My Earning Season - ABMD

ABMD reported today. This MF article was on the Yahoo news board so it’s obviously public and I’ll quote from it, shortening a bit as I go:

Although investors abandoned their Abiomed positions, it’s hard not to like the company’s results or its fiscal guidance. Abiomed saw its revenue jump by 47% to $76 million. A lot of the spike in sales came from increasing adoption of Abiomed’s Impella line-up of heart pumps, including the Impella 2.5, which won FDA approval for use in certain high-risk heart procedures earlier this year. That led to U.S. sales increasing 59% to $66.7 million, due to a 48% increase in patient use.

Importantly, a greater proportion of sales coming from newer products helped the company deliver gross margin of 84.1% compared to 81.5% a year ago, which contributed to operating income growing to 16.8% of sales from 8% last year. In the quarter, GAAP net income totaled $7.7 million, or 17 cents per share, which was up from $3.8 million, or 9 cents, last year.

Abiomed also raised their full year revenue outlook to between $305 million and $315 million, an increase that comes after the company already upped its outlook last quarter to between $300 million and $310 million from its prior outlook for sales of between $285 million and $295 million. They also believe that margins will improve to at least 15%, up from at least 14% this fiscal year, and that suggests that earnings should come in ahead of internal projections too.…

Thus, revenues up 47% and GAAP EPS up 89% (I can’t tell what their real earnings are yet as they haven’t submitted their SEC documents, and they remain about the only company in the US that doesn’t include their adjusted figures). My rough guess gives them a PE of 56 and a rate of growth of trailing earnings of just over 100%. I bought some today at $69, and that brings them to about 4% of my portfolio, figuring in the drop in price and the new shares.

Excluding AMZN, which is doing its own thing, and ABMD, for which I don’t have any accurate figures, looking at the other five stocks that have reported (SKX, INBK, CNC, INFN, SNCR), and which represent about 46% of my portfolio, their:

Average PE is 20.3
Average increase of this quarter’s earnings vs. the year-ago quarter is 54.8%
Average increase of 12-month trailing earnings vs. 12-month trailing earnings a year-ago is 92.2%

While that gives an average 1YPEG of 0.22, the fact that the average increase of this quarters earnings (55%) was less than the average increase of the 12- month trailing earnings (92%), would indicate that the earnings growth rate is slowing down (which is what you’d certainly expect, of course) and the increases in the 12-month trailing earnings will be lower in the future (which is what you’d expect, as well. It’s the Law of Big Numbers: they don’t grow as fast as small numbers).

Here are the four stocks which had previously reported:

AMZN reported revenues up 23%. As I told you when I indicated I was starting a position in AMZN, there’s no point in trying to follow earnings. What I decided to follow was trailing 12-month operating cash flow per share (instead of trailing 12-month net earnings per share). I figured this was as close to a similar figure as I could get, and I do realize that it’s untaxed. Here’s what it looks like:

Mar 2014: 	        $11.12
Jun 2014: 	        $11.10
Sep 2014:		$11.87
Dec 2014:		$14.16
Mar 2015:		$16.23
Jun 2015:		$18.40
Sep 2014:	 	$20.04 

As you see, this quarter’s trailing value of $20.04 was up 69% from the $11.87 a year ago. Now I know that someone linked to a post by someone who felt that AMZN had no right to call it Cash Flow because they weren’t including and excluding the correct things. I really don’t care because as long as whatever they are measuring is up 69% from a year ago it’s going in the correct direction. Rapidly. (I can’t figure out what Amazon is doing anyway).

For those who care, the “PE” figured by dividing the close by the trailing op cash flow per share, is 30.4, which considering that it isn’t real earnings and is untaxed, is certainly high. Just saying. I’m not sure AMZN will ever be cheap. They are one of my smallest positions in the range of 1.5%

INBK will be quicker. Their earnings were 51 cents, up 82% from 28 cents a year ago, but a bit of a sequential slow down in growth rate from the last couple of quarters that grew over 100%. Trailing earnings are $1.79, up 118% from 82 cents a year ago. Their efficiency ration was down (which is good) to 0.61 from 0.76 a year ago. The PE is about 17.6, which seems a little low for a company growing earnings at 118%.

With BOFI mostly gone, INBK is now my 3rd biggest position, in the range of 12%. Who would have thought it?

SKX has been discussed at length, but, for a quick summary: Revenue up 27%, I figured Earnings at 49 cents up 29% from 38 cents. I added back the short-term legal expenses but not the foreign exchange translation losses or the advance rent payments (which are real rent, after all, and now won’t come out of a future quarter). I figure their trailing earnings at $1.56 (feel free to disagree), which gives them a rate of growth of trailing earnings of 73% from 90 cents a year ago, and a PE of 20.4.

After the drop they are my second largest position in the range of 16.5%. I added a bunch on Friday at $29.88 and a tiny bit more today.

CNC’s merger with Health Net was just approved by both sets of stockholders. Their adjusted earnings were 84 cents, up 37% from 61 cents a year ago. Their revenue growth seems remarkable (without the big merger which takes effect next year). Here’s how I’ve recorded it (in billions). Note that those aren’t annual gains, they are sequential quarterly gains.

Mar 2014: 	        $3.4
Jun 2014: 	        $3.7
Sep 2014:		$4.2
Dec 2014:		$4.4
Mar 2015:		$4.8
Jun 2015:		$5.2
Sep 2014:		$5.8

Trailing earnings are $2.97, up 64% from $1.81 a year ago. PE is 19.5 which is obviously low for a company growing so fast and probably represents concern about the integration of the merger as well as worry about political risk. This is a small position for me, in the range of 1.5%.

INFN reported great results. Earnings up 100% from 11 cents to 22 cents. Trailing earnings of 69 cents, up 176% from 25 cents. Revenue up 34%. Operating margins of 14.4%, up 67% from 8.6%. Their PE is 26.5. You don’t get results much better than this!

SNCRis a slower grower but did just fine. Revenue up 21% with its more rapidly growing cloud services revenue up 31% and its legacy business up 11%. Earnings were 58 cents, up 26% from 46 cents. Trailing earnings were $2.16, up 29% from $1.67 a year ago. Their PE is 17.5. They established an alliance with Goldman Sachs to go into the mobility enterprise business.


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For some reason, I am reminded of Edward Life Sciences, also in the heart business. They were a high flying growth stock that I followed thru IBD and then one day something bad happened, I think lawsuits. They stock plummeted from around $110 to the low 60s. It took about 2 years to reach the old highs and today is around $155.

here is the Yahoo 5 chart if the link works, just go to Yahoo finance and click on the 5y chart for EW.{“range”:“5y”,“allowChartStacking”:true}

For ABMD it was a case of the jitters from slowing earnings, another among many examples of people ready to flee when a company sneezes. This says something about the market - it is not strong. It is going up, the big liquid stocks are going up, but the small growth stocks are like old chewing gum, tossed out as soon as the flavor fades. I am sanguine on ABMD and had only recently started a “trial” position, so will will add a tiny bit more here and there. Don’t feel the need to bet the house as I am confident we won’t get a rocketship back up to highs.

A little mouse nibbling on the cheese.


I have the same feeling PuddinHead42.

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I think the whole problem with ABMD (in which I do not have a holding but am now watching) is the unknown future growth rate. Therein lies the risk. The parameters are so wide the market is spooked by uncertainty. In addition, the rapid growth has given rise to some unusual figures (eg ROIC) where the question is, while they have brought the company into my field of interest, whether they can be sustained.

I think the next 3 years growth rate will be between 20 and 30. That makes a difference, or it does if you use ratios relative to the generation of FCF and the margins and returns on its deployment which is my preferred self-imposed discipline.

If it continues to fall, there may be a gamble worth taking (Edwards was one I followed too). But, like all stocks brought up on this board, you only have to look at P/S to see the risk you run.

A good night’s sleep is a pf of cos. with pricing power, without debt, earning nicely and with P/S < 1.5! Might be time to be flexible and take a look! Maybe the times, they are, a’changing tra la.

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For ABMD it was a case of the jitters from slowing earnings, another among many examples of people ready to flee when a company sneezes. This says something about the market - it is not strong.

I don’t see this as a market that is not strong. I see it as a market controlled by (a larger amount of) Traders and Trading computers vs (a lessor amount of) Investors. Rob


Strelna - I like your formula of pricing power, no debt, good earnings and low P/S (less than 1.5). Looking at my portfolio of usual suspects at MF, I find very few companies though that have a P/S less than 1.5. Certainly, there seem to be certain industries in which that just doesn’t happen, although in these industries, you can compare the P/S to the average P/S for the industry and see if your company is high or low on that metric. For example, according to the Fidelity site, PLAY has a TTM P/S of 1.93, but the industry average for Hotels, Restaurants and Leisure is 3.24. SBUX has a TTM P/S of 4.87, so it is above the industry average. CASY has a TTM P/S of .55, but the industry average for Food & Staples Retailing is .66.

Does your formula lead you to steer clear of certain industries? What are some of your holdings that meet your P/S and other criteria? I want to sleep at night too, so have become curious.



Macculloch, low P/S is not my formula. I am wondering if it should be. My formula is everal ratios relative to FCF. It works, but delivers too few companies.

Trying to find GARP is always a work in progress and I feel an investor has to be flexible with the times. I am looking to reduce risk. I am studying what I can make out of the investment by HFMDX. One disadvantage I can see at once is high turnover (= tax) but the success is interesting. The website explains the investment process but when I run some screens, I find unsurmountable faults with most of the company-results.

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