Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
No. of Recommendations: 0

This is a SA Pro article, so I'm not sure how they control access to it; I am seeing it for free today, as I don't subscribe to Pro.

Less than 400 words cited, doesn't get me as much as I'd like to show you, but the general tone is certainly evident in this part of the valuation and summary by the author:

For investors now, however, I don't think $1 in 2016 EPS is needed to drive fair value above a current $5.66. To be sure, reseller multiples are traditionally very low - even larger, better-scaled peers such as Ingram Micro (NYSE:IM) or Tech Data generally see forward multiples in the 8-12x range. DTLK's operating margins are slightly better, owing to its larger services practice (in terms of overall revenue, not in absolute size of course), but with weakness in storage and management concerns anything more than 10x right now seems aggressive.

And that still augurs some value here. 10x FY15 EPS, normalized for the $10 million cost-cutting, values shares above $8. If Datalink can hit the 2016 target, the stock likely clears $10. To the upside, this is a stock, in better days, that received a mid-teens multiple and if - and it's a big "if" - it can create some operating growth next year, could see some multiple expansion in addition to the likely bottom-line growth. It's aggressive, but not impossible, to see a potential triple by 2017: non-GAAP EPS in the low $1 range with a 13-15x multiple + cash can get shares to $15 or beyond. That would require improvement in execution (and likely stabilization in storage), but it is in play.

It also appears that there was some significant pressure on shares this year. Fidelity, which in March owned 15.1% of the company, appears now to have liquidated its entire stake in the past six months. Based on trailing average volume, its position represented over a month's worth of volume, and may have contributed to the stock's steep decline.

Again, there are concerns, and it's also dicey to argue that a struggling company is finally cheap enough. But this is a long-profitable business with a decent niche; storage weakness will abate, whether through a rebound or through the segment simply withering in terms of overall mix. A continued decline in earnings is already priced in, and at the risk of sounding pollyannaish, much more of that likely means new blood at the top, and a potential turnaround. Overall, below $6, I still think there's a good long case for DTLK - but I've been wrong before.
Print the post  


What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.