Spirit AeroSystems: Set to Take Flight, Albeit Possibly With a Bumpy Ascent

| About: Spirit AeroSystems (SPR)

At Wax Ink there are four investment metrics we pay attention to. Our Price to Buy Target, our Price to First Sell Target, our Price to Close Target, and our Risk Adjusted Buy Target. We pay attention to these metrics because unlike most other investment sites, we think actually determining a value for the stock we want to purchase is important.

So based on our analysis of a company's financial information, we determine what to us is a Reasonable Value for the stock, based on a 5-year hold. And miracle of miracles, we do that before we purchase a stock.

We explained all of this to one of our newer money manager accounts last week when we were asked about Spirit Aerosystems Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:SPR), an independent designer and manufacturer of non-OEM aircraft parts.


Financial information related to Spirit Aerospace Holdings, Inc. contained in this report, is based on the company's most recent SEC Form 10-K filing for fiscal year ending December 31, 2009, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 26, 2010.

What They Do

The company is the largest independent non-OEM (original equipment manufacturer) aircraft parts designer and manufacturer of commercial aerostructures in the world, as well as the largest independent supplier of aerostructures to The Boeing Company, Inc. (NYSE:BA).

In addition, they are one of the largest independent suppliers of aerostructures to Airbus. Aerostructures are structural components such as fuselages, propulsion systems and wing systems for commercial and military aircraft.

The company was formed in February 2005 as a holding company and commenced operations in June 2005 following the acquisition of the commercial aerostructures manufacturing operations of Boeing. The company manufactures aerostructures for every Boeing commercial aircraft currently in production, including the majority of the airframe content for the Boeing B737, the most popular major commercial aircraft in history.

As a result of their unique capabilities both in process design and composite materials, the company was awarded a contract that makes them the largest aerostructures content supplier on the Boeing B787, Boeing’s next generation twin aisle aircraft.

In addition, the company is one of the largest content suppliers of wing systems for the Airbus A320 family, and a significant supplier for Airbus’ A380. Sales related to the large commercial aircraft market, some of which may be used in military applications, represented approximately 96% of the company's net revenues FY09.

Short-Term Investment

The stock closed recently at $19.01, with First Resistance at $20.55, a 7% increase from a recent close, and Support at $15.03, a 21% decrease from a recent close. The stock is currently trending downward and just moved from an oversold condition. Since we think the stock may trade in the $19-$20 range over the near term we have no interest in making a short-term investment at this time.

Long-Term (5-Year Hold) Investment

To us the company's financials are just not that compelling. Certainly the industry in which the company operates plays a large role in creating a balance sheet worthy of investment. For instance, the company's inventory rate is 1.56 meaning that the company turns its inventory slightly more than once a year, not something many investors are comfortable with.

One of the positive notes is the company collects its receivables on average every 18 days, while paying its bills on average every 47 days, meaning that the company's suppliers are providing them company with an interest free 30 day loan. To us, this bodes well for management.

On the downside, management allowed the company's debt to increase by almost $306 million, year over year. While we realize interest rates are at historical lows, and that the company's average interest rate declined slightly more than 2% year over year, we note that the company spent almost $2 million more in interest payments year over year, making us curious about a plan by management to reduce debt going forward.


Based on our preliminary review of the company's financial information, we think a Reasonable Value Estimate for the stock is in the $36 to $39 range, and based on that estimate, would set an initial Buy Target in the $21 range.

However, we realize that investing is not done in a vacuum. There are tremendous risks based on the world's current economic uncertainty. This economic uncertainty can cause the companies that Spirit AeroSystems does business with, to delay, or even cancel orders. Because of these potential economic uncertainties, we think investment risk is increased, and have adjusted our initial Buy Target downward into the $16-$18 range

To download the Wax Ink Raw Value worksheet for Spirit AeroSystems, please click here.

Disclosure: No positions