I have not done any fundamental analysis on the company to determine its value because the way I looked at it is as follows: I do have an opportunity to make a quick profit with relatively little or no risk as I bought in below the the auction price range. However as I looked at the details of the auction and the financials of the company there is a good potential for a nice price appreciation after the buy back is completed. Moreover, insiders are buying heavily into the company, actually a big chunk of this company is owned by insiders. As I go through the owners list I see that Bruce Berkowitz have bought in at $18 a share. Mr Berkowitz is the founder and the Managing Member of the Fairholme Fund who boosts a stellar track record of value investing. That peaked my interest in the business.
URI has an Entp. Value(EV)/ EBITDA multiple of 5.5 on a TTM basis. After the recapitalization, if the market to apply the same multiple to URI's business, its shares should appreciate to high 30s. URI could use its $500 million cash to do the recap or borrow more either way their Enp. Value will not change, but shareholders will get a bigger piece of the company cash flows. If I reverse solve for URI price and market cap after the recap I should get $38 per share as per table below. Now the market may not keep the same multiple due to more debt added to the balance sheet but the potential for a run up in the price of URI have a high probability of occurring.
As for the business itself United Rentals is
... an equipment rental company. During the year ended December 31, 2007, excluding its traffic control operations, the Company’s network consisted of 697 rental locations in the United States, Canada and Mexico. It offers for rent over 2,900 classes of rental equipment, including heavy machines and hand tools, to customers that include construction and industrial companies, manufacturers, utilities, municipalities, homeowners and others. In February 2007, the Company completed the sale of its traffic control business to HTS Acquisition, Inc., an entity formed by affiliates of private equity investors, Wynn church Capital Partners and Oak Hill Special Opportunities Fund, L.P. In February 2007, the Company acquired High Reach Equipment Services, LLC (High Reach).The company's customer base is commercial contractors that account for 70% of their business. The commercial construction is not dead and continue to do ok but may suffer in the near future, who knows. I am not a top down guy so I do not put a lot of emphasis on economy and sector outlook when analyzing a company.
The problem with an operation like URI is it will hardly generate any free cash flow, although they will have fantastic profitability margins. The business requires a steady and continuous capital investment to maintain operations. If you look at URI free cash flows for the past 10 years, it is highly variable. The company ends up blowing all of its cash flow from operations back to the business to buy more rental equipment. The company during the past 10 years have generated negative cumulative free cash flow in the tune of $1.4 billion.
|Cash from Operations||216.1||421.4||512.7||696.7||517.9||342.3||737.0||643.0||858.0||868.0||961.0|
|Free Cash Flow||(348.0)||(420.4)||(449.3)||199.4||(191.5)||(35.6)||88.0||(180.0)||(107.0)||(122.0)||116.0|
Some may argue to exclude capex in this situation as the company is still growing and need to add to its equipment fleet. Ok lets assume that the company will grow at the same rate forever, then what? They will never generate any free cash flow as they will need to add more to their assets to match fuel revenue growth.
The company, no doubt, has improved some of its metrics and profitability in recent years and its recent recapitalization may add more value to its shares. However, I am not in a hurry to hold it long term as I am not confident enough in my analysis, or more accurately the lack of, so i will tender my shares at $23.5. A price in the middle of the road and will yield me a nice return for couple weeks of holding, if it was tendered.