Monday, May 23, 2016

Seeking Alpha: BRF S.A. Not So Appetizing Yet For Nervous Stomachs

When I last wrote about BRF S.A. (NYSE:BRFS), I warned that investors were likely in for a bout of elevated volatility - a prediction that, when made in reference to almost any Brazilian company, is a little like predicting that jumping into the ocean will make you wet. The shares have indeed jumped around since that last article and the shares have underperformed not only the Bovespa, but other Brazilian food players like Marfrig (OTCPK:MRRTY), JBS (OTCQX:JBSAY), and Minerva (OTCQX:MRVSY).

Whether BRF shares are a good idea now rests in large part on your time horizon. The company is doing a lot of smart things - relaunching a complementary value-priced brand in Brazil, prioritizing higher-margin processed/packaged foods, and using M&A to acquire local production and distribution to capture more value from international sales. Along the way, though, there have been frequent management shake-ups and there is still a lot of volatility in the business model due to commodity inputs, protein prices, currency, and so on.

I do believe that BRF can eventually achieve its goals of becoming more like Hormel (NYSE:HRL) or Nestle (OTCPK:NSRGY) and achieving EBITDA margins in the high teens or even 20%, and I do like the company's efforts to improve ROIC in recent years. That said, getting volume growth going again is a clear must-do and investors can certainly be forgiven for thinking that BRF is too risky and too volatile to mess with today. I believe the fair value for the ADRs is still above $17, but it's going to take a healthier, or at least more stable, environment in Brazil for these shares to do meaningfully better.

Continue here:
BRF S.A. Not So Appetizing Yet For Nervous Stomachs

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