December 30, 1998
American Power Conversion (APCC on NASDAQ) West Kingston, RI Tel: 1-800-788-2208 ext2994 Price: Dec 29/98:$46.50, 52-week range: $47.50-23.25. First mentioned at $12 on Oct 15/95, last mentioned on Nov 27/97. The company continues to grow its power protection systems and applications, now on the basis of strategic alliances, such as with Cisco and some acquisitions. This growth continues at a rate of 25 to 30% a year. The Co. feels comfortable with analyst's projected earnings of $1.55 for '98 and $1.90 p.s. for 1999. This provides an investor with a price trading range of 32 to 50 in context with general stock market conditions. Net sales are now running at a $1.2 billion level and with profit margins at 15% earnings of $180 million are indeed pointed in the direction of '99 earnings estimate based on 97 million shs out.
Bonus Resource Services Corp (BOU on TSE) Calgary, AB, Tel: (403) 347-3737. Price: Dec 29/98: $1.50, 52-week range: $6.00-1.18. First mentioned at $0.76 on May 15/96, last mentioned on April 9/98. Stock has traded as high as $7.75. Company sold 9 million treasury shares privately at $2.375/sh to SCF Partners of Houston, a party related to EnSerCo Inc. The $21 million coming in will partly replace the $25 million bridge loan provided by EnSerCo.. This combined with an attached 2 million wts to subscribe to additional shs at an also $2.375 price will allow the group a 19.3% ownership and a member to the board. Bonus is digesting its recent splurge of acquisitions by cutting back on labor-intensive manufacturing and concentrating on the service rig operations. Management feels that the 9,000 to 10,000 wells drilled in N.A. for 1998 will also hold true for 1999 and that the emphasis will be on gas as opposed to oil. The fact that Bonus is more involved with workover and maintenance rather than wildcat drilling, for example, should help cushion the downdraft in oilpatch activity. 1998 revenues should come in at about $130 million and profits at about breakeven. Cash flow for the year could be $10-11 million or $0.25 to 0.30/sh. Stock can be held for long-term rebound.
Nobility Homes Inc. (NOBH on NASDAQ), Ocala,FL, Tel: (352) 732-5157. Price: Dec 29/98: $13, 52-week price range:$24.50-11.50. First mentioned at $5.20 on Oct 15/95, adjusted for two 3 for 2 stock splits and two 10% stock dividends. Company has declared another 10% stock dividend Feb 19/99, record Jan 15. Nobility has specialized for the past 31 years in the design and production of quality, affordable manufactured homes at 2 plants in central Florida and at 22 company-owned retail sales centers along with financing and insurance capabilities, i.e. thoroughly vertical. Fiscal 1998 (Oct 31) sales increased 8% to $44.8 million and net income 30% to $3.9 million or $0.89/sh compared to last year's $0.69/sh. 199 should be a good year, with the first quarter setting the trend. This stock should be of interest only to investors seeking capital growth.
NQL Drilling Tools Inc. (NQL.A on TSE), Nisku, AB, Tel: (403) 955-8828. Price:Dec 29/98:$3.78, 52-week range: $13 - 3.50. First mentioned at $3.20 on May 15/96, last mentioned on April 9/98. Has traded as high as $14.65. This well run company has also attracted US investors while Canadian investors slumber. The Robert Chaney interests out of Houston have purchased in the open market 2.3 million shares, or about 15%. Meanwhile, NQL completed fiscal 1998 with revenues of $61.3 million vs 36.4, Net income of $9.8 million or 66 cents/sh vs. $6.6 million or 58 cents. Cash flow was $1.07/sh vs 90 cents. Because of the depressed levels of activity in oil and gas exploration, there is currently a decline of about 50% in horizontal and directional drilling in Canada. Fortunately, the company has been expanding internationally and about 50% of revenues are being generated outside Canada. Fiscal1999 should produce cash flow of $0.75 to 0.80/sh. Stock can therefore be held for long-term rebound.
Royal Aviation Inc. (ROY on ME and TSE), Montreal, QC, Tel: (514) 828-9000 ext 2270. Price Dec 29/98: $2.15, 52-week range: $6.95-2.05. First mentioned at $5.85 on Dec 22/97. Industry overcapacity has produced an extremely competitive business environment for the air tourist travel sector. Royal has tackled this on two fronts, one with the agreement with Signature Vacations, in effect on Nov.1/98, and secondly by expanding its freight operations, Royal Cargo. The tourist travel side will have 4 Airbus 310-300s and 6 Boeing 757-200s. The cargo division will have 6 Boeing 737-200. Six month revenues, period ended Oct 31/98, showed revenues of $144 million vs 120 million. Net loss was $7.1 million. Net loss over the last 3-month period was paired down to $2.6 million and the company maintains a solid cash position of $12 million. At this stage, Royal appears to be a speculative hold, possibly a takeover candidate.
Tesco Corporation (TEO on TSE, TESOF on NASDAQ), Calgary, AB, tel:(403) 233-0757. Price: Dec.29/98:$6.20, 52-week range:$25.75-5.70. First mentioned at $27 on Oct 20/97. Traded as high as $29.25. The big news is that Tesco has successfully completed drilling the first vertical well using the company's propriety casing drilling process. This has the potential to dramatically change the way oil and gas wells are drilled in the future. With casing drilling, wells are drilled without drillpipe. The standard oil field casing remains in the whole at all times. This eliminates the time required to trip or remove and reconnect the drillpipe. Meanwhile back at the ranch, revenues for the last 3 months ended Aug 31/98 slipped to $32.5 million from $38.6 and net profit to $3.0 million, or 9cents/sh from $6.6 million, or 24 cents/sh. For the 6 months, revenues were $68 million vs $70 million. And net was $4.9 millio, or 15 cents/sh compared with 12 million, or 43 cents/sh. Cash flow runs about double the net figures. The stock is a hold for long term recovery although the company has an important new technology flavor which might warrant special investor interest.
Transat AT Inc. (TRZ on ME and TSE), Montreal, QC, Tel: (514) 476-1011, ext 3028. Price: Dec 29/98: $5.95, 52-week range:$13.60-4.50. Mentioned at $3.50 on Feb 15/96, last mentioned on March 15/97. Transat looks it will be a survivor of the competitive travel and tourism industry, with operations in both North America as well as Europe, particularly France. Revenues for the year ended October 31/98, to be announced only late January, early February, should be about $1.3 billion and net about $23 million, or 70 cents/sh. If so, the stock could once more garnish investor favor and return to trade at higher levels. The website is worth a visit.
Tusk Energy Inc. (TKE on TSE), Calgary, AB, Tel: (403) 264-8875. Price: Dec 29/98: $0.75, 52-week range: $2.38-0.65 First mentioned at $1.42 on Feb 14/97, last mentioned on April 9/98. Tusk has been increasing oil production, mainly from the Meekwap field. Production at Sept.30/98 was 832 boepd compared with 544 a year ago. Unfortunately, the price of oil is down $7 per barrel over the same period. Nevertheless, cash flow is running at about $3.1 million/year, versus $2.0 million a year ago. This equates to 31 cents/sh based on 10.5 million shares. Long term debt currently at $4.1 million is therefore at 1.3 times this cash flow. Tusk expects to spend over the next 6 months $7 million on exploration and development and is currently raising $4 to 5 million in equity financing to help meet these expenditures. The increased production may compensate for the additional 40% of stock to be outstanding in such a way that cash flow could still come in at 30 cents/sh, a year down the road. If so, the shares could trade at 5 times this level, thus awarding shareholders a double in value over currently depressed levels.
Viceroy Resource Corporation (VOY on TSE), Vancouver, BC, Tel: (604) 688-9780. Price: Dec 29/98: $2.35, 52-week range: $3.90-1.75). First mentioned at $2.45 on Dec 20/97. Company is currently producing about 169,000 ounces of gold a year from 2 mines: a low cost one in Yukon and a high cost one in California. Reserves are 1.1 million ounces, or about 5 years, although there is good exploration potential in Yukon. Elsewhere, Viceroy has advanced exploration projects in Mexico and a most lively gold exploration play in the San Juan province of Argentina. Assisted by a forward gold hedging program, the company is producing cash flow of 50 cents/sh. It has announced that it will use some of its $55 million working capital (equivalent to $1/sh) to buy back 5% of its outstanding stock. Viceroy is an example of a mining exploration company that could benefit from both exploration success as well as from higher gold prices.