Guess AVD isn't the only one having problems. It doesn't bode all that well for AVD either.
By Gabrielle Coppola Nov 20, 2014 4:55 PM ET
Adama Agricultural Solutions Ltd. (ADAM), the world’s largest maker of generic agro-chemicals, postponed an initial public offering after failing to agree with investors on pricing.
The company, which is 60 percent-owned by a unit of China National Chemical Corp., planned to raise as much as $423 million today to fund the acquisition of companies from ChemChina, as its owner is known. Airport City, Israel-based Adama planned to issue shares in a range of $16 to $18 to be traded on the New York Stock Exchange, according to a Nov. 10 filing.
Adama, which was taken private by ChemChina in 2011 after it purchased a majority stake from Koor Industries Ltd., was marketing itself to investors amid a slump in grain prices that has sapped farmers’ appetite to buy the herbicides and fungicides that are the core of the company’s sales. Investors were reluctant to invest at the price range the company sought because of weak commodity prices, said an Adama press official, who asked not to be named because of company policy.
“Investor sentiment toward companies that cater to the agricultural industry is pretty negative right now,” Matt Arnold, an analyst with Edward Jones in St. Louis, said in a telephone interview today. “These stocks can’t find a friend right now.”
FMC Corp., a Philadelphia-based maker of agro-chemicals, is down 26 percent this year, compared with an 11 percent gain on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. (SPX) Monsanto Co., the world’s largest seed company has risen 2.6 percent this year.
The Bloomberg Agriculture Index of seven farm products, excluding livestock, has tumbled 24 percent since the end of April on the outlook for rising supplies. American farmers will collect record corn and soybean harvests, the government has forecast.
Hey Algo. Have you looked at MTX, the company that bought ACO? I always thought the ACO business was good, but never liked the new management that took over after Washow left. MTX shares have done quite well since the takeover and they seem to be integrating the ACO business fairly quickly. I am just starting to look at MTX now. Hard to know where their earnings will settle out over the next year. Hate to buy anything at 52 week highs, but sometimes it works OK.
OK, my earlier concerns about having to buy back shares at an increased price proved unfounded (overly optimistic?). Seems like Raven could actually get the deal done at a 10% discount if they could buy back those $25 shares used for Integra at today's price. Of course, they would drive the price up quickly if they didn't spread the purchases out. Volume the last couple days has been just average. Hard to know how quickly the Integra group will want to sell their shares, but I would suspect they wouldn't be interested in selling a large block to Raven on a buyback at a discounted price. That would be a tough pill to swallow this soon.
Decided to start a new topic because the Yahoo format drives me crazy when there are too many replies to a topic.
Good post "E".
If they believe the following comment from the PR, what does "right sizing" mean? If you expect long term growth, why would you take steps to reduce your chances of participating? I wonder if they really have a clue. Is the competition really the problem or is it just weak demand due to poor crop prices, etc?
According to Rykhus, "Our long-term view of the North American ag market remains optimistic. A growing global population and greater demands for food will ultimately support healthy growth—and Raven will be in an even better position to leverage our technology, expertise and product portfolio, with a leaner and more focused organization."
I haven't read the Integra purchase agreement in detail, but I hope they don't have some kind of claw back clause that allows an adjustment to the number of shares if Raven stock takes a dump. It looks like based on the Prospectus filed today, that there is no adjustment. The Integra group has filed to sell the 1.5 million shares from time to time. Whatever that means. It sounds like an overhang on the market since Raven doesn't trade that much anyhow. Hard to know how the Integra holders might value Raven shares and if they will want to sell them fairly quickly or just bide their time and hope for improved pricing.
There was a small Seeking Alpha article today on the sale. Here is an excerpt. Fairly positive.
The sale will negatively impact EPS in the short term, but should favor better focus and higher profitability over the long term. In fact, as the sale will not bring in significant profits, I believe RFL was probably sold because the company realized that the segment's operations lacked the necessary scale to compete effectively. Hence, I consider the transaction to be another step forward in the company's portfolio optimization strategy which I had already highlighted in my first article on SLI. Over the past years, the company has significantly improved its underlying profitability and the planned new factory in China will probably lead to further enhanced profit margins and facilitate contract wins and revenue growth. All in all, I continue to consider SLI a well managed company that has a good chance to deliver positive surprises in the near future, as the company continues to streamline its operations, in the attempt to close the margin gap to its peers. Hence, SLI seems to be a decent buy at its current price of about $41/share, but I would wait for another pullback before building a major position.
FYI, if you look for Discovery filings, the 13F-HR is under the name Michael R Murphy.
It's hard to see what drives this stock. But, there are a couple of new large holders as of the Sep. 30 filings. Discovery Group has a new position of about 1.2 million shares. That's 4.1% of the outstanding shares and more importantly, it's 4.6% of the funds net assets. Cove Street Capital, LLC added 653,260 shares also. That is about 1.4% of their fund value. These positions that are a measurable % of their investments mean more than when Fidelity owns 5% or so, but it's only 0.0001% of their holdings. I have no crystal ball, but thought these changes in holdings were interesting.
The 10K says they spent $562,000 last year on lease payments, but that also includes 3 small offices outside the US. So maybe about the same price if you knock a little off for the smaller sales offices. The new lease is $1.4M for 3 years.
They also filed an 8K on this last week.
Aehr Re-Ups in Fremont
By Mark Heschmeyer
November 17, 2014
Aehr Test Systems amended its lease with CWCA Scott Creek 28 LLC
The amendment extends the term for three years commencing on July 1, 2015, with an option to extend for another three years.
Total base rent expense from the Extension Date through the Expiration Date is approximately $1.4 million.
Aehr leases 51,289 rentable square feet at 400 Kato Terrace in Fremont, California, in Scott Creek Business Park.
This PR is for another company, but it mentions that AEHR is also a participant. They have done this a couple other times, but I haven't seen any confirmation about this year yet.
HAYWARD, Calif., Nov. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Ultra Clean Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: UCTT), a developer and supplier of critical subsystems, for the semiconductor capital equipment, medical device, energy, research, and flat panel industries, announced that Casey Eichler, Chief Financial Officer, will participate in the 3rd Annual Midtown CAP Investor Summit 2014 being held December 10, 2014 at the Marriott Marquis, New York, NY.
About the Midtown CAP Summit
The Midtown CAP Summit is hosted by executive management from the following participating companies: Aehr Test Systems (AEHR), Axcelis (ACLS), Brooks Automation (BRKS), Cascade Micro (CSCD), Cohu (COHU), Electro Scientific (ESIO), FormFactor (FORM), inTEST (INTT), Intevac (IVAC), Mattson Technology (MTSN), Nanometrics (NANO), Rudolph Technologies (RTEC), Ultra Clean Technology (UCTT), Ultratech (UTEK) and Xcerra Corporation (XCRA), and will feature a "round-robin" format consisting of a series of small group meetings.
The Midtown CAP Summit is by invitation only and is open to accredited investors and publishing research analysts. As space is limited, please RSVP early. Hosts reserve the right to limit attendance as necessary. Last day for registration is November 28. To RSVP for the Midtown CAP Summit, please contact the event's co-chairs:
It seems to me that this stock has a tendency to trade on non public information. The share price started trending down from $30 well before any bad news was released from the company. It also seems to make a move before each quarterly report that presages the actual results quite accurately.
I guess there is a chance that things are actually getting better and only those in the know have this information. Either way, I am going to take a quick victory lap on my $13 price guess before it tanks again. We hit $13.01 today for a minute or two.
As Jack Ma says, "good things take time". I would love to see the share price double tomorrow, but at the Q1 conference call on September 30, Gayn said:
"Having said that, we anticipate that we could see as many as one or two additional soft quarters as we roll out these new FOX products."
I guess most of these thinly traded small caps are more volatile than average, but this seems worse than average. You could make a case that perhaps the run from $30 to $50 was overdone (who knows) and now with the light trading volume, share holders are just nervous about whether the results justified the move. Still, those 5% to 10% moves daily are crazy. Some might be tempted to trade the moves, but the volume and bid/ask spreads probably make that impractical for anyone wanting to do any trades of size.
Not all their customers are multi-billion dollar companies. Spansion, one of their primary customers only has a market cap of a little over $1 billion. I think an order for a couple million in test equipment would be something they would need to be able to justify. Spansion is still losing money right now. I guess if the AEHR test equipment could help get them into the black, that might be a good reason to order. I also recall that the customers that were helping to pay for the development of the equipment had been requesting changes as the process went along and that this has been part of the reason for delay. Guess we will know in a month or two.
FWIW, I just looked at Feltl and Company's November 1, 2014 research. They still have American Vanguard AVD rated Strong Buy with a price target $18.40, but have lowered their forecast for next years earnings to $0.64 and revenues have been lowered to $356 million.
OK, so I have been thinking about the timing of using Raven stock for this purchase. Maybe not the best for current shareholders or the company. If we assume that Raven stock is near it's low (we hope), that means Raven is using deflated currency to make the purchase. Next, since they also announced a repurchase plan for up to $40M to sanitize the Integra purchase, about 1.54 million shares issued, they will likely have to pay more than the current market price of Raven for the repurchased shares. If the Raven share price moves up to say $35 per share, they will only be able to repurchase 1.14 million shares for their $40M. Not the end of the world I guess, but still somewhat dilutive. Kind of don't like to use shares as currency when they are at such a low price. I guess if they can get the repurchase done without driving the price up, no harm done. But if the share price goes up, they will have paid more for Integra than they intended.
Found this article.
First UK showing of 18,000 rpm 5-axis machine at Hurco Open House
Hurco's Open House, 9-11 December at its facility in High Wycombe, will offer first sight of a new, 18,000 rpm HSK63A version of the popular VMX42SRTi 5-axis machine.
The machine incorporates a B-axis in the machine head and a torque motor-driven C-axis for part rotation. Large and complex 5-axis components can be produced in a relatively compact footprint, says the company.
Also on show will be the TMM8i and TM12i turning centres, VM10i, VM20i, VMX42Ti and VMX60Ti vertical machining centres, and the 5-axis VMX30Ui.
Machine demonstrations will focus primarily on two new features: Adaptipath, which controls cutter engagement when machining pockets and includes a rest machining feature, allowing parts to be cut faster while extending tool life; and Ultimotion high speed machining software, which allows a machine to run faster and more smoothly, with up to 50% time savings reported for some complex parts.
This year, the event's supplier village will further increase in size. Renishaw, Roemheld, Kitagawa, SGS Carbide Tool, Gewefa, MacInnes Tooling, PCM Tooling, Delcam, Hydrafeed and Open Mind (hyperMILL) will all be represented.
In addition, Hurco welcomes grooving technology specialists Horn Tools, CADCAM specialists Edgecam, Anotronic - which will be displaying the new River 3 EDM drill - and Finance For Industry, which will be able to advise on RGF (Regional Growth Fund) grant applications.