Analyst Andrew Hood of M Partners says that based on its potential to pick up new landfill contracts in the United States, cleantech company Xebec Adsorption (Xebec Adsorption Stock Quote, Chart, News TSXV:XBC) might very well be on the path to a $100-million run rate.
In a research note to clients on Tuesday, Hood reiterated his “Buy” rating and $2.20 target price, which represented a projected 12-month return of 30 per cent at the time of publication.
Montreal-based Xebec announced its second quarter fiscal 2019 financials on Tuesday, reporting record revenues of $12.8 million compared to $5.3 million for the same period in 2018, a 140-per-cent increase, along with positive EBITDA of $1.8 million, also better than the $0.3 million a year prior.
“We continue to see positive developments in our renewable gas, hydrogen, and industrial service and products segments. In the first six months of 2019, we have made good progress with revenues and profitability. Overall gross margin generation was satisfactory; nevertheless, we continue to work on gaining some additional GM points over the next 12 to 18 months,” wrote the company in a press release.
The $12.8 million top line was better than Hood’s estimate of $12.6 million, while EBITDA of $1.8 million came in line with his forecast. Xebec’s gross margin fell from 33.8 per cent in Q1 to 31.6 per cent, while the company’s core cleantech segment stayed steady at 32.5 per cent. Net income was $1.0 million or $0.02 per share, also in line with Hood’s estimate.
The analyst says that he is optimistic about Xebec’s opportunity in 2019 and beyond. Hood noted that the company’s quote log remains at about $700 million and that management anticipates capturing $150-$200 million of these quotes as orders over the next 24 to 36 months.
Moreover, Hood stressed the potential for significant contract wins over the next couple of years that go beyond his expectations, pointing to an emerging market for renewable natural gas in Spain and to California, BC and Quebec where renewable gas policies are in effect.
“In the short-term the biggest accelerator to additional upside on Xebec stock is the potential for large landfill contracts in the U.S. XBC has been in discussions for one or two landfills and anticipates an update to shareholders later this year. If Xebec were to secure two of these contracts, it would provide $40-60 million in additional revenues next year and set the Company on the path towards a $100-million run rate,” writes Hood.
“XBC currently trades at ~13.7x 2020 EBITDA, which we believe could prove to be a modest valuation considering its growth prospects. It is also very important to keep in mind that Xebec has tremendous potential to exceed our estimates for EBITDA with even one large order. Considering the traction the Company is building in key markets, it is possible that multiple large orders are secured over the next couple years, expanding EBITDA and potentially leading to a re-rating on the multiple,” he says.
Hood thinks that Xebec will generate fiscal 2019 revenue and EBITDA of $49 million and $6.9 million, respectively, and fiscal 2020 revenue and EBITDA of $60 million and $8.9 million, respectively.
At press time, shares of Xebec Adsorption were down six per cent to $1.57.