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):
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.
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.
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.