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thank you for your detailed reply on symex - Symex produces oleo from tallow. It is based in Melbourne and gets its supplies from our abotoirs. It exports 60% of its products overseas. It has been in business for 140 years and was previously a subsidiary of ICI. Its chairman is Alan Sotckdale - he did a good job in government - maybe he will be OK. the other directors are quite young - the managing director is 47, and the other directors are in their 30s (unlike US companies I don't know how to do detailed searches on director's in australia - I just completed the rule maker seminar).

It is very price conscious and is keeping its cost base low and is very careful concerning its investments. Its share base also consists of many of its emploees, though I do believe the remunaeration of its financial and marketing managers is quite a bit higher than those of other employees - that is a bit of a worry.

I think the moat it has around it is that it is in australia and at the moment (and please G-d we should never have) we do not have mad cow disease and because a large amount of its product is used by the pharmaciutical, food and cosmetic industries this is of utmost importance.

The plant it has is quite intensive and was developed before it split from ICI so I think at the moment its high profit margins can be maintained. I will have to do an internet search to discover who its main competitors are - so that will be the next thing to do on my list.

what is enterprise value? I cannot find its definition in my financial dictionary.

I will go thru all your figures with the annual report in my hand and see if I can understand how you calculated them - I am very slow and still frightened of figures but I know if I want to be able to evaluate a company that is one of the first things I have to do.

Thank you for your very informative and detailed reply. At the present time I think I will keep Symex as a long term hold which is how my broker is teaching me to buy shares and this also suits my personality.

Can you suggest any good books or courses in Melbourne from which I can become proficient in financial analysis?

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