How do we separate the big movers in the market like EASI today that closed at $54.77 up $7.95 or 16.98% from the 'flash in the pan' kind of stock move or a stock that may be making part of a long-term appreciation? That is what this weblog is all about. Trying to separate the wheat from the chaff...trying to figure out if a stock that pops is for real and maybe just maybe will even be higher priced six months from now. I think we are onto something but I will let you be the judge.
Engineered Suport System (EASI), according to money.cnn.com, "...is a designer & manufacturer of military support equipment and electronics for the U.S. armed forces. EASI also engineers and manufactures air handling & heat transfer equipment, material handling equipment and custom molded plastic products for commercial and industrial products."
This stock made a big move, as do many on our list, due to an earnings announcement today. Per NYTimes on the web, for the third quarter ending July 31, 2003, EASI reported revenue growth of 46% or $155.7 million vs $106.6 million last year. In addition, net earnings for the quarter increased 67% to $12.4 million or $.72/diluted share vs. $6.9 million or $.43/diluted share in 2002.
Looking at Morningstar.com, we find that revenue growth is not a NEW thing for this company. In 1998, EASI had $97.0 million in revenue, $165.3 million in 1999, $335.3 million in 2000, $365.2 million in 2001 and $407.9 million in 2002. Extrapolating the current quarter would give us about $600 million in 2003.
Free cash flow has improved recently per Morningstar with $17 million in 2000, $16 million in 2001, $51 million in 2002 and $69 million in free cash flow in the trailing twelve months.
Assets and Liabilities are fairly well balanced, although we have seen prettier picture on other entries, with $14.9 million in cash and $83.1 million in other current assets. This is balanced by $84.5 million in current liabilities and $35.1 million in long-term debt. With the nice positive free cash flow, these levels should not be a problem on my superficial examination. But I let you, as always, the reader make your own determination.
Yahoo.com shows that the market cap for EASI is a moderate $754.9 million with 16.1 million shares outstanding and 14.1 million of them that float. The stock has a 1.5 for 1.0 split on November, 2002, but no cash dividend is paid. The price/easrnings is a reasonable (to me) 24.32 and the price/sales is at 1.66 suggesting a reasonable valuation. There are 949,000 shares out short representing 5.52 days of trading activity.
I like EASI but do not at this time own any shares. The p/e is reasonable, the growth is steady and strong, the free cash flow picture is beautiful but the liabilities are a little bit high relative to assets...but that in itself appears to be a minor imperfection. This might well be a stock to purchase!
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