It’s high time to review my holdings and if anything changed in their investment thesis. This will be a monster post, for me it’s a great way to review all my holdings and make sure I stay up to date. For you, if you hold or are interested in one of these stocks you will get a quick “what’s the latest” with some sprinkles of why this is a great company (or not anymore). As a bonus there is a short elevator pitch of my two new holdings.
I stopped posting updates for every portfolio change (instead found under Trade History tab), so I have some changes to comment on: MIX Telematics left the portfolio and Lvji entered and exited without comment from my side. MIX Telematics was a case of having too high exposure to the oil industry in the US, I don’t see that coming back at all in the same way as in the past. This was something I did not understand when I invested, properly hidden oil exposure and a mistake on my side. Lvji was a tech play on travel guides for Chinese, but soon after taking a position some twitter friends alerted me of doubtful accounting. I looked at it myself and couldn’t really feel comfortable, better safe than sorry I then sold at almost the same price I bought.
Now on to comments on all my current holdings from top to bottom in the table below.
Press “read more” and enjoy!
I clearly underestimated how long travel would and will be non-existent to Cambodia. Still this summer I had pretty high hopes that China and Cambodia would open up travel (bubble) between them. It’s pretty clear now that any major travel will not happen until a large part of the worlds population has received a vaccine. The market has not been able to look past 1-2 years of lost/reduced profits for Nagacorp and has hammered down the stock at a peak to through off -50%. That has been painful in one of my largest holdings. Instead of giving up on the holding I have tried to stay true to my investment style of being really long term and have rather added to my holding during this year. The company has no net debt and is still generating minor positive cash flow. As long as travel start to come back during 2021 I see very little actual company risk. Another positive which hasn’t been mentioned much is the long awaited gambling tax seems to finally have been decided: Tax rate of 4% on VIP GGR and 7% on mass market GGR. This cements Nagaworld’s position as having both a low tax and low wage advantage towards Casino’s in the rest of Asia.
If timelines hold, 2025 is going to be a huge year for Nagacorp. Just recently they announced a new project, to finalize an integrated resort close to Angkor Wat by 2025. For the same year, Naga3 will finalize and the new airport (government project) in Phnom Penh as well. I have to say I’m not fully happy with the resort initiative, it will be costly to build this resort and the pay-off from something like this is not even nearly as profitable as a casino. Will it be able to attract more customers also to the casino? Perhaps, but there are better ways of spending so much money if only that is the goal. I have been to Angkor Wat and it’s true that there is not much else to do except seeing the temples. A water land in the scorching heat would have been a nice break, but I rather see another company build the resort and increase the attractiveness for a Cambodia visit. As an example a lot of luxury hotels are opening in PP, many of the hotels visitors will probably visit the casino. This is how I want to see Nagacorp leveraging on the growth of Cambodia. 5 years is a long time to wait for all of this to finalize, but I bought my first Nagacorp shares in 2012 and these 8 years seems to have blown by. The mid-term horizon would be to get back to pre-covid levels and the stock has good upside just from that. Given the resort announcement though I’m slightly less positive to keep this as my top holding. I might make some smaller adjustments depending on the stock price.
ZYN keeps rocking in USA and this is now clearly the main driver of the investment-case.
There are always FDA risks lurking and from that perspective I would actually want that Swedish Match lost some of its insane market share in the nicotine pouch market in the USA. So I’m happy to see On! (Altria) taking some market share recently. From my perspective its only FDA can stop this from continuing to deliver fantastic free cash flow and shareholder returns. It’s very hard to quantify exactly how large that FDA risk is. It’s very clear to me (and through studies on snus) that nicotine pouches are much less harmful than inhaling tobacco into your lungs. That doesn’t mean that FDA will allow this to be a product which is attractive to minors. Mint taste for example is a touchy subject. The end-game in my view for USA is that this product reaches similar penetration as in the Nordic markets for snus. For example in Norway this happened over the past decades: “The market share for snus increased from 4% in 1985 to 28% in 2012, but overall tobacco consumption decreased by 20.3% over this same period. Snus was the most common method for smoking cessation.”
The company is so well managed, with optimized balance sheet through dividends and share buybacks. This buyback table is so beautiful: https://www.swedishmatch.com/Investors/The-share/Shares-outstanding/. The best performing sector in the 1900s were the tobacco companies, this is the modern version of those tobacco compounders to own in this century. You will never get a quick double, but likelihood of outperforming the market long term is very high.
One of my real Covid winners, a lot of my companies have been hurting so it’s been good to have one real winner also. What has happened over the past year is what I was hoping for and built my investment case around (Analysis link). Not only increasing number of clients but up-selling to the existing 30k+ customer base. And they really managed to do that, I think this graph explains a lot of the run-up in the stock:
Like I wrote in my previous analysis, Zendesk makes 5k USD per customer, so LiveChat has a lot of upside if they build out their product offering further. Since the company keeps growing the customer base with some 10% YoY, this double effect really picks up the revenue growth (and profits). So company is doing great, only “problem” is that the share-price has been doing even better. The company is not very cheap at these levels, even with the IP BOX tax-rebate which is another great bonus (10% tax instead of 19%). The stock is priced for 15%+ YoY revenue growth pretty far out in the future. I’m quite confident over the coming 2-3 years but further out than that its very much down to the company, to out-execute their competition. I’m inclined to keep this as one of my largest holdings given how well they execute, but it also makes me somewhat uncomfortable to hold stocks that run ahead of their fundamentals. I guess we are just in such times where, compared to other Tech stocks listed in the US (for example Zendesk), this is still outrageously cheap. From that perspective another double is possible if international investors move in.
I would say this company is a short term Covid loser, but long term winner. The shops, restaurants etc, the users of payment terminals have really been hurting, but moving away from cash to contactless payments has got another kick in the butt from Covid. PAX delivers really well given the circumstances. The big issue which is keeping the valuation low is the, not very efficient capital allocation. The company is sitting on a huge pile of cash (3bn HKD vs 6bn MCAP). Part of this due to in-efficient payment terms which PAX extends to it’s regional buyers of terminals and also pure conservatism (often seen in Chinese led companies). With a more efficient and aggressive capital strategy and continued business performance, this stock still has multi-bagger potential from this level. What makes me very bullish is that the company has the past year made strides in the right direction, increasing dividend etc. It’s extraordinary to find such a well run growing company trade below P/E 8. If I had this holding longer in the portfolio I would probably have it as my top holdings by now. Further stock performance feels like it’s 50/50 dividend on business performance and what the management does to allocate the bloated balance sheet better.
Given how the ESG trend has lifted all boats for stocks that are pro-Environment, I’m not sure why Greatview has not seen more inflows. The aseptic packaging is clearly a more eco friendly choice than plastic bottles and I think we have a long tailwind in front of us as more and more of our drink packages move away from pure plastic. That said, Greatview has seen a small re-rating on back of solid performance given the challenging Covid backdrop. I’m very happy how the company has delivered during this year and I was surprised the market was so extremely slow to pick-up on the good results. In the first half of 2020 revenue grew 12% YoY in China and 21% in Europe. Net profit decreased due to one-off profit and China subsidies booked in 2019, adjusted for that it looks very good for the underlying business. The company has a very high dividend pay-out ratio (80-90% over the past years) which means (even after this run-up in the stock price) an 8% dividend yield. With no dividend tax in Hong Kong and strong revenue growth this is similar like PAX above, a very cheap stock given the market environment we are in. With some further revenue growth (which they already have factory capacity for) I could see this re-rate down towards a 4-5% yield meaning that the stock would double from here.
I was very happy with how this holding was performing on back of the rumour that Baidu might want to buy YY core business. Even happier when the bid was confirmed during JOYYs Q3 release, 3.6bn USD was the price tag. Great stuff, I was quite convinced we would see a 2 day run-up as the market digested the news towards 120-130 USD per share. My plan was to sell-down my holding somewhat around that level since I do think the international segment with BIGO Live is more tricky. I have been reviewing that platform quite extensively over the past months. Quite a lot of the accounts that earn larger amounts of money is related to boob flashing activities and the such. Nothing outrageous in my view, but very basic human instincts of pretty girl in front of the camera and guys over the world sending her virtual items which can often cost in the 40-50 USD range to buy. Then Muddy Waters released a short report on JOYY, here we go again I thought. I was already in one such case earlier this year with Tianneng Battery, although a less reputable short shop that time. Muddy freaking Waters is another ballgame though. So I read the report, scratched my head. Scratched my head a bit more and consulted the all knowing twitter community to see some reactions. In the end my conclusion is that this was one of Muddy Waters less well written reports. I have no idea what happened on their side and if they already were short or not. But if I was short and my short case mostly focused around the Mainland Chinese part (YY core), I do think Baidu coming in with a 3.6bn USD bid on my short case would make me a bit nervous. It felt like they were not ready to release this report yet but had to rush it out to protect their investment. Pure speculation on my side though.
That MW sees a short case in one of my longs, does of course not feel great. But I do have to trust my own research and that says that this time MW is at least not spot on correct in their analysis. The market does not either seem to agree fully with MW. I have to say MW has sowed some seeds of doubt also in my mind of how solid this business is. If Baidu would walk away from their commitment that would be a clear red flag and I think the stock would dump significantly on that. So there is that tail-risk. If I’m going to hold this long-term though I just have to make up my mind if this is a fraud, a company with a few dirty tricks hidden but mostly a OK company or that MW is entirely wrong. Right now I’m leaning to the middle case and I’m not really sure where that leaves me in terms of holding this long term. China tech stocks are very rarely easy.. ..hence the big discount. JOYY is again such a case where the cash they hold (MW believes the cash is fake) + money from Tencent buying Huya (which can’t be fake) +minority interest left in Huya + Money from Baidu is covering the whole MCAP of the company. So even if the international business is mostly fake, it’s still for free. And the business is not that fake, because I’m for sure not alone when I login to the BIGO platform. It’s rather full of people live-streaming all over the world. So if Baidu pays 3.6bn USD for YY core, MW whole short case is just.. ..gone.
Essex is hurt by Covid like all companies selling Pharmaceuticals and other products that goes through doctors recommendations. Company recently updated that sales is back to pre-covid levels, not very surprising given that China barely have Covid cases. One interesting new co-operation which could yield results long term but again will eat up the cash-flow the company is generating. This time with Henlius a HK listed company for (wet) age-related macular degeneration (wAMD). There is a Swedish company which is preparing to launch a bio-similar for the same disease called Xbrane. The market is valuing Xbrane at 160m USD, it’s a loss making research company with one really promising bio-similar. Essex Biotech is valued at 300m USD and is generating a profit of some 40m USD annually. So, the market keeps giving no credit to the investments Essex makes into research that could yield great returns a few years ahead. I think this will probably keep being a frustrating investment to hold and one day the stock will just fly up as the company is re-rated on back of positive news on something it is invested in. If anything I will keep being stubborn and perhaps even add to this holding on further weakness. It is indeed trying to be an investor on the Hong Kong exchange, but that is also why there are bargains.
Company trades as a proxy on Covid in line with hotel stocks. I do think that is a harsh way to treat this company, which is turning around its largest segment, supermarkets. I recently talked to someone who worked at Dairy Farm, from that perspective I’m not very impressed by the company. I think much of the explanation why this stock has performed so poorly, is probably related to poor company management. Terribly implemented SAP project etc. I did hope the new CEO could turn it around, but he can’t do it alone and maybe he is not as good as I hoped? I held this stock for 3 testing years I will need to see a clear turn-around in the figures in the coming 18 months or I have to conclude this a failed investment.
One would think that alcohol consumption goes down if you can’t go out for dinners and drinks. That might be the case in most parts of the world – not Finland/Baltics. These northern Vikings just upped consumption drinking (at home) and saved my bacon (short term) in this holding.
This is quite normal in this market but also gives me less future returns to look forward to. As the company grows out of the micro-cap segment (1bn EUR MCAP now) I do believe Olvi with permanently trade at a higher multiple.
I think the market and holders of this company are extremely split. On the one hand Valneva’s profit making products benefit from travelling, selling more Ducoral for tourist stomach and Japanese encephalitis vaccine. On the other hand Valneva has entered the Covid race and would hopefully towards end of next year have a product on the market. The third leg which is more neutral is the agreement with Pfizer to develop the long awaited borrelia/Lyme vaccine. Here initial Phase 2 results are out and they look very good. In my view the stock should go up on news that a vaccine is coming out (more travel and Lyme vaccine can continue to be tested). But the market has partly seen this as negative given that Valneva’s own covid vaccine sales are less likely to materialize if competing vaccine are launched already. One can also say that over the past year the companies financial profile has changed quite a lot. When I wrote my analysis it was just breaking even on its vaccine sales and was seeking a Lyme partner. Now there has been large payments made by Pfizer for Lyme and governments have committed large payments for Covid vaccine:
“UK Government has secured supply of 60 million doses at a cost of €470 million with options over another 130 million doses between 2022 and 2025. Under the agreement, if vaccine development is successful, Valneva will provide the UK government with 60 million doses in the second half of 2021. UK Government then has options over 40 million doses in 2022 and a further 30 million to 90 million doses, in aggregate, across 2023 to 2025. Revenue from these options could amount to almost €900 million.”
Note, Valneva MCAP is 500m EUR, so 900m EUR orders is quite significant. How much of this money Valneva will in the end see and at what margins is still highly unclear. As we know other vaccine producers are launching their vaccines at substantial discounts and some without making any profit.
As a cherry on the top, the company is now preparing for a secondary listing in the US. The number of shares that are going to be offered is at the moment not known, I’m a bit unsure why they make this move now. Perhaps they just think that a Covid vaccine producer is trading at much higher valuations in the US compared to France. All in all the company feels a bit messy right now, a bit too much going on for such a small company. One could from a cash flow perspective trade this stock down -50% but from pipeline perspective this should probably trade much higher than where we are now. I try to look long-term and long term they will most likely have some income from the Covid payments from UK. They will have a larger advanced plant built in UK for that money and they will most likely have a royalty income stream from sales of Lyme vaccine.
This stock has popped together with other “value stocks”. When I bought this stock almost 5 years ago I foresaw a much higher growth rate than what has materialized. Hence the market is rather classifying this mostly as a boring bank stock by now. Stock price wise given that I have been partly wrong here has been OK. But 32% return over 5 years when my portfolio returned over 100% is also not great. I can announce here that it’s time to sell my oldest holding and the only one that survived since I started the blog. I will register the sell during next week.
Kirkland Lake Gold
This is in my view a well run company which continues to execute well generating good positive cash-flow which it returns to shareholders. But gold is down, so stock is down. I see this (and McEwen) more as a short term hedge in my portfolio to the lunacy of central-banks and FED foremost. I don’t expect this holding to do well when the rest of my portfolio is taken all time highs. Gold has been mysteriously weak though, given that USD also been weak. Will be interesting to see if gold breaks its uptrend, I still believe we will see another leg up to high 2000s.
The largest change is that the founders daughter has taken over as CEO for the company. Mind that the company is still majority owned by Swedish Essity, even so, the founder seems to have enough pull to promote his own daughter to CEO. This creates in my view uncertainty, maybe she will be great as CEO. But I see it as less likely compared to a proven outside CEOm but then again would Essity have allowed someone who isn’t really good to be CEO? Other than this the company is just continue on its path of being leading in the e-commerce space and trying to create a premium value on it’s products. So far this is working well. This stock being a toilet paper producer has been on a wild Covid ride, I think the increased liquidity in the stock alone has increased the multiple the stock is trading at. But overall company fundamentals has not changed much, but the market has traded around the stock quite wildly. I think the stock is still decently cheap at these levels and still a very good long term hold.
After screening and reading up on a lot of Polish companies over the past 6 months, two has finally stuck as new investments for me. I think the Polish exchange has many interesting companies but this and Vigo stood out to me. I will try to write a longer intro to both companies in an upcoming post. For now you will only get the elevator pitch:
The company has two segment of sales:
1. Radiopharmaceuticals where the company also spends significant amounts on R&D to come up with new products.
These are used as radioactive tracer fluids during PET/CT-scans. These radioactive fluids have extremely short half-life, since you do not want something radioactive in your body that stays there a long time. This also means that it needs to be produced just before its used. Which means that distance is an issue, it basically needs to be produced rather locally. This is typical example of a small niche product that can generate good cash flow for the company to build a bigger business on.
2. Sales of medical equipment for the worlds leading manufacturers, the largest revenue driver is Intuitive’s Da Vinci systems. Synektik has become the sole distributor of da Vinci systems in Poland, being responsible for the sale and maintenance of surgical robots, instruments and accessories and training of system operators. This product has seen explosive growth over the past few years. This creates larger up-front sales, but as the installed base grows it also creates great sticky service income.
With Poland’s growth to a more developed market as a tailwind I see that Synektik is positioning itself very well to grow together with the country for better healthcare solutions. It’s not trading at an extremely cheap valuation, but P/E 17 is also not stretched with this type of growth over the past years.
Very well run company which in the end is a bet on higher oil prices in the future. I find that higher oil prices long term likely. On the other hand I don’t think the market will ever trade oil companies on high multiples again, even if the oil price does recover, there will be an expectation in the market that oil prices really long term will fall again. That together with the ESG trend will keep valuations lower. Why I’m still willing to have an exposure to oil is not because I believe in that I’m good at macro and where the oil-price will go. What I do believe in though is Tethys, which has significantly outperformed other oil companies, creating a lot of alpha. I’m willing to take the contrarian bet on oil because I can express it through such a great company as Tethys.
Company is delivering decently given the environment, flat revenue, down a bit on net income. The market has hammered this down brutally. I’m not super impressed how the CEO bought something he owned outside Dream International into the company, at the same time it was not an outrageous valuation or transaction either. It’s just when the company is trading below P/E 5, its very hard to do a accreditive investment, it’s just better if you buy back stock or give out a fat dividend. But the majority owner does not really seem to care, so I sit here and suffer this extremely low valuation. I wonder why no larger investor like David Webb has started to accumulate shares. It is slightly bizarre in this bull market owning something for 2.5 years, down -30% that has performed well financially. I have a small itch to actually increase here, but this stock is proper proper value trap land, it could continue to be cheap for a very long time. If you are a true value investor, do take a look at this (and read my full write-up from some years ago).
My second new investment, another elevator pitch:
- Second generation family owned company
- Hidden champion in a very tiny niche of the photonics detector market (Mid IR detectors). This can also be seen through the incredible gross margins 60%+ and operating margins in mid-30%.
- Another proof of the extreme quality of Vigo’s products, and its position is the use of VIGO infrared detectors in a Mars rover Curiosity, which landed on the Red Planet on August 6, 2012 under the NASA program and then the detection of methane traces on Mars in December 2014 using these detectors. The company’s detectors were also used by the European Space Agency as part of the mission Exomars. In October 2016, the Schiaparelli lander module landed on Mars, equipped with VIGO System detectors.
- Is on the verge of producing a new generation of detectors at a much lower price point (potentially increasing use cases multi-fold and volume orders).
- Strong track record of revenue growth which is accelerating in the past few years
- Involved in a number of high profile EU initiated research projects with much larger high profile companies for example here with Infineon, Ericsson and Veoneer: https://car2tera.eu/partners/
- Finally valuation, which is fairly high at P/E 25, seldom do I pay up so much for a company, but as you see above I think this company can do extraordinarily well over the coming 5-10 years. It is basically ticking all of my boxes what I like to see in a company, would love to add more add a lower price as I get to know the company better.
How the co-operation and roll-out of their products for G4S over the coming 1-2 years will be crucial for if this will be a good investment or not. I think the market wants to see actual cash-flow coming and top-line revenue growth before this stock moves higher. And I fully agree, enough talking, show me the money 🙂
Same comment as for Kirkland above with the slight difference that this bet has more optionality in it and is not such a well run company.
Modern Dental Group
Very hard to evaluate this company during Covid times. Except for emergencies, who wants to go to the dentist during Covid? So my holding is stuck in no-mans-land. If valuation is extremely low and financials still look OK when vaccine really is rolled out I might jump in properly in this again, for now I keep this as a reminder for me to keep up to date on the company.
Company slightly increased guidance for the full year, so no major financial changes. But stock is bouncing around like crazy, it’s just too small and illiquid. This is the second largest US listed online dating provider, with 122m USD market cap. The largest (Match Group) has a market cap of 37bn USD. If they have a single product that in any way threatens Match Group I don’t see the issue for Match to bid 500m USD for this and chew it up before even breakfast is served. Let’s see if they can put a dent into some of Match Group’s niche markets. For me it’s worth a speculative position at least.
Touchless buttons could become a big product in elevators and elsewhere. Neonode has the product, I’m hoping they also have the execution, yet to be seen! At 88m USD market cap not a lot need of positive needs to happen for this to fly stock price wise.