week of November 8th 1999: An all new stock ideas section featuring
long and short ideas.
LONG OPINION ARCHIVES
CLICK TO VIEW OPINION
(Santa Isabel): Chile's Santa Isabel operates
supermarkets in Chile, Paraguay, Ecuador, and Peru. ISA has fallen from 31 to 12
over the past year as rising store operating costs, and Asian related weakness in the
Chilean market have taken a bite out of it. Management is taking steps to address the
rising store operating costs as it continues to expand the chain throughout the
region. We expect profit margins to tick upwards in the coming quarter as falling
inflation in Chile takes hold. We believe the Chilean market is deeply oversold. Falling
inflation will lead to lower interests rates which should help negate some of the economic
weakness caused by a slowdown in exports to Asia. We believe that exports will pick up
later in the year and Chile will return to a strong GDP growth rate. We expect the
market to rebound in the second half of the year. ISA's stock has been unfairly lumped in
with the rest of the resource-export driven Chilean market as investors indiscriminately
dumped Chilean equities. We do not expect Asia to have an effect on this supermarket
chain's earnings. This stock is extremely undervalued relative to its industry group. ISA
is trading at 10 times next year's earnings with a PEG of 0.9, versus an industry wide PE
ratio of 24.6. This stock will rebound as investor's extreme negative sentiment towards
emerging markets eases. We look for the oversold ISA to gain 50-75% over the coming year.
We're putting it in our shopping cart.
(Danka Business Systems PLC): Former highflier Danka
has been in the dog house since a December earnings warning cut the stock's price in half.
We regarded the wholesale dumping of DANKY by U.S. investors as a mistake then, and we
still do now. The U.K.'s $3.3 billion in revenue Danka supplies photocopiers and
other office equipment to businesses. It also provides a broad range of technical
support and customer service outsourcing functions. We believe that management is taking
effective steps to alleviate the problems that resulted from the integration of Kodak's
office imaging business. We expect profits at the imaging business to pick up as merger
related problems diminish. Higher margin digital products are playing an increasingly
important role, rising from 7 to 12% of sales in the latest quarter. We believe that the
cloud hanging over DANKY from a shareholder class action lawsuit is not a material threat.
We expect profits to pick up in the coming quarters and view Danka as seriously
undervalued. DANKY, growing at 25.4% a year, is trading at just 13.6 times earnings and at
just 9.5 times next year's estimates. The PEG ratio on next year's estimates is just 0.38.
Technically the situation is bullish for the stock price. The stock, which fell from a
high of 51 last September to the low teens earlier this year, has just completed an Elliot
Wave 5 down. DANKY, which has been in a trading range the last 6 months, has completed a
double bottom and is showing signs of breaking out to the upside. MACD is in an uptrend
and money flow, which has shown positive divergences during the recent downtrend, has
turned up. DANKY is undervalued fundamentally and is showing positive bullish technical
patterns. We expect the stock to rise to the upper 30's over the next year. (6/5/98)
On October 5th Danka issued yet
another earnings warning, and announced that the company would report a loss for the
quarter. Gross profit margins fell in the second quarter due to lower retail margins in
the equipment and service divisions, and intensified competition from Japanese
manufacturers. Margins also came under pressure as the company continued to take steps to
reduce inventory levels. The company's second quarter fiscal 1999 revenues fell 10% due to
lower equipment sales and lower retail service, supplies, and rentals revenues. Equipment
sales were hurt by an accelerated shift to digital products, Asian economic problems, and
competition from Japanese manufacturers selling directly to consumers.
There were a few bright spots in the second quarter report. Prices remained stable in the
retail supplies and services division. Equipment sales on a sequential basis rose 5% from
the first quarter. Color copier and digital products sales rose 8% and 34% respectively.
Danka is taking steps to improve the availability of digital products to meet increasing
customer demand. The increased focus on higher margin digital products will help profit
margins in coming quarters. Danka will also benefit from an easing of competition from
Japanese manufacturers due to the rise in the Yen. The gradual improvement we foresee in
Asian markets over the next year will help the company regain revenue growth. Danka is
expected to report a profit next year. We believe that the company is taking the necessary
steps to survive its current financial crisis.
In early December DANKY reached an accord with its lenders to
restructure its lending agreements. On December 12th Danka announced that an agreement had
been reached to end its research and development contract with Kodak The company also
announced that it had terminated the onerous supply agreements with Kodak that required it
to make minimum purchases of equipment from Kodak. The ending of these agreements will
greatly help Danka in its efforts to reduce the inventory buildup which had impacted
profit margins. Under the terms of the terminated agreements Danka had been required to
make purchases from Kodak which exceeded the company's inventory needs. The inventory
buildup caused by these supply contracts had put a severe strain on Danka's finances.
Danka's payments to Kodak will be reduced by $150 million over the next 3 years.
Danka still needs to come to agreement with Kodak on long term supply relationships, and
the company will need to continue to adjust its product mix in the coming quarters if it
is to regain financial stability. We believe that the company has taken the necessary
first steps on the road to a return to profits. We look for the shares to trade up to the
$8-10 range on any positive developments. Our 12-18 month target for DANKY is $10-15 a
MALAYSIA: The selling
of Asian equities has reached panic proportions. The region now offers outstanding
value. We believe that Asian economies will begin to recover later this year. We
expect Malaysia to rebound strongly. Malaysia's economy has held up better than most in
the region as the government made the decision not to seek IMF assistance. We believe this
was the right decision. IMF plans usually help foreign businessmen more than they help the
citizens of the effected countries. By avoiding a steep IMF induced recession,
Malaysia is better poised than most of its neighbors to resume a growth path. The
latest round of selling establishes a bottom in investor sentiment. We expect the
Malaysian market to rebound as sentiment returns to less panic induced levels. The best
way to play this rebound is through the Malaysia WEBS, which mirror the Kuala Lumpur
(Malaysia Webs Index Fund): The recent levels of
investor hysteria mark an important bottom from which we expect Malaysia to rebound. EWM,
which has fallen from 14 last June, is looking strong technically. During the recent
decline there has been a strong positive divergence between OBV and price. OBV is now
rising. The smart money has quietly been accumulating while panic selling reigns. MACD and
%R are giving buy confirmations now. A strong double bottom is in place in the
Malaysian market. Now is the time to go long Malaysia.
Philippine economy and currency have fared better than many of their regional rivals. The
Philippine government has managed to avoid the total loss of confidence in the economy
that has plagued many of its neighbors. We expect flat GDP this year and a return to
growth next year. The new Estrada administration has alleviated fears of an ineffective
government by assembling a strong cabinet. The recent plunge in Philippine markets
was due to extremely bearish investor sentiment, rather than actual weakening economic
fundamentals. We expect the market to rebound strongly as Asian economies stabilize
and the extreme pessimism exhibited by traders dissipates. We view Philippine Long
Distance Telephone and First Philippine Fund as the two best ways to participate in a
recovering Philippine market environment.
(First Philippine Fund): Ignore
the premium on this closed end fund. The recovery potential is such that the premium
you pay over net asset value on this one is immaterial. FPF is down from 9 on April
1st, and down from 14 1/2 last June. This fund has completed a double bottom, and %R
has given a buy confirmation. We are purchasing now.
(Philippine Long Distance Telephone): PHI has held up
better than other Asian stocks, registering a decline of 30% versus 70-80% for many of its
regional rivals. The weaker Peso has benefited PHI which derives a large proportion of its
business from Dollar denominated international calls. 60% of PHI's revenue comes from
international long distance services. We look for this international revenue to
provide a cash safety cushion for PHI as it seeks to build up the under developed domestic
infrastructure. We look for increasing growth in the years ahead and view PHI
as extremely undervalued. PHI is trading at just 11.3 times 1998 estimates and on a
prospective 1999 PE of 10. PHI technically is poised for a breakout. The stock held above
its January lows during the recent market rout. It bounced off the 62% Fibonacci
retracement level which we view as a bullish sign. Accumulation has been taking
place during the recent fall, and OBV is showing strong positive divergences. %R has given
a buy confirmation. We would be buyers of this undervalued equity which offers lower
risk than many of its Asian rivals.
(Amway Japan Ltd): Amway Japan is the distributor of
Amway products in Japan. The company sells products in 4 categories: housewares, personal
care, nutrition, and home products. The stock has been under heavy selling pressure,
falling from 20 last June, as a slumping Japanese economy has taken its toll on profits.
1998's first half profits fell 27% as higher costs offset a 3.1% rise in sales. The higher
costs were due to 3 factors. The Yen's fall caused margins to come under pressure since
AJL purchases most of its products from Amway U.S.A. in dollars. AJL also incurred
expenses from promoting itself at the Winter Olympics. Heavy expenses were incurred for a
public relations campaign designed to combat negative publicity surrounding the company.
We believe that management is taking the necessary steps to turn the company around. The
Olympics exposure and corporate image campaign will lead to increased revenues in the
second half of the fiscal year and to a more favorable public relations environment for
the company. Operating expenses will be lower as the extraordinary advertising expenses of
the first half abate. The distributor force renewal rate increased by 4% in
the first half. Housewares sales have surged 30% due to the introduction of well received
new products. We expect a stabilization in the Japanese economy and Yen to further boost
profits. High yielding AJL is a compelling turnaround in the making, trading at just 11.4
times fiscal 1999 earnings estimates and yielding 5.5%. Money Flow has turned up as
accumulation has begun to take place. %R, MACD, and stochastics have given buy
confirmations. We expect the stock to double by this time next year.
(Jilin Chemical Industries): JCC is a $1 billion in
revenue Chinese chemical company. Petroleum products constitute 40% of sales,petrochemical
and organic chemicals 21%, dyestuff and dye intermediaries 11%, synthetic rubber 9%,
chemical fertilizers 6%, and other chemicals 13%. The company which derives 96% of its
revenues from China, has been largely insulated from the plunge in regional economies. Its
share price however has plummeted from 19 1/2 last October as investors have
indiscriminately sold off all Asian equities. We expect JCC's share price to recover
strongly as oversold conditions in Asia correct, and investor's sentiment towards
emerging markets returns to more normal levels. The decrease in crude oil prices
will benefit JCC and boost profits. JCC is extremely undervalued, trading at 6 times
earnings and yielding 3.7%. We expect these shares to trade at 15-20 within the next 18
(China Eastern Airlines): CEA serves China's eastern
gateway of Shanghai with 1100 flights a week from 44 cities in China and eastern and
southeastern Asia. 39% of traffic revenues are from domestic flights. CEA's heavy
exposure to southeastern Asia travel has led to a severe downturn in profits this year.
The stock price has fallen in step with the profits, down from 39 7/8 last August. Profits
will rebound strongly as Asian economies begin to recover later this year. We expect CEA
to grow strongly over the coming years as air travel grows in China. CEA is now extremely
oversold and undervalued. The shares trade at a 1998 PE of 6.7 and at 6.6 times next
year's earnings. The PEG ratio is just 0.47. Technically CEA is showing signs of
moving to the upside. OBV has turned up sharply. MACD, CCI, and %R are giving buy
confirmations. We look for CEA to trade at 15-20 in the next 12 months, and at 25-30
within the next 18-24 months.
(China Telecom (Hong Kong) Ltd.): CHL is the main
provider of cellular services in the fast growing Chinese provinces of Guandong and
Zheijiang. CHL is 78% owned by the P.R.C. Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. CHL,
with 3 million subscribers, has experienced rapid growth in new subscribers . We expect
this growth to continue strongly over the next 5 years. CHL is the best way to play the
explosive growth in Chinese telecommunications which will take place over the next decade.
The company is solidly profitable and is one of the cheapest cellular plays around.
CHL is trading at just 16.2 times next year's earnings estimates, with a PEG ratio of
0.97. We look for the stock to shoot up when investors start returning to emerging markets
later this year as the Asian recovery unfolds. CHL has held up well during the
recent market swoon, and is showing solid signs of a move to the upside.
Accumulation is taking place in the stock as money flow turns positive. We look for this
stock to move up to the 40-45 range over the next six months. Our 1 year target is 50-55.
Go long while it's still a bargain.
HONG KONG: We believe that
a bottom is firmly in place in the Hong Kong market. The slowdown in Hong
Kong's economy resulting from the Asian crisis has driven the market down more than 50%
since last September. We believe that the market has discounted all the bad news far into
the future. We expect property prices to fall only another 10-20% before
stabilizing. The Hong Kong economy will recover from a mild recession later this
year after signs of a turnaround emerge in other Asian economies. Fears of a Hong Kong
Dollar devaluation are unfounded. Beijing will not under any circumstances "lose
face" by allowing a decoupling of the currency's link to the dollar. Negative
sentiment has reached an extreme and now is the time to reenter the Hong Kong stock
(Hong Kong Index WEBS) The best route to
participating in a recovery in Hong Kong is through EWH which mirrors the Hang Seng Index.
EWH has fallen from 18 last August. OBV has started to turn up, a bullish sign. We would
buy EWH at these levels.
economy has been hit hard by the troubles of its neighbors Malaysia and Indonesia. Traders
have driven the Straits Times Index down more than fundamentals warrant. The Singapore
economy will avoid the recession that its neighbors are facing. We expect growth of
2.5% this year, rising to 6-7% next year. A partial recovery in Asian economies later this
year will benefit the trade dependent economy. With sentiment at extreme levels of
negativity, we would take this opportunity to enter the Singapore market.
(Singapore (Free) Webs Index) We are buying EWS
which is a proxy for the Singapore market. EWS has fallen 40% since March. It
is down 66% since last July. We would take the opportunity that the negative psychology
towards emerging markets presents and buy at this low point.