In December 2015, LRD (Laird) announced the acquisition of Novero, “a key supplier of integrated car connectivity”, for £47m.
Today, LRD published its finals, sending its shares down 7.%& to 162p in early trading. Although revenue is up 27%, operating cash flow is down 48%.
Net debt at year end increased from £200m to £344.6m, they have scrapped the final dividend, and announced a deeply-discounted rights issue to improve the balance sheet. The issue is 4 for 5 at 85p.
“The Novero integration is now complete and Novero is expected to deliver modest profitability in 2017”, according to their RNS. Let me paraphrase this: they blew £47m that they could ill afford on an acquisition that seems barely capable of scraping by.
According at Stockopedia, LRD’s ROCE has averaged 4.8% over the last 6 years. I am not surprised.
All I can say is that it is a lousy company run by lousy management. To be fair, a lot of management seemed to have been replaced, so I should reserve judgement on current management.
LRD has a value score of 82, and it will be an interesting case study in how the company performs after the rights issue. I am interested in seeing how it turns out.
Stay safe out there.