Tag Archives: FTG

Firan Technologies Update – $FTG.to

The last time I did a write up on FTG was July last year. Since then shares are up about 90% which is well ahead of the TSX. Shares really took off at the end of April/start of May 2021 on the back of heavy volume. Of course, I don’t own shares. However, this is well behind AMC, GameStop and pretty much all crypto (which I also don’t own). Rather than mulling over not buying shares a year ago, I’m going to take another look at FTG and walk you through some of what I do when monitoring a company.

Update

Covid was not easy on this business from a operational and a product demand standpoint. The defense portion of the business looks stable as it’s supported by government funding and not likely to be cut during a downturn. Commercial aerospace demand was the obvious point of uncertainty. All the large manufacturers have cut production and look to take a few years to return to pre-pandemic levels. On top of this the company had a few covid specific flare-ups at a couple of facilities that led to some production stoppages.

This doesn’t sound like a recipe for the shares to nearly double, but the market is forward looking and perhaps this was all factored into the price previously. When things looked the most uncertain was when the risk to the business was at a low. Of course, government support has helped them manage the pandemic.

Outlook

The outlook has moderated as the vaccine rollout looks to be taking hold. Yes there are the variants, but they (so far) have not derailed the hard work of getting needles into arms. Boeing and Airbus are still expecting lower production in 2021 and into 2022. Despite the reopen in the US and Europe, many coutries are still in the middle of their vaccine rollout.

Valuation Looking Ahead

It’s easy to look at a price chart seeing FTG double in price and assume that you’ve missed the move. I know I have a very hard time looking at each business with both eyes open and judging the offer from Mr. Market at that point in time without anchoring to what I could have purchased shares for previously.

Though shares have done well, the company is not expensive on an absolute basis. They never trade at SaaS level multiples, but looking at historical valuations there is still room for some multiple expansion.

I think using previous multiples with some discretion is a reasonable way to judge upside to downside ratio. All this data is available via TIKR.

Downside

For downside, I’m using price to tangible book and enterprise value over est 2022 revenue. This is using 110 mil in rev and about 50 mil in tangible book value. For reference, 2019 revenue was 112 mil and is about 97 mil currently.

FTG doesn’t trade much below 0.5-0.6 ev/rev unless we look way back to 2012-2014 when the business wasn’t as profitable and had less facilities. I’m going to use 0.5 ev/est. 2022 rev as one downside scenario.
In addition to the ev/rev, I’m going to utilize price to tangible book as the other downside scenario. 2020 was the cheapest the business traded for a long time based on this metric. I’m going to use 1.35x the last stated tangible book value as the other downside scenario.

Upside

For the upside, I’m going to focus on two measures of profitability, EBITDA and FCF. I’ll EV/est 2022 EBITDA and price to pre covid FCF to take into consideration the balance sheet (at least to some degree). The reason I’m using 2022 ebitda is I believe that the income statement predictions are a little more thought out by analysts than the cash flow. Using historical data and the forward estimates, I think the use of 14 mil in ebitda is reasonable. For cash flow, I’m using pre-covid numbers of about 9 mil. This doesn’t include working capital adjustments. As well, FCF doesn’t include the Colonial Circuits acquisition made in 2019.

Though FTG has traded higher than 6x ev/ebitda, it seems to gravitate towards that number over time. I want to be reasonable in my expectations, so I’ll use 6x 2022 estimated ebitda.
The FCF numbers don’t go back quite as far as the other valuations, but there is still enough data to draw a reasonable conclusion from it. I’m going to use 8x FCF.

Upside:Downside

Given the above we get an upside to downside ratio of 1.5. Not high enough for me to pull the trigger here. I prefer a 3 or 4:1 ratio. Of course, this is just looking at the company right now knowing what we know. The valuations used are historical and the company may trade at a premium to these multiples as the business grows and liquidity increases.

This purely mechanical exercise has the potential to miss so many things. Some that come to mind are:
  • The company could use it’s cash to purchase another facility at discounted rates.
  • The commercial aerospace part of the business could bounce back quicker than anticipated and vaccines rollout.
  • The defense business could see more growth than anticipated.
  • Variants could turn out to be worse than anticipated and full reopen could be delayed.
  • There could be some specific issue with a facility in the business.
  • The government support could be removed substantially faster than the business environment normalizes post covid.

Summary

FTG is a company I’ll keep a close eye on. From my perspective they have a strong market presence with a management team that understands capital allocation. Though it is somewhat cyclical, the business does generate ROE and ROIC well above it’s cost of capital over a full cycle. The balance sheet is strong and their is potential to expand the business in a depressed environment. As well the CEO owns substantially more than his annual salary in shares.

I will continue to monitor FTG.

Anyone own FTG or have any opinions?

Dean

*I don’t own FTG at this time

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April 2021 Update – $OSS.v, $REPH, $ISDR, $PSD.to, $ISV.to, $FTG.to, $XTC.to, $RELL, $MTLO.v, $DWSN, $SVT, $URB/A.to

TIKR

I use TIKR to quickly look through ideas and check comparable companies. Would recommend. Referral code below.

https://app.tikr.com/register?ref=smob7c

Thoughts on Market Activity

This month seen a bounce in the markets to some degree. Hearing more and more mention of inflation on conference calls from companies and some larger companies have implemented cost increases due to rising input costs. I am not a macro guy but thinking about how a business will perform with higher input costs feels more prudent than ever. There seems to be a big disconnect on what I hear on Twitter vs. how the indexes are performing. I do consistently hear “it’s a tough market for microcaps” and “these aren’t getting the attention they deserve”. It seems to be a story of what worked in 2020 isn’t working in 2021. Is it a temporary phenomenon or something longer lasting I’m not sure.

On a personal note, my portfolio has been treading water for a few months. Keeping up with the Russel YTD will have to be good enough. I have been deploying into more and more smaller bets as some companies have reached large portions of the portfolio and not sure if the valuations warrant very large positions. This will make it harder to substantially outperform by a wide margin but could lead to less volatility. Also, I’m expecting that the churn in positions will lead me to underperform in the short term.

Posts this month

Developments on Companies Mentioned

  • OneSoft Solutions – $OSS.v
    • Announced another client
      • Nice to see some continued traction
  • Recro Pharma – $REPH
  • Issuer Direct – $ISDR
    • Announced a 1% pledge
      • I like the concept and how ISDR is an entity that gives back to the community
  • Pulse Seismic – $PSD.to
    • Reported Q1 2021 and held AGM
      • 3.8 mil in sales in April
      • They have now booked 77% of the entire year of 2020 rev (although depressed) in the first 4 months
      • I have tried hard to purchase additional shares, but the share price has run away from me
  • Information Services Corp – $ISV.to
    • Filed a shelf prospectus to raise up to 200mil over the next 25 months
      • Interesting development and something to monitor
  • Firan Technology – $FTG.to
    • Reported fiscal Q1 2021
      • Results were impacted by covid from a demand and operational standpoint
      • Trading quite cheap based on trailing numbers with some uncertainty with commercial aerospace returning
  • Exco Technologies – $XTC.to
    • Reported fiscal Q2
      • Results were above my expectations and outlook given was strong
  • Richardson Electronics – $RELL
    • Reported Fiscal Q3
      • Things are looking positive
      • Trading at about NCAV
  • Martello Technologies Group Inc – $MTLO.v
  • Dawson Geophysical – $DWSN
    • Adopted a shareholder rights plan
      • Expires in 2022
      • Not a fan
  • Servotronics – $SVT
    • Released 10-K
      • Not a ton of details that we don’t already know
      • Revs down 10% in 2020
        • ATG down 16% as they are tied to commercial aviation
      • CPG up 34% as they shipped more units
    • Still interesting to follow
  • Urbana Corp – $URB/A.to
    • NAV is slowly creeping up

The author is long $OSS.v, $ISDR, $PSD.to, $URB/A.to

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March 2021 Update – $OSS.v, $REPH, $ISDR, $PSD.to, $ISV.to, $STC.v, $FTG.to, $VMD.to, $SYZ.to, $MTLO.v, $DWSN, $SVT, $FXC.to, $PZA.to

TIKR

I use TIKR to quickly look through ideas and check comparable companies. Would recommend. Referral code below.

https://app.tikr.com/register?ref=smob7c

Podcast

I was a guest on In The Market Trenches podcast this past month. Have a look/listen.

YouTube

Podcast

Thoughts on Market Activity

Once a month I write in my investment journal to attempt to capture my current thoughts on the public markets. It’s not a forecast and I am not a macro guy. It is a quick snapshot of what is happening in real time and how I’m processing it.

This month I made note of how the broader market seems to continue to rotate out of “what worked in 2020”/SaaS/lockdown names and into “recovery” companies. The S&P ended up 7.4% YTD, while the TSX ended up 6.7%. The Russel 2000 has now outperformed the Nasdaq comp over the ttm. The disordered pace of covid vaccine distribution seems to be creating lots of noise. As well, there are many that are very concerned about variants and their implications on the healthcare system. It is interesting to experience in real time. This goes without even mentioning NFT, crypto, EVs, etc. Such things I have no business commenting on.

I continue to find some interesting opportunities in more cyclical companies, although these usually amount to more and smaller positions. As always looking for businesses with long term potential, with incentivized management and a reasonable valuation is the main goal and will constitute the largest amount of my energy. Of course, building positions in such businesses takes continuous effort on the bid as they tend to be illiquid.

Building wealth in the most reasonable way for me is not always the optimal way in the short term.

Posts this month

Quick Notes on Companies Recently Mentioned

  • OneSoft Solutions ($OSS.v)
    • Announced an acquisition of IP
      • Not a ton of details
      • They are usually very thorough on MD&A’s so likely to get more color then
    • Posted Q4 2020 results
      • In line with my expectations
      • MD&A is a must read to understand the value proposition
  • Recro Pharma ($REPH)
    • As mentioned before, I have sold but continue to monitor
  • Issuer Direct ($ISDR)
    • Released Q4 2020
      • Results were good
      • Continue to hold my position
  • Pulse Seismic ($PSD.to)
    • Reported auditor change
      • Non event as it was board approved
    • Lots of volume on March 12
  • Information Services Corp ($ISV.to)
    • Released Q4
      • Business is holding up well
      • Margins have ticked up a bit
      • With the Paragon acquisition they are getting more revenue from services
      • Some delays due to covid, but it didn’t sound like anything major
      • Interesting company
  • Sangoma Technologies Corp ($STC.v)
    • Officially closed the acquisition of Star2Star
  • Firan Technology ($FTG.to)
    • Polar Asset Management sales
      • 528k shares sold from Jan 8 to Feb 12
      • About 50% of the trading volume
      • They now own about 9% of the outstanding shares
  • Viemed ($VMD.to)
    • Reported Q4
      • Still executing well
      • The covid related one time revenue will run off
      • Call indicated that they can return to historical growth rates once we are fully reopen
  • Sylogist ($SYZ.to)
    • Received conditional approval to list on TSX from TSXV
    • Acquisition of MAS (Municipal Accounting Systems) and new credit line
      • 37.8 mil in cash
      • 7.4 mil rev
      • 4.3 mil ebitda
      • Will be immediately accretive
    • Held a call after the acquisition
      • Will list on TSX shortly
      • Integration of MAS 90-120 days
      • Key employees staying on post integration
      • Investing in sales and marketing to expand MAS geographically
    • Announced they will list on TSX
  • Martello Technologies Group Inc ($MTLO.v)
    • They announced a private placement concurrent with the bought deal
      • This was closed and mgmt. participated for about 1 mil
    • I have sold my shares at a small loss and will move on
      • I will continue to monitor for a few quarters
    • Announced strategic sales win
      • It sounds quite positive
  • Dawson Geophysical ($DWSN)
    • Reported Q4
      • As expected rev way down
      • Potential to recover further with O&G activity
  • Servotronics ($SVT)
    • Filed a notification of inability to timely file their 10-K (deadline was March 31)
      • Micorcaps are fun
  • FAX Capital ($FXC.to)
    • Announced a placement with QUIS
      • 16 mil shares at $1.25 for 20mil total
      • 1 year lock up
      • Able to nominate a board member
      • They should still have lots of cash left over after this
    • Closed Carson Dunlop acquisition and placement with QUIS
      • Also appointed a president (graham Badun) of a new platform company
      • Was president of Alarm Force
    • Q4 results posted
      • No surprises
      • Estimating they have about 45% cash in book value after the acquisition of PEO
  • Pizza Pizza Royalty Corp ($PZA.to)
    • Reported Q4 2020 – Not much to report
      • Ontario and Alberta have been under fairly strict lockdowns during the back half of the quarter
      • Non traditional is hurting
      • Payout ratio was 84%
      • They feel they can grow store count by 5% in 2021

The author is long $OSS.v, $ISDR, $PSD.to, $STC.v, $VMD.to, $FXC.to at time of writing.

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