Author Topic: ATD/B.TO - Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc  (Read 7626 times)

mwtorock

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ATD/B.TO - Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc
« on: December 14, 2017, 09:04:50 AM »
Management is owner operator that built an empire of convenient stores from a single location through hundreds of acquisitions in North America and Europe. All the acquisitions were funded with CFO and low rate long term debt, which usually got paid off with cash flow from business rather quickly.

This strategy has been successful for a few reasons:
1)   Acquisitions were done with profitability focus. They did not expand into China but Europe with that in mind. Management is not only paying attention to revenue growth but also bottom line profit growth.
2)   Couche-Tards most efficient practices would be integrated into acquired companies, and vice versa. Ongoing comparisons of best practices and operational expertise of various regions of the network keeps the company evolving and adopting to constantly changing market trends.
3)   Decentralized management approach to delegate power to regional managements and store managers. It provides growth opportunities to the people with entrepreneurial attitude. 

Growth from here:
1)   Recent acquisitions in the US should start paying off
2)   Organic growth through fresh produce, coffee and other food services.
3)   Size matters in this industry. Supply terms and efficiency improvements are expected. It is also investing in private brands to drive profits.

Risks:
1)   Decline of cigarette sales. Management hopes to drive food sales to offset that.
2)   EV takes over no need for gas stations. North Europe is ahead of US in this trend, and need to keep an eye on developments there.
3)   Succession risk founder and partners are old but still younger than WB.

Valuation is not cheap at this point. However if you ask around, a single location of gas station with real estate is probably worth $3M on average in the US, so with the valuable properties, I would say downside risk is limited.

If you are interested, read the Book 'Daring to succeed'. Comments or thoughts are welcome. Even better if you could shoot holes in this thesis. Thanks.

« Last Edit: January 13, 2021, 12:01:36 PM by Parsad »


mwtorock

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Re: ATD/B.TO
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2018, 07:00:14 AM »
fiscal 2018 results update - making good progress

Diluted net earnings per share were $2.95 compared with $2.12 for fiscal 2017, an increase of 39.2%, while adjusted diluted net earnings per share were $2.60 1 compared with $2.21 1 for fiscal 2017, an increase of 17.6%. The Corporation estimates that adjusted net earnings per share, based on an equivalent number of weeks would have been $2.64 , an increase of 19.5%.
U.S. fuel margins were 19.39 for fiscal year 2018, up 4.5% compared to fiscal year 2017.
Addition of more than 2,100 stores through new openings and acquisitions.
Return on equity and return on capital employed at 24.8% and 12.0%, respectively, on a pro-forma basis.

Quarter 4 update

Net earnings attributable to shareholders of the Corporation ("net earnings") of $392.7 million ( $0.70 per share on a diluted basis) for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 compared with $277.6 million ( $0.49 per share on a diluted basis) for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017. Excluding certain items for both comparable periods, net earnings for the quarter would have been approximately $336.0 million 1 or $0.59 per share on a diluted basis, compared with $0.52 per share on a diluted basis1 for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017, an increase of 13.5%. The Corporation estimates that adjusted net earnings and adjusted net earnings per share, based on an equivalent number of weeks would have been approximately $360.0 million and $0.64 , respectively, an increase of 20.9% and 23.1% respectively.
Total merchandise and service revenues of $3.2 billion , an increase of 25.0%. Same-store merchandise revenues increased by 1.8% in the U.S., by 4.3% in Europe and by 3.6% in Canada . For the first quarter since the acquisition, CST sites same-store merchandise revenues grew both in the U.S and in Canada .
Merchandise and service gross margin increased by 0.3% in the U.S., to 33.6%, it remained stable in Europe at 44.0% and, in Canada , it decreased by 0.3%, to 34.4%, as a result of the conversion of some of the Esso sites to company-operated stores.
Total road transportation fuel volumes grew by 33.8%. Same-store road transportation fuel volumes decreased by 0.1% in the U.S. and by 2.9% in Canada , while same-store volumes increased by 0.1% in Europe .
Road transportation fuel gross margin increased by US 1.82 per gallon in the U.S. to US 17.29 per gallon, by US 0.89 per litre in Europe , to US 8.72 per litre and by CA 1.39 per litre in Canada , to CA 9.44 per litre.
Current annual synergies run rate related to the CST integration reached approximately $153.0 million .
Adjusted leverage ratio improved to 3.13:1.
Increase of CA 1.0 of the quarterly dividend, a growth of 11.1%.
Circle K rebranding project for all Statoil sites in Europe is now completed. The project was launched in Ireland while roll out continues in North America . More than 3,350 stores in North America and more than 1,650 stores in Europe now display the new Circle K global brand.


absolutbrian

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Re: ATD/B.TO
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2020, 07:41:29 AM »
I got around published an investment piece on Alimentation Couche-Tard.
Link: https://seekingalpha.com/article/4356128-alimentation-couche-tard-and-circle-k-invest-in-one-of-best-retailers-in-world
I made the case for investing in Alimentation Couche-Tard, better known for operating the convenience store Circle K. Its a great business with great management. Its simple, predictive, and generates tons of free cash flow. The company is undervalued. The market discounts potential acquisitions and growth opportunities. ATD returned 875x since its IPO in 1984 and over 10x in the last ten years. Despite the performance, it flies under the radar. The fact that nothing has been added to the thread in two years reflects that.

Thesis: By investing in Alimentation Couche-Tard, you are buying a piece of an excellent business that has a history of creating shareholder value. ATD is currently undervalued by at least 13% with potential upside of 23% to 39% in 3-4 years if they complete their growth targets. ATD is currently in a plan to double the business. ATD is a buy and hold.

absolutbrian

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Re: ATD/B.TO
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2020, 12:45:11 PM »
Good article in Fortune
How a Canadian convenience store giant built its empire Fortune
https://fortune.com/2020/08/10/couche-tard-gas-station-convenience-stores-biggest-canadian-companies/

absolutbrian

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Re: ATD/B.TO
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2021, 07:00:24 AM »
Circle K Owner in Talks to Buy Carrefour for About $20 Billion
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-01-12/circle-k-owner-couche-tard-said-to-explore-purchase-of-carrefour

That would be an interesting transaction. I'm not too sure of the fit however. The market seems to think the same way. But ATD has proven to be masters at acquisition and operations. So I wouldn't let it pass them that they couldn't pull this off.

mwtorock

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Re: ATD/B.TO
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2021, 07:08:26 AM »
i see it as a problem for this type of roll ups. after a while, you can only target these big acquisitions to move the needle...

longlake95

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Re: ATD/B.TO
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2021, 07:15:55 AM »
If anyone will pull it off it will be ATD. They are close to the people at Metro. Metro owned a passive position in ATD for years (still might - I haven't look recently), you can be sure ATD can pick up the phone and call Eric LaFleche at MRU anytime. This might be another reason for ATD and MRU to merge.

absolutbrian

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Re: ATD/B.TO
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2021, 09:47:01 AM »
Metro did have a stake in ATD for a long time and gradually so it. I don't think they have any or much of a stake in ATD anymore. They did well. Metro is a great operator.

KCLarkin

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Re: ATD/B.TO - Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2021, 09:10:44 AM »
Added to my position. No opinion on the proposed deal, but I'm assuming it will be blocked. The deal-related sell-off is a good buying opportunity.

Xerxes

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Re: ATD/B.TO - Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2021, 10:38:03 AM »
I believe Metro unloaded its ACB position (a huge run that it was) to fund its purchase of Jean Couto