I’ve talked about in a number of articles on SA that I work as an M&A analyst protecting Latin America, and I’ve written about a number of firms from the area, e.g. Betterware de Mexico (BWMX) right here, Industrias Bachoco (IBA) right here, Cementos Pacasmayo (CPAC) right here, and Embotelladora Andina (NYSE: AKO.A) (NYSE: AKO.B) right here. Right now, I wish to speak about Brazilian fertilizer producer Verde AgriTech (OTCPK:VNPKF) (TSX:NPK:CA). Brazil is a serious importer of fertilizer and with the warfare in Ukraine creating provide points, the corporate has been ramping up manufacturing on the proper second. The steering for 2022 included gross sales of C$109.1 million ($79.3 million) and earnings per share (EPS) of C$0.87 ($0.63) and I believe that earnings may greater than double in 2023 as Verde AgriTech’s second plant ramps up manufacturing over the approaching months. Let’s evaluate.
Overview of the enterprise and financials
Verde AgriTech was based in 2005 and is a vertically built-in producer of potassium fertilizers primarily based within the metropolis of Belo Horizonte within the southeastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. The corporate’s fundamental manufacturers embody BAKS, and Ok Forte, and its merchandise are bought internationally beneath the Tremendous Greensand model.
Verde means inexperienced in Brazilian and the explanation the corporate selected this identify is as a result of it focuses on sustainability – the mined areas of its Cerrado Verde deposit are primarily composed of degraded pasturelands which can be reworked in tropical forests as soon as mining has completed. This accretion is situated within the coronary heart of Brazil’s largest agricultural market and is a supply of a naturally occurring potassium silicate rock. There aren’t any tailings dams, and the manufacturing course of doesn’t generate any waste by-products. Between 2019 and 2021, Verde AgriTech planted a complete of 19,188 bushes, with all planted species initially native to the area.
Verde AgriTech is at present licensed to provide as much as 2,833,000 tonnes per yr (tpy) of potassium fertilizers and it has a mixed measured and indicated mineral useful resource of 1.47 billion tonnes at 9.28% potassium oxide. Its first processing facility was launched in July 2018, and it has a manufacturing capability of 600,000 tonnes per yr. In August 2021, Verde AgriTech began constructing a second plant with a 1,200,000 tpy manufacturing capability and the power was commissioned in August 2022. Verde AgriTech deliberate to spice up the capability of this facility to 2,400,000 tpy in This fall 2022 attributable to robust demand for its merchandise and if the annual manufacturing reached 3,000,000 tpy, the corporate will develop into the most important potash producer in Brazil.
Demand for the merchandise of Verde AgriTech has been significantly robust for the reason that Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and in Might 2022, the corporate considerably elevated its 2022 steering. The up to date gross sales quantity goal for 2023 is 2,000,000 tonnes, which represents a rise of round 100% in comparison with the gross sales anticipated for 2022.
Trying on the newest monetary outcomes of Verde AgriTech, we are able to see that gross sales rose sharply in Q2 and Q3 2022 which led to a major enchancment in profitability. In my opinion, there may be vital room for additional development because the manufacturing and monetary outcomes for these two quarters had been negatively impacted by restricted manufacturing on the second plant. In September, the corporate bumped into unexpected groundwater points whereas performing roadworks actions to extend truck accessibility which led to manufacturing supply from this facility to be restricted for round six weeks in the course of the peak demand season within the nation.
In my opinion, the possibilities that the corporate managed to fulfill its 2022 manufacturing steering are good contemplating that the second plant achieved its nameplate manufacturing capability of 1.2 Mtpy in October and that the corporate entered right into a distribution partnership with Lavoro (NASDAQ: LVRO) in August 2022. The latter is the most important agricultural inputs retailer in Brazil with over 190 shops and I anticipate this deal to considerably enhance the gross sales of Verde AgriTech over the approaching years. In my opinion, the gross sales quantity goal for 2023 appears achievable and I believe that EPS may surpass C$2.00 ($1.46) because of economies of scale.
Turning our consideration to the stability sheet, I believe that the scenario appears to be like good as robust profitability since Q3 2021 has allowed Verde AgriTech to spice up shareholder’s fairness considerably and thus finance the development of the second plant with out inventory dilution. Internet debt stood at C$14.1 million ($10.3 million) as of September 2022 and it is essential for the corporate to maintain growing its manufacturing and working earnings because the third plant would require vital preliminary CAPEX.
You see, Verde AgriTech plans so as to add an extra 10 Mtpy of capability by constructing a 3rd plant in 2023 and the outcomes of a pre-feasibility research launched in Might 2022 confirmed that CAPEX is estimated at $52.77 million. If there may be any probability to keep away from the necessity for fairness financing, the corporate must ship on its 2023 gross sales goal.
Trying on the key monetary figures for the third plant, I believe that this facility might be a game-changer for Verde AgriTech because the projected post-tax web current worth (NPV) is $2.91 billion and the inner fee of return (IRR) stands at over 400%.
The NPV appears achievable contemplating the PFS was primarily based on potash costs of at lower than a 3rd of the potassium chloride costs on the time. Assuming a conservative valuation of 0.3x NPV for the third plant alone, this interprets into C$7.60 ($5.53) per share. In my opinion, there’s a vital margin of security right here.
Turning our consideration to the dangers for the bull case, I believe that the key one is decrease fertilizer costs within the coming months. Ammonium nitrate is a well-liked fertilizer made utilizing pure fuel and with vitality costs declining over the previous few months, many fertilizer manufacturing services have been reopening, particularly in Europe. Final week, the Profercy World Nitrogen Index fell by 6.43 factors to 158.75 and is thus beneath 2021 ranges.
Low fertilizer costs may doubtlessly push Verde AgriTech to depend on fairness financing to construct its third plant or result in a delay of the undertaking.
Verde AgriTech has achieved spectacular development by way of manufacturing and earnings over the previous few quarters and I believe that is prone to proceed in 2023 because of the ramp up of its second plant in addition to a partnership with Lavoro. In my opinion, EPS may greater than double except world fertilizer costs proceed falling. As well as, Verde AgriTech appears in a powerful place to fund the development of its third plant with working money move and debt. I fee this inventory as a speculative purchase.
Editor’s Word: This text discusses a number of securities that don’t commerce on a serious U.S. alternate. Please pay attention to the dangers related to these shares.