This summer, the team on The Value Perspecitive set about narrowing down the 55,000-odd listed companies in the world to half a dozen or so ‘must-own’ stocks. Here’s how.
A common misconception among both professional and private investors is, if you are not constantly buying and selling shares, you risk missing out on ‘opportunities’ and so will underperform. That is by no means necessarily true and yet on discovering the below-average frequency with which we buy and sell shares, here on The Value Perspective, people will often blurt out: “Then what do you do all day?” Well, here is a taste …
As the days grow colder and the nights longer, you may find yourselves thinking fondly back to all the fun things you got up to this summer. Here on The Value Perspective, however, we are only now bringing to a close one of our favourite summer activities – our so-called ‘Summer Scramble’, which sees the team whittling down the 55,000 or so listed companies in the world to a handful of ‘must-own’ value stocks.
How do we do this?
The most efficient way to cut such a broad universe of businesses down to a more manageable number is by screening out those that do not meet certain key criteria. Any business we own must be easy to buy and sell so our stipulation only those with a free float – that is, the amount of shares available to trade publicly within their own market – above $500m (£381m) make the cut quickly narrows the field to around 7,000 stocks.
The next hurdle these companies must pass is one of our preferred valuation metrics, known for short as the ‘EV/NOPAT’. This divides a company’s enterprise value by the 10 year average of its net operating profit after tax, which is a measure of profit that excludes the costs and tax benefits of debt financing. Any business boasting a ratio of 16 or less makes it through to the next round.
By now, the initial 55,000 or so companies are down to around 600 and you can see the geographical spread of this year’s Summer Scramble in the chart below. By the time we have ensured the businesses are of a sufficient size and degree of liquidity – and that they have English language accounts and not too much debt on their balance sheets – a ‘priority’ list of 190 or so are left standing.
This is where the hard work really begins for the team, with each member analysing one company per day over the next two or three months. During this time, the 190 will be narrowed down to 40 and then to a shortlist of 20 – of which we may end up buying perhaps half a dozen mispriced deep value companies with substantial upside on a medium to long-term view.
That means we expect to hold them over the next three to five years, on average, until the share price reflects what each business is truly worth – although we would sell them sooner should the wider market take less time to agree with our initial analysis. The Summer Scramble is a huge project but one we believe will prove well worth it – and of course we save every bit of research to refer back to the next time we do it all again.
Nick Kirrage is the lead portfolio manager for the Schroder Global Recovery Fund launched in Australia this year. The Fund invests in companies worldwide that have classic recovery characteristics. Companies that trade on low multiples of recovered profits, but where long-term prospects are believed to be good.
Recovery investing is very different; its major strength is the disciplined focus on buying out-of-favour companies at all stages in the investment cycle. We seek to consistently apply our approach as whilst a valuation-driven philosophy will not always be in favour, over longer time periods this investment style has generated exceptional returns.
Visit our website to find out more: http://www.schroders.com/en/au/advisers/funds/global-equities/global-recovery-fund/
This document is issued by Schroder Investment Management Australia Limited (ABN 22 000 443 274, AFSL 226473) (Schroders). It is intended solely for wholesale clients (as defined under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)) and is not suitable for distribution to retail clients. This document does not contain and should not be taken as containing any financial product advice or financial product recommendations. This document does not take into consideration any recipient’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making any decision relating to a Schroders fund, you should obtain and read a copy of the product disclosure statement available at www.schroders.com.au or other relevant disclosure document for that fund and consider the appropriateness of the fund to your objectives, financial situation and needs. You should also refer to the target market determination for the fund at www.schroders.com.au. All investments carry risk, and the repayment of capital and performance in any of the funds named in this document are not guaranteed by Schroders or any company in the Schroders Group. The material contained in this document is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for accounting, legal or tax advice. Schroders does not give any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of information which is contained in this document. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Schroders, every company in the Schroders plc group, and their respective directors, officers, employees, consultants and agents exclude all liability (however arising) for any direct or indirect loss or damage that may be suffered by the recipient or any other person in connection with this document. Opinions, estimates and projections contained in this document reflect the opinions of the authors as at the date of this document and are subject to change without notice. “Forward-looking” information, such as forecasts or projections, are not guarantees of any future performance and there is no assurance that any forecast or projection will be realised. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. All references to securities, sectors, regions and/or countries are made for illustrative purposes only and are not to be construed as recommendations to buy, sell or hold. Telephone calls and other electronic communications with Schroders representatives may be recorded.