Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Seaboard Reports 2013 Results

Price$ 2620
Market Cap$ 3127.18 M
P/E TTM15.2 x
Div yield0.0 %
ROE8.3 %
LT Debt/Equity0.13
Seaboard Corp (SEB) reported that Q4 was the best quarterly result in 2013, but for the year income was lower than 2012. Revenue for 2011 2012 and 2013 were 5746M 6189M and 6670M, respectively. Income for 2011 2012 and 2013 were 346M 282M and 205M, respectively This appears to indicate that margins are dropping. SEB has many businesses segments, all of which are cyclical commodities. So I wouldn't read too much into the drop.

The pork segment is Seaboard's largest at 1/4 of total sales. This segment made up 3/4 of the company's profit however. The marine segment turned in a loss, though it was profitable last year. Shipping is suffering from a glut of ships and rates don't appear to be improving much. Seaboard is committed to shipping however and it is investing in several new ships. I believe Seaboard wants to stay in shipping to be a vertically integrated food company.

Overall I feel the company's management has a very long term view. They allocate capital prudently with little debt. And this shows in their consistent revenue growth. The last year's numbers came in a bit lower than I would like but in my eye this is a company that is trading at 10 times forward earnings.

In other news from my portfolio, Sterihealth (ASX:STP) resported H1 earnings were $0.10 AUD, which is the same as a year ago. However, sales were up 9%. This indicates some margin pressure. Still the company trades at 6.5x earnings.

Tachibana Eletech (TSE:8159) recently announced the company will expand into Indonesia. But at the same time, Tachibana Eletech will sell ¥ 1 B (about $10 M USD) new and treasury shares! They say the purpose is for buying office buildings which would save on leases. What the heck?? What is that about?? This company has ¥ 13 B in investments, of which ¥ 8 B is marketable equities and ¥ 2 B is bonds. And yet they are issuing shares to raise a relatively small amount. Several possibilities come to my mind. Maybe it is patriotism; the company wants to keep its government bonds. Maybe management management feels the stock price is overvalued; but the company is very profitable. Maybe the company is allocating the shares to favoured shareholders. But I can't find a very plausible reason really. I am baffled. What do you think?

On the other hand, the company seems to be doing great. Sales are up, exports are up. The company just raised guidance for the year to ¥ 179 which means the company trades at 7.2x earnings. The company also raised the dividend payout for the year from ¥ 20 to ¥ 22.

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