April 9, 1998
Ashanti Goldfields (ASL on NYSE ) Accra, Ghana Tel: (212) 697-9191. Price April6/98:$10.50 52 week price range: $13.62-6.50. Mentioned at $22.25 on April 15/96. Dismal stock performer so
far. Ashanti produced 1.2 million oz of gold in 1997, of which 860,000 oz came the mining complex at Obuasi in Ghana. Company forecasts production of 1.4 million oz in 1998 at a cash cost of $248 an ounce. The total hedge book is now at 6.45 million ounces at an average value of $401/oz spread over the next 10 years. Over the next few years, 3 lower cost mines in Ghana will be coming on stream, contributing to increased cash flows. Reserves stand at 23 million ounces and resources at 35 million oz. The mines at Ashanti have been producing for 100 years. Steady earnings of 40 to 50 cents/sh and cash flow/sh of $1 over the next 3 years make Ashanti an attractive investment in an otherwise negative market. Hence a share price target of $15 appears reasonable over this time frame. ASL has 109 million shs out and debt of 519 million represents a manageable 35% of capital.
Birim Goldfields Inc. (BGI on TSE), Montreal, QC, Tel: (514) 393-8611. Price: April 8/98: $0.60, 52-week range: $1.25-0.35. First mentioned at $0.80 on Nov 15/95, the shares subsequently increased to over $4, two years ago, upon the initial discovery of the Mampon gold zone along the Ashanti Gold belt of Ghana. Due to a moratorium on exploration work in national forests, the Company was prevented from doing additional exploration on this particular zone. This has now been lifted and Battle Mountain Gold Co., currently the operator, is preparing to continue the drilling program this month. Meanwhile, Birim, on its own, is encountering encouraging results on their gold exploration to the north, on the vast 7000 sq.km Bui permits. Positive comments have come, recently, from three Canadian investment firms. Co has 17.6 million shs outstanding and sufficient funds, $3 million, to carry out exploration.
Bonded Motors Inc. (BMTR on NASDAQ), Los Angeles, CA, Tel.:(213) 583-8631. Price April 7/98:$11, 52-week range: $12.25-6.25. This is the first mention of this company in this newsletter. Bonded Motors is a remanufacturer of car and light truck engines with headquarters in Los Angeles, manufacturing plants in California and Georgia and distribution centres in California, Washington, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Georgia. Recently, the Company was awarded a large chunk of the engine business of Genuine Parts/NAPA. This alone should add $15 million of revenues to the Company's base of $24 million. Revenues for 1998 are now estimated at $40.7 million and profits should be about $2.9 million. Based on 3.2 million shares outstanding, eps would be $0.90. A target price of $15 could be met if such results are achieved.
Bonus Resource Services Corp (BOU on TSE, VSE), Calgary, AB. Tel: (403) 347-3737. Price: April 8/98: $4.80, 52-week range: $7.75-4.00. First mentioned at $0.76 on May 15/96. The Company keeps adding to its fleet by means of acquisitions. Bonus is now Canada's largest service rig operator in the oil & gas patch with 153 service rigs and seven swabbing units in western Canada. In addition, Bonus has 7 operating service rigs in Australia. As a result of acquisitions, 10 since Oct/96, revenues of $107.4 million compare with $19.5 million in 1996. Net of $10.5 million, or $0.33/sh, compares with $1.2 million, or $0.09/sh. Cash flow came in at $0.69/sh vs $0.34/sh. At Dec. 31, Bonus had cash of $43 million earmarked for further acquisitions. After a meteoric rise, the stock has corrected on fears of an industry slowdown. With an outlook for earnings of $0.45/sh this year, a return to a share price of $6-7 appears feasible.
Brandon Gold Corporation (BG on VSE), Vancouver, BC. Tel.: (604) 623-4707. Price, April 8/98:$1.12, 52-week range:$3.05-0.56. This is the first mention of BG in this newsletter. In just over a year of operation, the Company has assembled a 100% interest in1400 sq.km of prospective base and precious mineral exploration ground in northern Sweden, in the famous Kiruna deposit area., as well as a 60% interest in 2000 sq.km mineral exploration permits in the State of Guerrero in Mexico. BG plans to embark on aggressive exploration programs in both locations. It raised $3.5 million a year ago floating a stock issue priced at $2.50. Now trading at one-half this level and with $3 million in the treasury, the common shares, of which there are 11.5 million outstanding, may be considered timely at current levels.
CFM Majestic Inc. (CFM on TSE), Mississauga, ON. Tel: (905) 670-7777. Price April 8/98: $14.00, 52-week range: $15.50-10.03. First mentioned at $11.87 on Aug 19/97, adjusted for a 2 for 1 split. Demand appears to be increasing for both wood-burning stoves ( Vermont Castings division) as well as for gas-burning hearth products. Sales revenues for 1998 should increase by at least 15 % over the $251 million of 1997. More importantly margins should improve since more products are being made in-house. This should result in revenues of $290 million and net of $31 million, or $0.75/sh. 1999 could come in at $1.00/sh. In the context of today's market, a share price of $17 appears to be within reach. There are 41.4 million shs out
Calvalley Petroleum Inc. (CVI.A on ME) Calgary AB Tel:(403) 297-0490. Price April 8/98: $1.90 52 week range: $2.70-1.07. First mentioned at $2.90 on Feb 14/97. Company intends to drill its first of four wells on the 1.2 million acre Malik block in Yemen during the 4th Q of 1998. An independent engineering evaluation considers the block to be similar in nature to others in the area that are currently yielding over 190,000 bopd. In fact, the report estimates that there could be a potential of 285 million barrels of recoverable oil in place. The Company hopes to be producing between 35,000 and 75,000 bopd in the year 2000. Meanwhile, Calvalley, in the Rainbow Lake area of NW Alberta, expects to begin delivery of 5 to 10 mmcf of natural gas to the Nova Gas Transmission system in June 1998. CVI.A stock, with 39.3 million outstanding, appears to be unknown and overlooked and could be a sleeper.
Canadian Medical Laboratories Limited (CLC on TSE), Mississauga, ON. Tel: (905) 624-0440. Price April 8/98: $8.00, 52-week range: $8.75-4.60. First mentioned on Aug 19/97 at $6.20. Company reported 1Q, ended Dec 31/98, revenues increased 23% to $18.1 million and net income of $2.0 million, or 12 cents/sh, compared with $1.1 million, or 10 cents/sh. Company opened a bioanalytical laboratory in Toronto and has established a US based site management organization (SMO). CLC hopes to grow both of these new ventures. Company has 16.7 million shs. out and has the makings of becoming a high growth company.
IAMGOLD Corporation (IMG on TSE), Markham, ON. Tel: (905) 477-4420. Price April 8/98: $ 5.55, 52-week range:$6.45-2.75. First mentioned at $5.10 on Aug 19/97. IAMGOLD's principle asset is its 38% ownership of the Sadiola gold mine in Mali, West Africa. In 1997 when operations began in March, the mine produced 365,000 oz of gold at a cash cost of $133/oz. The mine is expected to produce 496,000 oz of gold in 1998 at a similar cost. The mine contains 7.1 million ounces gold reserves and resources, of which 4.4 million are in the proven and probable category. The Company's cash position at Dec 31/97 was $US 41.9 million, however IAMGOLD just announced it was raising an additional $Cdn 42.2 million through the sale of 8.2 million shs at $5.40. The war chest will serve to finance its portion of the exploration and development expenses on the Yatela gold deposit near Sadiola. The Company will then have 72.8 million shares issued, 78 million on fully diluted basis
Mercury Air Group, Inc. (MAX on the AMEX & on PCX), Los Angeles, CA. Tel: (310)577-8764. Price April 7/98: $7.88, 52-week range:$ 9.00-5.38. This is the first mention of MAX in this newsletter. Mercury Air Group is a worldwide provider of petroleum products, cargo services, aviation information technology and support services to international and domestic airlines, general aviation and US government aircraft. Company was founded in 1956 by three members of the legendary AVG Flying Tigers. Building on a revenue base of $250 million, the Company has been adding critical mass through acquisitions and strategic alliances. Two recent acquisitions are Intermodal Services providing air cargo handling services from a 65,000 sq.ft facility at Atlanta's Hartsfield Int'l airport and, RPA Airline Automation Services, a Coral Gables aviation information technology company. Mercury itself will occupy a new 180,000 sq.ft. Air cargo facility at Los Angeles International Airport. This years first quarte was affected by the bankruptcy of one of its customers. The 2nd Q is most likely indicative of ongoing operations. Revenues were down 7% due to lower oil prices to $68.6 million from $73.9 million. However, net income of $2.0 million was a 54% increase over $1.3 million. This was equivalent to 21 cents/sh vs 14 cents/sh, on a fully diluted basis. Earnings for the year are anticipated at $0.80/sh and if this is realized, the share price could be headed for the $10 range.
NQL Drilling Tools Inc. (NQL.A on TSE), Nisku, AB, TEL: (403) 955-8828, Price: April 8/98: $12.30, 52-week range: $14.65-5.45. First mentioned at $3.20 on May 15/96. The company continues to grow in spite of some downturn in the oil patch. In the 1st Q, revenues grew 53% to $15.8 million, net income 158% to $3.4 million and e.p.s. 100% to $0.24 vs $0.12. Future growth will come from the new facilities in Lafayette, Louisiana and from the acquisition in Venezuela of three distribution facilities, both of which will allow the Company to expand its line of downhole tools. NQL appears to be adequately financed with $29 million of working capital and no debt. The Company has 14 million shs. out and continues to offer good long term growth.
Nevsun Resources Ltd. (NSU on TSE and VSE)Vancouver, BC, tel:(604)623-4700. Price April 8/98: $3.70 52 week range:$6.25-2.40. First mentioned at $10.10 on July 12/96. Nevsun has recently been taking a more aggressive gold exploration path. Employing two diamond drill rigs and one reverse circulation drill, it has been expanding the gold exploration program at the Tabakoto Project in Mali. Nevsun then contracted to purchase other interests in the area from Trillion Resources Limited and Oliver Gold Corporation in the Segala Concession. Upon closing, this will increase current gold resources in West Africa by 1.3 million ounces to a total of 3.8 million ounces, of which 2.9 million are at Tabakoto and Segala and 900,000 oz are from the Kubi Concession in Ghana. A new reverse circulation drill program recently commenced on the Juabo Property in Ghana, 40 km west of the Kubi Project.
Samax Gold Inc. (SMX on TSE) London, UK, Tel.: (44) 171-638-4900. Price April 8/98:$6.00, 52-week range: $6.75-3.00. This is the first mention of SAMAX for this newsletter. The Company recently announced that the current resource on its 100% owned Kukuluma property in the Geita mining district of Tanzania now contains 1.5 million ounces of gold. SAMAX then announced successful drill results from the Nkroful property in from the coast on the southern termination of the Ashanti gold belt in Ghana. The Company also completed recently a $15 million equity financing through the sale of 3.2 million warrants at $4.75/sh. These will add to the current 22.35 million shares outstanding. RBC Dominion Securities has a strong buy recommendation with a 1 year target price of $8.50
Samoth Capital Corporation. (SCF on TSE), Vancouver, BC, Tel.: (604) 688-0810. Price April 8/98:$4.90, 52-week range: $7.25-4.35. This is the first mention of Samoth for this newsletter. The Company owns 28 hotels with 4,619 rooms in western US, mainly Arizona, Nevada and Texas. Samoth quite often purchases a hotel, dresses it up and sells it at a profit, reinvests the capital into new hotel properties. The Company feels that it will be able to leverage its growth by assuming off balance sheet financing. Revenues during 1997 were $17.2 million vs $14.1 million in 1996. Net income was $5.7 million vs $4.8 million and eps came in at $0.30 for each year For the moment, earnings per share appear to be pegged at $0.30, based on 21.1 million shs out. The Ontario Teachers Pension Plan hold approx. 10% of the shs. An annual dividend of 2 cents/sh is paid in June. The Company is of the opinion that the after tax, off balance sheet value of properties is $71 million, or $3.35/sh. The Company's current net book value is $4.35/sh. Samoth feels that when combined these two figures produce an imputed total book value of $7.70/sh.
Tusk Energy Inc. (TKE on Alberta SE) Calgary, AB Tel: (403) 264-8875. Price April 8/98 :$1.80 52 week range: $1.85- 0.90 . First mentioned at $1.42 on Feb 14/97. Tusk announced a light oil discovery at Meekwap, Alberta, flowing at 1744 bopd and 1.396 mmcf of gas. Tusk has an interest in this unit of 16.7%. The Company is also drilling a well at Strachan. This is a deep well spudded on Feb 13 with total depth expected on May 10. Its interest in this well will be 30% after payout. Tusk's production during 1997 averaged 605 boepd. For the year revenues increased by 14% to $4.6 million., cash flow increased 15% to $2.5 million, or $0.32/sh. There are 9.7 million shs outstanding. It would appear that Tusk is on a high growth curve and that the stock may be heading to the $3 level.