June 2nd, 2021 | 08:59 CEST
Aspermont, Commerzbank, SGL Carbon - Potential after renewal
Table of contents:
Aspermont - Turnaround already achieved
Aspermont is a media publisher focused on the global resources industry. Some of its brands, such as Mining Journal, have a 185-year history. However, the time of print media is slowly but surely running out. Management recognized the problems very early on and has been busy restructuring for some time. The goal is to become a digital media company, and the Australians are on a very good path.
Aspermont has been dabbling in paywall offerings since 2000 and has 4 million active users in its largest business area, mining. In addition, a solution for B2B media is to be developed, which is already in the pilot phase and is based on over 7 million customer contacts. As a result, there are three business units, Anything as a Service (XaaS), Data and Service. XaaS provides customers with content. Data is used to analyze customer behavior and can generate corresponding B2B leads. The services provide B2B customers with the ability to receive end-to-end marketing solutions.
When local commodity trade shows were canceled due to the Corona pandemic, the Company turned to the Virtual Event & Exhibition solution already in development. The result was a 365-day virtual trade show where regular updates appear and leads are generated for Aspermont's customers. The successful work can be seen from the net cash position, which increased by USD 7.1 million in 2020, deducting USD 3 million from a placement. The transformation seems successful and there are excellent growth prospects.
Commerzbank - If the interest rates rise, one should be a COBA shareholder
Commerzbank has been in crisis since the Lehman bankruptcy and was ultimately rescued by the German government. Since then, the bank has been in reorganization mode and is trying to reposition itself. It has joined the United Nations Net-Zero Banking Alliance and aims to become climate-neutral within Commerzbank by 2040. By 2050, the entire loan and investment portfolio is to neutralize CO2 emissions entirely. The stated goal is to actively drive the transformation to a sustainable economy.
Technically, Commerzbank wants to be present in the upcoming blockchain market and is in the process of developing digital marketplaces with Deutsche Börse and Fintech 360X. On these platforms, investors will be able to invest in illiquid assets such as art objects or real estate using tokens. Another alliance was concluded with Evonik and BASF, with which a cloud-based blockchain platform is being tested to process payment transactions automatically.
The figures for the first quarter were decent, but at the same time, the job cuts continue. The big question is: Are interest rates rising again? Due to Commerzbank's large lending business, a 1% increase in interest rates would improve EUR 600 million in net interest income. Bond rates have been rising in the US since the beginning of the year. Blackrock reported a holding of over 5% on May 28. That, too, is a sign that the bank has potential.
SGL Carbon - In the midst of restructuring
SGL Carbon, one of the world's largest producers of carbon and graphite, is still in the early stages of restructuring. The loss of 2019 was exceeded again in 2020, also due to Corona. The result was a loss of EUR 132 million. Management reacted in the same year with job cuts and cost-cutting measures. Parts of the loss in 2020, therefore, also resulted from this.
After the first quarter, the Company had already cut 200 of its 500 jobs. In addition, there are to be recurring savings in material costs of over EUR 100 million. This program is to be implemented by the end of 2022. The Company puts the cost of this at around EUR 40 million. For 2021, the Company hopes for a slight increase in sales and expects a significantly lower loss.
The share has left its downward trend, but the transformation of the Company is far from complete. With the end of the Corona pandemic, sales could rise again, making the group profitable again in the long term. The next exciting date for investors will be August 12, when the Company plans to present new financial figures.
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