Friday, August 24, 2007

Lundin Mining LMC should benefit from "Fly to Quality" or even become an Aquisition Target.

Known for his own aggressive strategy could Mr Lukas Lundin and his Lundin Mining company (LMC, become a pray in recent consolidation game? This question is not so rhetoric in the industry after turmoil in the market. Recent sell off shaved out 26% or more then 1 billion in Lundin Mining market cap just in a matter of few weeks (all amounts are in US dollars). With solid cash position, diversified asset base with primary producing mines in stable Europe and explosive growth rate Company is becoming very attractive acquisition target. According to conversation with VP and CEO of the company MR Andres Haker Lundin Mining does not have any exposure to Assets Backed Commercial Paper, as of latest reported date Company has 390 million dollars invested in short term investments with majority outside of Canada and all these investments are liquid and Company has not experienced any problems with their withdrawals. After recent acquisitions of Tenke Mining and Rio Narcea Lundin Mining became emerging mid-tier producer with Zinc, Copper, Lead and Nickel portfolio with majority of mines in stable Europe. This asset portfolio is spiced with Silver, 25% in one of biggest in the world developing Copper and Cobalt mine in Congo and 49% in one of the biggest zinc deposits Ozernoe in Russia. Add to the basket investments in few promising juniors and record earnings last quoter. The Company according to Reuters data has ultra conservative Long Term Debt to Equity ratio at 0.02 vs 0.38 in the industry and 0.61 in S&P 500, which is a prise in recent market conditions. Just raising debt to industry's level could fuel LBO of the company. Financial strength of the company measured in Quick ratio is almost double of industry level at 2.87. At yesterday closing quote of $10.81 Lundin Mining is trading at P/E=8.55 vs industry's 12.14 and 19.52 of S&P 500. Its growth after recent acquisitions is really impressive: 183.3% in sales and 303.3% in earnings! Business model is supported by healthy Gross Margin of 67.3% and Operating Margin of 44.1%. It is 52% and 26% above industry averages respectively. Lundin Mining growth story with solid financial foundation should benefit in the case of "fly to quality". With shifting demand to China, India and other developing economies its customers are not exposed to credit subprime collapse, falling US Dollar will support commodities boom according to recent BHP Billiton report. Smart money are still waiting on the side according to industry insiders in Canada. Should they find the full Lundin Mining story company will benefit enormously. On the other hand with recent stockpile of cash mostly unaffected by exposure to commercial paper industry majors will start their move in the consolidation game once the dust will settle. Just consider Freeport-MacMoRan Copper and Gold (FCX) with 2.o billion cash position. FCX is already holding majority position in Tenke Fungurume Copper/Cobalt deposit in Congo, which is promising to become one of the biggest mines in the world starting operations in 2008. Lundin Mining with Lundin family holding under 20% will become very attractive target. Just recently Lundin Trust has increased his position by 1 million shares at Cad 13.2. With insiders buying and industry spotlight company is becoming one of the interesting commodity play for institutional and retail investors. Desjardins' take over price of CAD 25.00 for Lundin Mining based on Spring aquisitions value looks like adream now, but time is flying fast and such bargains a not forever.
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