CCA INDUSTRIES INC CAW
August 02, 2009 - 11:00pm EST by
chuck307
2009 2010
Price: 3.75 EPS $0.25 $0.30
Shares Out. (in M): 7 P/E 15.0x 12.5x
Market Cap (in M): 26 P/FCF 15.0x 12.5x
Net Debt (in M): 0 EBIT 3 4
TEV: 9 TEV/EBIT 3.2x 2.6x

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Description

 CCA Industries - CAW - $3.75/share, 7.05 million shares outstanding

The Business:

CCA Industries is a small consumer company.  It makes low-end branded toothpaste, supplements and beauty products.  As a low-end brand in product segments that do not tend to face generic pressure, CCA is itself, in essence, the generic offering.  A variety of CCA's products can be found in most grocery, drug and supercenter stores.  CCA has no sellside analyst coverage.  It was previously written up on VIC in December 2004 and May 2006, both at much higher prices ($11.24 and $9.59/share, respectively).

The Situation:

I actually was accepted into VIC by writing up CCA almost seven years ago when it traded for $1.80, had $1.50 of net cash and generated annual excess cash greater than the enterprise value.  Today CCA is in a similar position.

With 7.05 million shares outstanding, its market cap is approximately $26.4 million.  It has $17.4 million of cash and marketable securities and zero debt (that equates to $2.46 of net cash per share).  In fact, its net working capital is $26.7 million, or equal to the market cap.* 

In essence, the market values the business of CCA at somewhere between $9 million and zero.

There are plenty of good justifications for businesses to be worth zero or, in fact, less.  However, CCA is not that sort of business.  It has recurring revenue, is profitable and has been for many years, it pays most of its earnings out quarterly in dividends, and has virtually no requirements for incremental capital investment.  While everything is not perfect (e.g., there's no need for the company to hold all of its cash on the balance sheet, management is overpaid, etc.), I take the view that owners at prevailing prices are well compensated for CCA's blemishes.

In the first half of 2009, CCA generated EBIT of $1.4 million, which in CCA's case approximates pre-tax free cash flow.  After a generic 40% tax rate, that is approximately $0.8 million of FCF or $1.6 million annualized.  $1.6 million equates to $0.23/share of annual FCF. Assuming an enterprise value of $9 million, the company trades for 3.2x EV/EBIT and 5.6x EV/FCF.  I believe this is a reasonable downside case (though not worst case) for ongoing profitability.

Virtually the entire first half's profit was generated in the Feb. 28th - May 31st quarter (the fiscal second quarter).  That is an important statement for two reasons: 1) this past January, the stock got crushed when CCA disclosed that Wal-Mart would no longer carry its Plus+White brands of oral care (a $6 million annualized revenue hit), meaning that the Q2 numbers reflected much of the Wal-Mart damage; and 2) Q2 was a fairly challenging time for consumer oriented businesses in general.  Thus, it is quite possible that the second quarter's level of cash flow is the new normalized stream.  If that is the case, the company will generate in excess of $0.40/share of annual FCF.  While that would be a "nice to have" it certainly is not a "need to have" for today's price to be attractive.

During the second fiscal quarter, CCA generated sales of $14.6 million, down from $17.3 last year.  $1.0-1.5 million of the $2.65 million decline can obviously be assessed to the Wal-Mart decision and the balance to general consumer softness.  In response, CCA acted aggressively on the cost side by reducing quarterly expenses year over year by $2.5 million, almost fully offsetting the decline in revenue ($0.8 million was COGS, $0.7 million SGA, $0.9 million advertising and marketing). 

The Owners and Management:

Insiders - defined by me as Berman and the Edell's - own 21% of the business.  Costa Brava (an event driven small and microcap hedge fund) run by Seth Hamot owns another 8% and had a seat on the board which he recently relinquished.  David Edell (age 76) and Ira Berman (77) also own 100% of the A-shares which differ in that they are super-voting and thus give those two effective control.  As such, they run CCA like a family business.  David Edell's two sons - Dunnan and Drew - manage the business day to day.  While sons Dunnan and Drew are paid quite well, their compensation seems at least close to fair.  However, David Edell (the father) and Ira Berman are both egregiously well paid given the small size of the business.  They each make over $1 million per year ($1.3 million each, last year).  This extra $2.6 million of compensation should be eyed lustily by some private equity shop somewhere as it is 80% of the FCF I expect the business will earn this year.  If run more purely for shareholders and even half of that compensation were recovered each year for owners, it would obviously add enormously to business value (I'd guess $8 million to 20 million of incremental market cap, depending on how much could be taken out).

Even though I mentioned private equity, I do not expect a takeout.  In late 2006/early 2007 Dubilier & Co. actually agreed to take CCA private for around $12/share (A shares were to receive $14.50 and B shares $12.00).  The deal ultimately fell through when Dubilier exercised a financing contingency (and, in your author's humble opinion, they probably recognized they were paying a full price!).  Given both David Edell and Ira Berman are getting on in their years, I guess it would not shock me if they tried again to sell the company. 

Ira's simple metric for acquiring other businesses/product lines has been: cash + 1.5x sales = a full price to pay.  Applying the same methodology to CCA would be $17.4 million of net cash + ($56 million sales x 1.5) = $101 million.  Given 7.05 million shares outstanding, that would equal $14.33 per share (almost exactly what he was to receive for his super-voting A shares...).  So, I'm a bit skeptical we see a deal...but you never know.  In any case, even if you disagree vehemently with Berman's valuation technique, there is a lot of room between $3.75 and $14.33. 

The Valuation:

With a rock solid balance sheet and a proven responsiveness to top line weakness, I believe CCA is well positioned to survive the current storm and generate an attractive total return as the market comes to realize that the Company is generating plenty of cash.  In the meantime, the patient owner will collect a $0.28 annual dividend which equates to a 7.5% dividend yield at today's price.

Most people like price targets.  I am not one of those people. 

My simple minded view is that I'm basically paying hard asset liquidation value, receiving a reasonable dividend and getting the franchise for free.  The franchise earns somewhere between $0.20 and $0.50/year in FCF over a cycle.  Using even a fairly onerous discount rate, in combination with the balance sheet I feel confident you will come out with a value that substantially exceeds today's market price.  Happily, even if that estimation of value is massively optimistic, today's share price is well supported by the balance sheet.

The Risks:

  • Microcap that has been flattened many times and has every reason to stay hated;
  • Tremendously overpaid, aging controlling shareholders that may not care about us;
  • Management gets regular, substantial raises despite a shrinking (or non-growing) business;
  • Loss of the Plus+White Wal-Mart business may be the tip of the iceberg. Perhaps other big accounts decide to retrench and focus only on core brands;
  • We are in the midst of the worst (only?) consumer driven recession in my lifetime.

The Catalysts:

Value is its own catalyst - CCA Industries is a business that generates ample free cash flow and has a rock solid balance sheet, allowing you to own the business of CCA for next to nothing.  Getting paid 7.5% to wait could be worse too.  If the company reports its August quarter akin to its May quarter, it will make the company screen remarkably cheap.

 

* Note: for both the cash and working capital calculations, I've included Marketable Securities even though they are not categorized as "Current Assets".  These are generally liquid and well marked (other than one auction rate security issued by the New Jersey State Higher Education Assistance Authority carried at $400,000 that has a face of $500,000).  This is also important because that $2.2 million (or 8.5% of the market cap) is generally excluded from value screens as part of the business's cash.

Catalyst

Value is its own catalyst - CCA Industries is a business that generates ample free cash flow and has a rock solid balance sheet, allowing you to own the business of CCA for next to nothing.  Getting paid 7.5% to wait could be worse too.  If the company reports its August quarter akin to its May quarter, it will make the company screen remarkably cheap.

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    Description

     CCA Industries - CAW - $3.75/share, 7.05 million shares outstanding

    The Business:

    CCA Industries is a small consumer company.  It makes low-end branded toothpaste, supplements and beauty products.  As a low-end brand in product segments that do not tend to face generic pressure, CCA is itself, in essence, the generic offering.  A variety of CCA's products can be found in most grocery, drug and supercenter stores.  CCA has no sellside analyst coverage.  It was previously written up on VIC in December 2004 and May 2006, both at much higher prices ($11.24 and $9.59/share, respectively).

    The Situation:

    I actually was accepted into VIC by writing up CCA almost seven years ago when it traded for $1.80, had $1.50 of net cash and generated annual excess cash greater than the enterprise value.  Today CCA is in a similar position.

    With 7.05 million shares outstanding, its market cap is approximately $26.4 million.  It has $17.4 million of cash and marketable securities and zero debt (that equates to $2.46 of net cash per share).  In fact, its net working capital is $26.7 million, or equal to the market cap.* 

    In essence, the market values the business of CCA at somewhere between $9 million and zero.

    There are plenty of good justifications for businesses to be worth zero or, in fact, less.  However, CCA is not that sort of business.  It has recurring revenue, is profitable and has been for many years, it pays most of its earnings out quarterly in dividends, and has virtually no requirements for incremental capital investment.  While everything is not perfect (e.g., there's no need for the company to hold all of its cash on the balance sheet, management is overpaid, etc.), I take the view that owners at prevailing prices are well compensated for CCA's blemishes.

    In the first half of 2009, CCA generated EBIT of $1.4 million, which in CCA's case approximates pre-tax free cash flow.  After a generic 40% tax rate, that is approximately $0.8 million of FCF or $1.6 million annualized.  $1.6 million equates to $0.23/share of annual FCF. Assuming an enterprise value of $9 million, the company trades for 3.2x EV/EBIT and 5.6x EV/FCF.  I believe this is a reasonable downside case (though not worst case) for ongoing profitability.

    Virtually the entire first half's profit was generated in the Feb. 28th - May 31st quarter (the fiscal second quarter).  That is an important statement for two reasons: 1) this past January, the stock got crushed when CCA disclosed that Wal-Mart would no longer carry its Plus+White brands of oral care (a $6 million annualized revenue hit), meaning that the Q2 numbers reflected much of the Wal-Mart damage; and 2) Q2 was a fairly challenging time for consumer oriented businesses in general.  Thus, it is quite possible that the second quarter's level of cash flow is the new normalized stream.  If that is the case, the company will generate in excess of $0.40/share of annual FCF.  While that would be a "nice to have" it certainly is not a "need to have" for today's price to be attractive.

    During the second fiscal quarter, CCA generated sales of $14.6 million, down from $17.3 last year.  $1.0-1.5 million of the $2.65 million decline can obviously be assessed to the Wal-Mart decision and the balance to general consumer softness.  In response, CCA acted aggressively on the cost side by reducing quarterly expenses year over year by $2.5 million, almost fully offsetting the decline in revenue ($0.8 million was COGS, $0.7 million SGA, $0.9 million advertising and marketing). 

    The Owners and Management:

    Insiders - defined by me as Berman and the Edell's - own 21% of the business.  Costa Brava (an event driven small and microcap hedge fund) run by Seth Hamot owns another 8% and had a seat on the board which he recently relinquished.  David Edell (age 76) and Ira Berman (77) also own 100% of the A-shares which differ in that they are super-voting and thus give those two effective control.  As such, they run CCA like a family business.  David Edell's two sons - Dunnan and Drew - manage the business day to day.  While sons Dunnan and Drew are paid quite well, their compensation seems at least close to fair.  However, David Edell (the father) and Ira Berman are both egregiously well paid given the small size of the business.  They each make over $1 million per year ($1.3 million each, last year).  This extra $2.6 million of compensation should be eyed lustily by some private equity shop somewhere as it is 80% of the FCF I expect the business will earn this year.  If run more purely for shareholders and even half of that compensation were recovered each year for owners, it would obviously add enormously to business value (I'd guess $8 million to 20 million of incremental market cap, depending on how much could be taken out).

    Even though I mentioned private equity, I do not expect a takeout.  In late 2006/early 2007 Dubilier & Co. actually agreed to take CCA private for around $12/share (A shares were to receive $14.50 and B shares $12.00).  The deal ultimately fell through when Dubilier exercised a financing contingency (and, in your author's humble opinion, they probably recognized they were paying a full price!).  Given both David Edell and Ira Berman are getting on in their years, I guess it would not shock me if they tried again to sell the company. 

    Ira's simple metric for acquiring other businesses/product lines has been: cash + 1.5x sales = a full price to pay.  Applying the same methodology to CCA would be $17.4 million of net cash + ($56 million sales x 1.5) = $101 million.  Given 7.05 million shares outstanding, that would equal $14.33 per share (almost exactly what he was to receive for his super-voting A shares...).  So, I'm a bit skeptical we see a deal...but you never know.  In any case, even if you disagree vehemently with Berman's valuation technique, there is a lot of room between $3.75 and $14.33. 

    The Valuation:

    With a rock solid balance sheet and a proven responsiveness to top line weakness, I believe CCA is well positioned to survive the current storm and generate an attractive total return as the market comes to realize that the Company is generating plenty of cash.  In the meantime, the patient owner will collect a $0.28 annual dividend which equates to a 7.5% dividend yield at today's price.

    Most people like price targets.  I am not one of those people. 

    My simple minded view is that I'm basically paying hard asset liquidation value, receiving a reasonable dividend and getting the franchise for free.  The franchise earns somewhere between $0.20 and $0.50/year in FCF over a cycle.  Using even a fairly onerous discount rate, in combination with the balance sheet I feel confident you will come out with a value that substantially exceeds today's market price.  Happily, even if that estimation of value is massively optimistic, today's share price is well supported by the balance sheet.

    The Risks:

    The Catalysts:

    Value is its own catalyst - CCA Industries is a business that generates ample free cash flow and has a rock solid balance sheet, allowing you to own the business of CCA for next to nothing.  Getting paid 7.5% to wait could be worse too.  If the company reports its August quarter akin to its May quarter, it will make the company screen remarkably cheap.

     

    * Note: for both the cash and working capital calculations, I've included Marketable Securities even though they are not categorized as "Current Assets".  These are generally liquid and well marked (other than one auction rate security issued by the New Jersey State Higher Education Assistance Authority carried at $400,000 that has a face of $500,000).  This is also important because that $2.2 million (or 8.5% of the market cap) is generally excluded from value screens as part of the business's cash.

    Catalyst

    Value is its own catalyst - CCA Industries is a business that generates ample free cash flow and has a rock solid balance sheet, allowing you to own the business of CCA for next to nothing.  Getting paid 7.5% to wait could be worse too.  If the company reports its August quarter akin to its May quarter, it will make the company screen remarkably cheap.

    Messages


    SubjectCAW
    Entry08/03/2009 11:24 AM
    Memberchuck307

    Just as an aside, I woke up this morning in a sweat thinking I'd put the dividend yield in wrong.  I guess dreaming about investing is a good thing, all told, but my wife certainly doesn't sympathize!


    SubjectRE: q3 #'s
    Entry10/12/2009 09:47 PM
    Memberchuck307

    Todd,

    The Shadow Knows.

    Honestly, I have no idea how Mr. Market will capitalize the normalized dividend, largely because what the normalized dividend is seems uncertain to me - perhaps something like free cash flow. 

    I think it's reasonable for the company to generate $0.50 - $0.80 per year of excess cash flow, after taxes.  It currently has $2.50+ of net cash on the balance sheet.  It is apparent to me that combo is worth well north of the current $5.10 trading price, which values the enterprise at perhaps 3x - 4x after tax cash flow.

    I think $7-10 is reasonable (not expensive, so perhaps fair to cheap), but, like I said, who knows? 

    Sorry for what I suspect is an unsatisfactory answer.  My general view is that if it seems easy to envision a 10%+ IRR without too many downside cases, then a business is reasonably attractive in most environments.  Today, I can easily envision a 15%-20% IRR for five years and then an "equity like return" thereafter.  There are a lot of upside scenarios beyond that, but I know those are not what you're looking for.

    -Chuck


    SubjectLion / Bulgari 13D
    Entry02/04/2011 06:21 AM
    Memberchuck307
    13d by Lion/bulgari to report 6.3% stake and intention to nominate two people to the board. Wonder if they spoke to Seth Hamot. He accomplished this but felt like his influence was almost nil. 
     
    http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/93859/000092189511000197/sc13d07428018_02012011.htm
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