Another 10 randomly selected Swiss shares. This time, two share made it into the watch list.
41. WISeKey AG
WISekey is a 102 mn CHF market cap Cybersecurity firm that went public in 2016. The company made some headlines pre IPO as Kevin Spacey was one of the investors. The first quoted price has been 12 CHF/share, in the meantime, the stock lost -90%. The company investor presentation manages to have 27 pages without a single hard number.
The company claims to be in the midst of Blockchain, IOT and AI. However Sales have been shrinking and losses are at a level of 2x sales. “Pass”.
42. Banque Cantonal de Jura SA
JustEat Takeaway.com (JET) is one of my riskier bets as I outlined in my initial post from January. In a nutshell, the thesis was that JET has reached a dominating position in running a food delivery market place in many countries (among them Germany, UK, Canada etc.), has got an extra kick from Covid-19 lock downs and will begin to make money soon, similar to their home market Netherlands. Within JET’s business, Germany clearly looked like the most promising market as it is a big and growing market and they are the only player left.
This is supported by the assumption that JET’s main competitors (Uber, Deliveroo, DoorDash) are now stock listed and need to stop burning money. The assumption was also, that despite offering own delivery as a feature, in the long run JET will manage to dominate the Market place business model which is more profitable than actually employing drivers.
Since then, the stock hasn’t done that well, despite having released very encouraging top line growth numbers which motivated me to even increase the position from 2% of the portfolio to 3% (at cost).
With today’s closing of the Grubhub deal I think it is worth trying to do a quick update.
New competitors – It’s getting crowded
Disclaimer: This is not Investment Advice. PLEASE DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH !!!!!
My initial interest in Euronext came after reading this FT article in February which mentions that the Amsterdam Stock Exchange seems to be a big winner of Brexit, but that in the long run Paris could come out on top as most of the trading in European shares will move “on shore” to the continent.
What I found interesting is that Frankfurt doesn’t seem to be a big winner but that both, Amsterdam and Paris belong to stock listed Euronext NV Group. Personally, a lot of my own small cap investments are listed on Euronext , but so far I really thought that Euronext is more a collection of “back water” exchanges like Dublin. Lisbon or Brussels rather than a more serious competitor to LSE and Deutsche Börse.
Euronext the company
Euronext has a colorful history, among others they merged and de-merged with the NYSE. After going public in 2014, they have been rolling up smaller European stock exchanges, among them Dublin (2017) and Oslo (2019).
Their biggest move is yet to come: After the Merger of LSE and Refinitiv, Euronext agreed to buy Borsa Italiana for ~4,3 bn EUR, the transaction will be executed in the first half of 2021. After the transaction, Italy will be the biggest country by revenues for Euronext.
Multiple fundamental tailwinds
Health Warning: This is not investment advise. PLEASE DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH !!!!!
Just Eat Takeaway.com or “JET” is another of these stocks that popped up from different “high quality” sources. A few friends mentioned the stock, most recently Swen Lorenz featured JET (behind paywall). By coincidence I am also a relatively happy user of their service, especially since the lock downs started.
A good starting point for an analysis is this write-up from a US based 2 bn USD hedgefund called “Catrock” which has invested ~30% of its NAV into JET and not surprisingly is very bullish. therefore I will only describe here what I find important.
Disclaimer: This is not investment advice !!! PLEASE DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH.
At first a big “health warning”: My track record with Spin-offs is awful although I dedicated significant efforts into this area. Over the last years, I missed out on several good ones (Uniper, Trisura, Osram) and I unfortunately invested in a few bad ones (Cars.com, Metro). My best spin-off investment so far was Italgas.
Siemens Spin-off history
Siemens itself is an interesting case, as under (soon to be former) CEO Joe Kaeser, and even before, they are one of the few German companies that use spin-offs more or less frequently. Over the years, Siemens has spun off for instance Quimonda (bankrupt), Infineon (has recovered quite well), Osram (taken over by AMS) and Siemens-Gamesa (very volatile but strong performance lately). Overall I would say that on average the Siemens Spin-offs did very well despite being mostly “ugly ducks” at the time of spinning off. Siemens Healthineers in comparison was not an ugly duck (despite the stupid name) and that’s why they actually IPOed it.
Siemens Energy AG Spin-off
This is the latest spin-off from Siemens, spun-off on September 28th with a first price of around 22 EUR, a lot lower than initially expected. As we can see in the chart, the shares dropped at first but now recovered to the initial level in line with Siemens AG and the DAX:
At the time of writing, it seems that the worst is over at least for the developing world. Numbers of newly infected persons are shrinking and in the Epicenter, Wuhan, life slowly seems to open up again. Yes, the number of deaths is still rising but this is to be expected as there is at least a 10-14 day delay in deaths compared to new infections.
All in all, it looks that “the hammer” including lock downs seems to have worked for the time being. For me time to think about two areas:
- What did I learn in the last few weeks ?
- What should I focus on going forward ?
2018 was on the surface a solid year for Handelsbanken. According to the 2018 annual report, operating profit increased by +5% and net income by +8%, top line by +5%. ROE was 12,8% which is below my assumed 15% but still a remarkably good number for a large bank.
Just looking at the bottom line, the first quarter of Handelsbanken looks great: Net income up +19%, operating profit up +18%. However top line only grew at +4% (vs. Q1 2018).
However this is solely a function of the fact that the bank reversed their provision into the Oktogonen pension fund for employees which they clearly state in the quarterly report:
Having this blog is nice because I can look back at what my original ssumptions were. I bought Van Lanschot in 2013, almost 5 1/2 years ago.
This was how I “valued” Van Lanschot back then:
A simple, “Berkowitz style” valuation would be: Book value
With ~0.51 times book value, Van Lanschot is one of the cheapest banks in Europe. Even Greek Banks like Piraeus Bank trade higher. The current valuation is on a level with „quality banks“ like Unicredit, Espirito Santo and Credito Bergamesco.
Interestingly, the P/B multiple for listed Private banks is a lot higher. Swiss competitors Julius Baer, EFG and Banq Privee de Rothschild for instance trade on multiples between 1.1-2.0 times book, a clear premium to „normal“ banks.
So with a “normal” result, one could argue for a valuation somewhere at 1.5 x book value. Clearly, this will be a long way, one should not expect exploding profits in the next quarters. But in a time period of 3-5 years, I could imagine that the stock can triple if the turn-around is succesful. Also, when people finally realize that not every Dutch homeowner will go broke, there might be a re-rating of Dutch financial stocks in general. But this might also take time.
It would be easy to come up with a much more complicated valuation method, but I like to keep it simple. If there are no big holes in the balance sheet and costs are kept under control, equity is at a safe level, then book value should be achievable for any bank.
Intro: Why am I looking at this ?
Fintech companies these days are hot. Not many days past that not another big deal is announced. Most of the “action” though takes place in the Venture Capital market which is normally closed for most retail investors.
There is clearly a lot of hype in the sector, on the other hand there are more and more really disruptive business models that might do to traditional finance (Insurance, banking, Asset management) what Amazon has done to retail
As financial services is one of my core interests in investing, I think it will pay of to keep an eye on what is happening in Fintech.
An exception is the German company Creditshelf, which despite being a pretty early stage startup, has just successfully completed its IPO on July 18th.
Dom Security was a French small cap that I discovered 2 years ago. My thesis back then was that the underlying business was attractive, that profits will recover and that I will own this “Boring” stock for a long time.
Well, almost exactly 2 years after I have invested, Dom Security came out with some news a few days ago.
The good part: EUR 75 Tender offer (10%)
Dom is planning a tender offer (share buy back) offer for 10% of the outstanding shares at a price of EUR 75 per share. Free float is currently around 30%.