Since my last posting on the “The Enigmatic Case of Sing MedicalGroup- More Money Earned Lead to Lower Share Price” on 8 January 2019, the price of Sing Medical Group has shot up by 20% from S$0.400 to S$0.485 within 2 months. However, its share price has since plunged by 22% to a low of S$0.380 on 7 June 2019. If one had the ability to see the future using a magical crystal ball, then one would have sold off in Feb’19 at S$0.485 and then buy again when it hit S$0.380 recently and locked into the profit. If it can recover to S$0.480 level, one would have made a staggering 40% profits. Of course, I am saying this with the benefit of hindsight. I know of a retail investor who subscribed to value investing sinking in up to S$100K over the past few months into Sing Medical Group (“SMG”) and the recent plunge in stock price would have been disastrous. So, what exactly happened here for the price to have plunged so dramatically again and most importantly, the key question is whether the share price of SMG is severely undervalued again?
The very peculiar nature of Sing Medical Group share price
The strange thing is that whenever the financial results showed improvement or if it issued rights to raise funds for M&A opportunities, the share price will go the other way. The recent sharp drop in share prices maybe also due to existing shareholders punishing the management team for selling off part of their shares at SGD 0.605 to CHA, the Korean Medical Group and existing investor.
1. Excellent Q1 2019 financial results but share price tanked
The recently announced results of Sing Medical Group is excellent. Revenue increased to SGD21.6Mil relative to SGD19.2Mil (+12.3%) on a year to year basis due mainly to growth in its Diagnostic & Aesthetics segment while Net Profit After Tax dropped <3%> in view of lower tax exemptions and lesser carried forward tax benefits. Since we cannot control statutory taxation, a better gauge would be to look at the Net Profit Before Tax which increased by 0.9% (the increased revenue is being offset by increase in marketing expenses). Despite the wonderful Q1 2019 results, the share price of Sing Medical Group tanked.
Many shareholders have been extremely disappointed with the lack of dividends being declared. Last year, the management did raise the possibility of a formal dividend policy in the new financial year but have since remained silent on this issue. Despite the high profits made, SMG has been aggressively reinvesting the proceeds into opening new clinics. A new pediatric clinic in Punggol has just been opened recently this year. A new Breast clinic and its specialist has also just come on board SMG. There are other plans to increase the number of specialists by another 7 to 8 which means revenue topline is going to continue to expand rapidly but profitability may be hit in the short term while ramping up patient loading.
2. Punishment by investors in retribution against the management for selling their shares at S$0.605 to CHA Medical Group without a general offer to other shareholders and proposed S$10Mil convertible loan to shares at a low conversion price of only S$0.423 per share.
Many existing shareholders in investment forum have been upset by the existing management selling off part of their shareholdings in SMG. CHA Medical Group has valued the shares at S$0.605. This exercise was just recently concluded. Compare S$0.605 independent valuation against the current price of S$0.380. This represented a 59% discount of the independent share valuation should the price hits S$0.605 in future.
Even for the S$10Mil convertible loan by shareholder CHA, the price of S$0.423 against the current market price of S$0.380 represented close to 10% discount for new investors entering at the current market price. This means that your investment automatically gain a 10% discount premium of S$1Mil out of S$10Mil cash injection by CHA medical group- free hard cash put in by the other shareholder to increase your margin of safety.
3.Jinxed Fund Raising Exercises
Whenever there are rights issues or offer of convertible loans to shares, this always spell bad news for existing retail shareholders albeit improving revenue and future profits. This is because the share price will most likely plunge after this exercise. This has a lot to do with the lack of tangible returns to shareholders as alluded to point 1 above. There is thus currently an unhealthy downward spiraling cycle in its share price whenever SMG raised funds for expansion as the market seems overly risk-averse to the business of SMG. This is clearly a stark contrast to the industry PE average based on S$0.380 per share being traded.
SMG management needs to seriously look into immediate actions to revive the share price. This is paramount as SMG will always need to give an increasingly huge discount of its intrinsic value to fund its aggressive growth initiatives which resulted in a perpetual downward cycle. I maintain my view that the share price will grow 20% by end of this year and with a potential for 50% growth in share price over the next 2-3 years if the management continued with SMG expansion. The increase in share price by 20% and then a decline of more than 20% represents good buying opportunity. I have accumulated extra SMG shares as I think that the management has been delivering and executing well on its expansion plan. The strategic partnership with CHA Korean Medical Group will also strengthen SMG.
Last but not least, at the current low share price of S$0.380, there is a probability that some existing corporate shareholders or perhaps Dr Beng himself may buy out the other shareholders and delist the undervalued SMG. After building up the medical group over the next few years, the controlling shareholders can easily go for IPO again at a better valuation to realise their investments. This is also the strategy employed by our local billionaire and business tycoon Peter Lim on Thomson Medical Group.
Pls also see my previous postings:
(i) Hidden Gem with Explosive Growth- Potential Further Upside of 25% to 50% (Part 1);
(ii) Hidden Gem with Explosive Growth- Singapore Medical Group S$10Mil Shareholder's Loan for M&A (Part 2)