Anima Holdings - already featured here
last year - is an Italian asset management company that is considerably undervalued compared to its peers.
The earnings that have been published in the meantime allow us to review our projections: while the amount of assets under management (94.4 billion euros by the end of 2017) is higher than we expected (90 billion), the commission level is decreasing compared to 2016 (0.35%).
The trend is improving for the first semester of 2018, with the amount of assets under management decreasing slightly (92.6 billion) but, once annualized, a commission level that returns to its previous performance (0.35%).
This recovery is even more admirable as the entire asset management industry is under pressure by the new index offerings. The latter are passive, automated solutions that generally generate a better long-term performance than the majority of traditional, ’active’ management solutions and they distinguish themselves by their extremely low fees.
Anima’s management, however, succeeded to cope with this formidable competition because the received commissions increase significantly compared to the first semester of last year (+31%).
We reckon that the company has distinguished itself with its ‘active’ management offer, particularly thanks to its flexible funds - a scientific blend between stocks and bonds - that have generated an above average performance for the last quarters.
These rising commissions, once reported to a decent control of the costs - which have also somewhat exceeded their average in 2017 - enable the firm to generate an EBITDA of 126 million euros for the first semester.
Except in case of a serious problem or tense conditions on the financial markets, Anima should therefore generate around 250 million euros of EBITDA this year, compared to 191 million last year.
At a current price of 4.5 euro per share, the value of the company - or the cumulation of the market capitalization and the net debt - comes down to two billion euros, exactly eight times the expected EBITDA in 2018.
This multiple is situated in the lower range of the usual valuations in the asset management industry and reveals some reserve from the market regarding the firm - and more broadly regarding the current political situation in Italy.
The company also embodies an ideal acquisition target. Its medium size makes it a prime target for the great behemoths of the asset management industry if they decide to consolidate the Italian market.
Article published on 09/24/2018 | 15:55