Fabrinet (FN) is currently priced to destruction with a P/E of 8.8, a P/B of 1.83, and an EV/EBITDA of 6.15 (using ttm EBITDA). FN provides advanced optical packaging and precision optical, along with electro-mechanical and electronic manufacturing services to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). I believe FN is positioning itself well for the optical communications market recovery, as telecom companies have been increasing their capital expenditure to keep up with the larger-bandwidth trends as audio and video features in mobile devices become increasingly more prominent.
FN operates under two main segments: optical communications, and industrial lasers and sensors. Optical communications, as a percentage of total revenue, has increased to roughly 70% for fiscal year 2013 from 67% for fiscal year 2012. Optical communications technology has been revolutionary for telecom companies and for the information age. As of recently, telecom companies have increased their capital expenditures to keep up with the higher-bandwidth trends as usage of 40G and 100G ports has increased. FN explains in its most recent 10-K that since 2001, OEMs in the optics industry, have increased their reliance on third-party manufacturers in order to focus on "core" strengths (R&D, marketing, etc.). As also covered in the 10-K, "carrier demand for optical communications network equipment has increased as a direct result of higher network utilization and increased demand for bandwidth capacity. The increase in network traffic volumes have been driven by increasing demand for voice, data, and video services delivered over wired and wireless Internet protocol, or IP, networks."
Industrial lasers and sensors segment makes up 30% of total revenue as of fiscal year 2013, a decline from 32% for fiscal year 2012. Currently, FN is much less focused on this segment, but according to the company's 10-K, the OEMs of the industrial lasers and sensors market are starting to realize the benefits of hiring third-party manufacturers that OEMs in other industries have been able to obtain. The end markets for this segment are broad: semiconductor processing, biotechnology, metrology and material processing.
While the manufacturing services market is highly competitive, FN has positioned itself very closely with its customers. Because FN manufactures what they call, "low-volume, high mix" products, which is simply code word for "highly complex, specialized products," this implies significant exit costs for the OEMs that FN serves. Furthering the relationship with its customers, FN employs the Factory within a Factory approach: FN sets up its division within its customer's factory, thus increasing efficiency even more so than the Just-In-Time (JIT) approach. FN also makes it one of its top goals to protect its customers' intellectual property, and it achieves this protection with rigorous steps: guarded entries, key-card and biometric-controlled access, as well as fogged observation windows. One of FN's mission-statements is to "never ever compete with its customers."
FN's main optical manufacturing competitors are Sanmina-SCI Corporation (SANM), Celestica Inc. (CLS), Venture Corporation Limited (SGX: V03) and Benchmark Electronics, Inc. (BHE). Its customized optics and glass competitors are Browave Corporation, Fujian Castech Crystals, Inc., Research Electro-Optic, Inc., and Photop Technologies, Inc.
4 yr avg ROIC
When comparing FN to its publicly traded competitors, it is obvious that FN is superior by way of profitability, which is due to its phenomenal business model. Yet, even with evidence of FN's superiority, the market is continuing to treat it like a "dead" company. It is also worth noting that the average 4 year return on invested capital (ROIC) includes fiscal year 2012, which had a ROIC of -18.74% due to flooding related expenses of $97 M. If I leave out that unusual charge, the average ROIC comes out to be 20.79%.
Thailand Flooding Incident
In 2011, FN's Chokchai facility was destroyed by severe flooding, and as a result, FN has discontinued production there permanently. Because of this unfortunate incident, FN's 2012 ROIC and operating margin ended up in a negative territory due to a charge of $97M of flood-related charges. Going forward, however, there will be cash flow benefits as FN receives payments from insurance.
As you can see, the stock suffered near the end of 2012, most likely due to the horrible earnings report. The stock has since rebounded from its low of around $9, to its current level of $18 as the market is starting to realize the irrationality of the sell-off. While the stock has gained 100% from its lows, I still see significant upside as FN is still trading as if the company will see no further growth, even though its competitors have much higher multiples of earnings and have significantly smaller ROICs and EBIT margins.
As covered by some other great articles, the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Fabrinet, David T. Mitchell, has a great track record of success. In 1979, David T. Mitchell founded Seagate Technology, Inc. (STX), a disk drive manufacturing company, which has now become a leader in the data storage devices industry and has had high ROIC and ROE for the past 9 years.
JDS Uniphase Corporation (JDSU) and Oclaro, Inc. (OCLR) make up 17% and 31% of FN's revenues, respectively (OCLR's 31% is combined with the acquisition of Opnext, Inc.). In JDSU's recent earnings call, the management has also taken note of the increased trends in demand for higher-bandwidth products. According to CEO Waechter:
"We see a healthy demand for our 100G products and are working to increase reduction capacity on these products. We're excited about the early success of our tunable and TrueFlex product lines and pleased with our penetration into the Datacom market with our 10G and 40G products. And as we said, early response to our Gen2 fiber laser has been very positive and we have additional opportunities later in calendar 2014 for the gesture recognition."
Reading through the Q&A session, it is clear that JDSU is also expecting a recovery of growth from China:
Analyst: "And then, Tom, just as a follow-up, I didn't hear you guys talk much about China or maybe I missed it. I would love to get your thoughts, how do we think about the potential opportunity for you in China this year across both your major business segments, CCOP and NSE?"
CEO: "we are encouraged by what we're seeing now in China. They are building out the TD/LTE base stations that's actually happening and we're seeing the associated back -- 100G backbone happening. So we do believe, where it was very lumpy in calendar 2013, we're actually starting to see that flow through. I'll ask Alan to give a little bit more specifics and then David on his business."
I used two different methods to value FN: an owner's earnings (Warren Buffett's definition of FCF) model, and a DCF model. For both models I assume FN will continue to achieve a revenue growth rate of 5% for 4 years (well below its average growth of 10%), and a terminal rate of 3%.
For my DCF model I used an EBIT margin of 9%, a tax rate of 4%, depreciation and amortization margin of 10%, a working capital margin of 16%, a capital expenditure margin of 3%, and a discount rate of 15%.
For my owner's earnings model, I assumed an EBITDA margin of 12%, a net income margin (as a percent of EBITDA) of 80%, and the other inputs as used in the DCF model.
The DCF model implies upside of 110%, and the owner's earnings model implies an upside of 120%
Y/Y growth rate
After tax EBIT
Less: capital expenditure
capital expenditure margin
Working capital margin
Less: increases in working capital
Present value of FCFF
Fair value of the company
Net income margin for EBITDA
Add/Less: 1 time items
1 time items margin
Less: capital expenditures
capital expenditures margin
Present value owner's earnings
Fair value of company
growth rate y/y
While I believe the "fair value" of FN to be between $39 and $41, I currently have a target price of $25 which I obtained by estimating EPS to be $1.97 for next year, multiplied by the industry multiple of 12.9. So, in the near term I believe the stock has 34% upside using a conservative multiple and the average revenue growth rate of 10%. I believe, however, that FN's share price should be trading with a multiple of at least 16 (the average of its publicly traded competitors), which then implies a fair value of $31, an upside of 67%.
Fabrinet is the most efficient and profitable company in its industry, yet the market has it currently valued as though the Thailand floods were happening right now! With increased demand in FN's end markets, the stock should be valued by at least the industry's average multiple of earnings.