IMF Australia (IMF) and IMF convertible notes (IMFG)

Discussion in 'Stocks & Derivatives' started by Bargain Hunter, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. Bargain Hunter

    Bargain Hunter Member

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    I have had a quick look at IMF Australia (IMF) recently. It is Australia's largest listed litigation funding company. It is an extremely profitable business albeit with lumpy and somewhat unpredictable earnings. It has raised capital this year which it has yet to put to use to fully fund the upcoming pipeline of cases which seems to be building nicely. It definitely has momentum in terms of building its case book. It also has an outstanding win to loss ratio for it's cases. Due to good management It is very good at exiting unpromising cases early thereby preserving it's funds and maximizing returns. It's a good dividend payer, has a strong balance sheet, appears reasonably well managed and looks to be trading at a discount to intrinsic value. i will definitely take a closer look when I get a chance.

    I think the main long-term risk to the business is increased competition. Right now there is some competition but not a lot yet. It is a commodity business which almost anyone with $50 million to $100 million dollars can enter and compete effectively against IMF. Once scale is achieved the profitability and margins are incredible. Hence in the long-term given the limited barriers to entry expect to see more competition and margins coming under substantial pressure. This is why despite the attractive financials you would want a large discount to intrinsic value before buying. At $1.20 or below (currently trading around $1.40-$1.50) I believe the margin of safety i.e. the discount to intrinsic value (pending confirmation after further research) is large enough to compensate for the risk.

    The convertible notes they issued which have a 4 year term and made there first payment (the payments I think are monthly if I remember correctly) in December. The directors bought heavily into the issue of the convertible notes which look to be good value. If I'm not mistaken they pay a yield of 10.25% of face value with an option to convert straight to ordinary shares (for no extra payment) at the end of the 4 year term. The face value is $1.65 and they are currently trading at around $1.75. This still represents a yield of over 9.6% at the current price along with the conversion option. this is a highly attractive yield for a company which currently has a large amount of net cash on its balance sheet. Although presumably the net cash position will reduce as the funds are put to work to fund the extensive pipeline of new cases. Nonetheless the balance sheet is likely to remain very strong for the foreseeable future.

    I would like to hear others opinions about the company. I don't know a lot about it but have done some initial basic research and will look more closely into it in future. I am especially interested if anyone has any scuttlebutt on the company.
     

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