I topped up my Holding in Avation (AVAP) on the morning of Wednesday 3rd June 2015, buying more Stock at 137p, to give me about 2% in total of my Portfolio Exposure in the Company.
I find AVAP an intriguing Stock as it is involved in an Industry that I suspect the vast majority of Investors have no understanding of. The usual reaction I hear from people is “oooh, it’s got a lot of debt” and then they swiftly move on to the latest Hot Rocket Small Cap Mining Stock………….
My aim in this Blog is to demonstrate to Readers why I think it is such a Great Opportunity and to make the mysteries of Aircraft Leasing rather more transparent. I am no expert on the Industry, but I have spent some time figuring out the relevant bits and I will try to cover all the Key Aspects with regard to the Risks and Potential Rewards of my Investment in AVAP.
Here’s a taster from Richard Wolanski the CFO:
“That’s what’s exciting about the company, we have locked in so much future growth and almost eliminated all the execution Risk associated with that growth.”
AVAP is a Fully Listed Stock (i.e. not AIM) based in Singapore which is involved in Commercial Passenger Aircraft Leasing and it is worth noting that it pays a small Dividend and the Board has announced a Progressive Dividend Policy (i.e. they intend to increase the size of the Divvy Payment over time). At a high level, the essence of the Business Model is that AVAP borrows money from Banks at a low rate of Interest and then Buys Planes with this borrowed money which it leases out to Airlines for a set Contract Period and Monthly Repayments with a Deposit paid upfront.
AVAP is utterly tiny in the Aircraft Leasing world (although I understand there are about 50 Players and AVAP is in the Top 40) but it is focussed on a Very Specialist Niche of providing Small, Narrow Body, Single Aisle, twin engine (mainly turbo-prop) Planes to a growing number of Airlines around the World. The fleet includes Airbus A320 series Jets, German Fokker 100 jets and the French / Italian ATR 72 twin engine turbo-prop aircraft.
The big players in the Aircraft Leasing Industry are enormous and lease Fleets of the common Jet Types (Boeing 777, 787, Airbus A350s, A330s etc.) to Major Global Airlines - this is a very different part of the Industry to the bit that AVAP serves. AVAP is more focused on Short-Haul flights. Major US players are Airlease, Aircastle, Avolon etc.
To give you some idea of costs, an ATR 72-600 costs about $20m and an Airbus A320 is about $45m (oooh, I’ll have one of each please……)
The text below comes from the 2014 Annual Report and explains the Aircraft type choice:
“Avation aims to generate growth in its fleet and build shareholder value by focussing on 2 sectors being a) new turbo-prop regional aircraft, principally the popular fuel efficient ATR 72-600 model and b) second-hand narrow body jets in particular the popular Airbus A320/A321 family and Boeing 737NG aircraft. Owning different types of aircraft provides a
benefit in terms of diversification of market and residual value Risk.”
The current Plane Fleet can be seen here:
I first became aware of AVAP when it was a very small Business created by the Executive Chairman Jeff Chatfield in 2006 to be the Airline Leasing Company for Skywest which was an AIM Listed Airline Company run by Jeff Chatfield. I had Shares in Skywest for many years and I never bothered investing in AVAP as it seemed pointless as they were so inextricably linked. However, all that changed a few years back when Skywest was taken over by Virgin Australia and Jeff Chatfield stayed at AVAP.
In the years since this, Jeff Chatfield and the Team at AVAP have fairly quickly grown the business from being a tiny sole supplier to one Airline in Australia (i.e. Skywest) to now Leasing 29 Planes to 7 different Airlines in a variety of Countries. This expansion in Customers and Locations has been nice to witness as a couple of years ago there was a clear Concentration Risk on just a couple of Airlines and it is welcome to see this problem steadily reducing. It is worth realising that even though this Major Risk has diminished, the Share Price has not really gone up much to reflect the huge reduction in Risk this diversification of the Customer Base represents.
AVAP also has a Singapore based Subsidiary which supplies Aircraft Parts and Spares to a range of Operators Worldwide - from a look at the latest set of Accounts, this Business appears to be a tiny part and its contribution to Revenue and Profit is not reported. In other words, it can be ignored really.
AVAP also own 95.1% of AIM Listed Capital Lease Aviation CLA. This stake is worth about £18m. In the last Financial Year, CLA underperformed expectations of the AVAP Board and they increased the AVAP holding in CLA with a view to also taking actions to improve the performance. Both Jeff Chatfield (Executive Chairman of AVAP) and Richard Wolanski (CFO of AVAP) are Directors of CLA.
AVAP has its headquarters in Singapore where it is tax resident and since 17 April 2014 has benefited from the Singapore Aircraft Leasing Scheme tax incentive, which has lowered the Tax Bills.
The Company is tiny and has just 16 People involved - and that includes 3 Directors. Richard mentioned to me at Master Investor this year (2015) that as they Lease out more Planes, the Overhead Costs of the business remain the same, so Revenues drop through to the Bottom Line. In other words, they can service a much higher number of Leases without having to increase Staffing Levels much if at all.
The Corporate Broker is WH Ireland.
Some Key Features of the Aircraft Leasing Industry
There are a few points that I wish to emphasise with regard to the Aircraft Leasing Industry that make this probably far less Risky than people might think at first glance:
- One of the best aspects for AVAP (and other Lessors) that makes this very different to other Leasing Industries is that once a Plane is handed over to the Lessee, there are Strict Regulations to ensure that the Plane is maintained to an extremely high standard - pretty much like New. The beauty of this is that the Lessee bears the costs and the responsibility of maintaining the Plane (and are Legally committed to do so) and AVAP and the Banks who Lend to AVAP in the first place have the surety that the Plane will retain a high amount of Residual Value on the Second Hand Market. In fact, because of this aspect and some other beneficial features unique to this Industry, Richard Wolanski told me that Banks were falling over themselves to lend to the Company.
- I have spoken to Richard Wolanski at length at the last 2 Master Investor Shows and he has been very helpful in answering my probing questions. A few weeks back I asked him what would happen if one of the Lessee Airlines went Bust - this seems a reasonable question as the Airline Industry is extremely cyclical and bankruptcies are commonplace. Anyway, Richard told me that under something called the ‘Cape Town Agreement’, the Leasing Company has the Legal Right to take the Plane (or Planes) and fly it out. Obviously this would have a cost and the Plane would need to be Leased to another Airline or sold as a Second-hand Plane - in both cases needing a lick of Paint. These would all add to costs but the model AVAP uses is to charge a big Deposit up front as part of the Leasing Contract - for example, in the case of Air India, the Contract had a Deposit worth 2 years of Monthly Lease Payments !!
- Because of these unique features of the Industry, Banks are very keen to lend to Leasing Companies as they see it as a fairly low Risk Lending Scenario and as a consequence they are lending at low Rates. AVAP’s current cost of Borrowing is 4.6% - and they are taking steps to reduce this further. For the Banks and other Lenders, it is a good way to get a reliable and secure Income Stream for a Low Risk. Note that AVAP seem to start leases with a certain Loan Interest Rate and then refinance if Lower Rates become available.
- AVAP’s niche in mainly supplying small Single Aisle Jets and Turbo-prop Planes is advantageous because Airlines tend not to want them customised too much for their use. For example, those Huge Airbus A380s (the Double Decker thing) are highly customised for a specific Airline to use and as a result they are very expensive to take back and Lease out to another Airline - because they need the Seating Reconfiguring and Expensive Re-sprays and stuff. With the Small ATR Planes that AVAP mainly leases out, if they have to take a Plane back to Sell or Lease out again to another Airline, all they need to do is a quick paint job and change the Headrest Covers on the Seats - fairly easy and cheap to do, relatively speaking. Another beauty of the Single Aisle Airbus and ATRs is that they are on a waiting list from the Factories of about 3.5 years and Second-hand ones are very valuable (remember, these planes are maintained to extremely high standards).
- When I spoke with Richard Wolanski in 2014 at Master Investor, I asked him what happens if a Plane crashes. The answer was rather surprising - perversely, it is the best thing that can happen for AVAP. It’s all down to Insurance - if a Plane is lost then the Insurance Company pays AVAP for the Lease Payments which were due under the Contract.
The Company Website is very basic and not really all that full of information. Some nice pictures of Planes though !!
More Detail on the Leasing Model
- AVAP usually finances Planes with 75% Senior Secured Bank Debt, Leased on the basis of paying back to AVAP around 144% of the Buy Price over a 10 to 12 year contract - this also gives the Leasing Airline certainty. After this the Plane can be leased out for another 12 years at a lower rate than a brand new Plane. However, older planes yield more for AVAP than New Planes due to a quirk of depreciation rates, whereby the Plane is written down to zero on AVAP’s Balance Sheet over the Initial 12 year Lease Period. Therefore, half way through a Plane’s lifespan, AVAP already own it outright.
- AVAP borrows over the term of the lease so it knows it will get back more from the Lease than it pays to the Banks. A New Plane appreciates in value when Leased out as it might cost $20m but have a Net Present Value of $25m as it generates Lease Payments. Banks love this.
- Debt is re-financed by AVAP on older aircraft when there is an opportunity to reduce overall cost of debt funding and also to release equity for acquiring new aircraft.
- Leverage reduces as lease payments come in - this enables new Lease Agreements to be initiated without impacting AVAP’s Company Leverage Limits.
- The type of Planes that AVAP leases out are Popular and in demand and this gives AVAP the advantage that they can pick and choose with regard to which Airlines they lease to. This helps to reduce the Key Risk of Airline Bankruptcy. In addition, if a Lessee does go bust, it is relatively straightforward to least or sell the Plane(s) to another Airline.
- AVAP leases through a collection of Subsidiary Companies.
- The Text below is from the 2014 Annual Report - note the Fleet is larger now at 29 Planes but it demonstrates that the Planes are not particularly old and the average age is reducing:
“The Avation fleet of 25 aircraft has an average age of 9.0 years, which is likely to reduce as the Group adds new aircraft and disposes of old aircraft, and average remaining lease term of 6.1 years with a current customer base of airlines in Australia, Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region.”
- Virgin Australia
- Thomas Cook Airlines
- UNI Air
- Fiji Airways
- Air India
The Key Directors can be found here:
I have struggled a bit to find details on this - the Screenshots from 2014’s Annual Report below give the best information I can find:
On the 2nd June 2015, the Company issued an RNS saying that Richard Wolanski had bought a further 10,000 Shares at 137.5p and Epsom Assets bought 30,000 Shares at 137.5p and 50,000 Shares at 140p.
I think it is safe to say that the Directors have a large personal interest in the Business succeeding and it is nice to see they were buying not far from my Topup Buy Price of 147p.
I found the following list in a Presentation I picked up somewhere and I think it is pretty close to the current position:
- Oceanwood Capital Management - 21.8%
- Slater Investments - 8.1% (this is very nice to see, Mark Slater is one of the best Fund Managers there is)
- Standard Life Investments Limited – 6.10%
- Artemis Investment Management - 4.98%
The following list comes from the 2014 Annual Report but I think it is now probably out of date:
Vidacos Nominees Limited 10,635,732 Ordinary Shares 21.64%
Chase Nominees Limited 9,331,140 Ordinary Shares 18.98%
Fitel Nominees Limited 4,707,702 Ordinary Shares 9.58%
HSBC Global Custody Nominee 3,569,916 Ordinary Shares 7.26%
Chase Nominees Limited 2,870,000 Ordinary Shares 5.84%
HSBC Global Custody Nominee (UK) 2,055,000 Ordinary Shares 4.18% (I have no idea why these guys appear twice !!)
Latest Results Update
AVAP released its First Half Results back on Thursday 19th February 2015 and they caused a bit of a stir. The Results Statement read ok but there was a big miss against Expectations for EPS (Earnings Per Share), and as you would expect, the Shares tanked - down around 12% at one point I think.
Anyway, due to some great work by Paul Scott (of the Stockopedia Small Cap Value Report fame) speaking with Richard Wolanski, it later became clear that it was a presentational issue because the Company had failed to explain the true reason for the fall in EPS - and in fact it was no problem at all.
In essence, the problem arose because AVAP had entered into 5 New Leases at the end of the 6 month Period - so the benefit of them from Lease Payments and consequent Profits will not come through until the Second Half of the Year. This will repeat when all New Leases are created - the Numbers come through in the next Full 6 Month Period.
Noteworthy Recent Developments
- On the 13th February, AVAP entered into an Agreement to sell 2 of its Planes - they appear to be quite opportunist in trading Planes if the chance arises. Subsequently on 17th April they announced that one Sale had Completed and the other Sale was expected to be sorted within 2 months.
- In an RNS (Reuters News Service announcement) dated 27 April 2015, AVAP announced that it proposes to develop a Global Medium Term Note Programme in various Tranches up to US$500,000,000 (that‘s a lot of zeros). The idea is to create a more efficient and flexible Capital Structure and allow AVAP to be less reliant on equity issuance when considering the financing of new and used aircraft (the last thing Shareholders want is more Shares being issued due to dilution of their Stake). In essence this means that a Framework will be in place with Banks to enable Bonds to be issued easily and at decent Interest Rates when the need arises to purchase more Planes. Good news. As mentioned earlier, whenever a New Lease is created, AVAP has to provide an Element of the Funding - I understand this to be around 25% but I have seen it mentioned that it could be as low as 15%. These Bonds are to finance this Element, the remainder of a New Lease will be financed with Bank Debt secured on the Plane.
- In an RNS from 29th April 2015, AVAP announced that US rating agency Egan-Jones Ratings has assigned a rating of ‘BBB-’ to the Company with a positive watch.
- On Wednesday 20th May 2015, AVAP announced that they had established a US$500m global medium term note programme with terms such as Currency and Interest Rate to be determined at the time of issue of each Tranche. AVAP has applied for permission for the Notes to be traded on the Singapore Securities Trading Exchange. There is an Upfront Cost of establishing the Programme but the access to Debt Funding it provides probably makes a lot of sense. Jeff Chatfield said:
“The intention of this Programme is to provide further funding options to the Company in its quest to provide high quality returns on equity for shareholders. The flexible nature of the programme allows the issue of various tranches of notes in the capital markets, when desirable, to match the funding required for the growth in the Company’s Aircraft Fleet. The Up-front cost of these programs in terms of advisers, legal and marketing are not insubstantial, however, the benefits over the coming years may be significantly accretive to shareholder value.”
- On the same day, Wednesday 20th May 2015, AVAP also announced that it had issued $100m of 7.5% Loan Notes due 2020 (note, AVAP’s average Lease Return is around 13%).
Jeff Chatfield said: “These Notes form a part of the strategy to create
an optimal capital structure for funding the growth of the Company. The Company has previously announced the purchase of twelve new modern commercial aircraft, a mixture of Airbus A321 and ATR72 types. When combined with appropriate amounts of asset backed senior bank debt, the deployment of the proceeds of these Notes allow the Company to
strive to maximise its return on equity for its shareholders.”
- On the 28th May 2015, AVAP issued an RNS statement which included:
“The completion of the Notes issue has provided the Company with the funding for additional growth beyond these contracted aircraft. The Company is assessing various narrow body aircraft for purchase. Avation may acquire aircraft if established investment criteria and airline credit risk profiles are met. In the event that this occurs, it is expected that the aircraft will be financed through a combination of senior secured financing at a senior debt loan to value ratio typical for the Company along with some funds provided by the Notes. The combination of secured and unsecured financing is planned to be established at a blended cost of capital similar to the Company’s current debt costs. The remainder of the funds provided by the Notes will be used to fund, in combination with senior secured financing, the 12 Contracted Aircraft. This will enable the Company to grow revenue in the near term.”
Jeff Chatfield, Executive Chairman, said:
“The first tranche of US$100 million in Notes has been successfully listed on the SGX-ST. This Programme is intended to provide flexible funding options to the Company in its quest to provide high quality returns on equity for shareholders. The up-front cost for the first tranche of Notes will be around US$3 million, however, the benefits over the coming years may be significantly accretive to shareholder value. The Company is planning to sell two older aircraft in the near term. As a lessor, every aircraft that is purchased by the Company must, at some future time, eventually be sold. The Company is seeking to have a young fleet, which we calculate at May 2015 to have a weighted average age of 4.8 years. The Company is seeking to take advantage of good aircraft market conditions to exit these old aircraft and improve the average age of the owned fleet.”
The Key Risks that I see are as follows:
- Richard Wolanski mentions in a Video on their Homepage that a Lessee Airline going bust is the biggest Risk they face. Thomas Cook and Virgin Australia are their largest customers and both are trading well. As they gain more Customers, this Risk should get increasingly diluted.
- A Global Downturn is obviously a major Risk as this puts Leasing Customers under big pressure and many Airlines failed during the Credit Crunch in 2008. This is a Risk to be considered by Investors, but it is worth appreciating that AVAP managed to weather that particular Storm, although it had few customers at that time. In addition, Global Downturns tend to be bad for all Stocks - so it is more of an argument for not investing in Stocks rather than avoiding AVAP.
- AVAP is a small company and very much a ‘People Business’. This creates risk in that Key Employees could leave and be difficult to replace. ‘Key Man’ Risk is big here.
- The last Big Risk I see is a nice Risk to have as a Shareholder - I suspect there is a likelihood that the company will be taken over by a Larger Player - no doubt this will be before existing Shareholders can really get the full benefit - but it is a ‘High Class Problem‘ and I won’t be losing too much WheelieSleep over it.
The Following Text I have copied from the Company’s Annual Report - this is a comprehensive List:
“The Company believes that it can obtain access to the necessary debt for the future purchase of aircraft. Access to funding nevertheless remains
a risk, which is common to all businesses that are capital intensive. Specific aviation industry risks are also present and include the creditworthiness of client airlines. Other risks remain typical for an aircraft leasing industry that typically uses leverage to build the fleet, along with the finance risks and more particularly the residual value risk and impairment in aircraft assets. The Company has significant balance sheet exposure to Australian based aircraft. The Company is seeking to actively diversify away from Australian economic and geographic risk going forward by marketing to new airline customers.”
Market related risks:
Exposure to the airline industry:
- The Group’s customers are commercial airlines who are financially exposed to the supply and demand for passenger air travel. The financial condition of commercial airlines may weaken due to a number of factors including but not limited to local and global economic conditions, increased competition between airlines, speculative ordering of new aircraft, war, terrorism or natural disasters. If the financial condition of the
- Group’s airline lessee customers weakens for any reason, the Group may be exposed to increased risks of lessee default and reduced lease rates for its aircraft.
- Fluctuations in the supply and demand for aircraft and aircraft travel may impact values and lease rates for the Group’s aircraft. Market forces and prevailing economic conditions may change over the economic lives of the Group’s aircraft and could have a positive or negative impact on valuations.
- Advances in aircraft technology may create obsolescence in the fleet before the end of the current estimated useful life.
- The Group regularly obtains independent third party valuations the fleet and may dispose of aircraft in order to reduce its exposure to certain aircraft types. Avation has a policy of investing in popular aircraft types on the basis that asset values and lease rates will be supported by continuing high demand for these aircraft.
- Economic, legal and political risks - Avation leases aircraft to lessees in different jurisdictions. As such the Group is exposed to economic, legal and political risk in those jurisdictions. Avation’s aircraft are subject to operational risks specific to the aviation sector resulting from war, acts of terrorism or the threat of terrorism and natural disasters. The Group mitigates against these risks by requiring airline lessees to maintain adequate insurance over the aircraft.
- Regulatory risks - Avation’s fleet operates in many jurisdictions and complies with tax and other regulatory requirements in those jurisdictions. There is a risk that changing tax and regulatory regimes may have an impact on the business and financial results.
- Lessee risks - Avation’s airline lessees are responsible for all maintenance and safety checks. The requirement for each airline lessee to service and maintain the aircraft are set out in the lease agreements. There is a risk that airlines may not properly maintain aircraft which may lead to an impairment of the aircraft’s value. In order to mitigate against this risk the Group closely monitors each airline’s usage of aircraft and their compliance with agreed maintenance schedules. Avation can require lessees to pay additional maintenance reserve payments in order to ensure that there is adequate funding at all time for proper maintenance of the aircraft.
- Financial risks - Avation’s financial risk management objectives and policies are set out in note 7 to the financial statements and are as follows:
- Airline industry risks
- Credit risk
- Interest rate risk
- Foreign currency risk.”
AVAP leases out 29 Planes at the moment and plans to have 100 Planes leased out over the next few years. The plan is to add 12 planes over the next 2 years and to double the Fleet size within 3 years.
Richard told me at Master Investor that they have 29 Planes now in Operation and 22 Options - which I understand as a ‘Right to Buy’ the Planes but they have not actually taken up the Options yet. These Options have a Tradeable Value and can be sold to other Plane Purchasers - according to Paul Scott the Options are worth another $30.8m on top (22 Options at $1.4m each apparently). I understand that the Value of these Options is not shown on the Company’s Balance Sheet - so there is some ‘Hidden’ value here possibly.
AVAP is scheduled to deliver eight new ATR 72-600 aircraft before
the end of FY2015 and an additional three ATR 72-600 aircraft in the second half of calendar year 2015. AVAP is actively evaluating additional aircraft acquisition opportunities.
Asia / Pacific and Europe are the Hottest Growth areas with regard to Aircraft demand, particularly as the Asian Middle Classes expand. Having a Singapore Base is helpful in this regard.
I copied this text from the 2014 Annual Report because it neatly summarises the Growth Case:
“Coinciding with the expected future delivery of additional ATR 72s ordered from the manufacturer and potential acquisitions of other aircraft, Avation will continue to grow in terms of the size and quality of its managed fleet and the financial returns it generates.”
The text below is from the Annual Report 2014 and highlights the Plane Leasing trends - this chimes with stuff I have read elsewhere:
“Aircraft leasing is a growth industry with a growing market share of the world’s total commercial passenger aircraft fleet. Avation expects that the percentage of leased aircraft in the world fleet will continue to grow over the coming years due to the flexibility that the leasing model provides for airlines and also due to increased access to financial capital for leasing Companies.”
Barriers to Entry
Richard Wolanski said in one of the Videos on AVAP’s website that the main Entry Barriers to competitors were as follows:
- Need good contacts in the Aviation Industry. It is apparently a very small industry and you need to know your way around.
- Access to lots of Capital - with Planes costing significant sums you need to have a record of achievement in the Sector to encourage Banks to provide backing.
- Need good understanding of the Risks and how to mitigate.
- Need to have the expertise to purchase Planes and evaluate Second-hand planes.
These seem like plausible Economic Moats to me, and it is obvious from the Global Notes Announcement that AVAP now have the Capital to back up their Plans.
My simple test is, if you gave me £100m could I do this? Well, no, obviously I couldn’t……..
All of the Screenshots in this Blog are from the Night of Thursday 2nd June 2015, which was the situation pertaining (wow, cool word Wheelie !!) when I finally made my Decision to Topup my Holding of AVAP.
If you look at the ShareScope ‘Details’ screenshot below, you should see in the Top Right Hand Corner, ‘Norm EPS (p)’ for ‘Jun 2016 Forecast’ of 24.71p (EPS means Earnings Per Share).
At my Buy Price on Wednesday 3rd June of 147p, this gives a Forward P/E Ratio (Price Earnings Ratio - think of it as the number of years for the Stock to earn back the money invested) of 5.9 (147p divided by 24.71p). This is extremely low - you will rarely see a Stock with such a low P/E - usually you are lucky to find one on P/E of 8 and anything around 10 is usually considered as Good Value.
If we go forward another year (remember, 2016 is Next Year and will be on us before we know it !!) and look at ‘Jun 2017 Forecast’ we get EPS of 32.75, which on my Buy Price of 147p gives a Forward P/E of 4.5 !!
At the 147p I paid for my Topup Shares, they are pretty much on TNAV (Total Net Asset Value) of £75.8m (figure according to Paul Scott from his excellent Stockopedia page) and the Options are worth another $30.8m on top (22 Options at $1.4m each apparently - these are not shown in the Balance Sheet).
Rivals are valued on around 12 to 15 times Earnings and 1.5 Times NAV (Net Asset Value).
If I was to put a P/E on AVAP of 12 times Next Year’s Forecast Earnings of 24.71p, I get a Target of 296p (12 x 24.71p).
If I was generous and went for a P/E of 15 (bear in mind this might not be utterly daft if there is a Takeover Bid or AVAP can grow as fast as it intends to), then I get a Target of 370p.
It is possible that AVAP could exceed Forecasts as the recent Bond Issue gives them a lot more scope to grow - in such a scenario, a Target of 400p would not be idiotic.
In terms of NAV, simply using 1.5 times as the Metric, a Target of 220p is generated.
As ever, let’s start with the Long Term. The Chart Below shows the Full History that I can see in ShareScope and covers about 5 years. As you should see, the Bottom Black Line and the Upper Red Line mark a wide Uptrend Channel that has been going on - please ignore the other lines etc. at this stage.
In this case, the Price is at about RSI 56 so there is a bit of room to move up and it is good that the RSI line is moving up. Looking back through AVAP’s history, I note that on many occasions the RSI reading has gone as high as 90 ish - this means it could go up quite a lot in the move I hope is about to happen. You tend to find that with Smaller and more Illiquid Stocks, the RSI readings can get quite high. With larger and more Liquid Stocks (like FTSE100 stuff), you tend to get them Selling off before or around RSI 70.
On the Chart below, I have gone to a very Short timescale to point out the poor ‘Quality’ of the Candle that was produced on the Breakout. If you look at my Black Arrow - this is pointing to the offending Candle - you should be able to see that it has a very long ‘Wick’ (the line that is going up vertically out of the top of the ‘Body’). This means that during the Day, the Price was unable to stay up at the High of the Day - this is a shame, because I would have liked the Bulls to have kept charging hard throughout the Day. It’s another example where you often don’t get perfection with Technical Indicators and you have to work with what you’ve got and make decisions based on the most dominant factors.
There is a lot to like about this Company - hey, that’s why I have a chunk of their Shares. The risk is around Economic Growth really - if we get a Downturn, then this could cause AVAP a lot of problems - this is the key Risk Investors need to be comfortable with.
The following key points make the Buy Case for me:
- The Purchase Rights over the 22 ATR Planes have a significant Value ($30.8m) and give AVAP a future source of Planes to Lease out and get Revenue from. I like the continuing diversification and de-risking this entails.
- I like the fact that they can add more Leases without much increase in their Cost Base. It’s effectively a Rollout Programme - each Plane Lease you do is much like the next one.
- The AVAP Team have demonstrated skill in sourcing the Financing, selecting the Planes and managing Risks.
- For the last 3 years AVAP has been growing at 30% a year, and is expected to grow at 40% this year. Stunning Growth rates for the P/E rating. The schedule of Delivery of the New Planes from the Factory give very good visibility of Earnings Growth in coming years. Growth like this could easily justify a P/E rating of 15 (or more?)
- I expect Organic Growth in the Company and a Re-Rating to a higher P/E - the Upside Opportunity is huge as we get a ‘Double Whammy’.
- Jeff Chatfield clearly has form on takeovers after selling Skywest to Virgin Australia - I think it is likely this will happen to AVAP also.
- Lots of recent Director Buys in a good size.
I expect to hold this for years and years - I think it has huge potential and I really would like to see it hit my higher Targets around 400p.