Whistler Blackcomb – quick IPO analysis

Whistler Blackcomb will be trading next week under ticker symbol WB in Toronto.

They priced their shares at $12 – down from the expected $15. The entity, assuming no exercise of the over-allotment, will have 37.8 million shares outstanding, so $12/share will have a capitalization of $454M.

The final prospectus was released on SEDAR yesterday and I went through it. What Fortress is leaving behind for the public is the empty husk of an entity that is heavily indebted, negative tangible equity on the balance sheet, and 97 cents of pre-capital expenditure cash flow to play with from the September 2009 fiscal year. 2010 will be a slightly worse year in terms of cash flow.

The biggest sham of this IPO is the dividend talk – 97.5 cents per share, based on a very flawed calculation on page 19 which will be very safe to say will not be sustained. Still, you will have enough retail investors that would be foolish enough to purchase shares strictly based on the 8.1% yield, but my guess is that this yield is not going to be sustainable in the medium term. They will have enough of a cash buffer ($29 million) to fund dividends beyond their cash generation, but it will not last long.

There is value in the shares, but certainly not at $12/share. This one is an easy avoid. I might take a look at the shares if they dip below about $5.30/share – they’ll likely get there once they cut distributions and/or have a bad season and/or are forced to recapitalize their $255 million debt.

There is more quantitative work that went behind this post, but for the sake of readability I have omitted most of it and stuck to the salient details of this IPO.

How this stock will trade will be interesting to watch – I suspect it will do a little better than $11.40/share (IPO proceeds minus fees) simply because it is an “income stock”.

1 thought on “Whistler Blackcomb – quick IPO analysis”

  1. I agree the dividend is far too high given their cashflow. Based on their own calculations it is 100% of distributable cash. But why do you claim the money is pre-cap ex. page 19 shows a claim of $6.5m for maintenance capex. Granted total capex was $20m+ before but you have to imagine after the olympics they are set for a while.

Comments are closed.