Integrated Asset Management – Follow Up

Nine months ago I wrote my thesis on Integrated Asset Management, which I thought should be trading at $1.49 on September 30th (end of fiscal 2017). I’m not usually anywhere close to this right, but IAM was $1.54 on September 29th.

Since then however, IAM has traded down to its current $1.38. I made a number of assumptions coming to my 2017 target, as well as my 2018 target of $1.76, with the share price lingering I decided I ought to take another look at these assumptions and make some new targets.

Fiscal 2017

I tried to be pretty conservative with my estimates of 2017’s financials, and this is how it turned out:

Expenses$10 million$12.2 million
Performance Fees$0$0
Dividend$.06/share, $1.7 million$1.685 million paid out.
Dividend raised to $.08
Managed Futures Sale closes.Sells for $3.3 million$3.2 million
Invested Capital$1.912 billion$1.854 billion
Management Fees$13,590,000$14,216,000
Cash$12.8 million$16.48 million

The table shows without a doubt that I don’t know what I’m talking about.

Most of my assumptions are significantly off, but what most affects my valuation is that expenses are much higher than I figured and lower EBITDA by nearly $.08. If I was a smarter investor, I would have sensed that expenses would be higher than $10 million. Despite the much higher cash balance (I had assumed $0 operating cash flow to be extra conservative), EBITDA growth was not as high as predicted which throws my target out the window. I figured an 8x EV/EBITDA multiple was fair (conservative, but fair) for IAM, and yet here we are sitting at 12x and under my target.

Reasons Not to Fret

My thesis for IAM is playing out, I just missed on the growth in earnings. There are still a lot of reasons to like the stock here.

  • The dividend is now quarterly, if that matters to you for some reason. More importantly, the dividend was raised to $0.08 annually, a 5.8% yield today. This also signals confidence from management that EBITDA/cash flow will keep growing, and revenue will be smoother.
  • IAM continues buying back shares. In December over 1% of shares outstanding were cancelled, and there’s a good chance that 5% of shares are bought back this year. If this happens, shareholders will have over 10% of the market cap returned to them through the dividend and buybacks.
  • Cash makes up almost $0.59 of the market cap with no debt. IAM has consistently had an excess of cash on the balance sheet, but probably $6 million is extraneous and could be used for an acquisition, investment, or special dividend.
  • While it did not grow as much as I thought, EBITDA still grew a lot. I originally predicted $4.825 million in EBITDA for 2018. That’s now a pipe dream, but $2.8 million is within reason, growth of over 50%.

Right now IAM is a growing, profitable asset manager with no debt and cash worth over 40% of the market cap. I can’t justify selling a company with those characteristics because I made poor predictions. I’m going to keep holding here, but will be keeping an eye on it.

Disclosure: Still long IAM.

One thought on “Integrated Asset Management – Follow Up”

  1. I’ve been disappointed with the operating leverage as well. I thought EBITDA would have been significantly higher last year. It will be interesting what progress we see this year as it plays out.

    I still think the margin of safety is very high here given the points you made about cash on the balance sheet and dividend yield. I think the company could also get taken out at any time and the synergies for any buyer would allow them to pay a big premium. I’m glad to see the buyback get active again.

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