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Gap: KAB

The Wall Board: Stocks (Misc): STOCKS NOT OTHERWISE LISTED: Gap: KAB

By Igodard on Tuesday, December 7, 1999 - 08:36 pm:

[Strange mix. Your comparison to a utility is quite appropriate. Pipelines are highly
regulated and therefore basically
subject to govt. price controls. Pipelines can only significantly grow revenue by increasing
throughput. How does the IS
piece "fit"? Unless the techies are focusing on pipeline-related issues, it seems an awfully
strange combination. Disturbing,
even, from an investment point of view, because the businesses are so vastly different. ]


[What's their loss reserve? Some "bad" pipelines go as high as 10% of revenue, while others
are less than a percent.]

Essentially none directly, because the real owner of the line is KPP. They have the
sweetheart management contract and 1/3 of the equity. Gets them out of the suit exposure

[How did they end up with the IS division? What sort of work do they take? Are they a "body
shop" (recruiter, taking $x per
hour)? Or do they do full life cycle development on a project basis? ]

The IS side is mostly a a systems integration house. It seems to have nothing whatsoever to
do with the line - they do mostly Beltway Bandit work for the government (and are DC
located) with diversification into financial ops and a mention of software to handle
insurance claims for large employers if I remember. SI and VAR - a lot of hardware sales in
the mix too. No mention of body shop work, which I would have red flagged (I don't like the
business for anything but short term as it's hypercyclical).

I don't know how it started - didn't look that far back - but I'd guess that the new CEO a couple
of years ago decided to hitch onto the rising ting with the extra money. Since then there's
been acquisitions (which seem to have been integrated well) and they expect more. The
recap that produced KPP was a 'clear the decks for action' move, and this seems to be the
direction of the action.

Yet they are pretty flexible - the wholesale fuel business was the another recent buy, and
that's a quite conventional vertical move in the petro distrobution business.

Some hodgepodges seem to be mere reflections of CEO hubris (James Link comes to mind)
but this one seems to be a lot better than that to me.

Disclosure: accumulating


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