Value Ideas Blog
Hargreaves Services PLC, a diamond in the mud?

Disclaimer: This is not an investment advice, please do your own research and don’t follow anyone blindly. Furthermore, it has to be mentioned that the author don’t have a position in Hargreaves but affiliated parties may have. Thus they participate if the share price increases. Additionally, the author and related parties may sell their shares without further notice.

 

We wrote about Hargreaves two times in the past, since then the stock price tanked another 50%. Here you can find the first and the second writeup about the company. In the meantime, we visited the company in the UK and more recently, Hargreaves published a trading update in which it basically revealed all cash which can potentially be realised within the next 5 years. After this update the share price rose ~20% within a couple of days.

read more

Today we would like to provide further insides into our hidden Asset valuation of Hargreaves Services plc, where a friend of us, Daniel Gilcher helped us.   According to the annual report of 2014 the book value of land assets are carried at cost: 8,418m GBP. The problem is, that we don’t have a lot available information on the different land patches across the country nor the status and information of the plan projects.     Her is what we know: Where the old mines are and that 300 acres (1% of overall land) is developed towards a residential area. A minimum of 1600 housing units will be erected. The cost for development remains unknown. Please see below the landbank of Hargreaves around Edinburgh.   land portfolio around Edinburgh And in the next picture the landbank around Westfield. read more

Today I would like to present you a company which pops up in nearly every value screener which we use and is already well known by some value investors (the result below is from the quant investing screener):

 

QuantInvesting

 

I’m talking about Hargreaves Services Plc. (OTCMKTS: HGRVF), which was founded in 1994 with the acquisition of a haulage business from RJB Mining plc which consisted out of 20 trucks and simply hauled coal around. But we will come to the history of Hargreaves later in the text. Recently the share price has tanked to just below 3 GBP which is far away from its old high of 2012.  So the question is what happened? First in 2011 and 2012 some company specific news hit the share price when Hargreaves discovered in the year of 2011 that its Maltby coal mine had geo-structural issues and had to be mothballed. Later Hargreaves discovered a fraud in their Belgian operations, and took a GBP 17.7m write-down. You can see this development quite nicely in the share price development of that time. Than in 2013  many value investors found the company, it was pitched 2 times in Omaha, and called for an entry which ends in a share price stabilisation in the year of 2013 to 2014.

 

Hargreaves

 

In the same time the coal price collapsed from its high in the year of 2011, when one tonne of coal was traded at around 130 Dollar to  now 58 Dollar. As coal mining companies are normally dependent on the coal price this is the explanation for the collapse of the stockrpice of Hargreaves.

 

Coal Price

 

But Hargreaves is not a simple coal mine. The key to Hargreaves business model lies in its history.  Especially the 1990’s  where from importans for Hargreaves, when it continued to grow organically and bought further haulage operations. At the start of the millennium, Hargreaves Waste Services was founded and haulage diversified to hauling waste. Gordon Banham, the current CEO joined the group in 2001 and began a strategy of diversifying into higher value services.

  read more

First off, a quick note: Felix is working for an investment bank for a couple of weeks, so he will not be involved in the reporting on German stocks for that period.

Today I would like to present you, in this quick write up, the SMT Scharf AG – ISIN: DE0005751986. SMT Scharf was founded in the year of 1951 and is based in Hamm which lies in the old industrial and mining arear of Germany the so called “Ruhrpott”. SMT Scharf is listed on the German stock exchange since the year of 2008 and the first time I heard of it on a value investing conference was in the year 2012. The company and the investment case was presented by the guys of the Frankfurter Aktienfonds für Stiftungen. Since than the development of the share price looks like this:

 

SMT Scharf_hist_wallstreet_online_20090811_20140811

(Source: WallStreet:Online)

 

SMT Scharf is the world market leader for the production, installation and maintenance of underground rail-bound railway systems which are used in the hard coal mining business. Its market share in this segment is over 40%, you can find an interview with the CEO from the year 2013 here, the number of installed rialways is really interesting due to the fact that you can calculated the future service revenue with it.

Das Segment, das Scharf bedient, sind „Einschienenhängebahnen“ = „Monorails“, eine sehr spezialisierte und kleine Nische: Weltweit gibt es etwa 1200 bis 1400 Monorails, wovon etwa 530 von uns sind, daraus resultiert unser 40%-Marktanteil. Der Jahresumsatz in dem Segment sind etwa 250 neue Bahnen (100 Mio. EUR) und eben so viel Service, also ca. 200 Mio. EUR. Auch davon hat Scharf mit 77 Mio. fast 40%. [https://translate.google.com/]

You can find an older presentation for the EK-Forum here. A nice video about the product can be found here. read more