Thursday, November 20, 2014

Classified Ad: Scotch For Sale

A correspondent writes in with two bottles of investment grade scotch for sale:

Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013 -- $800
Karuizawa 30 Year Old / Cask #8606 -- $1,500
Free hand delivery in Los Angeles, ask about shipping elsewhere.

The Yamazaki was named "world's best" by Jim Murray. Yeah, right - although undoubtedly tasty and worth trying.

Great presents or indulgence for anyone who has been long duration this year.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

"Hedge Fund Monarch Said to End Talks on RadioShack Loan" $RSH

Story:

"Monarch Alternative Capital LP abandoned negotiations to take over a $140 million loan to RadioShack Corp. (RSH) as the electronics retailer struggled to reach a deal with lenders on a turnaround plan, according to two people with knowledge of the matter."

Another Walter Energy Distressed Exchange

More good news from Walter Energy

"We have agreed to issue an aggregate of 3,900,000 shares of our common stock, par value $0.01 per share, and $5,200,000 in cash, in exchange for $52,000,000 aggregate principal amount of our 9.875% Senior Notes due 2020 (the "Senior Notes") held by two noteholders."
This is good, but they need to pick up the pace.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Hint For Yujiapu Financial District - Estimation Question

I asked,

"How much iron ore and met coal did it take to build Yujiapu Financial District? How many dry bulk carriers would that have filled? How do those quantities of ore and coal compare to the output of a mine?"
Here's how I estimated it:
  • Buildings
  • Area Per Building (m^2)
  • Steel/Area (kg/m^2)
  • Value of Steel ($/t ca 2011)
  • Steel/iron ore ratio (t/t)
  • Capesize capacity (t)
  • Rio Tinto Brockman 4 mine (iron ore t/y)
  • Met coal to iron ore ratio (t/t)
  • Value of Met coal ($/t ca 2011)
  • Walter Energy Wolverine mine (Million tons met coal/y)
Give me your best guesses for any of these. I'll post estimate this week.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Yujiapu Financial District - Estimation Question

I've written about Tianjin and the Yujiapu Financial District, still vacant.


How much iron ore and met coal did it take to build this financial center? How many dry bulk carriers would that have filled? How do those quantities of ore and coal compare to the output of a mine?

Some facts to work with: "the district comprises at least 47 skyscrapers", here's some architect's renderings of the city, "the district has 120 planned plots which will equate to a total construction mass of around 9.5 million sq m" [pdf], and a marketing pitchbook [pdf].

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Conrad Announces Third Quarter 2014 Results and Backlog $CNRD

Conrad announced third quarter results:

"For the quarter ended September 30, 2014, Conrad had net income of $4.5 million and earnings per diluted share of $0.74 compared to net income of $6.5 million [down 30%] and earnings per diluted share of $1.09 during the third quarter of 2013. The Company had net income of $17.7 million and earnings per diluted share of $2.96 for the nine months ended September 30, 2014 compared to net income of $18.5 million [down 4.4%] and earnings per diluted share of $3.10 for the nine months ended September 30, 2013.

During the first nine months of 2014, Conrad added $175.5 million of backlog to its new construction segment compared to $185.6 million added to backlog during the first nine months of 2013. Backlog at September 30, 2014 was $135.0 million compared to $152.3 million at September 30, 2013
[down 12%], $152.9 million at December 31, 2013, and $173.0 million at June 30, 2014."
Wow, the third quarter earnings really declined. Glad we sold this. Here's comments on the demand trends that they are seeing:
"Although we are optimistic about the long-term prospects of our business, we also take note of near-term risks. Current declining oil prices and a decrease in demand for tank barges used to transport petroleum products produced from shale plays lead to some uncertainty about our shorter-term demand and margins. Although bid activity has been good and we are pursuing many opportunities, we have not signed contracts as anticipated which is leading to gaps in our production schedules."
And more details on what caused the weakness this recent quarter:
Revenue for the third quarter of 2014 decreased $3.9 million, or -4.7%, to $78.9 million compared to $82.8 million for the third quarter of 2013, while revenue for the first nine months of 2014 reflected an increase of $23.5 million, or 10.9%, compared to the same period in 2013. Vessel construction revenue increased $3.2 million or 5.4% for the third quarter of 2014, and increased by $25.3 million, or 15.5% for first nine months of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013. Repair and conversion revenue decreased $7.1 million for the third quarter of 2014, or -30.0%, compared to the same period in 2013, while repair and conversion revenue decreased $1.8 million, or -3.5%, for the first nine months of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013.

Gross profit for the third quarter of 2014 decreased $2.6 million, or -22.6%, and increased $611,000, or 1.9%, for the first nine months of 2014 compared to the same periods of the prior year. Vessel construction gross profit increased $2.4 million for the third quarter of 2014 compared to the third quarter of 2013, while vessel construction gross profit increased $6.1 million or 27.9%, for the first nine months of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013.

Repair and conversion gross profit decreased $5.0 million or -114.5% for the third quarter of 2014 compared to the third quarter of 2013, while repair and conversion gross profit decreased $5.5 million or -54.7%, for the first nine months of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013.

Vessel construction gross profit margins increased to 15.5% for the quarter, compared to 12.3% for the prior year quarter, primarily due to the mix of jobs. Vessel construction gross profit margins increased to 14.9% for the first nine months of 2014, compared to gross profit margins of 13.4% for the same period in 2013.

Repair and conversion gross profit margins decreased to -3.9% for the quarter, compared to 18.7% for the prior year quarter. Repair and conversion gross profit margins decreased to 9.0% for the first nine months of 2014, compared to gross profit margins of 19.1% the same period in 2013. Repair and conversion gross profit decreased for the three and nine month periods primarily as a result of less volume, a loss job being performed during 2014, and a profitable job in the second half of 2013.

Which Happens First? $RSH $MCP

A) Molycorp successfully "ramps" production.
B) Radio Shack reaches store closure agreement with Salus.