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Yongnam: Profit guidance 3Q 2013.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Yongnam's share price declined more than 10% early this morning. Reason? The management issued a profit guidance. It is more like a fair warning that the latest quarter's results will be negative and that investors should not be too optimistic. This is due to:

1. Cost overruns from 3 on-going projects, paring operating margin to new lows

and

2. A significant one-off loss on disposal of some fixed assets.

So, what did I do? Thanks to an SMS alert from a friend, I did a quick read of the announcement before buying more at 24c a share.





I believe that Yongnam's position in the construction industry is not shaken. It owns a large inventory of reusable steel struts which are valuable assets as they also present a high barrier to entry in Yongnam's niche in the industry.

The decline in share price has presented a good opportunity for me to buy into the business at a discount to NTA. I cannot see how it is a bad idea to own what Yongnam has at a discount.

Of course, cost overruns and suffering losses are unpleasant but we are buying a business with an eye on its future. So, it is important to question if such instances will become the norm? Will they happen again and again in the future? Will they be persistent?

I am of the belief that these are one-off events and that Yongnam's balance sheet will not be negatively impacted in any big way. Overall, Yongnam will still remain profitable for the year although it will pale in comparison to the year before.

Yongnam's future is bright as they will be a beneficiary of the government's drive to double the MRT network in Singapore and there will be work aplenty until 2030. Even if there should not be any iconic projects (which is unlikely), Yongnam will probably have quite a bit of work to keep them busy in the years ahead.

When one-off events like this send Mr. Market into a manic depression, they present a chance for me to buy a business with a proven track record and a bright future at a discount.

Some of us might remember there were times when Mr. Market was very optimistic about Yongnam (for example, on the Myanmar airport projects). Its share price rose to be much higher then. That was probably a bad time to buy.

Please note that I am not glossing over the challenges that Yongnam is facing. Like other construction companies, Yongnam is having a hard time with cost pressures.

With a 3Q loss, they might or might not pay a dividend for the year although a lower DPS should not be demanding. Without major CAPEX in the year, this is a possibility.

See:
Profit guidance: 3Q 2013

Related post:
Yongnam: A chance to accumulate cheaper.

30 comments:

Solace said...

Hi AK,

I am glad we have the same perception on this one :)

May we be rewarded one day haha. Patience!

AK71 said...

Hi Solace,

My long position initiated in early 2012 at 24.5c a share is 85% divested.

Today, I am quite happy to "replenish" my stock. ;p

Singapore Man of Leisure said...

AK,

You're a good trader ;)

Fingers tapping table top.

sillyinvestor said...

Hi Ak,

I was looking at Yongnam rather closely after the fall. I am quite happy with their business capabilities, and their ability to capture market for the "iconic buildings"

But their corporate actions/governance? made me rather uncomfortable

1) Employment shares options (ESOS), the number of options might be less than 10% of shares oustanding, but almost all of it is given to the directors, I know directors have executive roles, but what about the top executives?
The exercise period for share option is up to 10 years, and one option of determining the exercise price is at a DISCOUNT subject to a maximum of 20% DISCOUNT...WHOA!! How generous... I think they are opportunistic and unapologetic with this scheme too. At 2009, they issue 20,248,000 with an exercised price of 8 cents.The highest exercised price is 29.4 cents with only 350,000 options issued at 2007. I am surprised such a scheme get approved in 2004!
2) They didn't pay themselves badly, they take home more than 10% of NP for years now.
3) They don't pay dividend well, granted it has been increasing, but payout ratio is decreasing except for last year, even during the boom year of 2011, they did not declare special dividend, but they didn't forget to increase director pays. The dividend payout is less than 20% for years except 2012, assume they become generous and will payout 30% with the maturing of the business, with the peak eps of 5 cents, you get 1.5 cents, that will be 6.25% yield(Not bad). It will not happen this year, and the peak might be a optimistic projection

I did compare the pay with TTJ, their closest competitor, to see if its a norm, sadly, it is not.

Dun get me wrong, I am OK with competent directors being pay well. But either by their pay or by options. If they are pay well on both ends, I expect them to pay shareholders generously well too. I think Yongnam directors only pass the competence test.

Sorry if I sound too critical and pour cold waters to anyone.

Also for Yongnam to do very well like the peak year, the market must by favourable in both the Specialist civil engineering and structural steelwork segments in Singapore. I am not sure about the structural steelwork outlook in Singapore, but they could get around this by going overseas, since they have some success overseas.

But overseas market make up only a small part on their business and is rather ad hoc, I am not sure which country do they have a consistent stronghold.

Finally, I guess the project that could go into overun costs should be belt conveyor structure project in Malaysia. It is due to be completed by 3Q2013, any overrun must be declared, sports hub and art gallery are due for completion in Q4 and 2014Q1 respectively, shouldn't there be enough time to make up lost time? If I am right in this count, it points to the inherent higher risk in operating in overseas market.

Also, e... no discriminating la, but ask me whether project in malaysia or singapore more likely to run into overrun problems...;p

AK71 said...

Hi SMOL,

Your fingers are flying on the table top? A new form of tap dancing? ;p

I don't know if I am a good trader but I think I have been mostly lucky. :)

Well, if we believe in TA, there seems to be a higher low in the MACD while share price formed a lower low.

AK71 said...

Hi Mike,

Thanks for sharing your analysis and your concerns regarding Yongnam's directors' compensation.

The fact that, collectively, they own less than 20% of Yongnam's stock probably means that their interests are less aligned with that of minority shareholders'. This has crossed my mind before.

However, as I like to look at the big picture first always, I believe that this niche player in the construction industry with a relatively low gearing level will continue to do well.

Investors who have stuck with Yongnam through thick and thin in the last 10 years would be holding on to a multi-bagger. I don't think they would have minded the lack of a dividend now.

I am not averse to paying managers well or, indeed, better than average, if they are able to add value to my investment and I feel that Yongnam is able to do this.

It has hit a rough patch now. Will it recover? Willing to hazard a guess?

The stock seems quite tradable too. So, for those who are inclined to, they could do a bit of trading while waiting. ;p

Singapore Man of Leisure said...

AK,

Next time people ask me for examples of trading around a core position, I'll refer them to your trades ;)

Nera, Yongnam, Marco, etc.

I'll pass on your last CMZ trade - although you doubled your money, that's no a good trade. Not sour grapes; but I think you understand me ;)



AK71 said...

Hi SMOL,

Aiyoh, cannot. I am a bad example because I like to tikam from time to time. -.-"

So, you tap danced to a long position in Yongnam as well? ;p

Singapore Man of Leisure said...

AK,

We all have our idiosyncrasies.

You shy to reveal your face; I shy to share my positions ;)

You're the ant, I'm the grasshopper.

You call yourself an investor; I call myself a man-whore.

Now who's the bad example?

LOL!

AK71 said...

Hi SMOL,

Ant very poor thing. Grasshopper also poor thing. Frog in well also very poor thing. Suddenly, I feel depressed. :(

Singapore Man of Leisure said...

AK,

I not depressed.

As a man-whore, I get paid to do what I like ;)

Eh! Go get some chocolate. It will perk you up. Wink, wink.

Once upon a time, it was banned as an aphrodisiac!?

LOL!

AK71 said...

Hi SMOL,

Kamsiah you hor. I munching on Kit Kat now. ;)

Musicwhiz said...

It's a construction company right? I guess that alone should fizzle my interest.

Watch for high capex requirements.

Regards.

AK71 said...

Hi MW,

CAPEX is a valid concern but the management has advised that free cash flow is likely to increase substantially in the near future as a major CAPEX cycle has come to an end. Of course, do we believe them? ;p

AhJohn said...

A fund with no management fee, a good idea?
When will AK start one?

http://www.aggregate.com.sg/fund-factsheet/

Musicwhiz said...

I think the issue here is not whether we believe them or not. Take a look at the history of the construction cycle in Singapore, and also look at the fortunes of listed construction companies. Observe their historical FCF and changes in Balance Sheet debt levels. What makes Yongnam different from other construction companies? Are they different in any significant way which would give them an edge?

Objective data should be able to tell you a lot about whether a company is worth investing in. Management will always be optimistic. When it comes to investing, we have to rely on our own wits and gain insights from the data and information we glean.

AK71 said...

Hi Ah John,

I believe they are going to be at Value Investing Summit 2014 too. ;)

I am not qualified to do something like this and I don't really have the inclination either. Too stressful. ;p

AK71 said...

Hi MW,

Indeed so. I can only hope that my views are correct. :)

Unknown said...

Hi AK71, interesting article on Yongnam + the subsequent exchange of views. May I republish your post on www.NextInsight.net + a selection of the readers' views? Tx. ct.leong@nextinsight.net

AK71 said...

Hi CT,

The blog is lucky to have high quality comments from readers which have provided a more balanced view of Yongnam.

Thanks for offering to republish what you have found here. Please go ahead. :)

Solace said...

Hi AK,

Was away for a few days from your blog, only to come back to see very good quality of exchange of comments :)

i will also add in why i open a long position for yongnam. Scuttlebutt is one of the most underused fundamental techniques in our digital age.

By knowing people in the industry and communicating with them on a regular basis will reveal the economic moat of Yongnam.

Structural Steelworks one of the core business divisions is a key pillar of yongnam. The quality and brand name is unmatched by competitors in the regions.

If one have studied the finer details of the industry, one would realized the demand for steel structure will start to outpace the demand of cement. Moving forward, the demand should grow even stronger.

Another thing i look at is "Has the fundamentals of the company really change when it trading at 38 cents compare to now when it is trading at 24 cents?" If the basic fundamentals of the company is still the same, then with a lower P/E, P/B it presents a excellent opportunity to buy.

Hope that this will provide us with some rooms for thoughts and adds to the excellent exchange of comments here

AK71 said...

Hi Solace,

I share your sentiments. Yongnam is well positioned to do much better in future and given its track record and the pipeline of projects available in Singapore alone, there is no reason why it would not.

However, cost pressures are mounting and I need to see whether Yongnam is able to come out on top of things. Time will tell.

Unknown said...

Thanks again, AK71. The article is now published on www.NextInsight.net

AK71 said...

Hi CT,

Thanks for sharing the blog with your readers.

I am happy that you have included comments by Mike and Solace, both of whom are guest bloggers here in ASSI. :)

Love the re-styled heading:
YONGNAM: "To me, Price drop = buying opportunity!"

Very garang! Hope I don't look stupid down the road. -.-"

Solace said...

Hi Ak,

While the attention of your blog today is Croesus Retail Trust, i have accumulate more of Yongnam at $0.23 today. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Solace,

I see strong support for Yongnam at 22c. So, had to control myself from buying any now that support at 24c has been compromised. ;p

Solace said...

Haha AK,

Yes From technical perspective 0.22 is a strong support.

But from fundamental view, it looks more value for money now, haha bad solace! don't know how to control Lol

AK71 said...

Hi Solace,

Join me and wait at 22c? I saved you a seat! ;p

Solace said...

Hi AK,

Haha sounds tempting :D

But cannot believe whatever AK says!!

See my Stock Portfolio allocation 1st, must leave war chest for others as well, Maybe Croseus Retail Trust, if break 0.87 support LOL LOL.

AK71 said...

Hi Solace,

Croesus Retail Trust? I am in the queue to buy again at 85.5c. Join me? Come, I saved you a seat. ;p

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