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Wednesday, 18 February 2004
February 18, 2004 Marine Products (MPX)
Hello Friends! Thanks so much for stopping by! Please feel free to make yourself at home and explore the full range of posts on this BLOG. If you wish to view prior posts, you can just click on the calendar at the lift and even change months by clicking....as always, please remember to do your own due diligence (check out the information yourself in lay terms!)...and utilize your own investment advisor to make sure the investments we discuss are appropriate and timely for you!

I have that nickel burning a hole in my pocket...but it is staying there for awhile. If you have been reading my posts, you will know that what I mean is that in my Trading Portfolio I am down to 24 positions...and quite frankly there is a good chance that ISNS will hit an 8% stop...and then I will have 23. I am waiting for a partial sale of one of my other holdings on a gain...as you may know, I set targets of about 33%, 66%, 99%, 120%, 180%...before I sell 25% of a holding. And I am using this sale as confirmation that the market is healthy...hopefully, by holding off, I will continue to add to my cash...or at least reduce my margin...as the market corrects. That is the theory at least.

ANYWAY, where was I?...yes I was going to say something about Marine Products Corp. (MPX), an AMEX issue that had a nice day trading in an otherwise lackluster market. This is ironic, I do NOT own any shares of this or any other boating company, but this is the SECOND stock involved in boating to be posted on this blog. Do you think something is "afloat?"

MPX closed at $20/share, up $.65 or 3.36% on the AMEX. That small move qualified it for one of the top gainers on the American Stock Exchange! According to money.cnn.com "snapshot", MPX "...design, manufactures and sells recreational fiberglass powerboats in the sportboat, deckboat and cruiser markets." Maybe those tax cuts from the Bush Administration to the upper-income group is helping them get out and buy a boat! I mean SERIOUSLY....:)

What drove the stock higher today, was the fourth quarter earnings report which was released yesterday morning. Also, they announced a 50% stock dividend (3:2), with a 50% increase in the cash dividend! Now that's a nice piece of news!

According to the report, net sales for the quarter ended December 31, 2003, were up 32.0% to $47 million from $35.6 million the prior year, the highest net sales for any quarter in this company's history. Gross profit was $13.1 million, a 44.4% increase over the same period in 2002. Net income for the quarter was $4.4 million, a 51.1% increase compared to $2.95 million the prior year. On a per share basis, diluted earnings per share were $.25 ($.17 adjusted for the 3:2 split announced 1/27/04) vs $.16 ($.11 adjusted for the split). Things were really firing on all "boat engine cylinders"...groan.

Checking the Morningstar.com "5-Yr Restated" financials we find that revenue has grown from $103.5 million in 1998, almost perfectly steadily (except for a slight dip in 2001), to $179.2 million in the trailing twelve months.

Earnings per share are only listed since 2002 when they were $.69 (probably the year this company went public)...and improved to $.86 in the trailing twelve months.

Free cash flow has been positive but slightly erratic, ranging from $11 million in 2000, $5 million in 2001, $8 million in 2002, and $7 million in trailing twelve months. While growing free cash flow is always my preference, the fact that it is consistently positive and fairly consistent is reassuring.

The balance sheet for this company, as reported by Morningstar is impeccable. They have $23.3 million in cash alone, more than enough to cover both the current liabilities of $14.7 million and the long-term liabilities of $2.2 million. In addition, they have $28.1 million in other current assets.

If we look at "key Statistics" on Yahoo.com for MPX, we find that the market cap is a small $343.02 million. The trailing p/e is nice at 19.76. The forward p/e (fye 31 Dec 04) is even nicer at 15.38. And get this, the PEG is 0.84. Price/sales pretty nice at 1.71. But the PEG is the PEG of my heart (YUCK).

Yahoo reports 17.15 million shares outstanding with 6.10 million shares that float. Currently, there are a grand total, as of 1/8/04, of 19,000 shares out short, which represents only 0.31% of the float, but due to the thin trading volume of this stock, still is a short ratio of 2.111.

As an added bonus, the company pays a small dividend of $.24/share (which is being raised) yielding 1.24%.
A stock dividend was recently declared on 1/27/04.

I do like this stock a lot. I do not have any cash to buy a position but would be thinking about it if I were ready to buy something. The valuation is nice, the company even pays a dividend, recently reported OUTSTANDING financial results, and is spinnning off free cash while having enough cash to pay of all of its liaibilities and still have more current assets left over.

Thanks again for stopping by. If you have any questions, comments, or words of encouragement, please feel free to post them right here or email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com

Regards!

Bob


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