Half year portfolio company review 2022 – Part 1.

Background:

Readers of my blog know that I am not a big fan of doing “sell side” style quarterly updates on my portfolio companies. Quite a few of my holdings don’t even report quarterly.

On the other hand, especially in times like this with fast moving fundamental changes, only looking at the holdings once a year is maybe not enough especially for those positions where my investment horizon is shorter and where I have not yet build up long term confidence.

Therefore I’ll start with half year updates in order to at least look at all my portfolio companies in a systematic way once during the year. In this installment I have selected the larger positions first with a few exceptions.

  1. Admiral

Admiral reported a solid set of numbers for the first 6 months. Net income is slightly ahead of my estimates with a run rate of around 1,34 GBP EPS vs. 1,2. Interestingly, no specific reserve strengthening seems to have been necessary. The stock market seems to have been positively surprised. Even after the recent recovery, the stock trades below 10x P/E for 2022. 

Main surprises for me from the 6M presentation: The FCA reform to disallow incentives for new customers increases retention significantly which over time should translate to lower customer acquisition cost. 

Negative: Expense ratio is creeping up from 16% in 2016 to 20% in 2021 (page 44). I need to dig deeper into this.

2. Sixt vz

Sixt has released fantastic numbers for the first 6M. Sales up +60%, operating income uü +68%. With 3,41 EUR per share for 6M, the company is on track for earnings over 7 EUR per share and a single digit P/E for the pref shares for 2022. The stocks reacted negatively to this, maybe because some experts expected even more ? Sixt usually guides cautiously. In any case, a single digit P/E for such a solid company is very cheap. From some comments I read that analysts are cautious for 2023. Of course, growth like this cannot continue, but I do think that especially the Pref shares are significantly undervalued.

3. Meier Tobler

Also Meier Tobler showed very strong 6M numbers, EBITDA was 10% higher than the revised guidance in June. EBITDA margins at 8,5% are already above the level of my target for 2025 (8%). Despite the strong performance, the stock still looks cheap. The issue of course is how sustainable these earnings are, as there is significant tailwind from the high gas prices but also from the heat wave as Air condition is in high demand as well.

On the negative side, Debt has increased slightly in the first 6M, I guess they had to increase inventory significantly. In addition, the very profitable service business is not growing, as heat pumps seem to require less on site maintenance.

As the share price might reach my target price range soon (35-45 CHF) I need to make up my mind if I take some profits off the table. 

4. G. Perrier

G. Perrier publishes its full 6M report quite late. However 6M sales numbers look very encouraging, with sales up +26% yoy, thereof ~10% organic growth. Full year guidance is as always very conservative.  It will be very interesting to see how profitable the new business segment will be. 

5. GTT

As expected, actual earnings for GTT went down compared to 2021. Also the outlook for 2022 has been reduced due to delays in shipbuilding and Russia exposure. On the plus side however, the order book is exploding, with more than 80 orders, more than in the full year of 2021. These orders will only translate into revenues from 2024 but the market seems to price in that GTT will have a very positive fundamental development for the next 3-5 years. According to TIKR, EPS is estimated to be ~8 EUR per share in 2025 compared to 3,22 for 2022.

The question will be how far I will ride this stock. It is clearly more a special situation than a long term bet and of course based on current earnings the stock s expensive. However the business model is really unique that it has this extremely clear visibility how the next 3-5 years will look like.

6. TFF Group

TFF has reported full year results for 2021/2022 in July. Top line increased by 16%, direvn by the whiskey business (+30%) wheras the wine business only grew by 4%. Net income was up by almost 80%, however this was due to FX effects. Operating income was more or less stable as they didn’t increase the prices for the wine barrels.

Nevertheless, i think in the coming years we will see more and more the contribution of the US business they have built over the previous years. However the best news is that they are very bullish for 2022/2023. Topline is expected to grow by 20% and profitability should increase in parallel, so operating profit should go up nicely.

I am holding TFF now for more than 11 years and I guess I will keep it for some more time.

7. Thermador

Thermador’s 6M numbers were solid. Turnover grew by 9,4%, Operating income by 5,6% and net income by 9,2%. However Thermador mentions that they have passed on price increases in an amount of 11% to clients. The market seems to have expected better numbers as the stock continued to go down after the release end of July.

At the current valuation of ~10x EV/EBIT, Thermador would rather be a buy than a sell. They have proven to be very resilient and might be able to do some value add M&A in case of a recession.

8. Alimentation Couche-Tard

ACT released full year 2021/2022 numbers in June, Q1 2022/2023 numbers are expected for end of August. Last year was solid, with Top and bottom line growth in the low single digits.

Maybe the most remarkable feature is that they repurchased ~1,9 bn CAD in stock in the FY 2021/2022 on top of the dividend without increasing the leverage ratio. Of course I regret not buying more when there was the opportunity. These days, the stock seems to be fairly valued with a P/E of ~18 and EV/EBIT of 15 for the current year.

I am quite close to my target return of ~100% and the stock price increased mostly because of multiple extension. On the other hand, i do like the fact that ACT is a very good diversifier. Interestingly they again show their plan to “double the company” in the next 5 years, however now more than a year is already over.

I think I will need to do a deeper dive in the next month to see if I would “re-underwrite” at current levels.

9. Bouvet ASA

With around 5,6x since my initial purchase in 2014, Bouvet is clearly my best performing investment so far. However the company is still growing strong. Q1 2022 has been a “monster” quarter, driven by growth in the Oil & Gas sector. Norway at the moment is benefiting at the moment both, from high oil and gas prices as well as from a strong move into “green technologies” and Bouvet seems to be able to take advantage of this.

With 21x 2022 P/E, the stock is not cheap, but also not expensive for such a high quality business. I have to admit that I am very eager to see this one becoming my first 10X, so I will hold this for maybe not totally rational reasons.

10. Schaffner

The latest investor news is an IR presentation from June, the Half year report (per 30.09.2022) is expected for December. The underlying case (5% growth, 10-12% EBIT margins) seems to be intact.

The IR presentation nicely explains the business model and the products. Schaffner seems to be the “low maintenance” boring investment that I have been looking for.

One of the things to look out for is if the strong Swiss Frank will impact their business compared to European competitors.

11. Aker Horizons

 A lot of things moved at Aker Horizons since I created my initial “Energy Transition basket”. Among others, they merged two of their relatively young listed subsidiaries (Aker Offshore, Aker Clean Hydrogen) into the bigger companies.

The Q2 investor presentation shows a lot of activity but it is kind of hard to track the actual progress.

As other Aker companies, they show “NAV” which is based on listed prices (Aker Carbon capture) and non-lised (Aker Mainstream). NAV is more or less unchanged from end of 2021, although this information is not explicitly given, at around 25 NOKs per share.

As mentioned initially, Aker Horizon has a more “venture character” and nothing substantially has changed for the time being.

12. Solar A/S

Solar issued their Q2 report a few days ago. Since my initial buy decision, the company performs well with organic growth close to 13%, both in Q1 and Q2. EBITDA grew even stronger at a 20% rate.

They raised the EBITDA guidance (again) for 2022. The only negative is that they have increased inventories significantly which lead to negative operating CF but that should be a one time effects due to the organic growth especially in international markets.

The company trades at 7x EV/EBIT and 8x p/E for 2022. I do not really understand why they are so cheap. This seems to be a very good company and business is going well. 

I therefore increased the position from 3% (half) to 4% (2/3).

To be continued ……

9 comments

  • Hi, I was missing LEM Holdings in your Swiss Stock analysis. Did you ever look into the Company. A company that will continue to benefit from the automation and energy transition. It manufactures precision electronic sensors and components. The balance sheet is top solid, there are several anchor shareholders including the Weber family who increased the stake to over 50% just a few years ago. ROE as well as ROIC have been above 40 for many years. the company is constantly investing in improved products and solutions, and it seems with a high incremental ROE….thanks to a falling share price, the pe is now falling back below 30. Still not cheap, but cheaper compared to the last 2 years……..just an idea for your energy transition basket

  • Like your thoughts and honesty (about irrational behavior).
    Why no update on Nabaltec? I thought they were one of your largest holdings. And with gas exposure a wild card from my view.

    Today I stumbled across Admiral former CEO book in FT. You read that already?

    Cheers

    • Hi,

      Nabaltec will only report 6M numbers on August 25th, so it doesn’t make sense to do an update before. That’s the only reason.

      Admiral CEO Book: Thanks, haven’t seen this. will buy asap 😉

      MMI

      • Never recognized that the spread between sixt vz and sixt with voting rights are so big. I can not expplaine why???

        Share Buy Backs alone can not be the reason. And the voting right can’t valued like that especially when you get compensated with a higher dividend.

        • Couldn’t the common shares owners just vote to give the preferred shares owners a lower dividend? Then, more people would buy common shares and those would increase even more in price. Maybe risks like that are priced in.

        • No the preferred shares are compensated with a higher dividend due to the missing voting right.

  • so where are you adding at these levels?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.