Texas Pacific, EMC, NetApp: Buybacks Mean Better Times Ahead

Texas Pacific, EMC, NetApp: Buybacks Mean Better Times Ahead

Markets are witnessing some selling pressure leading to a correction, owing to fears regarding early phase out of quantitative easing. While this will likely sat a cat among pigeons, investors can use the opportunity to get into solid plays at discounted prices. Texas Pacific Land Trust (NYSE:TPL), EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC), and NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP) are some such companies where shares have come down a bit in recent days. Here is a closer look:

Texas Pacific, EMC, NetApp: Buybacks Mean Better Times Ahead

Texas Pacific Business Model Simplified

Investors may find the business model of Texas Pacific Land Trust (NYSE:TPL) overly simplified and they are not wrong in assessing this. Texas Pacific is primarily engaged into sale and lease of land owned by it which runs into approximately 920,000 acres in 18 counties in west Texas. In addition, the company also owns acreage across the Permian Basin region which forms the basis of any investor’s investment thesis into this company. Texas Pacific Land Trust earns oil and gas royalties from about 50 percent of its acreage which allows the company to continue with its regular stock buyback program.

While royalty revenue stream is very solid, the company keeps selling some of its land holdings as a strategic step which brings some degree of variance in overall revenues. Nevertheless, the company is a hugely profitable entity with an operating and net profit margin of 87 and 61.5 percent respectively in the first quarter. This was despite the fact that revenues dropped 29.8 percent to $6.7 million reflecting lower land sales partially offset by higher royalties. For obvious reasons, the trust is a debt free entity and even though its valuations are very high in traditional sense, earnings per share are likely to continue growing for a long period.

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Beyond royalties

Massachusetts based EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC) offers information technology infrastructure solutions and services to companies. Its products include enterprise storage systems and software deployed in storage area networks. The stock has hardly moved over the last quarter as the gains were pared after the company’s first quarter earnings disappointed investors. EMC reported a 5.7 percent growth in revenues to $5.4 billion during the 3 months but profits reduced slightly to $580 million sending the shares down. However, a spate of encouraging development has again revived the stock. Initiation of quarterly dividend is among these developments and so is expansion of its share repurchase program.

The company increased the size of its buyback program to $6 billion which will be carried out through 2015. EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC) also intends to change its capital structure to include more debt without affecting its strong investment grade profile. This will be beneficial in taking advantage f lower interest rates as its debt equity ratio currently stands at a mere 0.07. Forward price earnings multiple of 11.8 indicates the stock is not expensive.

NetApp’s Attractive Valuation

Similarly, NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP) is a solid play available at an attractive valuation of 12.2 times its future earnings. The company’s latest quarterly results were past street expectations following which analysts raised their target prices on the stock. NetApp had a net profit margin of 10.1 percent in eth most recent quarter and a forward price earnings ratio of 12.2. NetApp’s price target was raised to $45 from $39 by analysts at Piper Jaffray.

Another important factor in boosting price target for the stock by analysts is the company’s bigger and aggressive share buyback plan. The company now plans to repurchase its shares worth $3 billion over the next 12 months. On the profitability front, the decision to eliminate 900 jobs in coming months would help. This has been complemented with newly implemented quarterly dividend of $0.15 per share. This flurry of shareholder friendly decisions, coming under pressure from activist shareholder Eliott Management, has the potential to take the stock higher.

Overall, the companies represent a healthy variety of robust business models but given its simplicity and future earnings visibility, Texas Pacific Land Trust (NYSE:TPL) appears to be a good pick. EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC) and  NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP), while attractive, may witness a correction with wider markets.

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