set covenants, repayment schedules and/or redemption details and dates. This include net overdraft positions and even off balance sheet funding (via operating leases and other more “creative” structures).

In other words, the more debt a turnaround business has, the less time it often has to “get things right”. It may be half way to turning the business around when the debt suddenly falls due or the lender calls in its breach of debt covenants, and then–very quickly–the business can hit the wall.

Hence, the less debt a turnaround has, the more time it has to get things right. And the more time a turnaround has, the greater the odds that it will eventually come right.

2.) Liquidity: More cash coming in than going out keeps you in business

Even if a turnaround has no debt, if its operations year after year suck up cash and it never generates any free cash flows, eventually its resources will exhausted and it will need to borrow.

On the hand, the stronger the operating cash flows in a business, the more the business can use these cash resources to shore up other aspects of the business, service debt, payout retrenchments, and so on, in the steady progress towards sustainable profitability.

We would go so far as to say, no matter what IFRS profits are reported, if a company year in and year out produces large operating cash inflows, the business will continue to operate just fine. And, if a business can continue to operate, then it has more time to effect a turnaround and the odds increase that it will eventually come right.

3.) Profitability: Pricing power makes for easier turnarounds

Here is a published an article discussing the major difference between a business’s Gross Profit (GP) margin and its Operating Profit (OP) margin (Insight into Operating & Gross Margins).

In essence, a high GP margin implies a business that has a strong competitive advantage, particularly with regards to its pricing power in its good and/or service. OP margin is more a metric reflecting efficiency, returns to scale and/or “bloat” in a business’s operating structure.

We believe that it is always easier (i.e. improves the odds of successfully) turning around a business that has pricing power, rather than one that is a price taker.

4.) Turnaround plan: A bad plan is better than nothing, but a good plan is the best

Has the business even admitted that it is doing a turnaround? This may sound like a funny question to ask, but some business’s management are in such denial about what a bad business they are running that they cannot admit that they are trying a turnaround, and thus will likely fail. Avoid these.

Then next level is that, at least, management admits that it is performing a turnaround. That goes hand-in-hand with having a “Plan” for the turnaround.

Consider whether the Plan is a good one, though? Be particularly skeptical when it is the same management that originally ran the business into the ground that are suddenly offering this Plan as a solution… If they messed up once, the odds are increased that they will do so again in the future.

Does the Plan admit what went wrong? Does the Plan state what needs to be done to address what went wrong? Does the Plan cover all bases and does it sound reasonable to you?

Not all plans are good plans, but having a plan is better than nothing.

5.) Management: Are they committed and convinced?

This last point is actually tied into (4) above, as management are the ones who draft the Plan and have to execute the Plan.

Only with hindsight will we know if the execution of the Plan is actually good or not, as investing into a turnaround is investing before the Plan becomes reality. So, try to get a sense for whether management will execute the Plan well or not, but it will remain a guess at this stage.

Rather, consider if management are committed. Have they bought large amounts of their own stock? Are they large shareholders in their own turnaround? Have they underwritten their rights issues? Have they signed multi-year employment contracts?

If management has no skin in the game regarding the turnaround, the odds are that they are not convinced that it will succeed.

In conclusion, each turnaround really actually needs to be judged on a case by case basis. But, this list should at least give you a starting point from which to try gauge what the odds are for success. And, have no illusions, turnarounds are just like any other investment: they have odds that they will succeed, just as they have odds that they won’t.

Accéntuate Ltd: FY 13 Results – Tough H2, Prospects Remain Good

Initiation of Coverage – Share Code: ACE – Market Cap: R102m – PE: 10.9x – DY: 0.0%

FY 13 Results: Inland Market Tough in H2:13; Acquisitions Made

  • Accéntuate experienced a much tougher H2:13 than we had expected. FY 13 revenue flattened to R284m (FY 12: R283m), c.4% shy of our expected turnover mark.
  • This soft performance during H2:13 comes from Floorworx where particularly the inland market struggled. Safic and Ion Exchange Safic performed in line with our expectations as the former grows its market exposures and the latter continues to build traction in the local market.
  • The Group’s FY 13 EPS rose 17% to 8.4cps (FY 12: 7.2cps), but critically the HEPS from Continuing Operations slipped 11% to 8.4cps (FY 12: 9.5cps).
  • Some of this balance sheet was employed post-results to cleverly acquire two small complementary businesses, both paid out in script and to be incorporated from 1 September 2013 (i.e. ten of the twelve months of FY 14E).

Our Thoughts: “When”, Not So Much “If”…

  • Disappointing results and acquisitions aside, Accéntuate still remains well positioned to benefit from the pent-up public sector infrastructure spend. That said, the 2014 elections potentially create downside risk regarding the timing thereof.
  • In the meantime, management has been driving growth initiatives into other markets and product lines, and seeking strategic acquisitions.

Forecast, Valuation and Implied Return: Small Upgrade

  • We raise our fair value for Accéntuate to 122cps (previously: 114cps), which implies a PE of 14.6x. This compares reasonably attractively to two listed comparatives, Distribution and Warehousing Network Ltd (Share code: DAW – PE of 15.3x) and Afrimat Ltd (Share code: AFT – PE of 14.8x).
  • Rolling our fair value forward by the Cost of Equity (CoE), we arrive at a 12m TP of 142cps (previously: 132cps), implying an Exit PE of 13.8x and an attractive implied return of 54%.
  • The key risks we see in our valuation of Accéntuate remain macro.

* Note that the Group remains under cautionary announcement pending the release of pro-forma financial results relating to the Suntups acquisition. This results note does not take into account any material information following the resolution of this cautionary announcement.