There are many cheap shares around now because of recent geopolitical and economic events. And last year’s weak stock market created several attractive-looking investment opportunities for my Stocks and Shares ISA.
One I’m keen on is IG Design (LSE: IGR). The company describes itself as a “leading” manufacturer of gift packaging and products for celebrations, gifting, stationery and creative play.
In the trading year to March 2022, around 69% of revenue came from the Americas and 12% from the UK. The remaining turnover came from other countries in the world. So IG Design has a well-developed international business with an emphasis on America.
But as we might expect, operations have a lot of cyclicality. And that’s caused problems along with the well-reported general supply chain difficulties.
I last wrote about the firm in November 2019. Back then, the business was riding high and growing like mad. And I reported the share price at 639p. But today, it’s in the ballpark of 153p. So what went wrong?
The answer to that question is earnings. The pandemic and the other economic challenges caused the firm’s profits to drop away. And the share price plunged as well. Since its peak in January 2020, the stock is now around 78% lower. Therefore, it’s cheap in that sense.
But the business is turning itself around. And the shares have been responding well. For example, over the past year, the stock has risen by just over 40%. But the enterprise has the potential to perform well in the coming years and to rebuild its earnings.
The business is turning
Last November’s half-year results were encouraging. Revenue for the six months to 30 September increased 8% year on year. And there was “improved profits and margin recovery”. The directors said they expected the full-year results to be “ahead of expectations”.
City analysts have pencilled in a big earnings recovery of around 580% for the trading year to March 2024. But even if that happens, earnings will still only be around a quarter of those achieved in the year to March 2019.
Meanwhile, the forward-looking earnings multiple set against that estimate is around 15. And that valuation strikes me as fair rather than cheap. However, if IGR can rebuild its earnings to somewhere near prior levels, the valuation today could prove to be cheap. But positive outcomes aren’t guaranteed. So I’d suggest this stock is not for widows and orphans, despite the potential of the business to recover and grow.
But new chief executive Paul Bal is due to take up his position on 1 April. And he’s been the chief financial officer (CFO) since March 2022. But prior to that he served as CFO at Stock Spirits where he “was instrumental in the turnaround of the then LSE-listed group”.
However, even with a refreshed management team in place, positive outcomes are not certain. And one thing for investors to keep an eye on is the big load of debt carried by the company.
Nevertheless, I’m optimistic about the multiyear prospects for IG Design. And although I already hold some of the shares, I’m thinking about adding more to my Stocks and Shares ISA.