I got interested in this company after Vijay kedia bought some stake. So,I decided to do study the company.
This is part of Ramco group of companies. It has a stable Aviation and ERP business. They themselves have accepted that growth in aviation business is difficult for them. So, I expect more or less stable revenue form them as in case of software businesses which are difficult to replace.
Their HCM business is their growth engine as they have mentioned in their concall. This can be evident by growth in their business of payrolls. They claim to have a multi country payroll system with no competitors and have added many big clients in last few years. They have added a big 4 as their client recently and are working towards entering US payroll market which is the biggest in the world. Revenues are diversified but APAC region provides (excluding India which is 21%) around 41% of revenue… They have an unexecuted order book of 166 Million USD which gives revenue visibility for a few years. And looking at fact sheet, they add around an average of 10-15 customers every quarter since past few years (I have no idea how many customers they lose every quarter).
So, the bull case thesis according to me is that in IT businesses after an inflection point in revenue, profit margins increase dramatically as very little incremental capital is required to generate more revenue. So, as of now company is priced below book value, low market cap and low valuations. Couple that with growth, PE rerating and increasing margins, this can be a great investment. But there is a massive red flag according to me.
Trade receivables are constantly increasing which is usually not the case in a software/IT company. If one looks at other expenses figure in the annual report of previous 5 years, bad debts and provision for bad debts comes to be 12, 18, 45, 22 and 26 Cr respectively. They have lost more than 100 Cr in last 5 years alone and these write-offs are a regular occurrence. Also, it spent 41 Cr on travelling and conveyance expenses last year which seems high for an IT company making revenue of around 550 Cr. For the past 5 years, it has been making around 15-20 Cr in net profits. Free cash flow has also been terrible but as they are constantly expanding, I don’t have much complaints regarding that. But with constant bad debt write offs, either they are repeatedly taking many subpar clients or there is some corporate mis-governance (I might be completely wrong here but can’t wrap my head around it). Aviation companies similar to it such as Accelya don’t have much write offs or trade receivables. So, this is a big deterrent for me.
On the positive side, the management won a few awards at payroll conferences and directors don’t take much salary which is commendable. Although their top executives are earning good amounts, which is normal for attracting top talent in a IT firm. Their language in concall was also impressive, where they seemed honest about their previous mistakes and lessons learnt, which is rare in case of Indian companies.
The management themselves stated in concall that their company in massively undervalued but they have only bought share worth around 70 lakh since February which although not small but certainly not big enough for the promoter group. It can be a great investment considering growth prospects, stable business and depressed valuations but some issues need to be addressed by the management to the shareholders.
Disclosure: Not invested. But interested to learn more. Will be happy for some feedback or mistakes pointed out in my thesis.