Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Beautiful (and small) But Unloved
While the the shares of metal bashers and manufacturers of all manner and variety in all geographical locales aroun the world, vault higher at seemingly increasing rates on the back of the US Fed throwing in the proverbial towel, and ditto for manufacturers of fertilizers, Asahi Industries (TSE Code#5456) remains neglected and unloved despite its in-vogue pursuits, trading at but 25 cents on the dollar it did at the start of 2006. But while chasers of "What's hot!" should (says I, by extension) find this attractive, value investors too should be (but are not...yet) frothing. For it trades for nary 0.75 historical book, (0.6x forecast book), LESS than 6x trailing and 5x forecast earnings (albeit they are the company's own estimates) , a 3% hitorical dividend yield, and a veritably unbelievable EV/EBITDA of 2.2X suggesting to the cynical that all the preceeding is vapor, and that the world, and Asahi Industries businesses will likely end - if not tomorrow - then shortly thereafter.
From a distance, she is as attractive as they come. Of course, the flaws may be many, and the future less bright than current foreseen by management. But if that will soon be the case for their core businesses of re-bar and fertilizer, then there is one monstrous market non-sequitir inflating throughout BOTH the developed and the developing world. Since I tend to maintain a healthy respect for markets, but understand that some companies - particularly new and smaller ones - do fall through the cracks, I would not be betting upon the imminent reversal of the gloval liquidity complex, but might suggest those interested in something between a 2-bagger and a 4-bagger, potentially do their own research on this little erstwhile stone that's dropped so prodigiously during the past 21 months.