Sunday, December 2, 2012

Olam vs. Muddy Waters

Thought I would use a quick look during the weekends to run through Muddy's 133 pager report on Olam and summarize it here. The post is merely a run through and does not imply the author is agreeing or attempting to distribute/disseminate the content of the Muddy Waters report.

Points are

  1. Capex/acquisition heavy with poor assets 
    • Crown flour mill (0.9% thin margin, cash burn)
  2. Capex attribution  
    • S$571M less investments that were annnounced
    • S$996.2M of capex were not attributable over the last 4 years
  3. Accounting Issues
    • 62.5% of non cash gains from negative good will from revaluations (SK Foods, tt Timber)
    • Rest from biological gains (I.e you dont sell the trees but change your estimate of its values)
    • Non cash accounting gains account for 37.9% of PAT from 2010 to 2012
  4. Financials 
    • Sept 2012, S$3.75B of debt due in 12 months despite S$1.38B in cash
    • Firm consumed S$2.5B in operating cash flowfrom FY2009 to 1Q2013
    • Significant margin account restatements, one over S$1B in 2008 
    • Significant impact of derivatives revaluation on profits (sensitivity up from S$3.8M to S$12M from 2011 to 2012 despite fall in value of derivatives)
    • Undisclosed account changes (page 35-41 of Muddys report)
    • Low rate of project and investment returns
    • Nigeria export incentives and grant income flows to Olam but is not sustainable
  5. Solvency and liquidity 
    • Refinancing quantum of S$4.6B over next 4Qs
    • FY 2012 has only 3 weeks of operating cash, over S$600M of cash out of S$1.1B are from withdrawals of broker margins. S$445.7M cash are from overdrafts at over 20%
    • Recent quarters saw a withdrawal of cash from margin accounts and mentioned no need to maintain the account as they net off positions daily
  6. War of words 
    • Mentioned Olam was defensive, Olam advised Muddy to go long and work with firm. Muddy declined in a abrasive manner
    • Muddy offered to pay for a debt rating on Olam
    • Olam 45 page rebuttal HERE
Some takeaways 
Most points were previously covered by others including CLSA previously and now further written in depth by Muddy which is well appreciated.