By Ernest Lim
Previously, I have done a write-up (click HERE) on ISOTeam (ISO) after interviewing the company’s CEO Anthony and GM Richard on an exclusive basis in December 2018.
I have bought in at that time and have taken profit in January 2019. Since April, I have been accumulating ISO again, as its chart seems to portend a potential upside breakout after a lengthy potential double bottom formation. ISO closed at $0.230 on 21 May 2019. Let’s take a look at its investment merits and more importantly, its investment risks below.
Potential Bullish Break
Since 2017, ISO has experienced a protracted downturn in its share price. For the past five months, it has been consolidating between $0.191 – 0.225. At the time of doing this write-up, ISO seems to be on the verge of staging a bullish break after a lengthy potential 5-month double bottom formation. Neckline is around $0.225. Since 29 April 2019, except for two trading days, volume has been increasing and has been above its 30D average volume, as it approaches the resistance region $0.225.
Indicators such as MACD, OBV and RSI are generally strengthening in line with the recent up-move. Amid positively placed directional indicators, ADX has been rising from 8.5 on 12 February 2019 to close 35.3 on 21 May 2019, indicative of a trend. Except for 200D SMA and 200D EMA, other short term EMAs (20D,50D,100D) are rising. A sustained upside breakout above $0.225 with volume expansion points to an eventual technical measured target $0.260. Conversely, a sustained breakdown from $0.191 with volume expansion points to an eventual technical measured target $0.157. Based on the current chart development, a bullish upside breakout scenario is more likely.
Near term supports: $0.215 / 0.205 / 0.195 / 0.191
Near term resistances: $0.225 / 0.240 / 0.250 / 0.275
Chart 1: ISO’s Potential Double Bottom Formation
Source: InvestingNote 21 May 2019
Interesting Development In C&O Segment
ISO has an interesting business segment called Eco-friendly solutions. In this segment, ISO has a cockroach and odour removal (C&O) segment which is undergoing tests with the relevant authorities for use in rubbish chutes. According to an article in Today dated Mar 2017 (click HERE), this is a targeted, odourless, environmentally friendly and more effective way in reducing cockroaches. A beneficial side effect of this C&O solution is that it helps to reduce methane level in rubbish chutes (high levels of methane is one of the main causes of rubbish fire). We are likely to hear more updates on this segment in the next few months.
- Contract Wins Remain Strong
Since November 2018, ISO has been winning contracts on a furious pace with a cumulative amount $94 million awarded. It is noteworthy that FY18 and FY17 revenue amounted to $83.8 million and $82.9 million respectively. According to ISO’s 3Q19 financial statements, management is optimistic about the overall sentiment and outlook for their business and they will continue to leverage on their strengths to win more contracts.
- CY2020 May Be An Interesting Year
Calendar year 2020 (note financial year ends in June) may be an interesting year for ISO.
Firstly, there may be potential disposal gains, as management plans to unlock value by selling two properties at Kaki Bukit and Serangoon. If materialised, may result in an approximate $3 million gain. Secondly ISO has invested $5 million into Sunseap via its Series C preference shares in May 2017. Should Sunseap IPO in 2019 – 2020, ISO may be able to get good returns from its investment. Thirdly, as a normal course of business, ISO is on the lookout for potential earnings accretive merger and acquisition opportunities. Fourthly, ISO’s SG bike seems to be the only company left with the full licence after OFO’s licence was cancelled by LTA on 22 April 2019. Separately, Mobike indicated in March 2019 that it has applied to surrender its bicycle-sharing licence. Thus, SG bike may be able to perform better in the next few years amid a reduction in competition.
- Investment Community Seems To Be Taking Note
ISO is slowly getting the attention of the investment community and media. In one instance, The Straits Times has published two articles this month in relation to ISO, either directly or indirectly. On 4 May 2019, Sunseap was featured on The Straits Times (click HERE) as the builder of one of the world’s first and largest sea water floating solar platform along the Straits of Johor, north of Woodlands Waterfront Park. For those who do not follow ISO, it is noteworthy that ISO is the installer for this project (see announcement HERE). On 19 May 2019, ISOTeam was featured in The Straits Times with the tag line “ISOTeam building on its capabilities for greater growth” (click HERE).
Its turnaround is also catching the attention of RHB analyst who is the only rated broker covering ISO. Last week, RHB upgraded ISO to buy and increased his target price from $0.230 to $0.290 (click HERE). He also projects $2.0 million net profit in 4Q19F. If this materialises, it will be ISO’s fourth consecutive quarter on quarter growth in net profit since 4Q18!
- Valuations seem attractive on a historical basis
Based on RHB’s report, if ISO can report FY19F net profit of around $5.8 million, it will be trading at 11.3 times FY19F price-to-earnings. This compares favourably to its 5-year average price-to-earnings of around 21.6 times. In addition, on a price-to-book value basis, ISO is trading around its book value vis-a-vis its 5-year average P/BV of around 1.9 times. Thus, valuations look attractive on a historical basis.
Please take a look at my write-up on ISO (click HERE) for the risks. Some of the pertinent risks are:
Chart Reading Is Subjective
Chart reading is subjective and is likely to be less accurate for small mid cap stocks, especially those with low volume.
Ave 30D volume amounts to 157,000 shares only. This is not a liquid company where investors can enter or exit quickly. Amid the current volatile market conditions due to ongoing trade tensions, ISO may swing quite a bit if there are sudden sellers.
Results Must Catch Up
Notwithstanding its contract wins of approximately $94 million over the past six months which is already more than its FY18 revenue of $83.8 million, earnings have to catch up. It is noteworthy that gross margins have dropped from 17.8 percent in FY18 to 14 percent in 1H19. This is a conscious effort by the management to reduce their margins for R&R contracts in order to get more volume of contracts. Other new projects which they are doing in CY2019 such as the $46.5 million contract win from a leading integrated resort group and the floating solar platform from Sunseap should yield higher margins.
In view of the above, I have deliberately waited for ISO’s 3Q19 results before completing this write-up. It is encouraging that ISO announced a $1.7 million net profit amid strong recovery across all segments. It is noteworthy that ISO’s 9M19 gross margin has edged up to 14.4 percent, from 14 percent in 1H19. Furthermore, based on Table 1 below, ISO reported its second highest quarterly profit in 3Q19 since 3Q17! This is also the third consecutive quarter on quarter growth in net profit since 4Q18. Thus, results may be finally catching up with contract wins.
Source: Company; Ernest’s personal compilations
The Above List Is Not Exhaustive
To keep my write-up concise and due to severe time constraints, the above list of risks is not exhaustive. Readers are advised to refer to the analyst reports HERE; ISO’s website HERE; ISO’s latest 3Q19 financial results (click HERE); and my more detailed write-up (click HERE). You can also refer to ISO’s prospectus for more information on the risks etc. In addition, you can also contact ISO’s investor relation August Consulting if you have any queries regarding the company.
In conclusion, ISO continues to be interesting to me based on its chart (possible upside break from a potential bullish double bottom formation) and its business developments. Nevertheless, readers must be cognisant of (just to cite a few) illiquidity risk, risks relating to chart reading etc. Let’s see how it goes in the next few months.
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P.S: I have mentioned to my clients to relook into ISO on 7 May 2019 when it was trading around $0.215. This write-up was delayed due to severe time constraints and as I’m waiting for ISO’s 3Q19 results.
Please refer to the disclaimer HERE