Flight Centre, the Australian based travel company is a company which is on 2 to do lists of mine: The Australian list as well the travel series list. By chance I discovered that there is a book about Flight Centre. I decided to kick-off the analysis with this book review as part 1 of a Flight Centre analysis.
The book covers the complete story of Flight Centre and its founders from the start in 1973 until 2013 and was written by an “insider”, a former employee who worked as head of the UK operations.
Following my previous posts on Australian stocks and Australian leasing companies in particular, it is not a big suprise that my first Australian investment is an Australian leasing/financing company called Silver Chef.
The company / the business
Silver Chef is an Australian company which according to the website “delivers equipment funding solutions that help small businesses reach their full potential.”
The company went public in 2005. Some key figures (at 9,20 AUD/stock)
Market cap: 323 mn AUD
P/E 2014/2015: 15,2,
Div. Yield 5,7%EV/EBIT 20,2
One very interesting aspect about Australian stocks is that there are many listed companies whose main activity is some sort of leasing. Those companies are all quite profitable and relatively cheap.
So far I only had looked at one leasing company, AerCap, the US based Aircraft leasing company.
The leasing business simply stated is asset based lending without a banking license. The client, instead of buying something outright and recieveing a loan from a bank, “leases” the good, pays installments and hands over the good after some time back to the lessor.
The leasing company therefore has the following main risks to bear:
Up until now, I only looked at one single Australian stock: Australian Vintage two years ago. I didn’t like it mainly because I thought the interests between Management and shareholders were not aligned. Interestingly the stock jumped in the last weeks after doing nothing for 2 years.
Australian stock market facts
Let’s start with some facts about the Australian stock market. According to Bloomberg, there are 2.059 Australian companies listed on the Australian stock exchange, total market cap is 1.59 tn AUD.
No quick fixes for American Express ? And a good post from Punchcard blog on Amex and competition.
Interested in Australian stocks ? Try the Forager Fund blog and the fund reports.
Good post on Italian stocks (Finmeccanica, Piaggio, CIR)
Damodaran on negative interest rates and valuation
The story of “fracking pioneer” Aubrey McClendon
Muddy Waters has updated its Casino short thesis (h/t Valuewalk)