How to invest in businesses with dr. Per Jenster

I recently had the privilege to interview dr. Per Jenster. He is a Fullbright scolar, author of many books, former dean of the Kopenhagen Business school, entrepreneur with more than 20 ventures of which many went public for hundreds of millions and he is an investor that has his own hedge fund. A person from whom we can learn very much. Enjoy the interview.

In case you want to reach Prof Jenster or know more about how he invests, please go to … http://nichemastersfund.com

Here is the video and you can find the discussion topics below the video.

0:27 Who is Per Jenster

1:33 What to look when investing in a business

3:59 Fund based on a niche strategy

6:01 Companies we are investing in

8:30 Management

10:00 HIGHER PE for HIGH ROIC

10:44 Index funds

13:10 Trading

14:24 Strategic focus

15:57 Current stock market

18:25 Diversification

20:31 Investing education

21:36 Modern investing

23:32 Learn to be better at investing

 

7 Things To Watch Before Investing In Gold Miners

 

  • Investing is about risk and reward. I feel many miss the risk part when it comes to investing, especially in the mining environment.
  • I discuss 7 risk factors that will help you avoid investing in the wrong miners.
  • ETFs, with their mindless investing strategy, are increasing the danger of investing in the mining environment.

Miners, especially gold miners (GDX) (GDXJ), don’t have a great reputation in the investing world. Unfortunately for them, that is rightfully so. It is often the case that the management is more focused on the stock market, than on business performance. A quote from the 19th century explains it very well!

Gold mining stocksIn such an environment, one must be very careful. The key is to understand the risk and not do stupid things like investing on hope or going after a good story.

An investment in a miner has to be founded on a real business analysis of its fundamentals and a careful assessment of the risks and rewards. On top of that, one should know the miner’s sensitivity to the respective metal’s cycle.

Investing while excluding the above, cannot even be called speculation, it is pure betting and you know what are the odds when it comes to betting.

In this video I share 7 things to analyze when investing in miners, or at least to take into consideration when analyzing the risk and reward of a specific investment. The things to watch are the following:

(0:39) – ETF ownership and business value

(1:47) – A general valuation of miners

(3:40) – Book values are often misleading

(6:05) – Advertising your own stock with Google ads

(7:09) – Example of operational risks in the mining industry

(7:53) – Dividends and cash flows

(9:00) – The value within junior miners and the Van Eck Junior miners ETF

Enjoy the video.

Nassim Taleb is warnings us – situation worse than in 2007

  • The US government has $21 trillion of debt, but few know and think about the $49 trillion in hidden debt.
  • The global economy is not stable because the core is cracking already, think Italy.
  • Taleb compares this debt environment with a Ponzi or Maddoff scheme.
  • The main message is to be protected (gold, real assets, puts).

In a recent Bloomberg video, Nassim Taleb, the author of Black Swan and probably one of the best estimators of risk, is warning us that the financial situation is worse than it was in 2007.

As Taleb doesn’t share much data in his interview, I have researched each of his statements and attached a few facts to them.

The topics he discusses and I dig deeper into are:

  • (0:00) Introduction
  • (1:23) The bigger debt pile that has just been transferred from housing to governments.
  • (4:16) The hidden debt few are taking into account.
  • (5:48) How the economy is already cracking in some places.
  • (6:32) The high probability of a global currency collapse.
  • (8:01) What will happen and how will it pan out? Inflation.
  • (9:36) 4 ways to protect yourself.

Enjoy the video.

Berkshire stock is better than the S&P 500 – check your portfolio holdings!

BERKSHIRE’s INVESTING MINDSET

Towards the end of Benjamin Graham’s book, The Intelligent Investor, we can find the following advice (Chapter 20 – Margin of Safety):

Investment is most intelligent, when it is most businesslike.

Therefore, to find good investments one must use a businesslike perspective. Only such a perspective will lead to satisfying long term returns.

I compare Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) (BRK.B) and the S&P 500 index (SPY) applying a common sense, businesslike perspective. Over the long term, investing based on sound business principles should lead to healthy long term returns. Those principles include:

  • Seeking a high return on invested capital.
  • Buying when there is blood on the streets.
  • Careful risk assessment.
  • Accepting that markets and sectors are cyclical.
  • Being greedy when others are fearful and fearful when others are greedy.

The above, leads me to believe, BRK will outperform the S&P 500 and passive investors should invest more in BRK, than in index funds. In the video I give 5 strong arguments that back my case.

The video summary:

(1:03) Comparison of past performance
(3:44) First argument – S&P 500 and BRK’s investing strategies
(5:32) Index funds can’t copy Buffett’s special deals
(6:27) Second argument – market timing, discipline and cash
(7:31) Return on invested capital
(8:07) Third argument – S&P 500 top 10 holdings in 2018, 2013, 2008 and 1999
(9:26) Fourth argument – Investing in startups, buying high or low
(10:41) Fundamentals – PE, PB, PS
(12:04) Fifth argument – S&P 500 and BRK’s book value growth since 2008
(13:07) Deployment of excess cash
(14:07) Diversification
(14:27) Discussing long term returns

Enjoy the video.

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ARE THE STOCK MARKET AND ECONOMY IN A BUBBLE? 7 FACTOR EXPLANATION

I recently summarized Dalio’s last book, Big DEBT CRISES and there he shares his questions, check list, to see whether the stock market or economy is in a bubble or not. In today’s article, in light of the FED’s tightening, we are going to go through his questions, to see whether we are in a bubble or not.

1 bubble questions

Source: Big Debt Crises

Good day fellow investors,

my name is Sven Carlin and I am an independent investor, independent thinker who doesn’t really like to follow the crowd, that has served me well in my life and, I have the feeling it will serve me well in the future too. Let’s go through Dalio’s questions one by one and then conclude with what to do, where Dalio’s option is to have an all-weather portfolio.

We are going to look at whether the US economy and stock market are in a bubble. As for Europe, I’ll make a special article about it due to the many economies.

  1. PRICES ARE HIGH RELATIVE TO TRADITIONAL MEASURES

The US stock market is expensive and prices are much higher than traditional measures.

2 stock market price

Source: Multpl

A look at the cyclically adjusted price to earnings ratio for the S&P 500 that takes into account 10 years of earnings, shows how stock prices were higher only during the dot-com bubble. But, let’s not focus only on stocks, let’s look at housing.

3 house price to income ratio

Source: Longtermtrends

The home price to income ratio is not higher than it was in 2007 but is getting close to it and it is much higher than it was in the past 50 years. Incomes were low in the 1950s so that isn’t really comparable.

To answer question one: yes, prices are high relative to historical measures.

2. PRICES ARE DISCOUNTING FUTURE RAPID PRICE APPRECIATION FROM THESE HIGH LEVELS

If we take a look at the S&P 500 and at S&P 500 forward expected earnings, all we can see is fast growth.

4 price and earnings

Source: FACTSET

So, huge growth is expected, S&P 500 actual earnings are at 116 points while the market expects them to be at 175 points in the next 12 months.

5 s&p 500 actual earnings

Source: Multpl

As for home prices, the huge run up in prices up to 2018 showed bubble characteristics but it has been cooling of as interest rates go up.

6 new home prices in the us

Source: FRED

So, perhaps what we have seen up to December of 2017 will again be called a bubble as higher interest rates inevitably put pressure on asset prices. Not yet on stocks as the sentiment is still strong but you can’t escape when it comes to housing.

ANSWER: YES, prices are discounting fast future price appreciation, certainly in stocks, whereas it might be over for housing.

3. THERE IS BROAD BULLISH SENTIMENT

Let’s see, Kudlow states the US economy is crushing it.

7 kudlow

Source: CNBC

While consumer confidence is close to record highs.

8 consumer confidence

Source: FRED

Answer: YES, sentiment is bullish! Even with stocks, the sentiment has been extremely greedy in 2018.

9 greed

Source: CNN

4. PURCHASES ARE BEING FINANCED BY HIGH LEVERAGE

This is not in a bubble, consumer credit is just 50% higher than where it was in 2008 and is just 10 times higher than where it was in 1980. (allow for some irony here)

10 consumer credit

Source: FRED

As for the stock market, margin debt is at historical highs. Just to mention as a comparative note, margin debt was $263 billion in February of 2010 and $314 billion in July of 2008.

11 margin debt

Source: FINRA

Answer: YES, purchases are increasingly being financed by debt.

5. BUYERS HAVE MADE EXTENDED FORWARD PURCHASES

If we look at the level of business inventories, those are 33% higher than in 2008 and I don’t think the economy grew 33% since 2008.

12 inventories

Source: FRED

Answer: a mild yes in this case.

6. NEW BUYERS HAVE ENTERED THE MARKET

Now, the percentage of Americans owning stocks didn’t really go up that much lately as millennials don’t invest that much in stocks.

13 people invested

Source: Gallup

The middle class left after 2008, typical behaviour, buying high and selling low. If we see another bump like in 2007 where the participation jumped from 61% to 65%, we will know it’s a bubble. Those aged 35 and above are investing a bit but not yet like it had been the case.

14 americans invested

Source: Gallup

However, not investing in stocks but definitely saving for a house. New buyers are rushing into the home market.

15 new mortgages

Source: Bloomberg

Answer: with stocks it is a no but with houses it is a yes. Also, it is important to note the widening wealth gap where those that have invest more and push stocks higher while those that don’t have, simply don’t have to invest.

7. STIMULATIVE MONETARY POLICY THREATENS TO INFLATE THE BUBBLE EVEN MORE (and tight policy to cause its popping)

Interest rates have been already tightening and we can expect more in December.

16 interest rate

Source: FRED

However, just take a look at historical interest rates.

17 historical interest rates

Source: FRED

On top of monetary stimulus, there is huge fiscal stimulus.

18 budged deficit

Source: FRED

On top of the already huge deficit, the deficit is expected to breach $1 trillion in 2019.

So, to summarize on the questions:

19 summary

WHAT TO DO:

Now, that depends on where you are in your life, about to retire or just starting, but in any case, an all-weather portfolio is the key as we are in the late part of the cycle.

debt dalio

Source: Big Debt Crises

We are at bubble top – so a lot of opportunities to diversify by selling what is in a bubble and buying what is in depression. In a global world you can do that today.

If you wish to check how am I building my portfolio as I cashed out of most my long investments during 2015-to 2018, the last being Nevsun – you might want to check my Stock market research platform where I am slowly building my model portfolio that should do very well in this environment.

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Ray Dalio – Big Debt Crises – Summary (video/audio)

Ray Dalio, the legendary hedge fund manager is out with a new book. After the success he achieved with his book on Principles, he has now summarized Bridgewater’s research on debt crises in a new book called Big Debt Crises.

Ray Dalio – Big Debt Crises

The book contains 48 case studies on inflationary and deflationary crises and the first 61 pages summarize the findings. I urge you to read at least the first 61 pages but if you want an intro for it and perhaps prefer listening, here is a summary:

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Chinese Stocks List – 90 China Stocks with PE, PB and dividend yield plus comment!

Chinese stocks have been severely hit lately which means that there might be investing opportunities.

shanghai stock exchange.PNG

In this article I will share:

  • CHINESE STOCKS LIST – A list of 90 Chinese stocks with a short description, PE ratio and price to book value. I also divide the stocks into several groups that will make it easier for you to find what best fits your portfolio. We’ll also discuss how investing in China is tricky, there are outright frauds, there is a lot of growth, there is a little bit of everything so it is not easy to get exposure in a proper way.
  • WHAT AM I LOOKING FOR IN CHINA AT THE MOMENT when discussing China like key factors to watch, fundamentals and most importantly, the things not obvious to the market.

I am in the process of building my long term model portfolio. I am looking for gems to cover, follow and perhaps add to my Chinese part of the portfolio. I wish to be exposed to China with a 8% to 15% starting exposure that goes wherever it goes during the years. Something that I can manage through time in a portfolio.

Thus, what am I looking for within Chinese stocks is:

  • Companies that will be doing great even 10 years from now and have a good chance of delivering business returns of above 15% on the current price.
  • This means that the current political and economic turmoil is a great opportunity to buy in.

To find that I have to focus on the:

  • Management
  • Sector
  • Potential scale
  • Business moat
  • Margin of safety, value
  • The not obvious things

Comprehensive analysis of the Chinese stock market and China stocks

The only way to find a few stocks in China that offer the best chance of being great companies even in a decade, are trading at a fair price, and show the potential to become great investments and perhaps even portfolio crown jewels, is to check every stock traded, make earnings models on the most promising and compare the risk reward outlooks.

Key factors to watch when analyzing Chinese stocks

The key factors to watch are those that are not obvious when it comes to analyzing Chinese stocks. Cash flows are key, growth , confirmation of trend or business model, especially cash flows that can be distributed to shareholders. Shareholder friendliness is a positive and quality management too. There have been many scams when it comes to Chinese stocks but alongside thorough research, I believe the risk reward is acceptable.

Of course, this always within a balanced portfolio developed over the long term.

How do I go from here?

The key is to study as many companies as possible. Sometimes you find key date for one company when you research another one in the field. Therefore, the only thing to do is to dig deep, read lots of annual reports, create potential risk reward earnings models, make sector analyses and at the end, we might find something to buy, hopefully.

Let me show you how to download the list:

Click on the link to go to my Stock Market Research Platform:

STOCK MARKET RESEARCH PLATFORM

Scroll down there to the curriculum and enlarge it. Under the paragraph discussing China, you can download the list of Chinese stocks. (you can see PREVIEW – on the right side.

Check out the Youtube video for more info and a personal approach to this.

Mohnish Pabrai – 5 Investing Tips

What I like and admire with Pabrai is his concentrated portfolio. Sometimes, I also have stocks that make more than 50% of my portfolio. So, I always listen when Pabrai speaks. I am connected with him on Linkedin where he shared an article (connect with me if you wish, always nice to meet people) about a recent interview. In this article I’ll go through what he is saying and give my perspective on what we, value investors can learn.

The investing tips discussed are  (5 quotes used too):

  • CONCENTRATED PORTFOLIO AT A PE RATIO OF 1 OR LESS
  • 3 REASONS WHY INVESTMENTS DON’T WORK OUT (CHECK LIST)
  • CLONING STOCK INVESTMENTS
  • DON’T THINK ABOUT MACRO
  • NO INTEREST IN THE US
  • TAKE A NAP

Concentrated portfolio and PE ratios of 1

As I already mentioned, Pabrai has an extremely concentrated portfolio. He buys companies at what he calls PE ratios of 1 or less. He does that by looking at unfavourable industries, like the car industry in 2012, he finds companies that will not go bust and have potential to deliver high earnings in the future. For example, in 2012, he was buying Fiat-Chrysler (FCAU) at an average price of $4. The current EPS is $2.22. If we deduct 40% of the 2012 purchase price as the value gotten from Ferrari, we get to a PE ratio close to 1. Needless to say, FCAU’s stock is now at $17. On top of that, we have to add the Ferrari spinoff that has a market cap almost as big as FCAU. Double the gain there for Pabrai.

FCAU stock price:

FCAU STOCK PRICE

As for finding such stocks, Pabrai tells us how we have to keep our eyes open as such opportunities arise once every few years.

To quote:

What I found over a 19-20 year investing history is that these, what I call the PE of 1s, tend to show up an idea every two or three years.

The last similar opportunity he took advantage off was in Indian real estate in Mumbai. He bought 10% of the company Sunteck.

Pabrai bought Sunteck after the demonetization process hit the Indian economy:

sunteck stock

3 reasons why investments don’t work out for investors?

Pabrai discloses 3 reasons:

The single biggest reason why investments don’t work out for investors is leverage.

This is followed by misunderstanding of the comparative advantage of the moat where investors think there is one but there really isn’t. And the third reason is management. Quality management is what makes the difference between great and mediocre investments.

Cloning stock investments – Portfolio Crown Jewels of other investors

Pabrai discusses how he still hates the auto industry due to high capex, unions and consumer tastes. However, he is humble to say that the only reason he owns Fiat Chrysler is because he studied two investors he admires who had a position in General Motors. As discussed in the video here, Einhorn also opened a position in GM in 2012.

Also, he is so humble to share that he found Rain Industries because someone sent him an extremely well written report:

rain industries

Don’t think about macro

Investors should spend zero time thinking about macro anything. Just completely ignore it because it is hard enough to figure out the future of one business. In almost all cases micro will trump macro in a major way.

Here I must say I agree, the micro will trump the macro in a major way. Over the long term, good businesses will do great and that is what we have to understand. Nobody can time a recession or a bear market. However, Pabrai discloses also how he has lots of cash at the moment. This is probably not due to the macro, but because of the lack of opportunities.

No Interest in the US

The US is becoming harder and harder to invest in.

The number of stocks in the US declined from 8,000 twenty years ago to less than 3,500. Thus, a smaller number of companies and more analysts following those. This makes it difficult to find gems. Up to 5 years ago, 80% to 90% of his portfolio was in the US.

Take an afternoon nap

Usually, I take an afternoon nap on most days.

Pabrai believes you can increase your productivity by taking an afternoon nap and that even Buffett has a nap room in his office.

I always love to learn from the best investors out there, I am not taking naps, I don’t think I need them, but I spend most of my time doing research and looking for undervalued stocks. I am currently looking at the complete list of Chinese stocks traded in the US, trying to find good investments in China, where stocks are still relatively cheap. However, I am intrigued by Pabrai’s less than 1 PE ratio investing which is something possible to do when I think about it. The last time I was buying a stock at a PE ratio of 1 was Cemig (NYSE: CIG) in January of 2016.

If you want to get investing ideas and reports that come from 200 hours per month dedicated on investment research and think that 200 hours of you time is worth more $20 bucks, please check my Stock Market Research Platform. If just one research report leads you to a stock like FCAU or RAIN, you will make one of the best investments in your life. Thus clone yourself as we all have limited time by letting me do some of the work for you.

Investing in Sugar – Südzucker AG Stock Analysis

Investing in commodities is tricky and many call me crazy for doing that. However, I don’t invest by buying an ETF, I invest by carefully analyzing long term trends and take advantage of short term irrationalities. By short term I mean up to 3 years, by long term I mean a decade.

This article will explain:

  • How to approach investing in commodities by using sugar as an example (Sugar cycle analysis)
  • How to take advantage of cyclicality and what the market doesn’t yet see (will you still eat sugar tomorrow? I hope not, but you probably will)
  • Analyze a commodity stock Südzucker AG (SZU) (OTCKP: SUEZF) from a long term perspective

Contents

Investing in Sugar – Südzucker AG Stock Analysis  

Commodity investing strategy – take advantage of long term cycles           

Sugar price cycle        

Sugar production costs          

Sugar price forecasts  

Sugar investing strategy        

Südzucker AG (SZU) (OTCKP: SUEZF) Stock Analysis    

Investment thesis

Commodity investing strategy – take advantage of long term cycles

Let me show you first the core of this investing strategy. The below figure plots SZU’s stock price and the price of sugar over the past 20 years.

1 sugar price

Source: Macrotrends and author’s adjustments

The correlation is not perfect but if you would ask a 7-year-old kid, he would say it is. And such a long-term investing perspective is the starting point when investing in commodities. The key is than to look at all the possible margins of safety, who will go bankrupt in the sector, who is the lowest cost producer, and all the other cyclical factors affecting the sector. It is also important to have a clear strategy because nobody knows where the bottom is. On top of it all, some stocks might be considered sugar stocks, move in correlation to sugar prices, but have the minority of their revenue derived from sugar.

The point is that the market is cyclical and will always be cyclical. Those are natural forces that affect commodity markets and if you take a decade long approach to investing in commodities, you will achieve great returns by taking advantage of those long term market forces that eventually prevail. However, it is crucial that you do nothing for most of the time, something impossible to do for most investors. Let’s see what is going on with sugar.

Sugar price cycle

When production is higher than consumption with any commodity, things are not good for the respective commodity’s price.

2 sugar suficit

Source: Sudzucker

Sugar is in oversupply and will remain so for at least a year or maybe two. This leads to low sugar prices as farmers dump what they have and there is no way around it. However, low prices, perhaps some bad weather might lower future production and then we will probably see higher prices again, like it was the case in 2015/16.

3 sugar price 5 years

Source: Macrotrends

In the last 5 years, sugar prices have been extremely volatile. We are now at 50% of what the price was in 2016. This is explained by demand and supply. However, from a risk reward perspective you approximately know what is going to happen next. Low prices, lead farmers to plant something else and you get high prices next. Like it was the case in 2016.

A production decrease is expected but not enough to offset rising inventories.

4 production decrease

Source: Sudzucker

Of course, the above are just expectations where a drought might mix things up. However, the company SZU expects to see negative income from sugar operations next year.

5 outlook

Source: Sudzucker

As a long term investor, I price in the above and then already think beyond 2018/2019. What will be the case then? At some point in time, sugar producers will have to produce less to stay alive. SZU expects at least two difficult transition years so that is something to take into consideration because financial markets have a hard time thinking long term.

The easiest way to explain a cycle is to look at the cost. In the long term, the price of a commodity will fluctuate around the average cost that satisfies the demand. So, what are the average cost prices for sugar production around the world and is the long-term supply demand trend stable?

Demand for sugar is expected to grow steadily over the next decades, unfortunately for human health, but that is another topic.

6 sugar production

Source: Sudzucker

Sugar production costs

According to Nordzucker: “At the current price level, there is hardly a sugar company in Europe which can still produce at a break-even,” Which means European production costs are above $12 cents per pound for the most efficient producers. The beet union is going nuts and warns how all producers are selling below cost. They require protection from cheaper production in Mercosur (another thing my taxes will pay but that is another story).

The EU levied production quotas in order to become an exporter of sugar which increased production and now you have overproduction.

Brazilian costs are around 10 to 14 cents per pound depending on the producer and Thailand is also there.

Sugar price forecasts

JSG Commodities forecasts prices to hit a low of 8 cents per pound. The European Association of Sugar manufacturers is also not positive and demands government action.

Other sugar producers foresee sugar prices continuing to be under pressure in the short term, still reflecting strong production from other countries, such as India and Thailand, resulting in an expected overall crop surplus. The magnitude of this surplus will depend on the size and the mix of the huge crop, which should have more ethanol production and significant impact on productivity due to the drier weather.

Sugar production is volatile and that is something to keep in mind.

7 sugar production india

Source: Bloomberg

Another good monsoon and there will be more pain for sugar. Drought and you will see prices spike.

Costs in India vary around Rs. 36.50 per kilo of sugar that is 16.59 per pound or 23 cents per pound. Given the bumper crops the costs must be lower but without the subsidies, hardly competing with Brazil.

All indicates that we are below balance prices. I don’t think people will suddenly stop to eat sugar so demand will remain stable at least. This leads to the next step which is to look at whether there are investing opportunities and the development of a strategy.

Sugar investing strategy

So, we know that sugar is in a downturn which is not sustainable over the long term. However, we also know that the negative earnings are only about to hit companies as most expect two years for the skies to clear.

This means that only the fittest will survive, there will be losses next year which will make things look ugly from an investing perspective where few like to invest in companies with negative earnings. But we have to find those companies that will have high positive earnings over the next decade which could lead to high dividends and higher stock prices when sugar prices turn up in the next cycle. Let’s see if SZU has what it takes.

Südzucker AG (SZU) (OTCKP: SUEZF) Stock Analysis

SZU is a holding company with diversified production.

8 szu group

Source: Sudzucker

Sugar revenues are expected to decline more than 10% and the operating result turn from positive to negative. Special products and fruit will grow by more than 10% but it will not be enough to compensate for the decline in sugar revenues.

9 finances

Source: Morningstar

A two year slump and lower operating results by 75% will affect earnings and most importantly cash flows. If cash flows drop to 2015 levels, the dividend might still be sustained for one year as a EUR 0.5 dividend requires only 102 million in cash.

My concern is that in case of higher sugar prices, SZU’s net income doesn’t change much and will probably come to 500 million in operating income and 250 million in cash available for dividends which would be around 1.2 EUR per share. That would however be a 10% dividend yield that would propel the price to a yield of at least 5% in Europe. Think of a stock price above EUR 20 in such a case.

10 szu

This means that the stock will probably go to 20 and above in the next few years as the cycle turns. It was trading above EUR 25 just a year ago and above EUR 30 in 2013.

The company has a stable balance sheet where only 43% of the assets are financed by debt.

11 balance sheet

Source: Sudzucker

Debt issues shouldn’t really be a concern given the long-term maturity.

12 debt repayment

Source: Sudzucker

The market cap is much higher when the dividend is growing or higher which shows how short term oriented the market is.

12 long term group

The investments next year will be high which will probably increase debt. However, the investments are mostly into starch.

12 starch

They also have a pizza business with EUR 1 billion in revenue.

13 pizza

Could it be that the only reason this stock is this low is because it might go lower and the dividend might be cut?

Investment thesis

I know SZU is going to be at EUR 20 somewhere in the next 5 years, for sure in a decade. I need a 15% return which means the purchase price comes at EUR 10.98! Still one EUR to go down. However, it might go even lower which means you buy more at 9 and then at 7. Sell at 11 and sell the first position at 20 and collect dividend in the meantime. That would be a relative investment strategy but I am an absolute investor looking for business earnings, not just market returns. Never depend on markets for your returns, it doesn’t work well in the long term even if it did miracles in the last 35 years.

A look at earnings shows that the average earnings over the past decade were EUR 1.2 giving a current CAPE (cyclically adjusted price earnings ratio of 10). This implies a 10% long term return which is nice. Given that my required return is 15% per year, my entry point would be EUR 8. Given that few like European stocks at the moment, if sugar prices stay down for another year and we see pain and negative earnings in the sector with some dividend cuts, it is possible to see this at 8. Then it would be a great margin of safety investment no matter what happens. If DB goes bust and we see turmoil in Italy it might really happen.

14 long term

When and if it gets closer to 8, I’ll take another look, dig deeper into the European beet industry and look at SZU’s subsidiaries. Given the German ownership I don’t think private equity funds will want to mess with this one and split it in pieces.

To conclude, this is a really good company at currently a relatively low price. I am waiting for an absolutely low price with a margin of safety. As I look at hundreds of companies per year, I am happy with finding a few that trade at such absolute low prices with large margins of safety. Given the amount of research I do, I find a few of them per year which are my buys. Check my research platform for more information about what and how I do.

SZU goes on my watch list and I’ll wait for an opportunity that might come in the next decade, as I cover the company I’ll understand it better and take advantage of possible opportunities.

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