Sunday, August 28

Too Cheap to Ignore: Schmitt Industries (SMIT)

Schmitt Industries (SMIT) designs, manufactures and sells test measurement products worldwide. Focus is industrial and commercial applications; grinding process monitoring, control surface finish, micro roughness measurement, laser-based non-contact dimensional, distance measurement lasers and remote propane tank level monitoring.


SMIT(Schmitt Industries) may interest mean reversion, asset cheap, nano cap investors. The enterprise value is 3.38M or $1.13 EV per share with a market capitalization of 4.34M. But, it was Friday’s drop to $1.41, a 52 week low that had me purchasing a small position. The close price was $1.45.

SMIT's stocks performance trades significantly below its industry peers coupled with lower valuations for EV to sales, gross profit, book value.


No long term debt with shares outstanding constant at 2.995M since 2012.Historical and industry relative low valuations. The TTM gross profits is greater than current enterprise value; EV/GP = .69, EV/Revenue = .29, P/TB = .60 with an enterprise per share of $1.13. Further, August 3, 2016 Schmitt Industries announced the listing of a portion of real estate holdings.

“We have significant free and clear real estate holdings for a company our size,” commented David M. Hudson, Chief Executive Officer and President of Schmitt Industries. “The Company currently owns and operates from multiple adjacent buildings in Portland, Oregon. Given the demand and valuations that the Portland commercial real estate market is experiencing, we believe it is an appropriate time to explore the sale of some of these assets,”
With SMIT's tiny 3.38 million enterprise value any sale could have a material positive impact. 

Insider ownership is 30%. The only 2016 insider activity, a purchase on 7/25/2016 for 1,000 shares at $1.91

The company is financially strong! Although, SMIT did post a low and declining F score of 3. This low F score impacted by an increase in losses, slower turnover of assets, slight reduction of current ratio, and a reduced gross margin. These negatives offset by no debt change, no change in shares outstanding, and quality expense accruals. A score of 3 is negative. But, recognize the score was impacted by the small negative changes in a existing strong current ratio, asset turnover, and losses.
The continued decline in gross margins looks problematic coupled with the negative foreign exchange from the strong dollar. My guess is they don’t return to profitability this year. Their financial strength and historical conservative control of expenses will carry them until profitability. 


Friday, August 26

A Market Mispriced Opportunity? Black Diamond

Black Diamond (BDE) designs manufactures and markets outdoor equipment and apparel for climbing, mountaineering, backpacking, skiing, cycling and other leisure related activities.

Summary Investing Points:

1) Global financial advisory Rothschild was hired on November 9, 2015 to assist company in redeployment of significant cash balance and NOL.  

2) Black Diamond is an industry respected brand name with a loyal following. Read positive reviews on the many products sold through Amazon.

3) An incomplete strategic review process initiated March 2015 did result in a profitable sale of equity interest in POC for 65M on October 2015. Black Diamond originally acquired POC in July 2012 for approximately $44.9M increasing value to 65M. Post-transaction, the Company expects to have approximately $100.0 million in cash, $22.6 million in debt and around $167.0 million in net operating loss carry forwards. 

4) Executive chairman Warren Kanders is a proven capital allocator. He holds 25% of the shares outstanding. Kanders used CLRS.PK (a shell company with no current operating business but instead 86 million in cash and 223 million in NOLs) to acquire both Black Diamond Equipment, Ltd. ("Black Diamond") and Gregory Mountain Products, Inc. ("Gregory") during 2010. 
See my original Seeking Alpha post on Clarus ("Ideal Market Environment for Clarus").

Further, it's important to note Mr. Kanders and Schiller (5.1% owner and board member of BDE) built up a company called Armor (AH). They made over 30 acquisitions during a 12 year period. On July 2007 they sold AH (Armor) to BAE Systems for 3.1 Billion.


Black Diamond trades at a large discount to its historical and relative valuation. Trades for only 1 times its TTM gross profit of 54.5M.NCAV is 3.99 versus the current price of $4.49. Company's renewed focus on its growing climbing industry. A cult following with a lower cost structure from restructuring will generate future free cash flow. "During 2016, we expect to generate free cash flows of around $5 million before corporate costs and related activities. We continue to target combined 10% EBITDA margins for Black Diamond Equipment and PIEPS in 2017."

The most recent quarter disappointed from negative foreign currency impact, manufacturing operation move from China to Utah and unfavorable product mix impacting gross margins. "Second quarter SGA, which excludes restructuring, merger, and integration transaction, costs were down 18% to $11.6 million."  This decline from realization of savings from restructuring plan implemented in 2015.

Further evidence it trades at a large discount to historical and relative valuations.  
Modest share count reduction, 2012 shares outstanding were 31.76M down to MRQ 30.85M. Improving F score is 5 for the most recent quarter compared from 2 for 2012. NCAV is $3.99 versus .99 for 2013. Enterprise value is 57.90M versus EV of 466.10 for 2013. EV/Rev = .38 versus 3.08 for 2013. P/TB = 1.03 versus 4.23 for 2013. Short as a % of float was 19.04% for 09/2013, 8.20% June 2016 and is now at 3.70% on August 15, 2016. The company sale is likely after additional acquisitions based on Kanders historic record in my opinion.




  Long BDE