Dawson Geophysical – $DWSN

Here is a another quick write-up on a net-net I stumbled on after looking at the Grahamiam Value site.

Background

  • Market cap 41mil
  • EV -3mil
  • 23.4mil shares outstanding

Chart via TIKR

Dawson Geophysical Company provides onshore seismic data acquisition services in the United States and Canada. The company acquires and processes 2-D, 3-D, and multi-component seismic data for its clients, including oil and gas companies, and independent oil and gas operators, as well as providers of multi-client data libraries. Its seismic crews supply seismic data primarily to companies engaged in the exploration and development of oil and natural gas on land and in land-to-water transition areas. The company also serves the potash mining industry. Dawson Geophysical Company was founded in 1952 and is headquartered in Midland, Texas.

They combined with TGC Industries in early 2015, so keep this in mind when looking back before 2015.

I mentioned a similar company ($PSD.to) earlier. Although Pulse will own the data and charge customers a fee to use the data for a specific timeframe and they have change in control measures in place in the event that the data changes owners.

Obviously the business has been hit hard this year. The company just reported the lowest quarterly revenue in over 10 years. They reported a fairly large operating loss of about 8mil and and EBITDA loss of 4mil. They have been able to remove some costs from the business to weather the storm. Although there is a balance between removed costs and keeping the right amount of staff to be ready for a return in activity. Either way, I don’t envy their position.

Income Statement

Given the gyrations in the business I think it’s best to look at the financials on a TTM basis.

We will likely see top line go below the previous slowdown in 2014 and 2017 as the pandemic drags on for a few more quarters (at least).

Margin of Safety

Looking at how the balance sheet, you can see that despite the business volatility the NCAV of the business has not changed much.

The drop in tangible book value has declined as the fixed assets have been declining as the depreciation is greater than the capital expenditures. There is still a further 40mil of PPE on the balance sheet as an additional margin of safety.

Risks

  • Management doesn’t own much of the common stock
  • Very cyclical and likely delayed rebound in their business
  • Many governments are pushing more and more electric vehicles that could have a material impact on demand for them

Conclusion

This is a company that does quarterly conference calls and they have been quite conservative and reasonable with investor expectations.

I also like that Gate City Capital owns over 10% of the business. They have proven to be smart capital allocators.

As with most net-nets, this is effectively a marshmellow test for adults. The business (and share price) likely recovers, but who knows when.

Anyone else look at DWSN?

Thanks,

Dean

*the author does not own DWSN at time of writing, but that may change at any time.

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