Monthly rollup | August 2021
Stocks Mentioned: Corvus Gold (KOR), New Found Gold (NFG), Tellurian (TELL), Euronav (EURN), DHT Holdings (DHT), Credit Acceptance Corporation (CACC)
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August 01 2021
Catching up on past trades
Corvus Gold - I closed the Corvus Gold trade last Friday at $4/share for a ~20% gain. The trade worked out as expected. Time to move on.
Short New Found Gold - NFG shares peaked within a week of my short recommendation (see June issue). Using the 6/1 closing price of C$12.38 as my entry, the trade is up 16.4%. Share prices should continue to decline as the float improves. Stay short.
Short Cameco/URNM - As I wrote in the July issue, spot uranium is flat while the uranium miners have rallied, creating a divergence. Valuation-wise, the uranium sector is grossly overvalued for current spot uranium prices. Several uranium juniors have raised financing to secure physical uranium, the so called #uraniumsqueeze, and yet the uranium price has stayed flat. While uranium remains in a long term supply deficit, the fact that the price has failed to go up amidst what ought to be wildly bullish news makes me cautious. So, I re-iterate the short trade. Note that this trade runs counter to the long term trend, which is still up. If I were to enter this trade now, I'd set a buy stop over $60 for URNM and $18 for CCJ (or perhaps a 14-week ATR of 1.5). Using the 7/9 closing price as my entry, the CCJ short is up 10.6% and URNM short is up 9.4%. These gains are indicative - if you used tight stops you would have been stopped out on the rally at the end of last month.
Buy Euronav and DHT Holdings - The big winners in the shipping space this year are the containerships and dry bulk. Why bother buying the oil tankers?
The long term picture is one of supply destruction as vessels headed for the scrap heap are not replaced by newbuilds. Shipyards are swamped with orders for containers and LNG vessels, so any newbuild ordered now will likely not even be scheduled for delivery until late 2023 or 2024. Suffice to say, nobody wants to order a vessel now, not with the International Maritime Organization creating uncertainty over future regulations. Vessel owners are hurting since current charter rates aren't even high enough to cover apex.
Again, why bother with a sector in distress? The gap between the NAV of these companies and the share price is growing wider, and such gaps have a way of correcting themselves through corporate action. The NAV here isn't a nebulous figure - it is simply the actual values of the fleet as determined by trading activity in the sale & purchase market and broker reports.
While the market is valuing these companies based on the terrible numbers they are posting in their income statement, we are buying into them based on their strong balance sheet and attractive valuation. All that's needed to repair the income statement is a few ticks higher in oil demand - that's just a matter of time.
Two ways to play this -
catch the falling knives and hope for a corporate action or trend change to close the valuation gap,
set a buy stop.
I chose (1). I have a small position and I plan on adding aggressively when the sub-sector breaks out. Using the 7/9 closing price as my entry, the EURN trade is down 13.2% and DHT is down 14%.
Watch for an opportunity to short CACC
Since 1972, Credit Acceptance has offered automobile dealers vehicle finance programs to help them sell vehicles to consumers, regardless if they have bad or no credit. These programs are offered through a nationwide network of automobile dealers who benefit from sales of vehicles to consumers who otherwise could not obtain financing; from repeat and referral sales; and from sales to customers who come into the dealership believing they have credit issues, but qualify for traditional financing. Further, we report to the three national credit reporting agencies, giving consumers an opportunity to improve their credit score and potentially qualify for more traditional financing.
Our company is unique. Enrolled dealers share in the cash flows from the contract, which creates an alignment of interests and is a critical element of our success. Dealers have an incentive to sell reliable vehicles that last the term of the contracts, as they benefit from those who successfully repay their contracts.
CACC is in the business of making subprime auto loans. Business is booming. The first two quarters of 2021 saw the company achieve net income of $490.7 million (EPS of $28.96) vs. net income of $12.6 million (70 cents) for the same period last year. Shares made a 52-week high yesterday. Sounds good, right? Not when you take a look under the hood.
The comparison looks good only because provision for credit losses decreased by $503.3 million, accounting for 101.9% of the H1 2021 net income. That's a phantom gain which will be non-recurring. The company's loan loss projections may even prove too optimistic when the moratorium on evictions ends and the company's customer base starts feeling the squeeze of having to make both rent and car payments. The situation will be even worse when unemployment benefits expire.
The bottomline is, if you believe the Biden administration will institute universal basic income, CACC is probably an attractive buy. Under less optimistic scenarios, CACC's price to book of 3.73x and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.26x indicates a company priced to perfection with a lot of downside potential if things go south.
CACC reported earnings at the end of last month. What have insiders been doing since the blackout period ended? Yep, you guessed it! They are taking advantage of the post-earnings rally.
The consensus forecast based on 6 analyst ratings (4 hold, 2 sell) is $395.67, with the low case being $295. If shares correct back to 1 times book, CACC could go as low as $153.
My recommendation is to watch for a short opportunity. You could buy puts but there's no volume in the OTM puts expiring in Jan 2022 or beyond. This trade will need time to work out. Easier to just watch for a trend change and go short.
August 13 2021
I mentioned Corvus Gold as a takeover candidate in the July AAO newsletter. It has been a month since Anglo announced its bid and the company hasn't posted any news at all. The exclusivity period has been extended to 120 days, which implies there won't be a competing bid. Management silence is making me wonder if they will reject the offer, or not present it to shareholders, etc. So many things can go wrong with a stalled takeover. I'm going to exit my position today rather than wait and wonder. If you followed me on this trade, you'd have been up 20.4% within a week.
August 20 2021
Continuing on the guru theme, one day they will be proven right and will get to say they told you so. There will always be that one tweet which aged well. Trouble is following them those other times is a sure fire way to lose money and not really benefit from that one time they do catch the bottom by sheer luck.
August 23 2021
I'd tighten my buy stop on URNM to around 57.5 and CCJ to around 17.75. The Sprott uranium ETF (TSX:U.UN) went up on announcing a $300 million financing meant to hoover up uranium from the spot market. There is a chance spot uranium rises dramatically if they succeed in cornering the inventory available for immediate sale. If it were obvious they would succeed, I'd say just close the short position now and get long again. Tightening stops just helps eliminate the guesswork and makes it a more systematic trade (something I'm moving towards these days).
Oil tanker fundamentals from a shipping analyst I follow: Over the course of the next 16 months another 65 VLCC crude tankers are expected. This will add approximately 7.8% in terms of capacity that is absolutely not needed. This comes as we are still witnessing an aversion to scrapping despite the amazing prices being paid for demolition tonnage as of late while VLCC TCE rates are still firmly in negative territory. In short, unless we see a massive return of demand or a pickup in demolition activity we are likely to witness a prolonged downturn in the crude tanker market through 2022. In the meantime don’t be fooled by brief upturns in the market as they will very likely be short lived until a structural balance is restored.
A couple of points to note:
The tanker stocks are trading at a huge discount to NAV and the market is forward-looking, so these stocks could rise if scrapping picks up even slightly.
When nobody expects oil demand to pick up and absorb the excess tonnage, chances are the market has already priced that in, limiting the downside. I'm watching this so we can buy into this sector aggressively if fundamentals turn bullish.
August 27 2021
From KNX Q2 earnings presentation
This content was originally published as part of Against All Odds Research.