Monday, March 16, 2009

Briscoe's cash worth looking at

Rod Duke, majority owner of the Briscoe Group [BGR.NZ] is a stingy bastard. He would make Scrooge McDuck look like the free spending Donald Trump.

This is meant to be a compliment.

I knew Duke and his company was sitting on a pile of cash, around NZ$ 40 million, with NO DEBT, but it turns out that over the last year this pile has increased to some $63 million, up from the previous years $49 million.

We know he has been busy with his own money building up a stake in kids clothing retailer Pumpkin Patch Ltd [PPL.NZ] but Briscoe's penny pinching ways over the last year have worked a treat:

"We've been very frugal. It's been very fruitful our efforts to save and minimise costs," Briscoe managing director and majority shareholder Rod Duke said.

He said there had been no consideration given to paying out some of the extra money as a special dividend.

He has also hinted at acquisitions:

There might also be acquisition opportunities. "That hasn't passed me by either. It would have to be pretty good to coax some money out of me right now, but look... when things look as though they are going to be good, Rod's going to be there with a pocketful of money.

May I suggest Pumpkin Patch or Postie Plus? [PPG.NZ]

Full Year Profit to 25 Jan 2009 was down 48% in a depressed retail market.

Meanwhile back to that cash.

Briscoe's $63 million cash hoard means there is almost 30c for every share and at today's closing of 62c that makes Briscoe one of the better companies on the NZX in terms of financial robustness.

I am seriously looking at adding more and kicking myself for not noticing this earlier.


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c Share Investor 2009