Since then, instead of passively waiting for tide to turn, CNRD has proactively replaced its revenues from the energy sector with revenues from other commercial and government clients. Now, from their third-quarter filing, we can see a few tailwinds are in play:
- Backlog is growing healthily. If we assume the run rate of first 9 months continues, annual earnings will come in at about $3/share. Shipbuilding is a cyclical business. Anecdotal evidence suggests we are now entering the up-cycle in inland water transport. CNRD is now riding this high tide. (For anyone interested in intels in the barge industry related to CNRD's operations, check out the Credit Bubble Stocks blog.)
- CRND is preparing to submit claims to the BP Settlement Fund. The claim amount is expected to be around $22-23m. Remember that CNRD's market cap is about $110m. So, we are looking at an potential one-off 20% (pre-tax?) boost to its intrinsic value.
- Oil/gas exploration at the Gulf is recovering but not in full swing yet. While revenues from oil/gass industry has improved to 12% of its total revenues, it's still far below the 27% before the oil spill or 40%+ before the GFC. Gross margin from its repairing and maintenance segment has improved to 15%, but is not yet back to long-term average of 20-25%. When oil/gas operations in the region are back in full force, there will be a continuous supply of repairing/maintenance work. But vessels which have just been moved into the Gulf won't need maintenance immediately. There will be a time lag.
- The company has repurchased about 2.5% of its shares in 2012 so far.
- Since Jr Conard took over the CEO role in 2004, this is the first time the company has engaged a financial adviser "to assist in its evaluation of strategic initiatives in order to determine potential alternatives that will enhance shareholder value and provides us with flexibility to respond to potential future business opportunities and risks." This can mean anything. It can also mean nothing. One possibility: Senior Conrad is in his 90's, well past his retirement age. The likelihood that CNRD will put itself up for sale is higher than ever.
(Disclosure: Long CNRD)