The company has operations in Australia, New Zealand, North America and Europe.
SGM fell heavily over the GFC as commodities crashed, and has since failed to make a significant recovery as the scrap metals market has failed to see a solid price recovery.
A continued deterioration in scrap metal demand bodes poorly for SGM, which has recently reported a string of very disappointing financial results.
Its recent FY11 earnings were fairly robust but SGM’s outlook remains uncertain due to global market volatility.
FY11 results impress
Sims Metal Management had a tough start to FY11 after reporting a 75% on-year plunge in 1Q11 net profit to $8.2 million.
EBIT for the period also slumped 69% to $16.7 million, with SGM attributing the poor result to lower scrap intake, and constrained scrap flows and margins.
Last month, SGM reported a FY11 net profit jump of 52% to $192.1 million, with underlying profit of $182 million topping analyst estimates.
A final dividend of 35 cents was declared. Revenue was up 19% on-year amid stronger scrap shipments and improved pricing. Intake was higher across all regions, which helped drive profit growth.
An improvement in its US operations was a big contributor to the results. However, no guidance was given due to the global economic uncertainty.
Nearly 85% of SGM’s earnings are from North America and Europe. These areas are currently experiencing significant problems with a looming euro debt crisis.
Global difficulties in the form of US political gridlock, that country’s first ever credit downgrade, continued European sovereign debt fears, and Chinese inflationary pressures have prevented SGM from providing guidance.
We have also seen the Aussie dollar rally significantly over the past year, adding to the challenges SGM is already faced with.
A higher Aussie dollar results in SGM reporting lower earnings from its overseas operations.
During the last wave of global uncertainty, SGM went through a string of disappointing financial releases.
SGM has not provided any specific outlook, due to a lack of clarity regarding future economic conditions that could affect scrap flows.
As such it has been one of the shares to sell in recent months.
With a history of disappointment during tough global periods, we feel SGM is not out of the woods yet.