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#Business Model/Strategy
stale
Added 10 months ago

Further to my Rob Milner comment, I thought I'd share an experience getting funds from a bank in Australia starting with M.

I needed an intro and so I approached a broker in Sydney who said he could put me in front of said bank. I arrived in Sydney, spent 30 secs in this guys office and we walked across the road to M. He kindly introduced me, ....this is Nick,,,,Nick this is ....

This was his total contribution that day and on a second visit.

The manager at M asked me if he could visit my facility in Munich as he was going to be in London the following week. I told him, I'd be happy to meet him there, so flew into Germany and met him at the gate to our facility. The location is inside the EADS head office area in Munich (they own Airbus, Euorpean Space and at the time Eurocopter). When we got to our factory my MD in Germany explained what we were doing. He also introduced him to another guy who regularly wandered in to see how we were going. He was a Vice President of EADS and very enthusiastic.

After 30 mins M bank man said, "Ok, I've seen enough, can you walk me out". On the walk back, I asked him "so, what do you think?". His reply was priceless...."appears the bullshit you told me is all true, come round to my office when you're back and we'll put $6m in". The EADS guy had obviously impressed him.

When I got to Sydney, the broker guy fulfilled his escorting job to help me cross the road, I got the money and the turkey sent me a bill for the intro, 5% = $300,000. Easiest money he ever made and after nearly 20 years still sticks in my throat.

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#Bear Case
stale
Added one year ago

https://hotcopper.com.au/attachments/quickstep-embraces-growing-demand-for-aerospace-composite-manufacturing-at-home-and-abroad-pdf.5314240/

Interesting Stockhead paid chat by QHL. Makes me so glad I sold all my stock over the years. It's gone a long way over the years to being as unloved as it gets. Burgess mentions that when the NPV drops below $100m then some instos will bail, but when they dropped below $50m then the rest of them bailed.

He obviously hasn't been reading the tea leaves as the only time the valuation was over $100m, he wasn't the MD, I was. And I left in 2007ish. Rob Milner and I had a regular chat in Sydney at SOL. He understood where we were going and believed what I told him.

My point is that when you're unloved then your MD needs to sell the sizzle not the sausage and I suspect neither the sausage or even the onion rings have been getting pushed. The lesson for us all is, if your in a stock that the instos lose faith in, then you should follow them out of the door.


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#Sold Out
stale
Added one year ago

Company was "on watch" for me (ie thesis close to being broken). To maintain a position, I required a good 1H result as management had previously stated that H2FY22 had been impacted out of their control and that H1FY23 would essentially be a catch-up half. To continue to hold I required the company would be on track with the previous management guidance for FY23.

Quickstep released a preliminary results announcement today in which the profitability for H1 was negative, with a negative operating cash flow. I had expected both profit and operating cash flow to be positive and a strong turnaround from last half as previously stated by management.

This was on top of an announcement that the CBA debt facility would be expanded to $15 million. I had previously been worried about the debt position of the company so didn't want to see this increase. This is a result of another poor half in my opinion. Unless cash flow turns around to be strongly positive over the next year or so, I don't see how a capital raise won't be required at some point to pay down debt.  

To top it all off management removed guidance for the year so a clear signal they will get nowhere near previous guidance which I didn't think was strenuous. For example, guidance of "PBT improvement on FY22" (which was around $1mil) shouldn't have been hard. My read therefore is management are saying the company will make a loss this year. Thesis required the company to becoming more and more profitable over time which isn't occurring.

As a result of the announcement I have sold out of Quickstep.

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#ASX Announcements
stale
Added one year ago

Quickstep today announced a contract with Dronamics for $4.5-5.5 million worth of work for 10 aircraft in total, on a full cost-reimbursement-plus-fee basis. Work will start in March 23 and first delivery is due in Oct 23. Dronamics is a "cargo drone airline", Quickstep will produce "The Black Swan" which is an unmanned aircraft capable of carrying 350kg of cargo over 2500km.

Positive announcement as this is another case of Quickstep turning MOUs into real contracts, need to see this continue to occur over the next year or so.

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#Update and FY23 Forecast
stale
Added 2 years ago

Today Quickstep released an investor update and FY23 forecast. Notes and comments from the release are below:

  • New "US go to market strategy" including establishing a manufacturing capability in the US. I like this move overall, however, do they have the capital to do this without a dilutive capital raise would be the question?
  • FY23 forecast of results:
  • $100 million revenue
  • Underlying EBITDA = $6.5 million
  • PBT improvement on FY22.
  • The revenue growth comes from the new lines of business that QHL has established over the past few years. A positive sign, however, the revenue growth was an expectation due to the poor H2FY22 result (ie how much is catch up?).
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#FY22 Results Notes
stale
Added 2 years ago

Overall Comment:

The FY22 results were not up to original expectations this time last year. This is a result of COVID, flooding and supply issues. Management emphasis on delays rather than lost revenue which should result in a bumper FY23. This must happen, I consider Quickstep to be on watch for a sell if unable to execute over the next 6-12 months. The very positive recent announcements of actual contracted work rather than the many MOUs that were coming out in previous FYs. Shows management is starting to create additional revenues from the ground work they were doing 1-3 years ago. 


General Notes

  • Financials:
  • Revenue of $86.7 mil - flat.
  • EBIT of $1.4m.
  • NPAT of $786k.
  • NTA per share 27.6c
  • Cash from operating activities $3.3m (down from $7.8m FY21). 
  • Share register could do with a tightening. 1194 holders with 1000 or less shares (ie less than $500 worth at current price) and 2067 with 5000 shares or less, given total number of holders is 4860.

Positives

  • Management have been fair with underlying figures, this FY the underlying figure was lower than statutory and not hidden this.
  • Announcement on 1st September, new orders from an Australian drone company has required the size of its Geelong facility to be doubled to accommodate firm and anticipated demand. Very positive sign for the applied composites segment of the business. The strategic supply agreement with Swoop Aero has increased from $1.4m to $5m. Dronamics was another MOU was another example of a drone related partnership.
  • Investments in Carbonix and Swoop Aero during the period. I like these investments as they could create revenue streams and provide a capital gain upside. I think the manufacture of drone composites is a real growth driver of the business into the future.
  • Recent announcement of up to $195m (of which US$105 is firm) worth of orders over the next 6 years was agreed upon for supply of F-35 centre fuselage parts. This covers 6 lots, previously orders were only in single lots, hopefully a good indication of the confidence that Northrop Grumman has in Quickstep as a supplier. The F-35 is the base of Quickstep's revenues and this agreement provides certainty to income and revenue. Provided all lots covered by the price agreement become firm orders, this will result in around $46m AUD in revenue per a year over the next 6 years (averaged across the period). Note this is for centre fuselage components only. The announcement also confirmed, the vertical tail parts for lots 15 and 16 will provide revenue of just under $33m.


Negatives

  • Quickstep needed to take out an additional loan of $5m to assist with the working capital requirements due to the H2FY22 operational challenges. There is a cash flow issue that has been created by the delays. 
  • Aerostructures segment of the business saw a fall revenue of approximately 32% in Q4FY22 as a result of the operational issues.
  • Operational issues during the second half were due to (previous announcement):
  • Flooding with only superficial damage caused with minor shutdown.
  • Supply chain issues - supplier absenteeism and material shortages.
  • Staff absenteeism from COVID. March had an average absenteeism of 19.6% for direct labour.
  • The operational issues above are disappointing given the previous resilience during other COVID times. It is expected that revenues are delayed rather than lost, this must be followed through on by management in FY23 (especially H1).
  • No presentation? Why? 
  • Loan covenants were technically breached by poor 2H results. Management obtained a waiver until March 2023 for debt service cover and end of FY23 for debt to EBITDA.

Has the thesis been broken?

  • No, but still on watch. The results were poor but indicate that this next half and the FY23 will be a good year as the company catches up with the COVID and supply issue related delays. If this doesn't happen then I must sell. After the last FY results I noted there were a lot announcements but nothing leading to an increase in actual revenues. The recent announcements indicate the partnerships are turning into contracts and revenues. So some progress from that perspective. If I this hadn't occurred I would have likely been selling but from my perspective there is a positive outlook for the next year in terms of financials and growth of the company. Still one to watch carefully. 

What are you expecting and what do you need to see over the next reporting season or generally into the future?

  • Management statements to be executed:
  • Inventory build-up will unwind in FY23.
  • Revenue lost in Q4FY22 is only delayed, therefore 1HFY23 is a significant improvement and a good result.
  • Continued execution of the three-segment strategy with more announcements of actual contracts and for the previously announced work to result in increased revenues and profitability of the company. 


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#Another MOU
stale
Last edited 2 years ago

Quickstep today announced at the Farnborough International Airshow that it will be the first strategic manufacturing partner for Dronamics. Dronamics is a cargo drone company, its current prototype drone named "Black Swan" can carry up to 350kg for up to 2500km. They claim they can do this cheaper than any aircraft can do by 80%. Dronamics recently became the first cargo drone company to obtain a European drone airline licence and is looking to launch their commercial operations in Europe before the end of 2022 and launch in Australia in 2023. The regulatory framework for Dronamics operations is currently limited but a new and evolving area so growth of the business could very much be limited by that.

For Quickstep, yet another partnership to add to the list. However, again it is not substantial in any way at this point. I think the drone space is a perfect application for their Qure technologies/IP. It should be noted that this announcement wasn't made to the ASX to emphasise the material nature being insignificant.


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#ASX Announcements
stale
Added 2 years ago

Quickstep has announced a jointly funded project with Defence (through Defence Science and Technology Group, DMTC), "to identify, analyse and test high temperature materials as a first step towards the development of future hypersonic aerostructures." This project is named Hype-X.

Quickstep will obtain commercialisation rights to any new IP, however, the IP ownership will be retained by DMTC for Australia's defence capability. Technical experts from UNSW will be involved.

Any fruits from this project will most likely be at least 5 years away. Hypersonic missiles are only just coming into service and/or are in flight testing stages for the worlds most advanced militaries. The positive for me as a shareholder out of this announcement is the continued ability of QHL to create such partnerships. There have been quite a few announcements recently of partnerships that could create new opportunities. The question is whether they will eventuate into materially higher profits over the longer term, these types of partnerships may eventuate to nothing or be the next stage of the life of the company. Another positive that could be inferred is the previous board renewal with members with close ties to defence/government may be paying off. The market reaction was positive with a 10% jump in share price (off a low base it must be said).

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Valuation of $0.640
stale
Edited 2 years ago

Simple valuation based on 10x FCF using annualised figure from 1HFY22 results of $4.6 million.

This valuation is a current price target, hopefully will lift with the increasing profitability of the company over time. Valuation is based on a free option on the additional revenue streams through the new areas of the business that have been developed.

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#ASX Announcements
stale
Last edited 2 years ago

See ASX Announcement below my commentary.

Man…What a ride! In my last straw on Quickstep 11 months ago (now stale) titled “Falling dagger or Tripple Bagger” Quickstep was trading at 50 cps (adjusted for a 1:10 consolidation). In the end both scenarios could turn out to be true!

Quickstep continued to be a falling knife eventually hitting the floor at 37 cps after news of a cancelled contract by Boeing.

Then came the tail winds! New contacts, a partnership with a drone company, and today announced a 3 year maintenance contract with Jetstar. Quickstep has learnt to Kite Surf! :)

I gave up on Quickstep on Strawman and sold as the business seemed to be deteriorating. Fortunately, I continued to hold most of my shares IRL and today they are trading at 64 cps following the Jetstar announcement. I’m still in the red on these shares, but getting closer to break even. Aren’t small caps fun! :)

QUICKSTEP AWARDED JETSTAR V2500 ENGINE NACELLE MAINTENANCE CONTRACT

05 April 2022: Quickstep Holdings Limited (ASX: QHL) (Quickstep or the Company) is pleased to announce the award of a significant long-term maintenance contract of the V2500 Engine Nacelle by Jetstar Airways Pty Limited (Jetstar), part of the Qantas Group (ASX: QAN).

The award of this contract to Quickstep demonstrates a high level of trust in the Company and our market leading MRO capability. The contract aligns with the Company strategy of offering innovative aerospace aftermarket solutions in the airlines market.

Quickstep led the tender response in partnership with Triumph Aviation Services Asia (Triumph). Quickstep and Triumph were awarded the contract following a competitive international tendering process. Key terms of the long-term maintenance contract include:

• 3-year term

• Covers scheduled and unscheduled maintenance of the V2500 Engine Nacelle, operated on the

Jetstar Airbus A320 fleet across Asia Pacific

• Contract value (based on Jetstar forecasts set out in the tender package) attributable to Quickstep’s

work scope is anticipated to be in the range of $30-35 million revenue

• Standard extension and termination provisions for a contract of this nature.

Quickstep’s work scope includes maintenance services on the engine inlet cowl, fan cowls, thrust reversers and exhaust nozzle of the V2500 Engine Nacelle. This type of work has not previously been undertaken in Australia by an independent maintenance, repair and overhaul provider.

The work will be completed at the Quickstep Aerospace Services (QAS) facility in Tullamarine, Victoria. Quickstep will incur capital expenditure of approximately $1.3 million to support the contract. This will be funded through existing cash reserves and facilities.

Tim Gent, Executive General Manager of QAS, said: “Jetstar is a world leading low-cost airline operating in the Australian, New Zealand and Asia Pacific aviation markets. We are delighted to support the airline’s growing fleet and augment their operations from an Australian maintenance base and in partnership with Triumph across Asia.”

Mark Burgess, Chief Executive Officer of Quickstep, added: “In our opinion the Australian aviation sector should see a strong rebound from the pandemic during 2022. Our Tullamarine facility is well placed to offer highly competitive aftermarket solutions both domestically and across the Asia-Pacific region. The maintenance contract with Jetstar is an early demonstration of the capacity, capability and long-term opportunity this new line of business offers to the Quickstep Group.”

Engine maintenance services under the Jetstar contract are expected to commence in April 2022.

Disc: Held IRL

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#1HFY22 Results notes
stale
Last edited 2 years ago

General Notes

Key financials:

  • Revenue up 14.1% to $47.3 mil
  • Underlying NPAT = $2.1 mil (statutory $3.3 mil due to writebacks)
  • EPS = 4.3c
  • Gross profit up 19.2% to $9.1 mil
  • Net $4.1 mil from operating activities including $2.8 mil build in inventories
  • Total bank debt down $800k to $6.9 mil
  • FCF = approx $2.3 mil

Other notes:

  • New working capital facility of $6.0 mil executed with a term of 2 year ending Dec 2023.
  • Investor day schedules for 17/3/22 to outline company strategy and growth plans. 
  • Business will operate in three lines: Aerostructures, Aftermarket and Applied Composites.
  • Over the period Quickstep has made two investments in drone companies: Swoop Aero - A drone logistics services company and Carbonix - Drone company that captures data from the air.


Positives

  • Revenue growth of 14% to $47.3 mil compared to PCP. Supported by the additional parts being produced for F35.
  • Operating cash flow = $4.0 mil with FCF of approximately $2.3 mil. 
  • Carbonix investment has resulted in Quickstep using Qure technology to produce drones for Carbonix. This is important for the thesis that the Qure technology is being used in practical applications.


Negatives

  • COVID-19 border closures impacted revenues for aftermarket MRO business (Quickstep Aerospace Services).
  • While revenue was up this was mostly due to F35 work. Further concentrating revenues to the one source (though very stable)


Has the thesis been broken?

  • No, still on watch but good signs with bank debt down, continued profitability and positive cash flows and the diversification of the business showing positive signs. I like the investments in the drone space. 


What are you expecting and what do you need to see over the next reporting season or generally into the future?

  • R+D expenditure reduced due to QHL transitioning to the commercial application of Qure. Need to see this eventuate now. 
  • Debt continuing to come down.
  • Management's promises for FY22 need to be achieved:

ed1db7f00fd862dc5b5953b7ccc84bd5c7818c.png


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#AGM Notes
stale
Last edited 3 years ago

da192f5832bb2a15539cdbf6177871ace7f3b3.png

General Comments:

Nothing new. Outlook as expected but a very good minimum hurdle. There continues to be contract announcements and new avenues for growth but nothing that makes a material difference or that next step. To answer the CEOs question that is why the market doesn’t value the shares highly. Need to convert contract wins into revenue and profit growth. QCure needs to start having a material impact. I will be out if management outlooks are not reached or if there isn’t clear development of MRO or QAAM into extra revenues/profits over the next year.

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#Share consolidation 10:1
stale
Last edited 3 years ago

Quickstep announced a resolution for the consolidation of shares 10 for 1. To be voted on at the annual general meeting.

Shares up 17% on the news, just shows how silly the market can be, this change has no material effect on the company. The price action was at the beginning of the day with the announcement released around 1345. I have found this to be a common occurrence where the price moves before an announcement... 

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#Company update + CEO interview
stale
Added 3 years ago

General/Neutral Notes

  • Underlying profit comparable to FY20. (FY20 = $4.4 mil).
  • No reaction from the market.

Positives

  • Operating cash flow up to $7.8 mil. A result of better inventory control and cash management. Very good result given market cap of $40 mil.
  • Bank debt down by $1.8 mil to $4.6 mil.

Negatives

  • Revenues only up 3.4% to $85 mil. Was expecting 5-10%.
  • Need to write off flare housing facility as Chemring flare housings proposal unsuccessful.

Has the thesis been broken?

  • No. Update meets expectations. However some things to watch:
    • The lack of revenue increase is concerning. However, the cash flow figure is very positive.
    • No update on Aerocure. Not much mention of it either. Need to monitor how the technology is progressing more closely.

Valuation

  • Still cheap based on P/E of around 10 and Price /Operating cash flow around 5. Given thesis is based on Aerocure technology (yet to create significant revenue), Aerocure isn't valued by the market in my opinion. I think it QHL is priced with a free option on the Aerocure technology.

Additional notes from CEO interview article:

  • The purchased Boeing MRO facility will start allowing Quickstep to offer composite repairs for several types of aircraft. Aircraft types will not be limited to Boeing. This is facilitating Quickstep to put their composite material expertise to more uses and could create a platform for the use of Aerocure. 
  • Some new revenue from UAVs programs likely.
  • In terms of new sources of revenue seems very positive but Aerocure isn't mentioned.
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#Triple Bagger-Falling Dagger?
stale
Last edited 3 years ago

QHL shares were on sale last week finishing on a mere 5c per share! Is the coming week an opportunity to double down on an undervalued business, or does the share price actually reflect the risks that lay ahead for the company.

I'd really appreciate some thoughts from other followers, both bulls and bears, before I end up one of the top 10 shareholders in the business alongside Washington H. Soul Pattinson! :) 

Disc: Hold shares

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#Quickstep Chairman buys shares
stale
Added 3 years ago

Over 1 million shares have been bought up by the Quickstep Board over the last 6 months. The Chairman, Patrick Largier, bought 400,000 shares @ 6.5c on the 26 March following the bad news on the 22 March when Quickstep advised that Chemring had not accepted Quickstep's proposal to supply MJU-68B flair housings for the F-35.

Maybe the board knows more than we do about the probable outcome of Quickstep's protest over the Chemring deal, or they think investors are overreacting to the news?

Quickstep traded wildly today after Scott Morrison announced the Australian Goverment would spend $270 Billion on defence projects over the next 10 years. QHL jumped quickly to 6.5c on the news before falling nearly 5% to 6.2c ending in negative territory. 

Quickstep was trading at 11c in May 2020 and since then has been on a bumpy ride landing 42% lower 10 months later.

Is this manufacturer of advanced aero-space grade composites now a buy? It looks good value to me given the prospect of over 20% growth per year over the next few years. Although It might be better to wait until the price finds a level bottom before buying in?

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#Why did Quickstep plunge 10%
stale
Last edited 3 years ago

What was the Update?

Yesterday Quickstep announced it had been informed by Chemring Australia (Chemring) that Quickstep’s recent proposal for the supply of MJU-68B flare housings in the FY21/FY22 period from Quickstep’s custom-built flare housing manufacturing facility has not been successful.


Quickstep said the grounds for this decision are contestable and Quickstep has initiated a formal protest to the United States and Australian Departments of Defence in respect of Chemring’s decision. Quickstep will update the market if there are any further developments as a result of Quickstep’s protest.

No impact to FY2021 guidance says Quickstep
Quickstep also said that recent FY21 guidance in relation to revenue and underlying base business profit before tax (as set out in the ASX announcement dated 23 February 2021) did not contain any allowance for the proposed supply of MJU-68B flare housings, so there is no change to Quickstep’s previous outlook statement or FY21 guidance.

This didn't prevent almost 10% being wiped off the market value of Quickstep!

Investors kept in the dark!

What investors haven't been told is, why was Quickstep's proposal not accepted, and on what grounds does Quickstep believe Chemring's decision is contestable. I believe this information would help investors make better informed decisions about the probable outcomes of Quickstep's protest. Why have investors been kept in the dark?

I've emailed the CEO asking if there is a good reason why more detail was not disclosed in the update. I'll let you know if I get a response!

Prompt response from CEO

I appreciated the very prompt (within 20 minutes) and plausible response from Mark Burgess, CEO of Quickstep, as follows:

We are bound by customer confidentiality on this program and, as you would expect, a formal protest involving components for a key F-35 operational capability involving both the US and Australian governments is a sensitive process.

We have balanced our disclosure obligations with customer confidentiality. The ASX release is factual and as comprehensive as possible at this stage. We will provide further updates as appropriate.

ENDS

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#Half Year Results Summary
stale
Added 3 years ago

General Notes:

  • Revenue up 8%. Hoping for 8-10%.
  • NPAT down but still around the break even mark.
  • Numbers don't reflect the acquisition of Boeing Australia Component Repairs.
  • Promise of profits and positive operating cash flow in 2H.
  • Refinance of secured bank loan as part of Boeing acquisition.

Positive:

  • Net operating cashflow of $4.3 mil.
  • Boeing MRO acquisition and potential long term agreement for collaboration.
  • AeroQure technical evaluation with Spirit and European OEM will take place over the coming months.
  • New business opportunities in air mobility and composite battery casing announced over the half.

Negatives:

  • Cash on hand seems low at $1.8mil, however, there is $7.1 mil in receivables due.
  • Revenues from programs other than JSF are flat.
  • Short term working capital facility needs renewing by 26/5. This is expected to be renewed, however, still a potential risk.

Has the thesis been broken?

  • No, thesis is based on AeroQure technology which is getting close to commercialisation.
  • Company remains profitable/break even with positive cashflow.

 

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#H1FY21 Results 23/2/21
stale
Added 3 years ago

Quickstep releases results for first half of FY21

  •  Sales $41.5 million, up 8% on the prior comparative period (pcp)
  •   Underlying pre-tax profit up 57% to $1.1 million on pc
  •   $4.3 million operating cash flow ? Net bank debt down $2.7million to $3.7million

DISC: Previously held

View Attachment

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