About
Triveni turbine is a Bangalore based company in the business of manufacturing and servicing steam turbines upto 30 Mw. In addition the company has a JV with GE (general electric) for turbines in the range of 30-100 Mw.

The company has around 2500 turbine installations globally and is a market leader in India in the sub 30 Mw range with a market share of around 55%.

Steam turbines have multiple applications such as co-generation, captive power plants, and Industrial drives and in ships. The company supplies industry specific turbines to multiple industry segments such as sugar, cement, steel, chemicals, municipal solid waste and textiles.

Financials
The company was spun off from triveni engineering in 2011, which also has a sugar, water management and gears business. The turbines business has grown from around 280 crs in 2006 to around 670 Crs in the current year at a CAGR of around 13%. PBT has risen from around 37 Crs to 140 crs in the current year at a CAGR of 20%+.

The company has been able to maintain an operating margin of roughly 25% during this period and a return on capital in excess of 100%. The company is able to earn such a high return on capital due to negative working capital and high operating margins.

Positives
The company earns a very high return on capital which points to the presence of a sustainable competitive advantage. It enjoys a very high market share in India and is now expanding into export markets too

The company also has the following four growth engines working for it
–      Industrial demand for power via captive power plants. Additional demand from co-gen opportunities
–      Service demand from the install base and for turbines of other manufacturers.
–      Demand from the JV with GE in India and abroad for the 30-100 Mw range
–      Export demand for sub 30 Mw product range

In addition to the above growth opportunities, the company is currently running at around 40-50% of capacity and can expand sales with minimal capex.

Risks
The key risk for the company is a delay in the revival of the capex cycle. The investment cycle has slowed down in India and in the export markets. As a result the company has struggled to grow the topline and profits in the last 2 years. If the capex does not revive, the company could face stagnant profits for some more time.

Competitive analysis
The key competitor for the company in India is Siemens. However companies like Siemens and BHEL have a very wide range of products and are not as focused on a single product in a narrow range (below 30 Mw). Most companies in this sector enjoy a decent return on capital and hence triveni turbine should continue to earn a high return in the foreseeable future.

Management quality checklist
– Management compensation : reasonable at around 1-2% of profit
– Capital allocation record : In the short operating period as an independent company, management has used the free cash to pay down the debt and the company should be debt free by the end of the year
– Shareholder communication – fairly good. The company shares adequate details via the annual report and quarterly investor updates and conference calls.
– Accounting practice – appear conservative
– Conflict of interest – none

Valuation
The company is currently selling at around 20 times earnings. On the face of it, this does not appear to be cheap. At the same time one has to look beyond the raw numbers. The topline and profits for the company have stagnated in the last 2 years with a complete collapse of investment demand.

During this period, several capital goods companies have made losses and have seen their working capitals blow up. During one of the worst downturns in the sector, the company has remained solidly profitable and continues to operate with a negative working capital.

In addition the company expanding its export business has a thriving and growing turbine services business and should see additional revenue from the JV with GE. We may not see a PE expansion as the company is already operating very efficiently, however as the topline and profits start expanding, we should get a return commensurate with the growth.

Conclusion
The company operates in a niche and has a sustainable competitive advantage due to its customer relationships and service network. In addition the company has formed a JV for the 30-100 Mw range which should enable it to expand the target market for its products. The company’s performance has stagnated in the last 2years due to the macro economic conditions. However the long term prospects remain intact and the company and its stock should do well in the long run.

Disclosure: No position in the stock as of writing this post
Stocks discussed in this post are for educational purpose only and not recommendations to buy or sell. Please read disclaimer towards the end of blog.

 
 

We are approaching the year end and soon the experts will start coming out with their predictions for next year. As there is a lot of competition to be the first one, I decided to get ahead in the line by kicking it off in November itself

So here goes

  1. Barring any macro-economic shocks and if sensex earnings exceed 15%, the stock market should be up next year. If however we have a crisis in Europe or we get an oil shock then the index could even touch 10000 levels.
  2. Gold could be up by 10%, if we get a major recession in US due to the fiscal cliff and it could surprise us on the upside if it coincides with the further instability in Greece and Spain. Over the long term, the macro-economic and supply-demand drivers point to a continued increase in gold prices.
  3. Capital good stocks in India could surprise on the upside if the current momentum on the reforms continue. One needs to focus on high quality names in the sector
  4. The consumption story continues to play out and high quality names should outperform the market in 2013, barring any sudden depreciation of the rupee. Demand from consumption centers, such as India and China largely seem to be on a firm footing
  5. The real estate market will continue to face headwinds of high interest rates in the initial part of the year, but if  RBI starts cutting rates in the second half, we could see higher activity in certain pockets of the market
  6. Rohit Chauhan will become the smartest and richest investor in the Indian stock markets.  President Obama and other world leaders will seek his counsel on how to fix the developed economies 🙂

Did I get you? Do you realize how absurd these predictions are?

There is a consistent pattern in all these predictions. They are not predicting anything and are simply stating that a market will go up if all conditions are right, otherwise it will go down (if the conditions go bad). This is similar to what you would hear from an astrologer if you were to ask about your future from him.

One more point – I did not make up all these predictions. I just googled some sites and cut and paste what I found for 2012 (yes for the current year !!).

If you really feel the urge to get some predictions for 2013 on the cheap, please email me and send me 10 Rs. I know a guy on the street with a parrot, who for 10 bucks , will ask his bird to pick a card and will use the card to tell you the future. The parrot is a better fortune teller (50% accuracy), is crisp and short (no beating round the bush) and much cheaper.

 
 

About

IL&FS investment managers is a private equity/ fund management company promoted by ILFS (50.5% ownership). The company is in the business of raising funds from investors (institutional – both in India and abroad) in the form of individual fund offerings.

These funds have their individual mandates such private equity investments, infrastructure or real estate type investments. The company is responsible for investing the funds, managing the risks of individual investments and then finally working out exits from these investments. The company has been fairly successfull in managing the funds, generating 20%+ returns on most of the funds in the past for the fund investors.

The main source of revenue for the company is the fixed 2% management fee on these funds and an override on the returns over a threshold (a percentage of the gains made, above a threshold)

Financials

The company has delivered a 35% growth per annum over the last 8 years. The company earned around 225 Crs in 2012.

The company has grown the net profits at around 40% over the same period and made around 74 Crs in 2012. The main cost for the company is compensation for the employees and overhead expenses incurred on launching and operating the funds. The company has been able to maintain net margins in excess of 30% in the last 10 years.

Finally, the company has been able to maintain a high ROE of 30%+ and if one excludes the excess cash on the balance sheet, the ROE would be in excess of 50%.

Positives

The business requires minimal incremental capital to grow. The main assets of the company are the brand, its relationships with clients and the skills/knowledge of its employees.

The company needs very little capital to grow (some extra office space and maybe a few computers) and hence the entire profit is truly free cash flow. The company has consistently maintained a high dividend payout ratio in the past (over 50%) and used the excess capital to acquire a new fund (saffron) in 2010.

The company has a long operating history in raising and investing funds in various opportunities in India with good results (returns in excess of 20%). As a result the company has a good reputation with current and potential investors which should help the company raise additional funds from the clients in the future.

Risks

The company operates in a very competitive environment with minimal entry barriers. The company now faces stiff competition from a large number of Indian and international competitors such as hedge funds and other private equity funds. This has resulted in higher competition for raising India specific funds and investing the same in attractive opportunities (businesses) in India. This could result in lower returns for the fund investors and hence lower income for the company in the future.

The slowdown in the investment cycle, recent actions by the government such as the GAAR fiasco and other global macro-economic factors have made it difficult for the company to raise new funds. In addition the exit timelines for the fund investments have increased due to weak stock markets, resulting in lower returns for the fund investors. All this has impacted the revenue of the company which depends on the volume of funds managed (AUM) and the carry (excess returns over a threshold). It is unlikely that the investment cycle will turn around quickly, due to which the company may face a longer period of low revenue growth or even de-growth over the next few quarters.

Management quality checklist

Management compensation: fairly high at 25% of revenue. However this kind of compensation is typical of the industry.

Capital allocation record: extremely good. The company has maintained a very high dividend payout ratio and has indicated that they will dividend out almost the entire profits to the shareholders.

Shareholder communication: Quite good. The company provides adequate details of the business in its annual reports and conducts quarterly conference calls to keep the shareholders updated on progress.

Accounting practice: conservative

Conflict of interest: none

Valuation

The company is currently selling at a PE of around 7 which is on the lower side of the past PE range of the company (6-23). A company earning an ROE of around 30% and with a 15%+ growth prospects can easily support a PE of 15 or more. The company thus appears undervalued by most objective measures.

Conclusion

The company has performed extremely well in the past and has rewarded the shareholders well. The period from 2003-2008 was a bull market for private equity and stock markets resulting in high returns for the company’s funds. This resulted in good profits and high growth for the company.

The markets have slowed down considerably since the 2008 financial crisis and the Indian government has made it worse in the last few years. As a result, the company has struggled to raise new funds which is needed to drive the topline and profits for the company. It is likely that the company will take a few more quarters before it can raise and deploy new funds and a result the topline and profits could stagnate for some time.

The long term prospects of the company are good, though it will take time for the company to start growing again. This would test the patience of most investors.

Disclosure: No position in the stock as of writing this post

Stocks discussed in this post are for educational purpose only and not recommendations to buy or sell. Please read disclaimer