NOVEMBER 27, 1997
American Power Conversion (APCC on NASDAQ) West Kingston, RI, tel: (401) 789-5735 ext.2994. Price Nov.26/97: $30.75, 52-week range: $33.25-15.25. First mentioned at $12 on Oct 15/95 and last mentioned on July 18/97 at $22.87, the stock is once more fully priced. This well established manufacturer of uninterruptible power supplies is still a growth company. Earnings for the 3Q were 38 cents/sh up32% over last year's and 9 months ended Sept 28/97 were 88 cents, up 36%, year over year. This well run company lowered their inventory to sales ratio and increased cash by 48% to $212 million. Sales and earnings should continue to grow at 20 to 25% rates and earnings for 1998 should attain analyst's targets of $1.50/sh. A weaker Asian market might psychologically cause a pullback in the stock price, so that, again, an investor can think in terms of buying in the lower 20's and this time aim for selling in the higher 30's.
Benson Petroleum Ltd. (BEN on TSE), Calgary, AB, Tel: (403) 269-5158. Price Nov 26/97: $1.50, 52-week range: $2.05-0.95. First mentioned at $1.15 on March 14/97, and more recently on July 18/97. Revenues for the 9 months ended Sept 30/97 increased by 52% to $11.7 million. Cash flow increased by 62% to $5.4 million, or 31 cents/sh. Crude oil and liquids production, mainly in east central Alberta, continues to increase in each quarter and is now averaging 1465 bbl/d. The company now expects to exceed their cash flow forecast of 39 cents/sh for this year. With this type of growth, BEN stock should trade at minimum 5 times cf/sh. The company has 18.1 million shs.outstanding
Birim Goldfields Inc. (BGI on TSE), Montreal, QC, Tel: (514) 393-8611. Price: Nov 26/97: $0.60, 52-week range: $2.40-0.36. First mentioned at $0.80 on Nov 15/95, and most recently on July 18/97 Company is currently core drilling one of its many gold prospects in Ghana, this on a Birimian rock formation along the little tested Bui structural belt. Partner Battle Mountain Gold appears to have met with encouraging close to surface results at Aboronye along the Ashanti gold belt. Birim has been given the green light by the Government of Ghana to resume exploration work on the national forest sector at Mampon. This was the prospect that yielded good grade gold values over substantial thickness and prompted BGI stock to rise to over $4/sh. The company has been prevented from working there for 20 months, so perhaps patient investors will be finally rewarded. The company has 17.6 million shs outstanding.
CFM Majestic Inc. (CFM on TSE), Mississauga, ON. Tel: (905) 670-7777. Price Nov.26/97:$26.50, 52-week range: $30.10-16.50. First mentioned at $23.75 on Aug 19/97. The company is really capitalizing on the trend to gas fireplaces. Sales for the rear completed Sept 30/97 increased by 51% to $251 million. Net income was $23.6 million or $1.22/sh vs $9.8 million or $0.58/sh. The company is consolidating its manufacturing facilities, following the acquisition of Vermont Castings. CFM intends to make further acquisitions in the somewhat segmented hearth products industry. Some analysts are calling for earnings of $1.45/sh this year and $1.85 next year. If so, a stock price of $30 over the next 12 months can be held as a reasonable target.
Gold Reserve Corporation (GLR on TSE, GLDR on NASDAQ).Spokane, WA. tel:(509) 623-1500. Price Nov 26/97: $2.95, 52 week range: $15.60-2.65. First mentioned at $11.95 on July 15/96, and more recently on Aug 19/97. Disaster has struck. On November 13/97, the Supreme Court of Venezuela made a preliminary ruling suspending the issuance of new mining concessions in the Imatica Forest Reserve. A definitive ruling will be made in 4 months. This does not affect GRL's existing alluvial gold concession but does affect the vein concession on which the company has had an application for the last 4 years. GRL has spent the greater part of its $60 million of exploration spending on the vein concessions and it is these that have indicated a resource of 7.3 million ounces of gold and 950 million lbs of copper. GRL was gearing up for a production decision. Now the stock is a gamble that in 4 months time, the decree would be considered either unconstitutional or illegal. Based on fundamentals, the stock was judged to have a worth of about $20/sh. Now, who knows? GRL continues to have about $40 million in cash & no debt, equivalent to $1.90/sh.
Hannaford Bros., Co. (HRD on NYSE), Scarborough, ME. Tel: (207) 883-2911. Price June 18/97: $35.75, 52 week range:$36-29.60. First mentioned on May 14/97 at $34.50 Well managed company operating food supermarket outlets in the NE and SE US under the names of Shop'n Save, Wilsons & Hannafords. Nine months ended Sept 27/97 provided revenues 7.4% higher at $2.3 billion and net income 7.8% higher at $58.3 million or $1.38/sh. Good results when consideration is given of very little inflation in food prices and also the cutback in food stamps. Fourth Q should be somewhat stronger, if only that this year will have an extra week. In any event, when this newsletter first mentioned HRD in May, a share price target of $40 was indicated, and that has taken place. Except for long term investors looking for moderate growth in earnings, somewhat better growth rate in dividends, and stability, time for a walk.
IAMGOLD Corporation (IMG on TSE), Markham, ON. Tel: (905) 477-4420. Price Nov 26/97: $ 3.30, 52-week range:$7.50-3.25. First mentioned at $5.10 on Aug 19/97 IAMGOLD has just completed its first full quarter of gold production from the Sadiola Hill mine in Mali, West Africa. The mine reached full production in May, and in the recently completed quarter ended Sept 30/97, produced 112,000 oz (42,500 for IAMGOLD) at an average cash cost of US$130/oz. By year end, the mine should be operating at an annual production rate of 313,000 oz (119,000 net to IMG) and at cash cost of $169/oz. This could mean eps of 24 cents and cash flow/sh of 40 cents. Additionally, the partners have been discovering higher grade gold in sulphide deposits beneath the oxide open pit deposits. These developments combined with a portfolio of exploration bets in West Africa, indicate the shares to be somewhat undervalued. A reasonable trading level within the context of today's market would border on the $7 level.
Major Drilling Group International Inc. (MDI on TSE). Moncton, NB. Tel: (506) 857-8636. Price Oct 15/97: $21.20, 52-week range: $36.80-12.60. First mentioned on August 20/97 at $22.80, and most recently on Oct 15/97, Major stock moved up in price quickly during much of 1997, but recently has followed the trend of many mining stocks, that is down. This may be the result of concern that with lower precious and base-metal prices, mineral exploration will turn down . That may be so, but it is also giving Major the opportunity to continue with their aggressive acquisition program, if indeed a shakeout in the industry were to occur. MDI announced on Nov 17/97 that it is acquiring one of Canada's largest drilling companies, Midwest Drilling, for $12 million. This will add 117 drills to Major's current fleet of 247 and additional revenues of $45 million to its current base of $180 million and EBITDA of about $4million to Major's base of $25 million. This in itself could push MDI's earnings up to the $1.90/sh for this fiscal year and to$2.50 next year. The company has about 10.2 million shs.out. A return to a stock price level of $30 over the next 6 months and to $36 over 12 months would agree with fundamentals.
Queensway Financial Holdings Ltd. (QFH on TSE) Mississauga, ON, tel: (905)275-5858. Price Nov 26/97: $21.50, 52 week range:$26.00-18.75. This is the first mention of QFH in this newsletter. Through a series of acquisitions the company has become a growth-oriented property and casualty insurance holding co. 3Q earnings increased by 78% to $3.4 million , or 36 cents/sh. 9 months earnings of $8.5 million translated into $0.90/sh. There are now about 11.8 million shs. out. Company is acquiring Louisville, KY-based Paradigm Insurance which will add about $30 million in revenue to an existing base of $95 million. Earnings for 1997 should come in at $1.25/sh, and for 1998 net should now top $2/sh. A stock price target of 30 over the next 12 months appears reasonable.
Windsor Energy Corporation. (WNS on TSE), Calgary, AB, tel: (403) 233-0496. Price Nov 26/97: $5.55, 52-week range:$7.45-3.80. This is the first mention of WNS for this newsletter. Company has been increasing its oil production at Rincon Island, California and preparing for expansion into oil & gas exploration in southern Texas and southern Louisiana. 9 months earnings of $4.8 million came from revenues of $7.7 million. Total assets now stand at $95 million and shareholders equity at $51 million. There are now about 22.7 million shs. out., 30 million fully diluted. Recent completions at Rincon brings production levels at 3000 bbl/d and lifting costs have been reduced to $3.50/bbl. Current reserves appear to exceed 21 million bbl. Company expects to meet its pre-tax profit target for 1997 of $9.4 million. WNS expects to spend over $50 million in capital expenditures over the next 24 months to yield $55 million in additional revenues. It expects, that after 24 months it will be producing cash flows of about $12 million/quarter. This translates into projected cash flow of $1.60/sh.per year. If successful, a stock price of $8 to $10 is implied over the next 2 years.