Author: Level13

Competitive advantage period (CAP) — Part 3

By: Level13 The CAP for the U.S. stock market, as a whole, is estimated to be between 10 and15 years. However, within that aggregate, individual company CAPs can vary from 0-2 years to over 20 years. As a general rule, companies with low multiples tend to have shorter CAPs. Alternatively, companies with high multiples typically have long CAPs. For example, companies like Microsoft and Coca-Cola have CAPs well in excess of 20 years, demonstrating their perceived market dominance, the sustainability of high returns, and the market’s willingness to take the long view. If a substantial percentage of the value...

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Competitive advantage period (CAP) — Part 2

By: Level13 Competitive advantage period (CAP) is the time during which a company is expected to generate returns on incremental investment that exceed its cost of capital. Economic theory suggests that competitive forces will drive returns down to the cost of capital over time. If a company earns above market required returns, it will attract competitors that will accept lower returns, eventually driving industry returns lower. The notion of CAP has been around for some time; nonetheless, not much attention has been paid to it in the valuation literature. The equation can be summarized as follows: Value = (NOPAT/WACC)...

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Competitive advantage period (CAP) — Part 1

By: Level13 In 1991, Barrie Wigmore, a Goldman Sachs limited partner, released a study that attempted to determine what factors drove the stock market’s above-average returns in the decade of the 1980s. After carefully accounting for earnings growth, interest rate declines, M&A activity and analysts’ rosy forecasts, it appeared a full 38% of the shareholder value created in the 1980s remained unexplained. Dubbed the “X” factor, this mysterious driver of value left Wigmore and the Wall Street Journal, which published a feature article on the study, at a loss. Given overwhelming evidence of well-functioning capital markets, it appears completely...

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Economic Value Added (EVA) Ratio

By: Level13 Economic Value Added (EVA) is a frequently used ratio by investors from developed market economies. The basic idea of this formula is based on the foundation that the main goal of a company is to maximize profit. However it does not mean book profit (the difference between revenues and costs) but economical profit. The difference between economical and book profit is that economical profit is the difference between revenues and economical costs, which are book costs and opportunity costs. Opportunity costs are presented by the amount of money lost by not putting available sources (like capital, labor,...

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What is Competitive Advantage?

By: Level13 The true definition i got from the internet for competitive advantage is as follows: An advantage that a firm has over its competitors, allowing it to generate greater sales or margins and/or retain more customers than its competition. Competitive advantages give a company an edge over its rivals and an ability to generate greater value for the firm and its shareholders. The more sustainable the competitive advantage, the more difficult it is for competitors to neutralize the advantage. There are two main types of competitive advantages: comparative advantage and differential advantage. Comparative advantage, or cost advantage, is...

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Acquiring a business – How not to do it (China Powerplus case)

By: Level13 Investors need to evaluate motives for a merger in order to asses whether the newly formed entity is likely to create long-term value or not. There are numerous questions concerning motives for any merger that need to be asked and answered when evaluating the new company. Among others, investors need to know if a merger makes sense and what are the chances of the new company making it in the tough world of capital markets. On 15 January 2008, it was announced that JGL shall sell and Powerplus shall buy 50% of the fully paid ordinary shares...

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Realization-of-value problem

By: Level13 What kind of business do you want to own? Investors out there know that identifying what to invest in is a mind-challenging event. There is no better reward than seeing our money appreciate based on our own decisions and conviction. We are taught by the grandmasters (Buffett, Fisher) that one should only invest in businesses that have superior economics and selling for the right price. But what is a desirable purchase? There is no business that is perpetually bad. Stock prices do not go down forever. With that in mind, most businesses were possible candidates for investment...

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