CAVEAT: long time readers are aware that I am the author of The Gold Investors Handbook and have been a seller of all gold and gold stocks from $ 1800 until today.
This shift out of gold and out of shipping has allowed Jack A. Bass Managed Accounts to prosper – our position remains very cautious to both sectors preferring to maintain watch lists rather than positions.
IAMGOLD is an intermediate gold company which
produced 764,000 oz in 2013 at a total cash cost of
$796/oz. Its key producing mines include Rosebel (95%)
in Suriname and the Essakane mine in Burkina Faso. Key
development projects include the Westwood (100%)
project in Quebec. Its key non-gold asset is the 100%-
owned Niobec mine in Quebec, which produces niobium.
All amounts in C$ unless otherwise noted.
Metals and Mining — Precious Metals and Minerals
TAKE A KNEE OR HAIL MARY?
At lower gold prices the operating outlook for IAMGOLD is not
favourable and based on the third quarter results the situation is even
more concerning. Grade control issues at Rosebel are expected to persist
into YE and management’s ability to fully fix the problem is unknown.
Near $1,100/oz we believe Rosebel may generate negative FCF. At
Westwood, IMG continues to evaluate different production profiles to
conserve development capital that could result in a slower ramp-up. At
Essakane, the Q3 results provided an insight into longer-term operating
costs for the hard rock expansion and the cost structure looks to be 5%
higher than anticipated. At all three core operations, there appears to be
limited opportunity to materially improve costs structures to defend
against a declining gold price environment.
IAMGOLD faces a fork in the road – utilize the Niobec windfall to pay
down debt and survive in a low gold price environment, or take a long
shot by purchasing a transformative asset (or possibly a combination of
both). In a low gold price environment, neither option will likely be
applauded by the market. Investment highlights
Q3/14 adj. EPS of $0.00 vs. CG at $0.01 and consensus of $0.03.
IMG generated positive ($55m) operating FCF for the first time in
two years. We forecast $16m in Q4/14 or negative $26.4m in FCF
(incl. G&A, expl., int. and ex Niobec). In this note we deconstruct
quarterly cash flows by assets. Valuation
We have revised our target price to C$3.00 from C$4.25. Our target is
predicated on a 0.5x (from 0.6x) multiple to our forward curve derived
operating NAV of C$5.21/sh plus net cash and other assets of C$0.44/sh.
Our low target multiple reflects higher operating, financial, political
(Burkina Faso instability) and acquisition risk.
Metals and Mining — Precious Metals and Minerals SLW : TSX : C$21.51 SLW : NYSE BUY Target: C$29.00
Silver Wheaton is uniquely positioned as the purest silver
producer. The company’s asset base consists of silver purchase
agreements with the San Dimas and Penasquito mines in Mexico,
Pascua-Lama project in Chile/Argentina, Zinkgruvan mine in
Sweden, Yauliyacu mine in Peru, Stratoni mine in Greece. Most
recent streaming deals with Hudbay minerals (silver and gold
streams at 777 and Constancia) and Vale (gold streams at
Salobo and Sudbury mines).
All amounts in C$ unless otherwise noted.
STRONG MOMENTUM INTO Q4 Investment recommendation
Silver Wheaton remains the preferred vehicle for exposure to silver
given the strong growth profile, margins, liquidity and diversification.
Further accretive streaming transactions are possible over the next 12
months, although new equity should be expected for larger transactions.
SLW is currently trading at 1.20x its forward-curve-derived NAV,
modestly above the silver producer group, but below SLW’s royalty
peers. Our NAV continues to assume a 25% permitting/development risk
discount for Pascua and Rosemont. We maintain our BUY rating. Investment highlights
SLW reported Q3/14 adjusted EPS of $0.20, in line with our
estimate and consensus. While attributable AgEq production was
below expectations (8.4 vs. 9.2Moz), a 1.3Moz inventory drawdown
resulted in sales beating our estimate (8.7 vs. 8.4Mozs).
SLW wrote-down Mineral Park $37.1m following Mercator Minerals
Chapter 11 filing, and Campo Morado $31.1m given questionable
viability of the satellite resource base (metallurgy and low prices).
We have removed Mineral Park from our valuation and reduced our
Campo Morado’s valuation by 70%. Overall, these two small streams
are non-core and have limited impact on SLW’s overall profile.
SLW’s key streams remain well insulated to lower prices.
SLW made a final $135m payment to Hudbay Minerals (HBM-T,
BUY, covered by Gary Lampard) relating to the Constancia gold
stream. While the payment was expected, SLW paid through the
issuance of 6.1m shares (dilution of 1.9%) rather than cash. The
preference for equity is understandable with the net debt to EBITDA
at 1.66x, which may not be high relative to SLW’s producing peers,
and is easily manageable, but remains high for a royalty company.
Both Franco-Nevada and Royal Gold have net cash positions. Valuation We have revised our target price to $29.00 from $30.00. Our target
remains predicated on a 1.55x multiple to our fwd. curve derived
5%/operating NAVPS estimate of C$20.02 (previously C$20.76) less net
debt and other corporate adjustments.
Actavis is an integrated global pharmaceutical company
that develops and markets both brand and generic drugs.
With the acquisition of Forest, it has transformed itself
into a formidable brand/generic hybrid pharmaceutical
company with a truly global scope.
All amounts in US$ unless otherwise noted.
Life Sciences — Specialty Pharmaceuticals Q3 REVIEW: NO ONE CARES ABOUT ANYTHING BUT M&A ? Investment recommendation
Actavis announced a great Q3 and raised guidance. Revenue beat our
numbers by $34M, and EPS beat us by $0.15 and consensus by $0.08.
We like the stock on its own merits now with the durability provided by
the Forest products but are becoming increasingly concerned that it’s
getting caught up in the market euphoria that might create a situation
where it would overpay for Allergan. Investment highlights
Synergies already materializing. Breaking the results into Actavis and
Forest components – revenue from Forest products were +14.7% Y/Y
and the Actavis base business was +33.2% Y/Y. As the integration
accelerates and strong performance continues, we don’t see why Actavis
would continue to have a Spec Pharma cellar multiple, and hence are
looking for both an expansion and continued upward earnings revisions.
Salix or Allergan or something else? Although no names were obviously
disclosed, most questions were aimed at deciphering the next
acquisition target: 1) strategic rationale is more important than EPS
(which we find fascinating given there’s virtually zero strategic fit
between Actavis and Allergan); 2) prefer friendly deals as hostiles result
in loss of human capital; and 3) maintain 3.5x leverage. Valuation/risks
We use a standard DCF for our raised $300 target, based on a 10%
discount rate and terminal growth of 2.6%. Risks include: failure to
integrate Forest; undue pricing in US generics; and/or failure to obtain
FDA approvals for the seven key Forest products.
BlackBerry Ltd. (BBRY) shares advanced after the struggling smartphone maker announced a management-services partnership with rival Samsung Electronics Co., the first time the companies have teamed up for a major product.
The stock rose as much as 6.9 percent to $12.05, the highest intraday price since August 2013, after the plan was announced. Samsung’s Knox system, which offers a suite of secure work applications, will run on BlackBerry’s new server, known as BES12, the companies said in a statement today.
BlackBerry is holding an event today in San Francisco to unveil the server, which helps businesses manage devices and communicate securely. The partnership, which competes against an alliance of International Business Machines Corp. and Apple Inc., allies BlackBerry with one of its biggest rivals in the growing mobile device management market. Apple and IBM announced an agreement in July to work together on business services, sending BlackBerry’s stock down 12 percent in one day.
“People probably didn’t expect to see these two companies on the same stage, at least not willingly,” John Sims, head of BlackBerry’s enterprise services business, said at the event. “We need to be able to provide a breadth of choices and do that with companies of the highest level.”
Since taking over the Waterloo, Ontario-based company a year ago, Chief Executive Officer John Chen has focused BlackBerry on business users and outsourced some device manufacturing. Partnerships seem to be the next step in his plan to return the company to profitability by 2016.
Earlier this week Chen said he had met with the heads of Chinese smartphone makers Xiaomi Corp. and Lenovo Group Ltd. and was interested in partnerships to expand in China.
Investors have supported Chen’s turnaround plan, pushing the stock up 51 percent this year through yesterday and putting it on track to beat the Nasdaq Composite Index for the first time since 2009. Ontario Teachers’ Pension Planincreased its holding in the company to 1.6 percent as of Sept. 30, according to a Nov. 7 regulatory filing.
AMZG is an independent E&P company focused on
developing the Bakken and Three Forks shale oil
formations in the Williston Basin of North Dakota and
Montana. The company is based in Denver, CO.
Energy — Oil and Gas, Exploration and Production CONSERVATIVE YET FLEXIBLE PLAN FOR ’15 Investment recommendation
We like AMZG for its inventory of relatively low-risk, high return Bakken
and Three Forks (TF) locations in the Williston Basin (WB). The
company has ~46.8K net acres in Divide County, ND, and while IP rates
and EURs are not as high as in deeper parts of the WB, lower costs
provide attractive rates of return. With new financing in place and the
stock getting essentially no credit for its undeveloped acreage at its
current price, we believe AMZG offers promising risk/reward. Investment highlights
AMZG laid out what we believe to be a prudent base-case 2015
capital plan, in which it intends to run one rig starting at the end of
Q1/15 and keep it going for the rest of the year. That would yield 10
net wells and equate to ~$60M in capex. At that pace of
development, the company would be able to grow production as
2015 progresses; we estimate ~3.1 MBoe/d (47% growth) for 2015. The company said it would think about scaling up activity at a ~$90 WTI oil price and could bring on a second rig quite quickly.
Following the positive results from the Eli well (405 Boe/d 30-day
IP), AMZG intends to use slickwater fracs for the Byron and Shelley
Lynn wells. Those wells are scheduled to be fracked in November.
The company estimates it will bring on 4 gross (3.7 net) operated
wells by the end of 2014. It could possibly add 2 additional gross
(1.3 net) wells if the Shelly and La Plata State are online in time.
Liquidity of $84M at the end of Q3 should be more than sufficient to
fund the $60M capex program. Valuation
Our new $6 price target represents a 30% discount to a ~$8.40 NAV
Yes Halloween is past but it’s never to late to scare you off coal .
TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Arch Coal ( ACI) as a sell. The company’s weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins, weak operating cash flow, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and generally high debt management risk.
Highlights from the ratings report include:
Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, ARCH COAL INC’s return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. The gross profit margin for ARCH COAL INC is currently extremely low, coming in at 12.81%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -13.09% is significantly below that of the industry average.
Net operating cash flow has decreased to $80.34 million or 40.29% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm’s growth is significantly lower.
ACI’s stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 44.75%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock’s sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 2.67 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Regardless of the company’s weak debt-to-equity ratio, ACI has managed to keep a strong quick ratio of 2.36, which demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
Erickson Air-Crane is a provider of heavy and medium-lift
air services for government and commercial customers.
Key markets include firefighting, personnel transport,
construction, and oil and gas. The company is the largest
operator, and type certificate holder, of the SH-64
Aircrane. The company is based in Portland, Oregon.
Transportation and Industrials — Aerospace and Defense STRONG Q3/14 OVERSHADOWED BY SOFTER FULL YEAR OUTLOOK Investment recommendation
EAC reported adjusted Q3/14 EPS of $1.22, compared to our estimate of
$0.95 and consensus of $1.01. Cash flow in the quarter was a positive
~$17M. Note that Q3 is usually seasonally the strongest quarter for EAC.
However, the company indicated that full year results would likely be at
the lower end of its guidance range, which was unchanged from prior
quarters. In the Government segment, firefighting revenues were up
12% over Q3/13, while Defense & Security revenues were down 25%
year-over-year. Much of the growth was in Infrastructure (oil and gas)
markets. We continue to see risk associated with the timing of the
commercial market ramp, while revenues in the defense segment
seemed to be declining slighter faster than we had modeled. We are
maintaining our HOLD rating and lowering our price target to $17. Investment highlights
The company saw a nice step-up in bill rates across markets.
However, the company indicated that Q4/14 results will drive full
year results at the lower end of the guidance range. We are
maintaining our full-year 2014 $0.46 EPS estimate.
While there was good cash flow in the quarter, the outlook for 2015
is still about the ramp down in Government revenues, and how fast
they can be replaced by commercial revenues, specifically in oil and
gas. The company did announce a win in Ecuador, which should be
positive for 2015. Valuation We are lowering our price target to $17. Our price target is based on the
average of a 12.0x EPS multiple and a 5.25x EBITDA multiple applied to
our 2015 estimates
Five9 provides cloud-based software solutions for contact
centers. The company’s solutions help call centers
improve business dexterity and reduces the complexity of
contact center operations, while also significantly
reducing costs for the firm. The suite of applications
enables a firm to provide a breadth of call center
functions, including inbound, outbound, and blended
solutions. Five9 was founded in 2001 and is
headquartered in San Ramon.
All amounts in US$ unless otherwise noted.
Technology — Enterprise Software– Software as a Service A SOLID QUARTER; SUFFICIENTLY INEXPENSIVE TO KEEP A BUY RATING Investment thesis
Following a June quarter earnings shortfall due to the drop-off of call volumes as
scheduled Obamacare signups ceased, Five9 had something to prove to investors.
The firm took the first step of what we hope is many more consistent “meet or beat”
quarters needed to give investors confidence about future execution. At this
juncture, with a modicum of execution, we believe FIVN shares should provide
above-market returns. We have retained our Buy rating. A good bounce-back –upside across the board. FIVN reported Q3/14 revenues
and Adjusted EBITDA of $25.9M and loss of ($5.0M), which were respectively
$1.4M and $2.6M ahead of our estimates. Revenue growth was 23% in the
quarter, despite headwinds of the healthcare segment slowdown noted last
quarter, and FCF losses of ($7.9M) were $4.4M ahead of our estimate. Enterprise bookings remain healthy. Five9 had another record bookings
growth quarter; management suggested that Enterprise bookings have
advanced in-step with sale rep hiring that has paced in the 30-40% growth
range (SMB hiring has been closer to 10%). This quarter was highlighted by a
several hundred seat replacement of Avaya/Cisco/Aspect at a large pharma
company, a senior living referral placement service with ~400 agents, and a
nationwide energy company that came in through the Salesforce.com channel.
Dollar-based retention was 97% in the quarter, which is consistent with C2013
levels and down marginally from 98% in Q2/14. Outlook: a slight increase,
Q4 should be a bottom in growth. FIVN laps a
difficult Q4 compare against a 2013 period that saw heavy ACA call volumes,
but the December quarter should mark a bottom in growth declines at ~15%,
according to our estimates. We have slightly increased our C2015 projections
and are forecasting 20% revenue growth and more than 500 bps of EBITDA
margin expansion (~19% EBITDA margin losses). We believe there remains an upward bias to our current growth assumptions.
Gap is a global specialty retailer of clothing and
accessories for women, men, and children. GPS brands
consist of Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Athleta, and
Piperlime. The company operates 3,200 stores
worldwide, and GPS products are sold through nearly 400
All amounts in US$ unless otherwise noted.
Consumer & Retail — Specialty Retail Q3 EARNINGS SHAPING UP BETTER THAN WE HAD ANTICIPATED Investment recommendation
We are raising our Q3 EPS estimate by $0.08 to $0.73 driven by
better margins than we had expected. GPS guided for Q3
adjusted EPS of $0.72-$0.73, excluding a $0.06 benefit resulting
from the recognition of certain foreign tax credits. Prior
consensus was $0.71. We are raising our Q3 gross margin
estimate by 50bps and reducing our operating expense rate by
90bps. We expect gross margin expansion to return in Q4 and
continue into FY15 and beyond as GPS starts to reap the rewards
from its supply-chain initiatives, at first through fabric
platforming and later from vendor managed inventory and rapid
response inventory management. We continue to believe the
long-term margin expansion opportunity is underappreciated
and not reflected at the stock’s current valuation of 12x our
C2015 EPS estimate and 6x C2015E EV/EBITDA. Investment highlights October SSS split the difference between our estimate and consensus. GPS’s consolidated October SSS declined 3% on top of +4%, versus our -4% forecast and consensus of -2%. October is largely a clearance month, and we are leaving our top-line outlook unchanged for the remainder of FY14.
We are raising our price target by $2 to $51 based on our discounted NOPAT model.
Gold and silver slumped to the lowest level since 2010 as the dollar strengthened after the Bank of Japan unexpectedly boosted unprecedented stimulus and the Federal Reserve ended asset purchases.
Bullion for immediate delivery lost as much as 2.6 percent to $1,167.49 an ounce, the lowest since July 2010, and traded at $1,177.26 at 4:13 p.m. in Singapore, Bloomberg generic pricing shows. Silver slid as much as 3 percent to $16.0009 an ounce, the lowest since February 2010. They fell as the dollar rose to the highest in more than six years against the yen.
The Fed is weighing the timing of interest-rate increases as other central banks add to stimulus to boost their economies. The Bank of Japan said it’s targeting an 80 trillion yen ($726 billion) expansion in the monetary base, up from 60 to 70 trillion yen before. Gold yesterday erased the year’s advance after U.S. gross domestic product beat estimates and China probed a surge in precious-metals exports.
“People are generally looking at the direction of the dollar, which moved higher against the yen after the BOJ announcement, although the news itself is neutral for gold,” said Wallace Ng, a Shanghai-based trader at Gemsha Metals Co. “A higher dollar depresses prices and sentiment in the gold market was already weak because of the Fed.”
Bullion is heading for a decline of 4.4 percent this week, the most since September 2013. The metal is also set for the first consecutive monthly loss in 2014. Holdings in the SPDR Gold Trust shrank for a third day to 741.2 metric tons yesterday, the least since Oct. 2008.
Gold rose 70 percent from December 2008 to June 2011 as the Fed bought debt and held borrowing costs near zero percent. Prices slumped 28 percent last year, the most in three decades, on expectation that the central bank will scale back its bond-buying program that was put in place to fuel growth while failing to stoke inflation.
The U.S. central bank, which has held its key rate at zero to 0.25 percent since 2008, this week cited an improving job market in deciding to end bond buying, while maintaining a commitment to keep rates low for a considerable time. It also said inflation is running below its 2 percent target.
“Precious metals cratered, hit by a double-whammy of the rather hawkish Fed policy statement, coupled with a stronger-than-expected U.S. GDP report,” Edward Meir, an analyst at INTL FCStone Inc., wrote in a note. “Gold is again confronting the specter of a stronger dollar, rising equity prices and tame inflation, a trifecta that does not bode well for price prospects going into 2015.”
Futures for December delivery fell as much as 2.7 percent to $1,166.20 an ounce on the Comex inNew York, the lowest level since July 2010, before trading at $1,175.80.
The collapse of oil prices into a bear market amid rising global supplies has also cut inflation concerns. The chances of bullion dropping to $1,000 are increasing as cheaper energy “means lower inflation and adds to the bearish gold story,” said Michael Haigh, head of commodities research at Societe Generale SA, who correctly forecast the metal’s 2013 rout.
The bank isn’t alone in predicting more losses for gold, which is Morgan Stanley’s least preferred metal. Jeffrey Currie, Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s head of commodities research who also correctly forecast 2013’s slump, said last month that the worst isn’t over yet for gold. He expects prices to drop to $1,050 by the end of year.
Concern that demand may falter in the world’s largest users also hurt prices. China sent investigators to probe a seven-fold surge in September’s precious-metals exports. In India, the biggest consumer after China, imports are set to drop in October after a more than four-fold jump last month.
Gold of 99.99 percent purity on the Shanghai Gold Exchange, the benchmark, sank as much as 3.1 percent to 230.05 yuan per gram ($1,172.35 an ounce), the lowest level this year. Volumes tumbled to a one-month low today.
Silver for immediate delivery slid 2.4 percent to $16.1078 an ounce, set for a fourth monthly decline that’s the worst run since June 2013. An ounce of gold bought as much as 73.3154 ounces of silver today, the most since April 2009.
Spot platinum decreased as much as 1.8 percent to $1,223.05 an ounce, the lowest since Oct. 6. It’s heading for a fourth month of losses that’s the longest stretch since June 2013. Palladium slipped 0.1 percent to $779.67 an ounce.