Saturday, October 20, 2012

Conrad Industries Share Buybacks ($CNRD)

Between June 30, 2011 and June 30, 2012 (the most recent year over year data), Conrad bought back 298,711 shares at an average price of $14.46, for a total of $4.3 million in repurchases. That was not quite 5% of the outstanding shares - which means almost 10% of the public, non-family owned float.

The company didn't buy back any shares in the second quarter this year, probably because they were spending money on capex, and the share price has jumped up into the $17-18 range.

I'd like to see a big buyback for the third quarter 2012 when those quarterly results come out. Every purchase at low cash flow / earnings multiples is accretive, making the remaining shares worth more.
There was an extended period where the shares were trading for around $15, a price which we know the company thought was attractive for buybacks in the past.

The interesting thing about technical analysis is that it actually kind of makes sense when you are looking at at stock like this, with "real" buyers and sellers. Looking closely, it seems like someone was accumulating at the end of August - after which, the price took off.

I've hypothesized that the Conrad share market consists of three different groups: the company itself, some dumb money holders that are net sellers (the original IPO investors?), and savvy value investors. I think, in the main, trading has consisted of the company and value investors slowly buying out the dumb money. At some point, the dumb money (people who think this should trade at under 4x earnings ex-cash) will have sold out, and the float will consist of savvy investors who realize that the company compounded shareholder equity at 17 percent annually, without using leverage, during a 5 year period that contained a depression.

At that point, the valuation could quickly re-rate higher.

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