Kingfish NAV hits all time high
Kingfish NAV hits all time high despite difficult market conditions.
The Directors of investment company Kingfish Limited are pleased to announce a 2.8% increase in the Net Asset Value (NAV) per share for the December 2005 quarter. The NAV ended the December quarter at $1.3502, the highest reported NAV since the company listed in March 2004. The NAV made a solid gain of 10% for the 2005 calendar year.
"The result was pleasing given the challenging market conditions as investors became increasingly nervous about the prospect of a deteriorating New Zealand economy" said Kingfish Chairman, Rob Challinor. Mr Challinor further noted that "seven stocks, representing approximately 75% of the Kingfish portfolio recorded positive share price movements in the three months to 31 December 2005, reflecting the quality and strength of the portfolio companies selected by the Kingfish investment manager, Fisher Funds."
Mr. Challinor also said "In spite of the continued growth in NAV, Kingfish shares have continued to trade at discount levels to the diluted NAV per share that the Board and Fisher Funds consider to be excessive. The Board considers that the current level of discount neither reflects the prospects of the Kingfish portfolio companies, Fisher Funds' successful long term track record, nor the growth in the Kingfish Net Asset Value achieved to date."
On the 26th October 2005, Kingfish announced an on-market buyback of up to 5% of the original issued capital of the company, reflecting the Board's belief that the Kingfish share price is too low relative to the underlying value of the assets and hence represents an attractive investment. A warrant buyback was announced in conjunction with the share buyback to increase the flexibility and liquidity of the buyback programme.
Fisher Funds Managing Director, Carmel Fisher, stated that "the largest contribution to the portfolio over the quarter came from Ryman Healthcare whose 7% gain (including dividend) added 1% to the NAV per share." Carmel Fisher further noted that "astute stock selection will be vital in the year ahead as equity investors will not be able to rely on a buoyant market to provide positive returns. Our focus remains one of concentrating investments in those companies which, by virtue of their strong business position, capable management teams and growth strategies should be able to sail through any economic headwinds that may emerge. Our experience suggests that not all companies suffer equally in an economic downturn, indeed we have often been pleasantly surprised at our companies' resilience in the face of adversity. We are confident that the Kingfish portfolio companies are well placed to deliver positive gains over the coming year."
The portfolio changes since those disclosed in the 2005 Interim Report include selling out of Turners Auctions and Steel and Tube. At 31 December 2005, there were 13 stocks in the Kingfish portfolio which made up just over 94% of total assets. Core stock holdings are: Ryman Healthcare, Waste Management, Mainfreight and Freightways, (which together account for 56% of the investment portfolio) as well as Pumpkin Patch, Michael Hill and Metlifecare. The Kingfish Nursery portfolio includes: Cadmus Technology, Comvita, Kidicorp, NZ Exchange, Turners and Growers, and Software of Excellence (Convertible Notes). Kingfish Nursery is a subsidiary of Kingfish Limited which owns shares in companies that have not yet met all the Manager's investment criteria in order to become a core holding.
OUTLOOK As noted earlier, the New Zealand share market environment was challenging in late 2005 and has remained subdued in the early weeks of 2006 as investors anticipate a difficult year ahead. Carmel Fisher commented that "There is no doubt that life gets harder for companies in an environment of rising interest rates and a slowing domestic economy. Analysts are expecting company earnings growth to be minimal, which makes it difficult to forecast significant share price growth. However, it is entirely possible that some companies will exceed analysts' expectations of profit growth; some companies will be little affected by the New Zealand economy and will achieve profit growth through their international sales; corporate activity may lead to unusual share price gains; and the strength of the international share markets may provide some underlying support for the New Zealand market. While we are not expecting a repeat of the strong gains achieved from New Zealand shares in the past two years, we would not want to bet against the quality companies that we have in the portfolio, who have demonstrated time and again, an ability to outperform their market peers."
A more detailed December quarterly update has been mailed to shareholders in late January 2006. Investors are encouraged to visit the Kingfish website, which profiles the company and includes the latest news and information, including the weekly NAV disclosure and a link to the Fisher Funds Management website.
Overview of Kingfish Limited. Kingfish Limited is a listed investment company investing in small New Zealand companies. The investment portfolio is managed by Fisher Funds Management Limited, a specialist New Zealand investment manager with a track record of successfully investing in smaller company shares. Kingfish began operating in March 2004 when it received subscriptions for 58.5m shares at $1 per share. For each share issued, subscribers received one option (warrant) to subscribe for a share at $1, exercisable at the end of either March 2006, 2007 or 2008. Details of the first optional exercise date on 31 March 2006 have been sent to warrant holders in late January 2006.
KEY STATISTICS AT A GLANCE As at 31 December 2005
Net Asset Value per share $1.3502 Diluted Net Asset Value per share $1.1775 Shares on issue 59, 645,509 Warrants on issue 57,416,489 Warrants are exercisable on any of 31 March 2006, 31 March 2007 or 31 March 2008