Monday, May 30, 2016

Seeking Alpha: Manitex Prioritizing The Right Things During The Downturn

I think it is fair to say that Manitex (NASDAQ:MNTX) was too ambitious and too aggressive when breakneck North American onshore energy expansion fueled an unsustainable demand for cranes. Management significant stretched the balance sheet in the interests of empire-building, expanding into non-core areas like trailers and liquid storage tanks. When the cycle turned, Manitex found itself with a lot of debt, not a lot demand, and questionable synergies between the units.

All of that can certainly explain why the stock has been hammered worse than other lifting equipment companies like Terex (NYSE:TEX), Manitowoc (NYSE:MTW), Manitou, and Palfinger since 2014, but it doesn't necessarily make the shares untouchable now for aggressive investors. Management has pivoted from a growth-by-acquisition model to more of a value-creation model, with a stronger focus now on cost control/reduction, cash flow generation, and sustainable growth in high-potential businesses like knuckle cranes and the ASV product line.

I'm not as bullish on a meaningful rebound in the North American energy market as I once was, but I don't think it will much worse and I think construction (residential, commercial, and civil) can be a driver for this business. I don't see Manitex struggling to pay its interest, and I do believe further debt reduction efforts can unlock some value. My current estimates call for long-term revenue growth in the mid single-digits and peak FCF margins in the mid-to-high single-digits, supporting a fair value of $7.50 that could go higher if/when energy really recovers and/or management shows that it can build its knuckle crane and ASV operations into disruptive players.

Read the full article here:
Manitex Prioritizing The Right Things During The Downturn

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