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Posts Tagged ‘NTA’

Perils of buying on NTA III

In Corporate governance, Investments on 01/04/2010 at 5:20 am

Today, five companies no longer are listed after posting losses for five straight years: General Magnetics, Chuan Soon Huat Industrial, ASA Group, Fastech Synergy and Ionics EMS.

These delistings show yet again the danger of buying on NTA.

One, even if a firm has the cash for a buyout, most shareholders will not benefit. Ionics EMS’s exit offer of 1.5 cents per share, for example, was a 23.86 per cent discount to the 12-month volume-weighted average price (VWAP).

And as BT reported on tuesday, “With most of the companies experiencing drastic sell-offs since the de-listing notice was issued on March 2, their counters’ last-traded prices have fallen significantly below net asset value (NAV). General Magnetics’ case is the most vivid, with a $0.19 NAV per share against its last-traded price of $0.085.”

And as BT pointed out,  “Should VWAP feature more prominently than NAV in determining the exit offer, the price may end up being ridiculously low and shareholders of the five companies that face de-listing may find the options to stay or to go are not really options at all.”

But some gd news for value investors:  the investors in Lion Asiapac have gotten something — 15 cents a share via special dividend. Gd for them and great that they stood up and shouted for the money. And all without that self-proclaimed small shareholders’ champ.SIAS

http://atans1.wordpress.com/2010/03/18/perils-of-buying-on-nta-ii/

Perils of buying on NTA II

In Investments on 18/03/2010 at 5:33 am

It was reported in Today that ” Minority shareholders of Lion Asiapac are making another push for the company to pay out special dividends. Previous calls for such distribution were ignored.”

‘Mr Mano Sabnani, a Lion Asiapac shareholder, said: “The company has got more money than it needs. It can easily pay out 20 cents a share and still have a big cash hoard for new businesses.

‘Shareholders had previously petitioned Lion Asiapac’s chairman Othman Wok, calling for the distribution of special dividends to boost the stock price, which is trading at a heavily-discounted 33 cents to its cash value of 47 cents.”

The problem is that the company is a subsidiary of Lion Group, a M’sian listco, which means that Lion Group has the votes to block any such resolution.

Buying on a deep discount to NTA only works if the value investor can see some catalyst that will unlock value. Where there is a controlling shareholder or shareholders, this catalyst often does not exist. Witness Haw Par http://atans1.wordpress.com/2009/12/11/hidden-tiger/,

Chemoil http://atans1.wordpress.com/2009/12/16/when-a-controlling-stake-goes-at-a-massive-discount/ and

UE http://atans1.wordpress.com/2009/12/17/the-perils-of-buying-on-nta-calculations/

And bear in mind that such a discount could also be a sign that investors are concerned that the cash or assets  could be used up in unprofitable businesses, rather than given back to shareholders. Again where there is a controlling shareholder or shareholders, this is more likely to happen.  Not because the shareholder wants to screw the others but often because his time horizon is very, very long.  And he has other reasons for his holdings say sentimentality.

Chinese dot.com companies listed on Nasdaq were trading below their net cash positions after the dot.com bust. Investors rightly assumed that they would not see the cash.The cash would be used to fund internet ventures etc. Anything else except be returned to shareholders. They were right.

The perils of buying on NTA calculations

In Corporate governance, Investment banking, Investments on 17/12/2009 at 7:36 am

Recently I read a report on United Engineers by CIMB.  “We maintain our Outperform rating and target price of S$2.15, still based on a 20% discount to our end-CY10 RNAV estimate of S$2.68. Our positive view remains founded on its attractive valuations against underlying assets backed by improving operating indicators and an improving net gearing. We see stock catalysts from further stabilising of commercial rents. UE trades at a depressed 0.5x P/BV”

No-one I know ever got rich buying UE. And this reminds me of what I wrote in June 2009.

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The perils of buying NTA

The share price of United Engineers is falling after its high of S$2.37 on 29 May. This illustrates that buying a counter at a deep discount to its NTA can be problematic, if there is no catalyst to unlock value. To recap. As part of an asset rationalising swap, Straits Trading and its controlling privately-owned shareholder swapped assets.

12% of UE was sold to Tecity at around S$1.52 a share, and 7% of WBL Corp was sold to ST as part of the asset swap. ST ended up with 19% of WBL. BTW WBL has another 10% of UE.

There was speculation that Tecity had immediate designs on UE. UE’s shares are at a deep discount to its published NTA of S$3.43. They remembered Tecity’s bid for ST which ended with Tecity paying S$6.70 for assets (revalued) worth S$6.52 a share. What is forgotten is that Tecity busy coping with the consequences of having spent S$1.1bn to own 82% of ST; is not likely to want to reward other UE shareholders at Tecity’s expense.

Assuming it bids at published NTA, it would have to spend S$679m. And if, the other major shareholder, GE Life starts a bidding war, the cost could escalate, like in ST. In early 2008, there were estimates that UE’s NTA could be S$6. And if it did bid at NTA or more, any time soon, ST’s minority shareholders would rightly cry foul.

TeCity’s founder, the deceased Tan Chin Tuan, would spin in his grave hearing his heirs being accused of being unfair to minorities.

Incidentally the cost of selling UE’s assets are likely to be very high.

Maybe future UE annual reports should give an estimate of the costs of selling these assets to unlock the published NTA. And maybe advisers to the independent directors of a target company; and the acquirer should subtract the costs of liquidating the assets when toying with NTA values in their reports.

If this had been done in ST, Tecity could have got away with a lower bid.

 

GIL: Worth Analysing?

In Investments on 16/11/2009 at 1:31 am

(GIL) surely must be worth further analysis as a special situation. Published NTA is 35 cents a share as at June while it is now trading at 25 cents (up 2 cents).

But I’ll give detailed analysis a miss as there will be a change of manager. The present manager is part of the defunct Babcock & Brown group (in fact GIL was once Babcock & Brown Global Infrastructure Fund). The directors want to appoint as manager a ST Gp company, while a shareholder with about 20% wants a relatively unknown Australian fund manager.

So better to wait to see who becomes the manager (there is EGM later in November). And in the meantime,  I will try to find out more abt both managers.

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