After a 4 week break, a new batch of 25 randomly selected German shares. Seven of them I found worth “watching”, although none of them with super high priority. And only 200 more stocks to go 😉
551. Pfeiffer Vacuum AG
Pfeiffer is a 1.7 bn company that specializes in vacuum technology and especially vacuum pumps. the stock price recovered quickly after the crisis despite a pretty disappointing 2019 and is still within the long term growth path:
As promised last time, the follow up to the follow up. Let’s look at a few other “actors” in this developing crime story.
A few updates:
Yesterday, the German authorities started searching offices and private homesa second time with a big team of over 50 people. The new CEO in a feature story of Manager Magazin seems to have found out on his first day that the fraud started at least 5 years ago. After the crazy
idiot speculator orgy the last two days, the stock seems to approach back its intrinsic value of 0,00 EUR per share.
The local newspaper SZ “discovered” that the escrow accounts were not the only fraud and and a lot of well known clients & cooperation partners leave the sinking ship rapidly, for instance Aldi Süd, Allianz and Softbank.
My new prediction is that not only the stock is a zero but all debt at TopCo level is essentially worthless.
There is also a very good interview with Dan McCrum on finanz-szene.de which covers a lot of aspects that I have been writing about. Most interestingly, McCrum promises to “tell the bigger story”……
The German Regulator BAFIN and what went wrong there
Another batch of 25 randomly selected German stocks. This time with some quite interesting or even strange underlying businesses. Five candidates are worth “watching”.
526. VTG AG
VTG is a 1.1 bn market cap company that is renting out/ leasing railway cars and was taken over by a Morgan Stanley infrastructure fund in 2018 at 53 EUR/share. The company has been de-listed and is trading only on the “Pink sheets”. Interestingly the stock price suffered after the crisis but has recovered in the past weeks as well:
As mentioned in the comments on the previous post, I sold my Interactive Broker stocks. Why ? Mainly because of the following reasons:
- although I still think that it is a very good company, I reconsidered some of my assumptions after reading the “Chuck” Schwab autobiography
- Despite the fact that the Covid-19 crisis seems to have driven an increase in new accounts and trading commissions, the long term effects of lower interest rates (and margins) will be significant as interest margins are the main driver of profitability in the mid- to long term. My current scenario is that interest rates will remain very low even in the US for a very long time.
Another 25 randomly selected German stocks including four stocks this time who made it onto my “watch” list:
501. Fair Value REIT
Fair Value is a listed REIT with 104 mn EUR market cap. The portfolio includes a >50% share of retail objects which will be extremely challenged. The stock price has dropped a little but not much. “pass”.
502. Fortec Elektronik AG
We are getting close to having covered 2/3 of the German stock universe. Among these 25 randomly selected stocks, I have identified 7 which are at least worth watching, although none with high priority.
476. E.On AG
E.on has changed a lot over the last years.I had written about the company in 2013 and luckily I never invested.
Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. PLEASE DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH !!!
Agfa-Gevaert was on my research list for some time now. Fellow blogger Undervalued Shares than triggered my renewed interest with their post from a few days ago and one of my best “Special situations” ideas ever was a Belgian company (Sapec).
I’ll try to summarize the part of the post that deals with Agfa:
- Active Ownership, a relatively new but successful German activist fund (Stada) has build up a position (~14%] and board membership (actually the Chairman) in Agfa Gevaert, the traditional German-Belgian film / imaging company
- Despite having some interesting assets, Agfa didn’t create shareholder value over a long time
- opaque reporting and a 1 bn EUR pension liability made it unattractive to stock market investors
- In 2020, Agfa managed to sell part of its Healthcare IT segment for 975 mn EUR
- Initially, the stock went up to ~5 EUR based on the first info on the sale but hasn’t fully recovered yet
Another batch of 25 randomly selected German stocks. This time I identified 5 candidates for my watch list amongst them.
451. Biofrontera AG
BioFrontera is a 151 mn EUR market cap specialty pharma company in the field of dermatology (skin cancer). The company actually has a product in the market and shows decent grows, especially in Germany and the US. The company is still loss making in the first 9M 2019, but the loss narrowed significantly. The “Corona Crash” pushed the stock price back to before sales went up:
Disclaimer: This is not investment advise. Please do your own research !!!
FBD is a local Irish Insurance company that I first wrote about in early 2015 when the stock look cheap. Luckily I didn’t invest back then as 7 months later FBD got already in trouble mainly due to under reserving plus another few skeletons in the closet. A month later, Prem Watsa came to the rescue with a slightly unusual deal structure.
What caught my eye now again (thanks to a friend mentioning the stock) is the relatively weak share price combined with super strong 2019 results and no bounce back from the Covid-19 crisis levels:
Disclaimer: This is not investment advice, please do your own research !!!
I made two smaller purchase over the last few days:
- Interactive Brokers at ~39,75 USD/Share, 1,4% of the portfolio
- Coface at ~5,70 ER per share, 1,5% of the portfolio
A quick summary of the ideas behind it: