Corporate: Have you heard of Cardno? They’re an infrastructure small cap expecting $60m earnings
Link copied to
As the financial year winds down, we have reported small caps making money in a wide variety of ways. This has ranged from selling almonds to selling used cars or even cleaning up after floods and hail storms.
Today, Queensland infrastructure stock Cardno (ASX: CDD) has told shareholders it expects earnings before interest, tax and depreciation to be $60m.
While it admitted the Asia Pacific division had underperformed, the results were better from the Americas and recently acquired engineering subsidiaries Raba Kistner and TGM.
The business was founded by ex-US army engineer engineer Gerry Cardno in 1945. The company claims, “We were instrumental in Queensland’s development during the post-war boom”.
It constructed dams, bridges, roads and water plants throughout the state.
Cardno listed in 2012 and has made several acquisitions since then. However it is only a small cap, with a market capitalisation of $404m.
The company’s project portfolio includes a Sydney Olympic Park apartment block, an analysis report for a high rise bridge in Virginia and a remapping of the floodplain boundaries for Nevadan lakes.
The FY19 result is in line with Cardno’s predictions, made when the company released its half yearly results.
Chairman Michael Ascher said, “the company is operationally and financially in the strongest position it has been in the past three years, and we believe there is a solid basis for both revenue and EBITDA growth in the medium term.”
According to one expert, the infrastructure sector is looking a lot like the mining sector did right before it took off back in 2009.
“In the first half, and actually more recently, a lot of the companies exposed to this sector have seen delays and weather impacts, but all that’s done has pushed the work into next financial year,” said Andrew Smith, head of smaller companies & micro caps/head of research for investment firm Perennial Value Management.
“The work hasn’t gone away; the actual pipeline has got bigger. There’s unprecedented work.”
This is thanks to a government-funded East Coast infrastructure boom that is expected to run for the next four years at least.
“It feels a lot like the start of the mining boom did in 2009 and I think we’re here now in the infrastructure space,” Smith told Stockhead last month.
While it was a quiet morning in news, there were several substantial holder movements. Among the buys, Viburnum Funds Management took its stake in media platform GTN (ASX: GTN) to 19 per cent, buying another $2.3m in shares. Regal Funds Management became substantial holders in Capitol Health (ASX: CAJ), buying $8.6m this month and IOOF topped up its stake in Alliance Aviation (ASX: AQZ) to 7.61 per cent after spending $3.4m.
Among the sellers, Kingfisher Capital sold out of Galena Mining (ASX: G1A) after just two months as substantial holders. The shares, which represent 6.85 per cent of the company, were sold to New Zealand investor Timothy Roberts. Also, IOOF reduced its stake in Imdex (ASX: IMD) to 10.40 per cent, having sold $5.9m shares.
Shareholders of lithium developer Lepidico (ASX: LPD) signed off on the acquisition of Desert Line. After 99.22 per cent of shareholders agreed, the transaction will occur in mid-July. Lepidico also announced operations at its pilot plant were temporarily suspended last night due to filter cloth degradations. However, the company estimated it would resume within 24 hours, once new parts were installed, and operating costs were not expected to be impacted.