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Looking behind the numbers for any share is a bit like being a detective.  In our case, Mike Bigwood left us some clues in last week’s sector scan column about where we need to look further. 

For one thing, we know the PEG ratio told us to expect higher growth than the current share price would indicate, so we are going to look into the company’s future plans.

For another thing, Bigwood indicated DCG has some big-name clients – including Australian giants Woodside Petroleum (WPL), BHP Billiton (BHP), and Fortescue Metals (FMG); as well as American oil giant, Chevron.

While that is certainly an impressive client list, we need to know more about the nature of the contracts DCG has with these companies.  Are they large contracts?  Does DCG have repeat contracts with any of these companies?

Since it is a newer company, we will want to know how effective DCG is at managing its contract business.  As you may know, contract work can be highly volatile.  Conditions change which can result in cost overruns and time delays in contract completion.  What is DCG’s on time performance in contract completion?

For searching behind the numbers of any share company, there are three principal sources:

1.    Visit the company’s website and read annual reports and other items of interest.
2.    Learn what you do not know through online searches.
3.    Read company-specific news items and industry-related items through online searches.

We begin our search on the company’s website, where we can find links to their annual reports.  First, we see what else there might be of interest on the site before digging into those annual reports.

The site itself is not as flashy as some, but we are considering investing in a company here, not a website with pretty pictures and animation.  Moving to the Investor Centre section, we find something worth investigating.

In May of 2011, the company made an investor presentation at a Goldman Sachs Emerging Companies Conference in Australia. 

If you have not already done so, it is a good practice to use multiple windows in your browser to go back and forth to look up terms you do not understand immediately when you encounter them.  In the unlikely event you do not know anything about Goldman Sachs, we will save you the trouble of searching – they are one of the largest investment banks in the world.

The presentation is there for all to see on the website and we immediately learn DCG is not shy about pointing out what it can do that its competition cannot.  They are the only company in Australia capable of handling large-scale contracts (100m) in all three of the following key areas:

•    Accomodation Villages
•    Civil Works
•    Non-Process InfrastructureNot even Australian giant Leighton Holdings (LEI) can make that claim.

Reading on we get some insight into DCG’s ability to execute contracts.  They make two important claims:

•    They have a reputation for delivering contracts on time and on budget.
•    They are consistently awarded repeat work.It will be a simple matter to check their list of current projects against future projects to verify the second claim.  Common sense tells us a service provider that fails to complete work on time and on budget will have a difficult time getting repeat business.

Moving on we find a list of current projects.  Our questions are answered.  Contract size ranges from a 71 million dollar project for BHP Billiton to a 176 million dollar project for Chevron.  They have an additional project with a Chevron company valued at 74 million.  This is good evidence of quality work.  If the Chevron parent was not satisfied with DCG, it is not likely the company would be awarded an additional contract with a subsidiary.

We also notice they have two contracts with Woodside Petroleum on that company’s Pluto LNG Project.  If you do not know what LNG is or what the implications of Woodside’s Pluto project are, take a moment and search the net to learn what you need to know.  Remember, the more successful Woodside Petroleum is, the more successful Decmil Group will be. (Woodside is in fact our Bull of the Week this week, click here for the article.)

Now we move on to DCG’s upcoming projects.  We learn they already have approved contracts to begin in 2011 with Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals, and Chevron. They have feasibility studies underway with existing client Woodside Petroleum, and four new clients, including Inpex (oil and gas) and Hancock Prospecting (iron ore mining).

What’s more, the company estimates more than 5.5 billion in contracts will be awarded in the next two years in projects favorable to DCG’s expertise.  Their projected list includes six clients with which the company is currently doing business and four with which the company has projects pending.

Finally, we learn the company is planning to expand into Queensland and the Northern Territory. They are also looking into small-scale Merger and Acquisition opportunities.

This presentation at the Goldman conference has told us most of what we need to know. A further look into the Management Analysis section of the annual report confirms what was in the presentation.

There are additional nuggets of information in the website’s announcement section regarding the contracts highlighted in the Goldman Sachs presentation. The company announcement of a management change made on 21 April, 2011 is significant.

They have a new Managing Director who came to them from Leighton Industries where he served as General Manager for Western Australia.

If you enter “Decmil Group news” into your favourite Internet search engine, you will find more to read, but at this point, it appears DCG has a very bright future. Investors willing to invest in this company should stay informed about commodity prices in general and any reduction in commodities demand in China in particular.  Many experts believe as long as China keeps growing, so does Australia.

>>Back to the newsletter to view other articles – June 5th 2011

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