This one comes in from a newsletter service that I’ve never heard of before — Tony Sagami’s Asia Stock Alert, which will cost you $199 if you’re so inclined.
As you might imagine, this is one of those foreign investment advisories that trumpets their ability to do “boots on the ground” research — I have yet to find an investment advisory that brags about NOT traveling to the ends of the earth to look plant managers in the eye and get the real scoop, and Tony’s no different.
This time, he was in Taiwan on his search for the “next tech stock” and visited an out of the way factory in Jhongli (passing by the Shijr plant that “most Americans” settle for visiting), an ordeal that required a long bus trip. Poor guy. That’s why I’ll never be a high-paid newsletter editor, I hate buses.
At this factory, he learned all sorts of inside info, and even quotes one of the plant managers as saying “we’re very happy” about the confidential FAA contract that might be a big win for this company, and noted that they’re about to increase capacity by 50%.
So, is the plant manager who said “Business is very good, Mr. Sagami” blowing smoke … or does he really know … or is this a great investment?
Well, first we have to figure out what it is. Here are the main clues:
Two of their plants are in Shijr and Jhongli, both in Taiwan.
There’s a big FAA contract that they might get a piece of.
IPO in 2000.
Massive insider ownership by the founders (41% of the company)
And a stock price that has, over some indeterminate recent period, moved from the $50s to the $60s.
There are a few other specific clues about the balance sheet and earnings growth, but I won’t bore you with those. They do check out with my solution, below, FYI, and the above is more than enough to confirm this company’s name.
Sagami projects $100 by the end of next year, and a quadrupling in price by 2010. I have no idea who this Sagami character is, but if he’s right that sure sounds nice … so it’s worth finding out, I suppose.
Which means it’s time to strap on the Knowlirometer and see … ah, yes, there we go … this company is ….
This is a pretty well known but relatively small company, the acknowledged leader and pioneer in the GPS device space. The two founders do own a huge part of the company still, as noted above, and they are possibly a part of the future next-generation radar replacement system (or something like that, not sure of the specifics) for US air traffic control. They already make a bunch of GPS-related avionics gear for airplanes.
Garmin did go public in 2000, on December 8, and it’s been mostly rosy since then. They seem to me to be a pretty fairly valued, fast growing tech company — the PEG ratio is decent at 1.3 if the analysts have any idea what they’re talking about (earnings have generally surprised on the upside in recent quarters). I do like the GPS space, since this is a still-fairly-new technology for consumers and businesses and it is seemingly moving more mainstream, but of course Garmin doesn’t own GPS and I don’t know how sustainable their competitive position is now that the technology is moving to the mainstream. One piece of potentially important news is that the European Union appears to be bollixing up their satellite system that is envisioned as a competitor to the American GPS network, though I don’t know if that really means anything for Garmin specifically.
So … certainly a decent company, maybe or maybe not priced right at the moment, and Tony Sagami, whoever he is, thinks this is the single best tech stock to buy today. What do you think?