Sale of GLP & Purchase of Addvalue Tech

As news about GLP’s buyout continued to surface and finally seemed to have reached an agreement, I realised that I did not blog about the sale of my shares earlier. On 19/5/17, I sold off my shares at a price of $2.91, giving me a gain of ~31% based on my earlier purchase price of $2.20. I sold my shares as I felt there was still much uncertainty about the buyout price, and the risk-reward ratio was getting less attractive with the surge in its share price. Nevertheless, although I feel it is indeed a strong company to hold for the long term, this buyout offer did give me a good return and I am grateful for that. On hindsight, I should have waited (the final offer price was $3.38, not inclusive of dividends!), but we always have to make the best decision we can at that point of time. Just like in a game of poker. ūüėȬ†On 15/7/17, I continued to add to my investment in ISEC Healthcare at $0.33, as I feel it is still undervalued as compared to the industry. I had wanted to add more at $0.315 but was greedy and decided to queue at $0.31 instead. Unfortunately, my bid did not get through. At $0.33, its absolute PE is still high, but I am rather optimistic about this. Let’s visit this space again in time to come.

 

On 21/7/17, I bought into Addvalue Tech at a price of $0.049. I feel the risk reward ratio is attractive to me at the current price, and the recent entry into the Thai market for its iFleetONE products is good progress. Catalysts remain the sale of its subsidiary Addvalue Communications, contract wins for its iFleetONE product and commercialisation of its Inter-Satellite Data Relay System. Nevertheless, the firm has been loss making for the last few years, and it might take some time before the numbers are back in the black again. This is a speculative position, and I will consider selling if losses continue and their business divisions do not show signs of growth. As this is still not my typical kind of investment, my stake is very small. Position sizing is very important in portfolio management.

 

Disclaimer: The author owns shares in the abovementioned company. The ideas expressed in this blog should not be construed as an enticement to buy or sell the securities, commodities or assets mentioned. The accuracy or completeness of the information provided cannot be guaranteed. Readers should carry out independent verification of information provided. No warranty whatsoever is given and no liability whatsoever is accepted for any loss howsoever arising whether directly or indirectly as a result of actions taken based on ideas and information found in this blog.

What is it that We Live For?

It is 2.12 am as I write this. As I had difficulty sleeping, I decided to pen down some of the thoughts that have been running through my head. Life seems to have accelerated so much since 2014. Ever since I came back from my exchange in Thailand and starting to prepare for graduation, life has indeed become so much richer. What, then do I mean by richer? To some, being richer might simply mean having more money in their bank; being able to afford that flashy car and house, or being successful in the corporate world. On the contrary, being richer is to me, not a financial state, but rather the experience of life’s moments in its varying vicissitudes. During the past 3 years, I have experienced pain, loss, betrayal, spite and failure to great extent, both in my private and work life. However, during the same three years, I have also felt joy, hope, loyalty, respect and success. It is this roller coaster of emotions that makes life so much richer. Can the peaks of life be truly savoured if one has never been in the valley? I doubt so. Failure makes success all the more sweeter. Ever felt that soothing sensation when you popped a sweet in your mouth after taking some bitter medicine before? If you have, you’ll know what I mean.

In 2013, a good friend of mine contracted a debilitating illness that essentially damaged extensively his ability to think and speak. He was 25. It was this first hand experience that struck me that life is really fragile. When we really feel the brevity of our lives, do we then start to observe that time passes so, so quickly. It literally flies by. Our choices on what to pursue and make out of life then, becomes so much more important. Your time is limited; some more so than others. And when we all come to die, as all must and will, our accomplishments and titles will not mean as much then. Death is a common destination we all share, and our names will be forgotten in time to come. Does it make much difference if we are a million richer than our neighbours? Or will it matter if we are sitting on a higher position than our peers? Honestly, no one cares. Neither should we harbour too much bitterness against loved ones and friends who have done us wrong. Forgiveness is a powerful teacher. Kindness knows no limits. It is only with the extension of love and kindness to others, does life then seem so much more meaningful.

I want to live a life of meaning. A rich life. Question is, what about you?

Have a blessed week ahead.

Purchase of ISEC Healthcare & Valuetronics Holdings

On 2/6/17, I bought into ISEC Healthcare at a price of $0.34.¬†International Specialist Eye Centre (ISEC) is a comprehensive medical eye care service provider based in Malaysia and Singapore, whose¬†vision is to provide high quality, compassionate, world-class eye care at affordable level. It is a net cash company (~$21m) with no debts, and is currently trading at a PE of 26x FY16 earnings. This may seem high at first glance, but I like the management’s opportunistic acquisitions at pretty decent prices, eg. the acquisition of JLM GP and aesthetic clinics at a PE of 12 to complement its current operations. From my interactions with medical professionals, eye surgery is seen as a lucrative business, and this is reflected in ISEC’s strong net margins of ~20% compared to the estimated industry average of ~13%. The company has seen increasing revenues in the past 5 years, but this has not necessarily resulted in rising profits due to the firm’s loss-making Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Center. With the cessation of operations in 2015 along with contributions from new acquisitions like SSEC (Southern Specialist Eye Center Sdn Bhd) in Malaysia, profits in 2016 rebounded strongly from $2.8m in 2015 to $6.4m in 2016. ISEC intends to continue expanding in Malaysia and into the region. Countries like Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia, Taiwan, Philippines and China are targets. At an annual dividend of $0.011 per share, the company is trading at a 3.23% dividend yield at my purchase price of $0.34.

On the same day, I bought more of QAF at a price of $1.355 as I still felt it presented value, especially with the ongoing strategic review of its primary production business underway. With the purchase, QAF is one of the more significant holdings in my portfolio.

On 12/6/17, I purchased shares of Valuetronics at $0.765 after its shares were sold off sharply, possibly due to the drop in US tech shares the night before. I have been eyeing Valuetronics for some time, but its recent gains have made it hard for me to pull the trigger, especially from the valuation perspective. Valuetronics is an integrated electronics manufacturing services (EMS) provider with key businesses in consumer electronics (CE), and industrial and commercial electronics (ICE). Honestly, I still feel I lack the competence to understand the semi conductor and electronics industry, and these include my investments in Micro-Mechanics and InnoTek. However, I find comfort in their management, especially Micro-Mechanics’. As for Valuetronics, I am optimistic as I believe it is a beneficiary of two major trends in IOT and autonomous driving. In 2016, there was a steep fall in revenues and earnings due to the exit from the low margin CE LED business. This used to be a big business for the company. However, it was not long lasting, as management steered the company back to growth with the introduction of new products, like smart lighting with Internet-of-Things (IOT) features. I must admit that the comeback and return to growth was indeed quick. At my purchase price, the company is trading at a PE of ~12 and a yield of 5.2%, based on a FY17 dividend of HKD$0.20. The company is net cash, with around ~$130m in cash. Valuations are not exactly compelling for an OEM provider, ¬†Let’s see how this company performs in the coming quarters.

With the recent purchases, I am around ~80% invested based on my investment portfolio, and around 60% invested based on my total portfolio, which includes my emergency savings. I am still building up my cash cushion, so I will need to save more in the coming months.

 

Disclaimer: The author owns shares in the abovementioned company. The ideas expressed in this blog should not be construed as an enticement to buy or sell the securities, commodities or assets mentioned. The accuracy or completeness of the information provided cannot be guaranteed. Readers should carry out independent verification of information provided. No warranty whatsoever is given and no liability whatsoever is accepted for any loss howsoever arising whether directly or indirectly as a result of actions taken based on ideas and information found in this blog.

Updates to my Portfolio

                                                                                  

Recently, there have been some updates to my portfolio. On 16/5/17, upon waking up, I made a hasty decision and bought into Golden Energy Resources at $0.44 after its positive earning release. I intended to do a short term trade as I thought the market would react positively to the results. I was proved wrong and the share price dipped below my purchase price. Fortunately, I was presented the opportunity to exit a few days after on the 19/5/17 at $0.445, giving me a minute loss of 0.47% after taking into consideration commissions. I will have to be more disciplined in my trades, and stick to what works in the long run rather than wild guesses at where the stock prices will head in the short term. I guess Howard Marks did make his impression on me, especially in the area of risk management. In the same regard, I sold off Alliance Mineral on the 25/5/17, pocketing a small gain of 4.06% at a price of $0.37. I realised that investing in these two commodity plays caused unrest within me, and I often found myself continually checking their share prices within the day, hoping for a quick gain. Perhaps my temperament is not suited for highly volatile stocks, of which commodity companies are a large part of. Upon further introspection, I realise that a main reason why I fretted over Alliance Mineral was because of the uncertainty that shrouds it. The company might continue to rise sharply in the next few months if things work out in its favour, but there is nothing currently set in stone; which makes it so risky. I guess the litmus test for me in ascertaining whether or not to hold onto a stock is to see whether I find myself worrying over it as I go to bed. Having sold off these two stocks, I did actually breathe out a sigh of relief.On 22/5/17, I bought into InnoTek Ltd at a price of $0.37. InnoTek is a precision metal components manufacturer serving the consumer electronics, office automation, and mobility device industries. The company was loss making in 2014 and 2015 and had turned around in the previous year due to a change in management. Profits were growing from quarter to quarter in FY16 and I was interested in the company as it was trading at a PB ratio of 0.68, PE of 7.3, and an ex-cash PE of 4.9, which was attractive to me. Moreover, its turnaround does look legit, and its ROE in the last FY was around 9.23%, which is encouraging considering it is net cash and holds a significant amount of cash on its balance sheet. At a distribution of $0.005 per share, it is yielding around 1.35% at my purchase price. The company had also given its first dividend in 3 years, as it was loss making previously. I am looking forward to a better FY17 under the leadership of Mr Lou Yiliang, who is the current CEO of the company.

 

On the next day, I purchased shares in Boustead Projects at $0.86 as I felt it was undervalued after analysing a report by CIMB. I will not go too much into details as the report is comprehensive and talks about the moat that the company possesses in the industrial design space. The firm is the market leader in the industrial real estate D&B field, with a solid track record in delivery of high spec¬†built-to-suit industrial facilities to MNCs and local customers across industries including aerospace, pharmaceutical, high-tech manufacturing and logistics. It has amassed a portfolio of 18 cashflow generative industrial assets and secured partnerships with investment funds to develop industrial projects in Singapore and China. As mentioned in the report, “Being a knowledge-based business with all construction works carried out by subcontractors, the D&B business of BP carries very little fixed assets and does not have large overhead expenses (it has no foreign labour quota issue as faced by many construction firms); this allows BP to manage its cost efficiently.¬†Apart from the flexible cost management, we believe another advantage of the D&B model is the self-financing feature of its projects – BP typically receives upfront payment from clients before it pays its subcontractors based on work performed. As such, we think BP‚Äôs payment terms are more favourable than those of general construction contractors, which usually have to put aside a sizeable amount of cash for project financing purposes.”¬†As a result of its high value adding design services, the company has been able to command strong gross margins, ranging from 14%-20% as compared to single digit margins of general construction companies.¬†

If the report is indeed accurate, then the market may not be recognising the full potential of the company which possesses a superior business model yet trading at a significant discount to developers and REITs. Based on my entry price, and using CIMB’s RNAV of $1.73, it is trading at a price to RNAV of ~0.5. The company is also net cash, which is something one would hardly see in developers or REITs. It is giving total dividends of $0.025 a share, comprising of a final dividend of $0.015 and a special dividend of $0.01. There might be plans to launch a REIT in the near future, but I am not banking on that. In summary, the company is attractive to me mainly due to its undervaluation despite having a much stronger business model as compared to its peers.

 

 

Disclaimer: The author owns shares in the abovementioned company. The ideas expressed in this blog should not be construed as an enticement to buy or sell the securities, commodities or assets mentioned. The accuracy or completeness of the information provided cannot be guaranteed. Readers should carry out independent verification of information provided. No warranty whatsoever is given and no liability whatsoever is accepted for any loss howsoever arising whether directly or indirectly as a result of actions taken based on ideas and information found in this blog.

Sale of AEM Holdings and Purchase of QAF Limited

On 9/5/17, I sold off most of my stake in AEM Holdings at a price of $2.63. Due to the 1 for 2 bonus issue, my average cost was $0.58. This gave me a return of ~352% in a span of approximately 4 months. AEM had a really good run, and was my first 4-bagger. I sold most of my shares off as it made up a significant proportion in my portfolio and I wanted to rebalance it. With that, the remaining shares in AEM are free-of-cost.

On the same day, I bought a small stake into QAF at a price of $1.38. Not many would know of the company, but I’m sure many would have heard or eaten its¬†“Gardenia” brand of breads. I have always wanted to own a piece of QAF, having been a consumer of its products since young. However, I have always steered away as I was not comfortable with its business in primary production. Rivalea, its business unit, is the largest producer of pork meat in Australia, and also a large exporter of pork products internationally. I admit there are¬†economies of scale being the largest in the country and also by having a vertically integrated operation, but I feel that the business is afterall a commodity business. It is still a price taker, and the volatility in feed and sow prices can make or break a quarter. Returns on agricultural businesses aren’t fantastic, as usually huge assets (land, machinery) are required to make such an operation sustainable. Thus, when the company announced that it was conducting a strategic review pertaining to Rivalea through a full sale or a listing, my eyes lit up. I believe QAF would be a leaner and stronger business if it focuses more on the expansion of its bakery business in the near future. Competition is intense, but I’m confident the strong brand of its Gardenia products would help it grow. At my purchase price of $1.38, the company is trading at a PE of 13 and yielding 3.62%, assuming a yearly distribution of $0.05. I nibbled for this stock, as it is still not considered cheap to me. Nevertheless, I’m sure the¬†bread would taste even better now. ūüôā

 

 

Disclaimer: The author owns shares in the abovementioned company. The ideas expressed in this blog should not be construed as an enticement to buy or sell the securities, commodities or assets mentioned. The accuracy or completeness of the information provided cannot be guaranteed. Readers should carry out independent verification of information provided. No warranty whatsoever is given and no liability whatsoever is accepted for any loss howsoever arising whether directly or indirectly as a result of actions taken based on ideas and information found in this blog.

The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor


The Most Important Thing¬†by Howard Marks has changed my perception of risk and made me question my investing style. In it, he espouses second-level thinking and prefers defensive investing to¬†offensive investing. He¬†elaborates on the need to be aware and attentive of cycles and the oscillating pendulum between euphoria and extreme pessimism. He also believes in the appreciating the role of luck in our investments and the importance of knowing what we do not know, and as such avoiding pitfalls. To him, lower returns taken with much less risks is always preferred to higher returns achieved by taking on larger risks. He deems it a success¬†if¬†Oaktree (his fund) keeps¬†up with the market during bull years, but¬†outperforms during the bear years. Oaktree Capital Management specializes in off-the-beaten-path and contrarian investments,¬†and favors companies with tangible assets.¬†The firm’s motto is ‚Äúif we avoid the losers, the winners will take care of themselves.‚ÄĚ

This is a very enlightening book, especially for young investors like myself, who lack the experience in the market. It gives one a new perspective on risk and returns, and I would highly encourage any investor looking to refine their thought process to read it. As a person whom Warren Buffet once said, “When I see memos from Howard Marks in my mail, they‚Äôre the first thing I open and read. I always learn something, and that goes double for his book‚ÄĚ, I am confident the reader of¬†The Most Important Thing¬†would similarly take back nuggets of wisdom from it.¬†


Updates to my Portfolio

During the past few weeks, I have made some updates to my portfolio:

On 10/4/17, I purchased shares of¬†AP Oil at a price of $0.27. AP Oil is a value play to me. Its PE is 12.7, PB is 0.8 and is currently giving me a yield of ~4.6% based on my purchase price. It is net cash, and cash in fact makes up ~86% of its market cap. AP Oil has been looking around to deploy its cash hoard. The CEO frankly mentioned that the company is in a business that has low growth prospects. He also said, ‚ÄúWe have grown organically for the past 10 years, and now we are at a stage where we can take risks and not die.‚Ä̬†Recently, it invested RMB25 million ($5.1 million) in a joint venture that provides financial leasing services in Chongqing, China. This deal is interesting in that it gives AP Oil downside protection + upside participation. Two key clauses were included in the JV agreement: 1) Put Option: After 1 Jan 2018, AP Oil will have the right to sell-back its stake to Zongshen at an agreed market valuation (determined by an approved valuer) at not less than the initial capital contribution of RMB25m. This creates a sort of capital guarantee for AP Oil. 2) Tag-along rights: That ensures AP Oil is able to participate in the same kind of upside as Zongshen should they decide to sell their stake in the JV to a third party. These are deals which tell us that management is savvy at the negotiation table. Revenues and margins might drop in the coming years due to low growth and volatility in selling prices while management tries to diversify the business.¬†Nevertheless, its huge cash hoard is reassuring.

On the same day, I purchased shares in Alliance Mineral at $0.35. As the company was not profit-making yet, I bought a small amount purely as a speculation play – it is and remains the smallest constituent in my portfolio. To me, the rewards of seeing the company successfully hitting its targets one by one was worth the high risk involved. However, my risk averse nature prevented myself from investing more. Enough has¬†been mentioned about the company online so I will not go into the details. Let’s see how this works out in time to come.

On 19/4/17, I bought more into Spackman Entertainment at a price of $0.152 as I felt that the stock was being unfairly penalised for its CEO’s lawsuit. The tension in the Korean Peninsula did not make things any better. Spackman has issued a positive profit guidance for the upcoming quarter and I believe that the company is slowly making progress forward with its acquisitions. Will its upcoming movie – Golden Slumber be a hit? Only time will tell. What I do know, is that Zip Cinema has a very good track record in its producer – Eugene¬†lee.

Lastly, on 25/4/17, I purchased shares in Bund Center Investment at a price of $0.82. Bund Center Investment is a value-yield play, similar to that of AP Oil. It owns the Bund Center office tower and the Westin Bund Center Shanghai hotel in Shanghai; as well as the Golden Center Shopping Mall in Ningbo. As the company adopts a conservative accounting policy of valuing its properties at cost less accumulated depreciation, the current assets are carried in its books at SGD407m, while the carrying value is around SGD1946m according to an analyst report. This makes my purchase price of $0.82 around 31% of its RNAV of $2.58. It is currently in a net cash of $61 million, and is debt free. It also generates strong cashflows of around $70million a year of which an average of $51million goes to dividends. This is $0.067 a share, representing a yield of ~8.17% at my purchase price.

As my recent purchases have shown, I have been looking more at value stocks, especially now when markets and optimism have climbed. I am currently more averse to investing in growth plays, as I feel my portfolio has enough growth stocks in it. As markets continue to rise, we need to be more careful and cognizant of the risks that lie ahead, one of which I feel is overconfidence Рthe pride before the fall.

 

 

Disclaimer: The author owns shares in the abovementioned company. The ideas expressed in this blog should not be construed as an enticement to buy or sell the securities, commodities or assets mentioned. The accuracy or completeness of the information provided cannot be guaranteed. Readers should carry out independent verification of information provided. No warranty whatsoever is given and no liability whatsoever is accepted for any loss howsoever arising whether directly or indirectly as a result of actions taken based on ideas and information found in this blog.