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  • April IPO Overview

    There were 13 deals priced in April as shown in the exhibit below. Overall pricing and subsequent trading were fairly good. The average of the gains was 13% and the median gain was 11%. Only two deals ended up "under water."

    (click to enlarge)

    A number of roadshow slide decks have been recently added to the archive including: (the link will download the PDF if you are signed in)

    Company Summary:

    SeaWorld Entertainment (SEAS) is a theme park and entertainment company that operates 10 theme parks including SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, Aquatica, Sesame Place and Discovery Cove.

    Blackhawk Network Holdings (HAWK) is a big player in prepaid purchase cards and payment services. Their business also includes prepaid handsets and a range of prepaid wireless or cellular cards that are used to load airtime onto the prepaid handsets.

    Intelsat S.A. (I) provides satellite communications services worldwide. This includes services which combine satellite capacity, teleport facilities, satellite communications hardware, and fiber optic cable and other ground facilities to provide managed and monitored broadband, Internet, video, and private network services; channel services primarily used for point-to-point bilateral services to telecommunications providers; and mobile satellite services.

    Taminco Corporation (TAM) is a specialty chemical maker whose products are used in the manufacture of products primarily for the agriculture, water treatment, personal and home care, animal nutrition, and oil and gas end markets. Based in Allentown, Pennsylvania. (Go Hornets!)

    Hannon Armstrong (HASI) provides financing services for solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, natural gas, water, communications infrastructure, and energy efficiency projects. It caters to U.S. federal, state and local governments, and high credit quality institutions and utilities. Based in Annapolis, Maryland.

    Fairway Group (FWM)) operates food retail stores. The company's stores provide perishable products, including fresh produce, natural and organic, deli, specialty, cheese, butcher, seafood, bakery, coffee, and kosher foods; non-perishable products comprising conventional groceries; and specialty foods, as well as wines and spirits. Based in New York, NY. See our note on the Fairway Market IPO here.

    Evertec (EVTC) provides transaction processing services in Latin America and the Caribbean. It's basically a version of First Data Corporation in the US in the Latin American market. The Merchant Acquiring segment offers various merchant acquiring services that enable merchants to accept and process electronic methods of payment. The Payment Processing segment provides authorization, processing, management, and recording of automated teller machine (ATM) and POS transactions. In terms of scale Evertec processes1.8 billion transactions annually; and manages the electronic payment network for 4,100 automated teller machines and 104,000 point-of-sale payment terminals. The company is based in in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

    Rally Software Development (RALY) is a management platform for software development teams practicing so-called "agile" methods. The results are generally a closer alignment of software development and strategic business objectives, more collaboration, greater visibility and efficiency. Based in Boulder, Colorado.

    Chimerix (CMRX) is a biopharma working on oral antiviral therapeutics for various medical needs. The company has a few lead compounds in Phase II and Phase I clinical trails for treatment of infections, herpes viruses and HIV. They have collaboration and license agreements with Merck, and Sharp & Dohme Corp.

    Omthera Pharma (OMTH) has a slightly improved prescription Omega-3 compound (Epanova). Omega-3 therapies are used to bring down high Triglyceride levels which can lead a number of serious health problems. The money raised is expected to fund a scale up of manufacturing operations, marketing promotions and direct selling and general corporate build-out. In other words a heavy investment up front with unknown revenues and margins from a "me too" drug. The shares were priced below the $13 mid-point of the range at $8 and have traded down slightly from there. Based in Princeton, New Jersey.

    Taylor Morrison Home Corporation (TMHC) operates as a public homebuilder. It builds single-family detached and attached homes, and high-rise communities; and develops land, which includes lifestyle and master planned communities. The company operates under the Taylor Morrison brand in Houston, Austin, north Florida, west Florida, Phoenix, northern California, southern California, and Denver, the United States; and under the Monarch brand in the Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, and Kitchener-Waterloo in the province of Ontario, Canada. It also provides mortgage lending and title services. The company was founded in 1936 and is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona.

    KNOT Offshore Partners (KNOP) focuses on owning, acquiring, and operating shuttle tankers. It intends to transport crude oil through its vessels. KNOT Offshore Partners GP LLC operates as a general partner of the company. The company was founded in 2013 and is based in Aberdeen, the United Kingdom.

    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

    Tags: IPO Market
    Jun 14 11:29 AM | Link | Comment!
  • Looking at Calix (CALX)

    Calix (CALX – $6.52) has taken a beating in the last 5 months with the shares down 70% from $22.  We spent some time going through the situation and have the following observations:

    Good – Calix does have the right networking technology based on the latest views of how the broadband networking market will evolve. [See our recent report: Connected-Consumer - Ultra Broadband.]

    Bad – The “government broadband stimulus windfall” hasn’t materialized in the US. This is basically the reason Calix has been such a disappointment. Their strategy was to capture a large portion of these funds and even acquired their most direct competitor, Occam Networks, to ensure that these free-flowing funds would end up in their coffers. But the funds have been anything but free-flowing. The company still insists that more of these funds will be available in 2012 and 2013.

    Bad – Even with this major excuse and quite a few others (component shortages, environmental approval delays, prospects taking time to digest recent acquisitions and macro factors) the management team has not executed well or set expectations appropriately. Painting a picture of your company as a victim of external circumstances and market factors is not a way to inspire confidence.

    Bad – The single most important factor driving the low Calix share price and valuation is their consistent practice of losing money. For the past several years the company has lost $15-20M per year on $200-250M in revenue. Recently there has been some growth on the top line and gross margins have improved a bit to about 44%. Based on discussions we have had with people in the company it would have been possible to be profitable in this revenue range but management has tended to spend ahead of demand rather than wait for it to materialize.

    Bad – Adding to investor concerns is the large size, consistent growth and high margins of competitive companies like ADTRAN (ADTN – $28.59). ADTRAN is posting 58% gross and 27% operating margins on just over $700M in revenues. Just today ADTRAN announced that they were acquiring the Nokia Siemens Networks Fixed Line Broadband Access business.

    Mixed – For better or worse Calix has had the benefit of strong leadership and long-term vision from their CEO, Carl Russo, since 2002. Mr Russo is joined by a broad operational team, many with backgrounds from companies like Cisco. The company also has a strong board of directors. Frankly Calix has the management infrastructure for a company 3-4x their current size. While that can be a good thing in a high growth scenario it might be too expensive and a bit “top heavy” for the growth environment they are in.

    So is Calix a bargain here at $6.50?

    Based on our intrinsic valuation analysis it appears oversold but not by a huge margin. We estimate the shares to be worth $7.50 based on current fundamentals.

    The core issue remains profitable growth. We’ve factored in a steady but slow improvement in operating margins and efficiency gains in both SG&A and R&D. However their recent decision to expand fairly aggressively in Europe will add materially to expenses without driving much near-term revenue so operating expenses are not likely to come down as much as they otherwise would.

    Our 20x multiple is generous enough so unless the company begins to generate sustainably higher growth and more determination to drive operating margins the shares will remain range bound around our $7.50 IV.

    Strategically Calix is in the right place but operationally they are set up to be running a $500M company growing 40% and instead they are a $350M company growing at 15%. Wouldn’t take too much to fix but we have no visibility as to if and when they would happen. Meanwhile investors would have to rely on a major uptick in global broadband spending growth to lift them into a higher bracket of profitability. That’s too much uncertainty for our taste.

    [Disclosure: The author is an LP in a venture fund that still owns some shares of Calix.]

    Jan 11 1:51 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Wireless chip meltdown at Sequans

    Sequans has been a sad IPO story pretty much from the start. The French 4G semiconductor firm selected an odd array of investment banks for their IPO (UBS, Jefferies, Baird, Needham, Natixis) and priced below the $11-13 range at $10 on April 15, 2011.

    For a short while the shares did very well and traded in the $12-$16 range for a couple of months. Then the fundamentals started to deteriorate in late July when the company lowered guidance. After gapping down to $8 the stock has bumped lower since and went out yesterday at $3.55.

    And then the big bomb dropped. Another lowering of guidance. This time to $11M in revenues versus the current lowered consensus of $21M.


     Their largest customer basically canceled half their orders for WiMAX chips and the LTE business has been slow to ramp. (And we’d point out very competitive.)

    Today we expect estimates to be slashed and the current average analyst target price of $5 to be reduced.

    From a valuation standpoint the company has net cash of $61M although the company will lose money this quarter. Management maintains that they are “encouraged by design wins and the general level of interest in their LTE solutions.” That’s not exactly a major vote of confidence. Anyone tracking this one will want to watch for major insider buying before getting interested in any potential recovery.

    So far this is no management team to bet on. Thankfully we removed the small position we had in this name in the IPO Folio a while back.

    [Disclosures: None]


    Jan 11 1:50 PM | Link | Comment!
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