BABB Vs PARF Conclusion Article

This article is the culminating piece that will talk about and compare BABB’s and PARF’s margins, weigh the pros and cons of each company, talk about each companies float, and decide which one, if either of the two companies I plan to buy into.  Originally I had planned to write articles on another two companies but was asked by a fellow value investor who recommended them to me to please not write an article on them since he was planning to.  Of course this is only right since he is the one who mentioned those two companies to me.  I still plan to research both of those companies to see if I would want to invest in either one of them and will let you know if I decide to buy into either of them when I make that decision.

Margin Comparison

BABB Margins PARF Margins
Gross Margin TTM 96.2 28
Gross Margin 5 Year Average 88.64 26.32
Gross Margin 10 Year Average 79.25 26.37
Op Margin TTM 17.9 9.9
Op Margin 5 Year Average -0.76 5.9
Op Margin 10 Year Average 6.75 4.24
ROE TTM 15.51% 8.31
ROE 5 Year Average -2.80% 5.064
ROIC TTM 14.51% 7.59
ROIC 5 Year Average -17.20% 9.278
My ROIC TTM With Goodwill Using Total Obligations 24.39% 11.09%
My ROIC TTM Without Goodwill Using Total Obligations 88.11% 11.29%
Earnings Yield EBIT/TEV 14.15% 19.91%
FCF/Sales TTM 15.02 -5.55
FCF/Sales 5 Year Average 13.296 3.116
FCF/Sales 10 Year Average 15.658 2.828
P/B Current 1.47 0.55
Insider Ownership Current N/A N/A
My EV/EBIT Current 6.58 4.95
My TEV/EBIT Current 7.07 5.02
Working Capital TTM 1 mil 15.62 mil
Working Capital 5 Yr Avg 1 mil 12.2 mil
Book Value Per Share Current 0.43 39.72
Book Value Per Share 5 Yr Avg 0.498 36.254
Total Executive Compensation as a % of Sales 26.17% 6.00%
Total Executive Compensation as a % of Gross Margin 26.17% 21.00%
Total Executive Compensation as a % of Market Cap 15.91% 16.00%
Total Executive Compensation as a % of Total Enterprise Value 19.65% 11.47%
Debt Comparisons:
Total Debt as a % of Balance Sheet TTM 3.05% 10.12%
Total Debt as a % of Balance Sheet 5 year Average 4.88% 2.64%
Current Assets to Current Liabilities 2.17 4.25
Total Debt to Equity 4.84% 12.56%
Total Debt to Total Assets 3.74% 11.70%
Total Obligations and Debt/EBIT 30.36% 98.78%
Costs Of Goods Sold As A % Of Balance Sheet TTM 0 71.98%
Costs Of Goods Sold As A % Of Balance Sheet 5 Year Avg 10.60% 73.54%

Keep in mind while looking at these margins that PARF is an extremely seasonal business so it margins will probably look different in a month when the company reports its full year results, and probably for the better, at least marginally.

Margin Thoughts

  • BABB’s gross margins are phenomenal which should be expected from a company whose only business right now is to sit and collect royalty and franchise fees.
  • BABB has superior operating margins, ROE, and ROIC in comparison to PARF.  Again, this should be expected with its business model in comparison to PARFs.
  • PARFs earnings yield, in this case EBIT/TEV, is superior to BABBs by about 25%.
  • Since this is a new metric I am using I went back and calculated this for the two most recent companies I have bought stock in, STRT and BOBS, and here is how the earnings yields compare: 1) STRT-20.79% 2) PARF-19.91% 3) BOBS-14.80%, 4) BABB-14.15%.
  • As I talked about in both of the previous articles both companies ROIC could be higher if executive pay and overall payroll were not at the excessive levels that they are at currently.
  • Earnings yields is a rough estimate of the kind of return you may be able to expect in the future by buying the company at its current price and is compared to the current 10 year treasury yield.  I have seen prominent value investors say they like to buy companies with earnings yields at least 3X to 4X higher than the 10 year yield.  Current 10 year treasury yield is 2% currently so all of these companies surpass the 3X to 4X benchmark with Strattec leading the way.
  • BABB’s FCF/Sales is exceptional and PARF’s is currently negative but that should change once the full year results are announced.
  • PARF’s P/B ratio is incredibly low as the company is selling for only half of its current book value and this value is likely a bit undervalued which would mean PARF is currently selling at even a lower true P/B.
  • PARF’s current estimated book value per share is around $40 per share and the company is selling at $22 a share currently.
  • Both companies are selling for EV/EBIT and TEV/EBIT ratios fewer than 8 which is again what I want them to be under.
  • Both companies executive pay is excessive in my eyes especially BABBs.  Remember also about BABBs is that its entire payroll structure is inflated and the above calculations are not including overall payroll.  Including overall payroll for BABB and its payroll and executive pay take up more than 50% of the company’s gross margin; absolutely insane in my opinion.
  • Both companies have minimal debt and have stellar balance sheets.
  • PARF’s total obligations and debt/EBIT is too high in my opinion but again this should be at least somewhat corrected when the full year numbers are released.
  • COGS for BABB is completely irrelevant now that they do not directly operate any of its restaurants.
  • PARFs COGS has been coming down over recent years which have been why margins rose in recent years.

Float Analysis Comparison

BABB Analysis

Financial assets: Cash and cash equivalents=1,256+prepaid expenses of 66+ deferred income taxes 248=1,570.

Operating assets: Accounts receivable of 86+inventories of 27+other current assets of 393+net property, plant, and equipment of 11+goodwill of 1,494+intangible assets of 505+other long term assets of 4=2,520.

  • Total assets=4,090

Liabilities:

  • Equity=3,158
  • Debt=125
  • Float=accounts payable of 14+deferred revenues of 71+other current liabilities of 722=807

Total liabilities=923

Float/operating assets=807/2,520=32.02%.  Float is supporting 32.02% of operating assets.

Pretax profits/total assets=ROA

  • 434.15/4,090=10.62%

Pretax profits/(total assets-float)=ROA

  • 434.15/3,283=13.22%

PARF Analysis

For this analysis I used PARFs 2011 full year numbers because of the extreme seasonality of its business and to get an idea of what the company may look like when its 2012 full year numbers come out in March.

Financial assets: Cash and cash equivalents=7,469+deferred income taxes of 235+ prepaid expenses of 295=7,999.

Operating assets: Accounts receivable of 2,579+inventories of 6,197+net property, plant, and equipment of 4,184+goodwill of 413+intangible assets of 566+other long term assets of 223=14,162.

  • Total assets=22,161

Liabilities:

  • Equity=19,734
  • Debt=313
  • Float=accounts payable of 359+taxes payable of 371+ccrued liabilities of 1,218+deferred tax liabilities of 166=2,114

Total liabilities=2,427

Float/operating assets=2,114/14,162=14.93%.  Float is supporting 14.93% of operating assets.

Pretax profits/total assets=ROA

  • 1,929.29/22,161=8.71%

Pretax profits/(total assets-float)=ROA

  • 1,929.29/20,047=9.62%

Float Thoughts

  • BABBs float is supporting more of the company’s operations than PARFs is.
  • Other than the directly above, the companies have pretty similar ROAs and amount of float and neither one a distinct advantage in this area.

Conclusion

Combining the above with the information in the previous two articles I have come to some conclusions and about the companies.  BABB has the better business model that leads to generally higher margins and minimal work for the company.  PARF has dominated its market for years, still does and it has found a small niche that has led to great profitability over the years.  Both companies have excessive executive pay in my opinion that if lowered could help each company’s operations become more profitable.  Both companies look like potentially good investment candidates right now so how have I decided which is the better one to buy into at the current time with the companies being very even overall?

With these two companies being so even overall, even in terms of overall undervaluation, how did I come to a conclusion about which company was the better buy now?

  1. BABB has a lot of competition in its industry, has been having to close restaurants, and has been losing its miniscule market share to other companies.  Meanwhile PARF has only a few minor competitors and dominates its industry with an estimated 80% share of its market.  Another major positive is that it dominates a very niche industry which should keep competition out of its market further cementing its hold on market share.
  2. PARF owns land, building, and property that are conservatively estimated to be worth about $10.40 per share and partially protects the company’s downside. BABB has no such downside protection and if it continues to lose franchisees shareholders are completely out of luck and could stand to lose all of their investment in the company.

So having stated this you would assume that I would no doubt be buying into PARF at this time right?  Normally you would be right to assume so but I have recently had an epiphany about investing and how that relates to my overall health, which has been horrid for the past four month or so, and I have now realized that I have to make changes to what I am doing or I will end up feeling horrible forever.  I did buy PARF and a not yet disclosed company for a couple of accounts I manage but not for myself and I will explain why in the coming days.

My next post I will be talking about the epiphany I had, what I plan to change in the short term to hopefully fix my horrible health of the last several months, the business my brother and I have started, and the investing book I am writing.

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Paradise Inc, $PARF, Operates In A Consistently Profitable, Extremely Small Niche That It Has Dominated For Years

In Part 1 of this series I told you that I was starting a series of posts where I would be taking a look at a few nano caps, compare them to each other, and at the end decide which one, if any, would be the best buy right now.  The first article in this series was on BAB Systems Inc (BABB) which looked like a potentially good investment.  The second article in this series is going to be on Paradise Inc (PARF).

Introduction, History, Management Discussion, and Overview of Operations

Paradise began as a subsidiary of a different diversified corporation soon after World War 2, but very soon afterward candied fruit became the focus of its business.  Current ownership purchased the company in 1961 and the name Paradise Fruit Company was adopted in 1965.  It later changed its name to Paradise Inc after diversifying its operations a bit in the 90s.  Paradise Inc. is the leading producer of glace (candied) fruit which is a primary ingredient of fruit cakes sold to manufacturing bakers, institutional users and supermarkets for sale during the holiday seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Paradise, Inc. consists of two business segments, fruit and molded plastics.  As of the most recent quarter the glace fruit segment makes up about 61% of all company sales with the plastics segment making up the remaining 39% of sales.

Candied Fruit Segment Description-Production of candied fruit which is a basic fruitcake ingredient and is sold to manufacturing bakers, institutional users, and retailers for use in home baking. Also, based on market conditions, the processing of frozen strawberry products for sale to commercial and institutional users such as preservers, dairies drink manufacturers, etc.  When PARF does sell these frozen strawberry products it is generally not a big part of its operations.  While there is no industry-wide data available, management estimates that the Company sold approximately 80% of all candied fruits and peels consumed in the U.S. during 2011. The Company knows of two major competitors; however, it estimates that neither of these has as large a share of the market as PARF’s.

Being the dominant company in your industry for years on end, owning an estimated 80% market share of the industry, and being in a niche business that makes it likely that you will not see many, if any new competitors in its market is an absolutely exceptional thing to find in any business.  This combination of characteristics is something I have been looking for in a company since I have started investing seriously and had not found it in any single company until now.

The demand for fruit cake materials is highly seasonal, with over 85% of sales in the glace fruits taking place in the months of September, October, and November.  In order to meet delivery requirements during this relatively short period, PARF must acquire the fruit and process it into candied fruit and peels for an estimated 10 months before this time period just to meet demand. This means that PARF has a massive build up in inventory in the quarter before the holiday months every year, and depletes its cash hoard to pay for the inventory that is needed to make sales in the last quarter of its fiscal year.  These very seasonal circumstances in the fruitcake industry makes the full year results of the company, generally which come out in March of every year, the only financial report of its fiscal year that shows how truly profitable PARF has been for the preceding trailing twelve month period.

Molded Plastic Segment Description-PARF produces plastic containers for its products and other molded plastics for sale to unaffiliated customers.  The molded plastics industry is very large and diverse, and PARF’s management has no estimate of its total size. Many products produced by PARF are materials for its own use in the packaging of candied fruits for sale at the retail level. Outside sales represent approximately 85% of PARF’s total plastics production at cost, and, in terms of the overall market, are insignificant.  In the plastics molding segment of business, sales to unaffiliated customers continue to strengthen. This trend began several years ago when management shifted its focus from the sale of high volume, low profit “generics” to higher technology value added custom applications.

PARF has only recently started to sell these types of packaged fruits as well which could become a bigger part of operations going forward.

Costs of goods sold have ranged between 71-75% of sales every year since 2003 and this year’s trailing twelve month COGS is coming in at 71.98%.  Despite an increase in the cost of raw materials within the fruit segment and increasing cost of resins within the Plastics segment, PARF has successfully maintained control over its production labor costs during the past year.  Management says that this can be traced directly to its previously disclosed decision and action to eliminate 15 full time positions, reduce executive and salary wages by 15% and 10%, respectively, and rescission of a 4% merit increase awarded to hourly workers. These actions remained in place throughout 2011 and have help reign in the cost of sales during this timeframe.

Selling, general and administrative expenses have generally taken up between 18-20% of sales over the past decade but have started to come down a bit over the decade from a high of 20.33% in 2002 to the trailing twelve month period being only 18.14%.   This all leaves PARF’s trailing twelve month operating margin at 9.86% which is much improved and is its highest operating margin in the past decade.  Operating margin has actually been below 5% for most of the last decade so PARF has been able to double its operating margin in recent years.  It’s ROIC and ROE are a bit more volatile over the past decade but are both up over recent years and currently stand at 7.59% and 8.31% respectively over the trailing twelve month period.  My estimates of ROIC are 11.29% without goodwill and 11.09% with goodwill.  One thing of note and concern is that PARF’s cash conversion cycle has jumped dramatically as it stood at 160 days in its 2011 fiscal year and it now stands at 282 days in the trailing twelve month period.  This is most likely the buildup in inventory for the 2011 holiday season and may only be an aberration because of the seasonality of its business but it is something that definitely bears watching when PARF’s full annual report comes out.

PARF is pretty much a family owned and operated business as out of the top five executives four of them are related.  The only one who seems not to be related to anyone is the CFO and treasurer Jack M. Laskowitz.  Melvin S. Gordon who owns around 37% of PARF, and who is the current CEO, Chairman, and a director of the company, has been with PARF since the 1960s in various capacities.  His two sons, one daughter in law, and a cousin make up the remaining five member executive team.  The group of executives has done a pretty good job over the years of managing the company and expanding its operations into the plastic industry to become more diversified which has helped the company’s sales and profitability.  In total insiders own right around 41% total of PARF so outside of Mr. Melvin S. Gordon the other executives own very small percentages of the company.

As with BABB in my previous article, PARF also has excessive executive pay in my opinion.  Just the five executives in the company got paid including bonuses, in 2011 $1.551 million, or about 16% of PARF’s market cap, about 6% of revenues, and about 21% of gross profit.  While BABB’s executive pay is worse in relation to these benchmarks PARFs pay is still excessive in my opinion especially in relation to the company’s small size of around $10 million.

Valuations

These valuations were done by me, using my estimates and are not a recommendation to buy stock in any of the companies mentioned. Do your own homework.

Valuations were done using PARF’s 2011 10K and 2012 third quarter 10Q. All numbers are in thousands of US$, except per share information, unless otherwise noted.

Also remember that these valuations are not containing the full year’s number which generally come out in March of every year, and will show a much truer picture of how the company is operating.  The company’s operations are extremely seasonal and in the most recent quarter PARF had to use up nearly its entire cash hoard to buy inventory.  The cash should be at least partially replenished in the full year report and was standing near $7.8 million before they had to buy inventory.

Minimum Estimate of Value

EBIT Valuation

PARF has a trailing twelve month EBIT of 2,624.

5X, 8X, 11X, and 14X EBIT + cash and cash equivalents + short-term investments:

  • 5X2,624=13,120/520=$25.23 per share.
  • 8X2,624=20,992/520=$40.47 per share.
  • 11X2,624=28,864/520=$55.51 per share.
  • 14X2,624=36,736/520=$70.65 per share.

I would use the 5X EBIT estimate of intrinsic value as my minimum estimate of value for PARF.

Base Estimate of Value

Assets: Book Value: Reproduction Value:
Accounts Receivable 8,088 6,875
Inventories 11,664 5,832
Deferred Income Tax Asset 235 118
Prepaid Expenses & Other Current Assets 481 241
Total Current Assets 20,468 13,060
PP&E Net 4,037 2,624
Goodwill 413 0
Customer Base & Non-compete Agreement 471 236
Other Assets 233 0
Total Assets 25,622 15,920

Number of shares are 520

Reproduction Value:

  • 15,920/520=$30.62 per share.

High Estimate of Value

EBIT Valuation

PARF has a trailing twelve month EBIT of 2,624.

5X, 8X, 11X, and 14X EBIT + cash and cash equivalents + short-term investments:

  • 5X2,624=13,120/520=$25.23 per share.
  • 8X2,624=20,992/520=$40.47 per share.
  • 11X2,624=28,864/520=$55.51 per share.
  • 14X2,624=36,736/520=$70.65 per share.

This time I would use the 8X EBIT value of $40.47 per share and it would be my high estimate of value for PARF.

Relative Valuations

  • PARF’s P/E ratio is currently 6.9 with the industry average P/E standing at 16.7.  If PARF was selling at the industry average P/E it would be worth $48.40 per share.
  • PARF’s P/B ratio is currently 0.5 with the industry average P/B standing at 1.8.  If PARF was selling at the industry average P/B it would be worth $72.00 per share.
  • PARF’s TEV/EBIT is currently 5.02.
  • PARF’s EV/EBIT is currently 4.95.

Something of major note that is not included in any of the above valuations is that:

“The Company owns its plant facilities and other properties free and clear of any mortgage obligations.”

This means that PARF has some substantial hidden assets that are not fully on its books in the above valuations.  I found one set of links that showed PARF’s combined land, building, equipment, and properties were valued at a total of $6.6 million.

Being conservative I will use the link here where you can search for Paradise in the search bar, which shows a more conservative set of values for the property, land, equipment, and buildings valued at an estimated $5.41 million, or $10.40 per share.  This is probably a very low estimate and the combined value of the land, buildings, and equipments is most likely worth more than the $5.41 million.  Discounting this amount by 40% due to where the locations are at and for the overall sake of conservatism it still brings an extra $6.24 per share to the company’s valuations above.

This means the true valuations above should be: Minimum-$31.47 per share, Base-$36.86, and High-$46.71, making the company even more undervalued.

Valuation Thoughts

  • By my absolute minimum estimate of value PARF is undervalued by 36%.  By my base estimate of value PARF is undervalued by 46%.  With my high estimate of value PARF is undervalued by 53% and is a potential double from today share price at $20 per share.  Again, these valuations are not including any cash which will be at least partially replenished when the full year results come out and make PARF even more undervalued.
  • PARF is undervalued by every one of my estimates of intrinsic value and relative value.
  • PARF’s TEV/EBIT and EV/EBIT are both under 8 which is generally the threshold I like to buy under.
  • Again all of these valuations do not contain the full year’s results which are not out yet and will show a much truer picture of the company and its operations.

Customers Thoughts

PARF sells its products on its website, through Wal-Mart and Aqua Cal around the holiday seasons, smaller stores, some restaurants, and Amazon.  Wal-Mart and Aqua Cal both make up a substantial portion of all sales so if either decided not to reorder it would affect the company’s sales, profitability, and margins.

On Amazon, like everything else that is sold on the site, customers leave reviews and generally as you can see with this link, customers seem to think very highly of Paradise’s products.  After reading through all the reviews most people talked about the high quality of PARFs products, and how they couldn’t get glace fruit in their individual local stores even sometimes around the holidays, so they had to search online for them.  This could also be a potential opportunity for PARF because if there is more demand for their products that isn’t being fulfilled currently that could lead to higher sales if more people knew about them.

Some of the negative comments were about how the packaging of the product was poor and came partially crushed or even broken in some cases.  In a couple of extreme cases people said that their products came with ants, bug legs, and other bug parts inside of the products.

It is hard to tell whether this is PARF’s or Amazon’s fault but assuming at worst that it is PARF’s, this is a problem that they need to fix in the process of packaging the product and shipping it because as I talked about in my BABB article, customer reviews like this could lead to trouble in the future for the company if it were to continue to have these types of problems.

PARF has also made it to number 2 in the Top 20 Glace Fruit Sites.  Only one or two of the companies on this list look to be direct competitors with PARF as most of the other companies have operations in a lot of other areas and only do a small amount of business in the glace fruit area.

Catalysts

  • PARF becoming more known to people who like making fruit cakes would heighten their sales.

Pros

  • PARF is the leader in its industry by far, owning an estimated 80% of all sales in the glace food market.
  • PARF is in a very niche industry which should keep away competitors and its dominance intact.
  • PARF is substantially undervalued by all accounts.
  • PARF’s management team has done a very good job running the company over the years.
  • Customers generally seem to love the product.
  • There could be potential for a lot more sales if more people knew about PARF’s products as a lot of the customer reviews on Amazon stated that they struggled to find any glace fruit products in their local markets, sometimes even during the holiday season, and had to resort to looking online.
  • PARF has nearly $500K worth of non-compete agreements signed with people to keep them from competing with PARF.
  • PARF’s margins are overall pretty good and I will talk about that in the conclusion article.
  • PARF operates on some amount of float which I will also talk about in the finale article.
  • To boost the company’s margins PARF cut costs and payroll in recent years which has helped strengthen its margins.

Cons

  • PARF’s business is very seasonal and requires a lot of lead time so if demand drops for fruitcake during the holiday season the company’s results would be highly affected.
  • PARF’s management and executive pay is a bit excessive in my mind.
  • A few customers have had some nasty problems with PARF’s products being delivered to them broken or with bug parts being in the product.
  • PARF is highly dependent on Wal-Mart and Aqua Cal (Sales to these two companies make up between 20 and 25% of sales in recent years) purchasing their products for sale around the holiday season so if either one didn’t reorder it would affect PARF’s results.
  • So far in the trailing twelve month period there has been a 120 day jump in the cash conversion cycles which is alarming.  Hopefully this is just due to the lead up in having the buy inventory for sale during the holiday season and will not be a problem after full year results come out.

Conclusion

Paradise looks like a fantastic company to own right now.  It is undervalued substantially and owns a conservatively estimated $5.4 million with of property and land that partially protects the downside of buying into PARF.  It has dominated its market for years and continues to do so.  Being in a very niche market and industry that it is dominating, it is unlikely that someone would come in and try to compete with them.  PARF has generally good to very good margins and its operations are partially supported by float.  The continued dominance and good to very good margins lead me to believe that the company also has at least a small moat as well or at the very least being in this extreme niche market has helped it to gain moat like qualities due to lack of competition.  I will talk about margins and float in depth in the conclusion piece of this series of posts.  PARF’s customers seem to love its products and since a lot of them complain that they cannot find glace fruit products in their local markets PARF might be able to capitalize on this with  through more advertising and advertising to a wider audience that they sell their products online.

PARF does have some negatives as well with what is in my opinion excessive executive pay, heavy reliance on two customers, some previous problems with its packaging, and it’s very seasonal market but up to this point PARF looks like a very exceptional company to invest in as the positives far outweigh the negatives in my opinion.

Next up in this now shortened series is the conclusion.

Core Molding Technologies Valuations and Analysis

This is the entire article I have been working on which has been posted this morning to Valuefolio.com for his 50 Stocks in 100 Days Valuation series. I hope you enjoy all the new things I have added to my analysis and the amount of research I have done for this company.  Due to what I found out about Core Molding Technologies while researching, valuing, and analyzing them, CMT has become only the third companies stock I have bought in the past year along with Vivendi and Dole.  Let me know what you think about the article.

This is a guest post by Jason Rivera, founder of Value Investing Journey, a value investing blog. The tone of honesty and humility at his blog is refreshing. His quest for great stocks and as a value investor results in unique, authentic, high-quality content. In this article he values Core Molding Technologies as part of our 50 Stocks in 100 Days series. Follow Jason on twitter @JMRiv1986

For those of you who have not viewed my site and other analysis articles, I hope you enjoy my analysis and valuations, if not let me know where I am going wrong and what I could do better.  For those of you who have visited my site and have seen my valuations, I hope you like some of the tweaks I have made in my analysis.  I am now doing even more thorough research than I have been doing and I have incorporated some new things into my write ups as well, I hope you enjoy.

Core Molding Technologies (CMT) is going to be the subject of this article.  Core Molding Technologies is a manufacturer of fiberglass reinforced plastic products.  They supply products to companies in the medium and heavy trucking, automotive, marine, and other commercial industries.  The plastics are used in automobile hoods, air deflectors, air fairings, splash panels, engine covers, fenders, and bulkheads. They have five production facilities in: Columbus, Ohio; Batavia, Ohio; Gaffney, South Carolina; Warsaw, Kentucky; and Matamoros, Mexico.

Core Molding Technologies has about 90% of its current business coming from the medium and heavy trucking industry.  Sales to Paccar and Navistar make up about 75% of current sales as of the most recent quarter.  CMT has been slowly trying to increase sales to other companies, which I think is a good thing in the long term because if its relationship deteriorates with either of the above two companies CMT could be devastated.  CMT states that its current relationship with both Paccar and Navistar are good and that they work closely with both companies to solve any issue, work on research and development, and pricing.

As of this year’s proxy form, Navistar currently has a seat on CMT’s board of directors as it is owns 9.2% of CMT’s stock, so I do not see Navistar ending its relationship with CMT any time soon.  CMT insiders own around 16% of the company’s stock.  Mario Gabelli personally, and through his funds owns 14.1% of CMT’s stock.  Rutabaga Capital owns 9.5% of its stock.  Rutabaga is a private investment firm whose concentration is in “Undervalued, unloved companies.”

I always like to see high insider ownership, and I am happy that CMT is owned by a couple value oriented investment firms.  I was especially happy to see that Mario Gabelli is a big owner of CMT’s stock, especially since he has bought shares in the company with his own money.  I also really like the ownership by Navistar as that could lead to a potential buy out, or at the very least a continued partnership between the two companies.  I am going to be watching very closely to see if and when any of the above start selling CMT’s stock as that could be a sign that there are big problems ahead for the company.

Here are some quotes from two of CMT’s biggest buyers about the potential huge catalyst in CMT’s main area of operations, the trucking industry:

  • From Paccar, “Over six million heavy duty trucks operate in North America and Europe, and the average age of North American vehicles is estimated to be seven years. The large vehicle parc and aging industry fleet create excellent demand for parts and service and moderate the cyclicality of truck sales.”
  • From Navistar “For our Truck segment, we expect benefits from further improvements in our “traditional” volumes as the industry continues to increase from the historic lows experienced in 2009 and 2010. According to ACT Research, the average age of the truck fleet was 6.7 years at the beginning of 2011, which is the highest average age since 1979. We anticipate higher sales in 2012 for truck replacement as our customers refresh aging fleets. We also expect demand for trucks to increase as freight volumes and rates continue to improve as the economy recovers. In addition to increased demand, we expect to further benefit from improved revenues and margins associated with the exclusive use of our proprietary engines. We expect to realize benefits from plant optimization actions taken during the trough of the truck cycle. Finally, we anticipate positive contributions from business acquisitions and investments made during this period.”

The above is exceptional news and should serve as a catalyst for CMT.

These valuations were done by me, using my estimates, and are not a recommendation to buy any stock, in any of the companies mentioned.  Do your own homework.

All numbers are in millions of US dollars, except per share information, unless otherwise noted.  Valuations were done using 2011 10K and second quarter 2012 10Q.

Asset Reproduction Valuation

Assets: Book Value: Reproduction Value:
Current Assets
Cash & Cash Equivalents 0 0
Accounts Receivable (Net) 26.3 20
Inventories 12.6 6
Deferred Tax Asset 1.8 0
Other Current Assets 2.8 0
Total Current Assets 43.5 26
PP&E Net 51.9 25
Deferred Tax Asset 1.1 0
Goodwill 1.1 0
Total Assets 97.6 51

 

I am using the companies fully diluted share count of 7.4.

  • 51/7.4=$6.89 per share.

EBIT and Net Cash Valuation

Cash and cash equivalents are 0

Short term investments are 0

Total current liabilities are 27

Cash and cash equivalents + short-term investments – total current liabilities=0+0-27=-27

  • -27/7.4=-$3.65 in net cash per share.

CMT has a trailing twelve month unadjusted EBIT of 16.5.

5X, 8X, 11X, and 14X EBIT + cash and cash equivalents + short-term investments:

  • 5X16.5=82.5
  • 8X16.5=132
  • 11X16.5=181.5
  • 14X16.5=231
  • 5X=82.5/7.4=$11.15 per share.
  • 8X=132/7.4=$17.84 per share.
  • 11X=181.5/7.4=$24.53 per share.
  • 14X=231/7.4=$31.22 per share.

Since CMT has had a record trailing twelve months in terms of EBIT, I have decided to normalize EBIT and taken the 10 year average of 8.2 to determine the more normalized intrinsic value of CMT in case it is not able to keep up the pace of the past year.

  • 5X8.2=41
  • 8X8.2=65.6
  • 11X8.2=90.2
  • 14X8.2=114.8
  • 5X=41/7.4=$5.54 per share.
  • 8X=65.6/7.4=$8.86 per share.
  • 11X=90.2/7.4=$12.19 per share.
  • 14X=114.8/7.4=$15.51 per share.

Revenue and EBIT valuation

I am again using trailing twelve month numbers.

Numbers:
Revenue: 168
Multiplied By:
Average 10 year EBIT %: 6.69%
Equals:
Estimated EBIT of: 11.24
Multiplied By:
Assumed Fair Value Multiple of EBIT:                 8X
Equals:
Estimated Fair Enterprise Value of CMT: 89.92
Plus:
Cash, Cash Equivalents, and Short Term Investments: 0
Minus:
Total Debt: 13
Equals:
Estimated Fair Value of Common Equity: 76.92
Divided By:
Number of Shares: 7.4
Equals: $10.39 per share.

 

My low estimate of value using a 5X EBIT multiple was $5.84 per share.  My high estimate of value using an 11X EBIT multiple was $14.95 per share.

Price to Book and Tangible Book Valuation

Numbers:
Book Value: 53.13
Minus:
Intangibles: 2.2
Equals:
Tangible Book Value: 50.93
Multiplied By:
Industry P/B: 2.2
Equals:
Industry Multiple Implied Fair Value: 112.05
Multiplied By:
Assumed Multiple as a Percentage of Industry Multiple: 95%
Equals:
Estimated Fair Value of Common Equity: 106.45
Divided By:
Number of Shares: 7.4
Equals: $14.39 per share

 

My low estimate of value using 75% of industry multiple was $11.36 per share.  My high estimate using 125% of industry multiple was $18.93 per share.

Ratios

Ratios
Current Assets to Current Liabilities: 1.59
Total Debt to Equity: 23.60%
Total Debt to Total Assets: 12.30%
ROIC 10 yr avg From Morningstar: 10.62%
Unadjusted ROIC TTM : 24.60%
Normalized ROIC: 12.23%
Cash Conversion Cycle TTM: 54.47
Unadjusted EV/EBIT: 3.93
Normalized EV/EBIT: 8
ROE 10 yr avg: 15.73%
ROETTM: 21.10%
ROA 10 yr avg: 6.56%
ROA TTM: 11.49%
COGS as a % of revenue 10 yr avg: 83.36%
COGS as a % of revenue 2011: 79.16%

 

My Interpretation of the Ratios:

  • I do not see any current problems with CMT’s debt levels.
  • CMT’s ROIC is incredible, even if they fall back to the more normalized levels of above 10%.  If CMT can keep up the level of the previous year this company is very undervalued.
  • The cash conversion cycle is a measure of how fast a company can turn its inventories into cash.  In CMT’s case it takes them about 54.5 days to make the conversion.  The number is lower than the high of about 73 in 2009, but not back to pre recession levels which were around 42 on average.  I do not see a major problem here but would like to see the number creep down over time.
  • If CMT can keep its current revenue and profit levels going then they appear to be massively undervalued on an EV/EBIT basis.  If they revert back to the 10 year average EBIT then they appear to be about fairly valued on that basis.
  • ROE and ROA appear to be boosted recently in comparison to the 10 year average in part due to Cost of Goods Sold decreasing as a percentage of revenue.  Hopefully they can keep up that pace as well.

Competitors

The competitors that CMT lists in its annual and quarterly reports are as follows: Sigma Industries, Decoma Composites (an owned subsidiary of Magna International), Molded Fiber Glass Companies, and Continental Structural Plastics.  Here are my thoughts on each competitor after doing research on them.

  • Sigma Industries has operations in various industries including the heavy trucking industry, where CMT gets most of its sales from currently.  Sigma’s operations are mainly in Canada currently so it appears not be too much competition for CMT at this time.
  • Magna International (MGA) is one of the largest and most diversified auto parts suppliers in the world.  I was a bit worried about the competition from Magna towards CMT, but the company currently does not make sales in the medium and heavy trucking segment.  Magna’s main operations are in cars and light trucks at this time.  Magna does state in its 10K that they are always looking for opportunities in various arenas including the heavy trucking industry, Magna’s entry into the heavy trucking industry would be something to watch out for. I think that Magna buying out CMT would be a better option because currently CMT has a market cap of around $50 million and Magna’s is $10.4 billion, meaning it would be a very minimal monetary investment and would also save them time from having to learn the processes by themselves.
  • Molded Fiber Glass Companies is a privately held company whose operations appear to be mostly in the automotive and wind energy arena.  The little Molded Fiber Glass does in the trucking industry does not appear to be in direct competition with CMT as its operations are in entirely different states and regions.
  • Continental Structural Plastics is a privately held company who has operations in automotive, heavy truck, agricultural, HVAC, construction, and material sales.  The following is the best information I could find on Continental “Continental Structural Plastics, Inc. manufactures structural plastic components, bumper beam reinforcements, rocker covers, oil pans, stamped steel seat frames, and underbody shields. It also offers composite seat bases, engine oil sumps, and composite sunshade substrates; and moulders of glass-mat thermoplastic composites, as well as long-glass-fibre-reinforced thermoplastic and direct-LFT composites. The company was founded in 1982 and is based in Troy, Michigan with manufacturing plants in Petoskey, Michigan; and Sarepta, Louisiana.”  Again, CSP does not appear to be a direct competitor in to CMT as they appear to make different products.

After looking into CMT’s competitors it appears that it does not have a direct competitor at this time and that it has found a very profitable niche which also might come with some minor competitive advantages.

Pros

  • Undervalued by almost every one of my estimates of intrinsic value.
  • I have not found any major direct competitors in CMT’s main area of operations.
  • The company has found a niche in its industry that has made them very profitable.
  • The company’s margins have been consistently good to great over the last 10 years: ROIC 10% average over that time period for example.
  • Even if CMT is not able to keep up the pace of the previous year in terms of revenue and margins and reverts back to its 10 year averages, the company has been profitable over that time, even during the recent recession.
  • Navistar, who is CMT’s biggest customer, owns about 9% of the company.  CMT insiders, outside value investment firms including Mario Gabelli personally, and through his funds, own over 30% of the company.
  • By my estimation, the company looks like a potential buy out candidate.
  • The company has been becoming more efficient in its operations in recent years.

Cons

  • The vast majority of CMT’s sales are to only two companies, and they would be devastated if its relationship with either of the two companies deteriorates.
  • CMT is a very small company whose market cap is currently only around $50 million.
  • CMT could be hurt if a bigger, better financed, company enters its industry.
  • On a revenue and margins level, CMT has had a record past year which might not continue into the future.
  • If the past holds true, CMT’s results will be hurt quite a bit by any kind of recession or down turn in the economy.
  • CMT has very low average trading volume of around 15,000, so it could experience wild swings in price.

Potential Catalysts

  • The trucking industry currently has the highest average age of trucks since 1979 which should lead to sustained sales and margin growth.  The high age of the current trucking fleet should at least partially protect CMT’s revenues and margins if there is some new recession, as you can only hold off buying a new truck for so many years and many companies held off buying trucks during the recent recession.
  • In my opinion CMT would be a great buyout candidate for someone like Magna who would be interested in entering the medium and heavy trucking industry as that would be less of a money and time investment for any potential buyer.
  • Navistar who already owns more than 9% of the company also could be a potential buyer.

Conclusion

With all of the above stated I will be using my trailing twelve month unadjusted 5X EBIT estimate of intrinsic value of $11.15 per share.  The reason I am using this estimate of value is that by my estimation CMT should be able to at least partially sustain the previous year’s record revenue and margin numbers.  The 5X EBIT estimate is also conservative enough that it leaves a margin of safety if CMT were to revert back to previous year’s revenue and margins.

I actually think that CMT should be valued at one of my higher estimates of value due to the steadiness of its margins over the past decade and some of the other factors listed above, but I chose this estimate of intrinsic value due to the company’s small size and some of the other risks listed above, just to be safe.

The current share price is $7.35 which gets me a margin of safety of about 35%, reaching my minimum threshold of 30%.

Due to the previous, and for the reasons I listed throughout my article, I have decided to buy into CMT, making it only the third company I have bought this year along with Vivendi and Dole.

If you liked this analysis please visit my value investing blog Value Investing Journey and follow me on Twitter @JMRiv1986.  As always your comments, critique, and criticism are welcome.  Let me know what you think I could do better, where I might have gone wrong, and what you liked about the analysis.

Last minute update as I am getting ready to publish.  Navistar’s CEO of 30+ years has stepped down effective immediately.  This situation is something I am going to watch very closely, but with the information that is currently available I still have decided to buy into CMT at this time.  Hopefully this situation will not affect Navistar’s relationship with CMT.

Aceto Corporation valuation and analysis

This valuation and analysis article is about Aceto Corporation (ACET.) Aceto markets and distributes industrial and pharmaceutical chemicals. The company has three divisions, which include health sciences, chemicals and colorants, and agrochemicals. The health sciences division is involved primarily with pharmaceutical companies in the production of generic drugs. The chemicals and colorants division is involved in developing flavor additives, fragrances, cosmetics, and colored inks. The agrochemical division produces insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides.  Description from Morningstar.

Here is a catalog of Aceto’s Human Health products.

Aceto has said that it will not be focusing on the agricultural segment in the future, and in my opinion ACET should completely eliminate the agricultural segment from its operations.  Not only will they not concentrate on it much in the future, it also produces the lowest margins of the three segments.  ACET also did not anticipate the amount of competition in this segment, and has thus far been ineffective in trying to compete.

If you are not going to invest fully in something why do it at all?

As of the most recent 10Q, Health Sciences contributed almost 60% of total revenues, Specialty Chemicals contributed about 34%, and Agricultural contributed about 6%.

I am going to value the company as a whole, talk about the three individual business, give my analysis and then conclusion.

These valuations were done by me, using my estimates, and are not a recommendation to buy any stock, in any of the companies mentioned.  Do your own homework.

All numbers are in millions of US dollars, except per share information, unless otherwise noted.  Valuations were done using 2011 10K and second quarter 2012 10Q.

Asset valuation

Assets: Book Value: Reproduction Value:
Current Assets
Cash & Cash Equivalents 27 27
Short Term Investments 2 2
Accounts Receivable (Net) 84 71.4
Inventories 83 60
Other Current Assets 6 0
Total Current Assets 202 160.4
PP&E Net 12 6
Goodwill 34 14
Intangible Assets 47 20
Other Assets 17 8
Total Assets 312 208.4

Total number of shares are 27

Reproduction Value:

  • With intangible assets: 208.4/27=$7.72 per share.
  • Without intangible assets 188.4/27=$6.98 per share.

EBIT and net cash valuation

Cash and cash equivalents are 27.

Short term investments are 2.

Total current liabilities are 79.

Cash and cash equivalents + short-term investments – total current liabilities=27+2-79=-50

  • -50/27=-$1.85 in net cash per share.

ACET has a trailing twelve month EBIT of 25.

5X, 8X, 11X, and 14X EBIT + cash and cash equivalents + short-term investments:

  • 5X25=125+29=154
  • 8X25=200+29=229
  • 11X25=275+29=304
  • 14X25=350+29=379
  • 5X=154/27=$5.70 per share.
  • 8X=229/27=$8.48 per share.
  • 11X=304/27=$11.26 per share.
  • 14X=379/27=$14.04 per share.

Revenue and EBIT valuation

Using trailing twelve month numbers.

Numbers:
Revenue: 455
Multiplied By:
Average 6 year EBIT %: 4.42%
Equals:
Estimated EBIT of: 20.11
Multiplied By:
Assumed Fair Value Multiple of EBIT: 9X
Equals:
Estimated Fair Enterprise Value of ACET: 180.99
Plus:
Cash, Cash Equivalents, and Short Term Investments: 29
Minus:
Total Debt: 44
Equals:
Estimated Fair Value of Common Equity: 165.99
Divided By:
Number of Shares: 27
Equals: $6.15 per share

The $6.15 per share is my base estimate of value.  My low estimate of value was $3.17 per share and my high estimate was $9.13 per share.

Price to book and tangible book valuation

Numbers:
Book Value: 169.83
Minus:
Intangibles: 47
Equals:
Tangible Book Value: 122.83
Multiplied By:
Industry P/B: 2.5
Equals:
Industry Multiple Implied Fair Value: 307.08
Multiplied By:
Assumed Multiple as a Percentage of Industry Multiple: 95%
Equals:
Estimated Fair Value of Common Equity: 291.73
Divided By:
Number of Shares: 27
Equals: $10.80 per share.

The $10.80 per share is my base estimate of value.  My low estimate was $8.53 per share and my high estimate was $14.22 per share.

Aceto’s current share price is $9.09 per share.  Lets now take a look at its margins, pros, and cons, to decide which valuation I will be using as my estimate of intrinsic value.

Consolidated Margins:

  • Six year gross margin average is 17.1%
  • Operating margin, or EBIT margin, has been between 3-6% every year for the last 10 years except 2010 when it was 2.7%.
  • ROE has been between 5-10% every year since 2002.
  • ROIC has been between 4-14% every year since 2002.

Not great margins by any means, but very stable which is something I like.

Pros:

  • Insiders have been acquiring a lot of shares lately, some of which have been exercising of options.  Always a good sign to see insiders buying.
  • Dividend payer with a low payout ratio, 32% in the trailing twelve months.
  • Revenue has been growing: From $229 million in 2002 to $412 million in 2011.
  • Very stable margins.
  • Many big drugs have come off patent or are going to come off patent in the near future which should help grow revenue further: There are examples of some in this article.
  • An aging population needing more pills, should also help continue to grow revenue as well.

Cons:

  • ACET has debt as of the most recent 10Q at $44 million, which ACET says will lower its ability to make further acquisitions.
  • Does not produce consistent positive free cash flow.
  • Does not appear to have any kind of sustainable competitive advantage.
  • Although the margins are stable, they are pretty low for a potential long-term buy and hold candidate.
  • They are involved in some very fragmented and competitive industries, which could lead to excessive pricing competition and lower margins.
  • While the margins being stable is a good thing, they are not growing at this time.
  • Most of ACET’s suppliers are in China, which could leave them vulnerable if a recession, political or social crisis occur there.
  • Days sales outstanding has risen by 22.6% since 2003.
  • Payable period has risen almost 90% since 2003.
  • Days inventory has risen by 21% since 2003.

This is how I am understanding the days sales outstanding, payable period, and days inventory all rising:

  • Those three are measures of efficiency, and to me it looks like ACET is becoming less efficient.
  • ACET is taking longer to confirm payments, it is also taking longer to pay its bills, and it is holding its inventory longer.

All are bad things and could lead to inflated revenue numbers.   Please let me know if my conclusions about the DSO, PP, and DI are wrong as I am new at incorporating these metrics into my analysis.

Catalysts

  • An aging population that will need more drugs.
  • A lot of big drugs have already come off patent or are going to soon.

Conclusion

With all of the above stated I have decided to choose the revenue and EBIT base valuation as my estimate of intrinsic value, $6.15 per share, because of all the risks I see in ACET: I do not see any competitive advantages, it functions in very competitive low margin arenas, etc.  My estimate of intrinsic value makes ACET overvalued by almost 30% at this time, as the current share price is $9.07.

At this time I will not be buying any shares in ACET as I think the cons outweigh the pros.

As always your comments, critique, concerns, and thoughts are welcome.