Purpose (and Performance)

The purpose of this website is to analyze the quantitatively cheapest 1% - 2% of common stocks on the planet as measured by price to value derived from basic elements of earning power and balance sheet position. As a group, this portfolio is likely to outperform the market significantly. We will, however, evaluate each stock to determine investment value - with the aim of continually improving investment performance, and business analysis. There is likely to be good cause for fear in each stock we analyze. We will seek to prioritize inherent stability as the key qualitative factor in our analysis. This could be trumped if the risk/reward equation is skewed in our favor (as it usually is with such cheap stocks, though not always). We are aware of the multiple biases that creep into a selective approach and the pitfalls in investment performance to those who attempt this. In any case, we press forward towards the goal of superior analysis. We hope this exercise will also enlighten

Remak Energomontaz SA

Remak (‘company’) is part of the Zarmen Group listed in Poland and specializes in assembling, installing, and maintaining industrial boilers and other related equipment for power plants. They generate 67% of revenues within Poland and the balance from the rest of Europe – currently Germany, Finland, Malta, and Lithuania. Construction/assembly accounted for 75% of revenues while repairs/maintenance accounted for most of the balance. The company is relatively small in size and generates lumpy revenues as it relies on a handful of long-term contracts with established power plants. However, customer concentration is fairly low and the largest customer doesn’t account for more than 20% of revenues. Recent revenues have slumped primarily as a result of the coronavirus pandemic that has reduced available jobs, exacerbated supply and labour shortages, and delayed cash collections. It generated revenues ranging from 250m-375m zloty since 2018 when it made a fairly substantial acquisitio

Orca Energy

Orca Energy is listed in Canada and its primary asset is a natural gas field in Tanzania, which is governed by a production sharing agreement (PSA) with Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC), the national oil company. The PSA divides the gas reserves as ‘protected’ and ‘additional’. The company operates the wells and gas processing plant for the protected volumes on a ‘no gain/no loss’ basis - but can earn on volumes in excess of that. The PSA also mandates provisions on further revenue sharing arrangements based on daily volumes, cost recoveries, and taxes payable. Gross proved plus probable reserves were certified by independent valuers at 229.5 Bcf (billion cubic feet). At 2020 production volumes of 19.4 Bcf, the company roughly has 12 years of reserves left. The company generates 62% of revenues from the power sector and the balance from the industrial sector. It generates average revenues of $80m and operating cash flows (net of interest expense) of just under

China Oriental Group

China Oriental (‘group’) is in the business of manufacturing steel products (68% of revenues) as well as trading steel/iron ore and real estate development. It is a relatively large concern – ranked in the top 300 largest firms in China – and holds a leading position in H-section steel products since 2009 (41% of revenues). Other sales are: steel strip products (37%) and billets, sheet piling, and cold rolled sheets among others (22%). It also has 387m RMB of properties under development in inventory. Though it’s a large entity with presumed efficiencies of scale, it generates a sub-par return on capital (~7.5%). Part of this is due to the heavy capex typical of the steel industry. The group has also made large investments in railway transportation, which should enhance efficiencies (and reduce carbon footprint) when it becomes operational within the next year. Certain loans and advances were made on an interest-free basis – facilitated by the “government department concerned” (3

Taiga Building Products

Following on from our analysis of Avarga, we dive into its main subsidiary, which is listed in Canada – Taiga Building Products (‘Taiga’). Since Taiga is Avarga’s dominant asset, most of the economic analysis is redundant – except for some additional information below. Taiga is the largest independent wholesale distributor of building products in Canada (comprising 78% of sales). In addition, it sells to the US and parts of Asia. Its inventories comprise lumber products (70%), allied building products (18%), panel products (11%) and production consumables. The company recently reported losses for the quarter ending September (which wasn’t available for Avarga) – this seems primarily due to rapidly falling prices of lumber, set against relatively higher inventory costs accumulated earlier in the year. It also has sales and earnings information stretching further back as Avarga acquired majority control of Taiga only in 2017. Average earnings range between CA $40m and $55m. T

Avarga Limited

Avarga is listed in Singapore and is primarily engaged in the wholesale distribution of building (lumber) products in Canada (~75% of revenues) and the US (~20%) – which contributes over 90% of sales and profits. It conducts this via its 71.8% equity interest in Taiga Building products (‘Taiga’) listed in Canada (valued at SG $193m at market). It’s also engaged in manufacturing paper/packaging products in Malaysia (used for e-commerce), and electricity generation in Myanmar. Looking at the consolidated financial statements, the group generated bumper sales and profits in the last twelve months due to exaggeratedly higher lumber prices that hovered over US $1,000/mbf (‘1000 board feet’). Lumber prices are currently below $600/mbf. Average revenues since 2018 amounted to $1.7b (70% of TTM revenues of $2.4b). Applying average blended profit margins of just under 5.5% yields $95m of ebitda and $60m in after-tax profits – which equates to average cash from operations in the past four

Dutech Holdings Limited

Dutech (‘company’) is listed in Singapore and primarily operates in two segments: a) High security solutions (HSS): Manufacturing safes for ATM machines, banking, and commercial use; and b) Business solutions (BS): Manufacturing ticketing/vending machines (used for parking, gaming, lottery, etc.) and wholesaling semiconductor and precision machine parts. Though both segments contribute equally to sales, the HSS segment contributes 85% of profits. It is Asia’s largest operator in the HSS segment – its UL and CEN certified products are valued in Europe (60% of sales) and the Americas (25%) – but not so much in its home base of China (4%) where it doesn’t intend to compete with lower-priced offerings. This segment, however, faces long-term headwinds due to the increasing use of cashless transactions resulting in lower demand for ATM safes. In addition, the industry faces rising raw material and labor costs. Moreover, the US-China trade spat resulted in higher costs with the use of t

IJTT Co., Ltd.

IJTT (‘company’) is engaged in manufacturing automobile parts – primarily for use in trucks and construction machinery. Isuzu Motors – a prominent commercial vehicle and diesel engine manufacturing company - owns 43.5% of the company’s stock, and generates 69% of its sales. Its sales are primarily generated in Japan (83% of 2020 sales – split further as 54% auto parts and 29% engine parts) with the balance from the rest of Asia (17% auto parts – primarily to China’s construction machinery market). Moreover, its tangible asset investment is split similarly - and includes operations in Indonesia and Thailand. FY20 sales were actually higher than expected because of rushed buying before Japan’s consumption tax hike kicked in. However, the coronavirus pandemic has significantly diminished sales for the company’s products – and suspended production. TTM sales (to September 2020) was 136.3b yen (FY20: 171.7b); ebitda was 6.4b yen (FY20: 13.9b yen) and net losses were 1.2b yen (FY20: