Thursday, April 6, 2017

Energold - Last Year Was Not Turnaround

Energold Drilling (EGD.V) is the last drilling company to publish its 2016 results.

To remind my readers - Energold is not a pure mineral drilling play. Apart from its Mineral Division, the company also runs two other business lines: energy drilling and manufacturing. And these latter businesses did not perform well in 2016. As a result, 2016 was not a turnaround year for the company. Look at the chart below:

source: Simple Digressions

As the chart shows, since 2013 the company was not able to deliver any cash from its operations. What is more, last year was one the worst in the company's history.

Does it mean that everything is bad at Energold? Not necessarily. Its Mineral Division reported quite promising results. Let me start from two operating measures - metres drilled and drilling prices:

source: Simple Digressions

Well, the green bars (representing the amount of metres drilled) look quite good - in 2016 the company drilled more metres than in 2015. However, the red chart line showing drilling prices looks like an ECG (electrocardiogram) chart. Surely, the company has some problems with its pricing policy...

Further, mineral drilling margins improved in 2016. The left panel of the chart below shows annual gross margins (defined as revenue less direct costs, then divided by revenue). Note an uptick in a gross margin in 2016, compared to 2015. 

The right panel of the chart shows margins reported in 2016 on a-per-quarter basis:    

source: Simple Digressions

On the other hand, last year the Energy Division reported much lower gross margin than in 2015:

source: Simple Digressions

I would summarize this discussion as follows:

Although the Mineral Division reported promising results (in 4Q 2016 it even booked a net profit of around C$1M) , two other business lines (energy and manufacturing) performed badly in 2016. 

The result is here:

source: Simple Digressions

As the chart shows, since the beginning of 2016 Energold shares have been the worst performing shares amongst their peers.


  1. SD, thank you for sharing this article.

    The same people who run Energold are also at the helm of Impact Silver (V.IPT). Like everything else this close association between Energold and Impact is hurting disproportionally Impact shareholders. As you pointed out Energold has incurred some bad years (I understand that their Western Canada drilling operations were in line with the state Western Canada oil and gas economy).

    My concerns is that Energold in addition to its own troubles, may pull down the performance of Impact Silver.

    As opposed to Energold, Impact Silver had a stellar 2016, are once again cash flow positive and are reporting great results in their San Ramon mine. The trouble is that, instead of capitalizing on the new capital (2 oversubscribed PPs in 20160, positive cash flow and very promising results, Impact Silver management is doing not enough to build on the positives and that inaction is clearly indicated in the stock price performance in late 2016 and 2017.

  2. Zestil,

    I would not say that Impact Silver had a stellar year (rather a decent one). I generally like this company but its shares are still too expensive (for example, the EV/EBITDA multiple stands at 40 now).