While perusing the list of top actively traded stocks today, I came across a stock called Liang Huat Aluminium. I printed out Liang Huat’s financial statements and had a look at its stock chart, and I must say Liang Huat is one of the most unusual stocks I have looked at in a while.The SGX chart of Liang Huat (click for larger image) indicates that the stock was suspended some time back in late 2004, and only recently resumed trading recently. It opened at $0.12 and has since slide down towards about $0.06 per share.
Let us investigate this this stock in more detail.
Liang Huat Aluminium is one of the few companies I have come across that has a “capital deficiency.” In fact, it is the first company I have come across that has such a massive capital deficiency compared to its assets:
What a capital deficiency simply means is that a company has more liabilities than assets. In Liang Huat’s case, it has $139,885 in total liabilities and $5,811 in total assets, for net a capital deficiency of $134,084. This effectively means that shareholders of Liang Huat owe the creditors of Liang Huat $134,084. Given the number of outstanding shares at 1,110,630,000 (this is a lot of shares for such a small company), this translates into a net asset value of -$0.12 per share.
The balance sheet indicates a negative net worth for the company based on book value alone; thus any positive valuation of the company must depend on projections of earnings paying down the liabilities of the company before shareholders get anything.
Assuming that Liang Huat maintains its operations turnaround and positive performance, this means that the company will still be paying down liabilities for a few years before the shareholders get anything. Let us be very optimistic and assume that Liang Huat is able to earn 3c per share per year for the next few years. This will allow Liang Huat to pay down its NAV of $-0.12 in about four(4) years.
What will, perhaps, give us a better picture of what is going on with Liang Huat is the actions of its insiders and substantial shareholders. A visit to the SGX website reveals the following string of announcements related to Liang Huat:Liang Huat’s insiders apparently have been aggressively paring down their stakes in the company. This appears to be part of a restructuring exercise due to the fact that Liang Huat has a lot of debt.
Return from the Dead?
Liang Huat appears to have been relisted after a long hiatus from the market due to poor operating performance. It is heavily in debt and has recently returned to profitability, ostensibly because of favourable operating conditions in the form of the revival of the construction market in Singapore.
I have very little idea how to value this company, but it would certainly be interesting to try. Would anyone like to have a go?