Broker thinks Burson Group Ltd has room to charge higher


Burson Group Ltd (ASX: BAP), soon to be called Bapcor, made its debut on the ASX boards in April 2014, and it’s been nothing but good for the business ever since.

The shares have been on fire as well, rising from an offer price of $1.82 to roughly $5.14 today. That’s a 182% return in just over two years, and that’s not including dividends along the way.

While some investors may be growing cautious of the group’s share price, Morgan Stanley thinks they still have further to run. In fact, according to Dow Jones Newswires, the investment bank raised their price target on the shares by 4.8% to $5.50. That represents a 7% increase from today’s share price, although there’s nothing to say it won’t go further from there.

Burson Group is a leading player in Australia’s automotive aftermarket parts industry. In simple terms, the company provides many of the parts required for the repair and servicing of automotive vehicles – predominantly those that are four years or older.

This gives the company a defensive edge. During times of economic uncertainty, consumers tend to delay the purchase of new vehicles to save funds and to get more out of their older cars. More use leads to more wear and tear which results in greater demand for Burson’s products.

What’s more, because the majority of the company’s customers are actually the mechanics themselves (as opposed to the vehicle owners), they can typically pass the costs onto the end user being the mechanics’ customers. Because cars are so important in our everyday lives, car-owners have the predicament of either paying up those additional dollars or else going without a car altogether (or else driving around a faulty car, which could lead to the need for more repairs in the future, which is also good for Burson).

This has been demonstrated recently with the company passing on some of the costs associated with a weaker Australian dollar to customers.

Led by a strong and competent management team, with Darryl Abotomey at the helm, the company has drastically increased its presence around Australia. It’s aiming to have 200 trade stores by financial year 2021, which would give it even greater pricing power, while it is also growing its same-store-sales at a very nice clip.

What’s more, the company purchased Metcash Limited’s (ASX: MTS) Automotive Division last year in a deal too good to miss, picking up businesses such as Autobarn and ABS along the way. It also acquired the 4-wheel-drive focused Opposite Lock business around the same time which is another growth avenue for the business.

These acquisitions will allow Burson to improve its scalability, while Burson has also identified a number of synergistic benefits to extract. As an example, it believes the annual EBITDA benefit (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) will be around $10 million by financial year 2019, with a $6 million working capital benefit as well.

Source: Burson presentation

Source: Burson presentation

Of course, as is the case with any business, there are risks to consider as well, including the threat of competition. As a serial acquirer, there’s also the potential for Burson to overpay for some of its new stores or businesses which is something investors certainly need to keep in mind, although the company has proven more than competent with identifying good deals thus far.

Indeed, Burson’s share price may have risen strongly over the past two years and the shares mightn’t necessarily be ‘cheap’ today. But based on the quality of the business and management team, as well as its growth prospects, Burson is worthy of a position on your watch list today.

However, if Burson isn't what you're looking for there are plenty of other great businesses to consider instead. For example, our resident dividend expert recently named his Top Dividend Share for 2016.

With interest rates currently sitting at 1.75%, and tipped to fall even further, this high-yielding dividend share could be a great business to consider today.

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman owns shares of Burson. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Burson. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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