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On today’s TSX Breakouts report, there are 49 stocks on the positive breakouts list (stocks with positive price momentum), and 29 stocks are on the negative breakouts list (stocks with negative price momentum).

Discussed today is an industrials stock that is on the positive breakouts list - ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. (ATA-T).

The company that will be reporting its quarterly earnings results before the market opens on Wednesday. Last quarter, the company reported earnings results that handily beat the Street’s expectations sending the share price soaring 7 per cent that day. The stock has a history of spiking higher after reporting its earnings, rallying eight of the past nine quarters with gains of 7 per cent or more each time.

A brief outline on ATS is provided below that may serve as a springboard for further fundamental research when conducting your own due diligence.

The company

Headquartered in Cambridge, Ont., ATS provides automation systems and services to customers across various industries such as life sciences, consumer products, electronics, food and beverage, chemicals, transportation and energy. The company operates over 50 manufacturing plants worldwide that are located in North America, Europe, Southeast Asia and China.

In terms of its geographical revenue breakdown, 51 per cent of fiscal 2022 revenue stemmed from North America, 38 per cent from Europe and 11 per cent from Asia and other regions.

In terms of its revenue breakdown by end markets, 51 per cent of revenue was from life sciences in fiscal 2022, , 18 per cent from food and beverage, 14 per cent from transportation, 12 per cent from consumer and 5 per cent from energy.

In fiscal 2022, roughly 62 per cent of revenue was from automation and integration solutions, 22 per cent from services and approximately 16 per cent stemmed from products and components.

Investment thesis

  • Robust revenue growth with a 16.6 per cent compound annual growth rate between fiscal 2017 and fiscal 2022.
  • Rising backlog, reflection of future revenue.
  • Improving profitability. Adjusted EBITDA margins have expanded to 15.8 per cent in fiscal 2022 from 11 per cent in fiscal 2017.
  • Health balance sheet to fund acquisition growth. At quarter-end, the net debt-to-adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) stood at 2.8 times.
  • Reasonable valuation.

Quarterly earnings and outlook

Before the market opened on Aug. 10, the company reported solid first-quarter results that topped the Street’s expectations (the company’s fiscal year-end is March 31).

Revenue came in at $611-million, up 20 per cent year-over-year, beating the consensus estimate of $603-million. Organic, or internal, revenue growth was 6 per cent year-over-year. Adjusted EBITDA was $100.8-million, surpassing the Street’s forecast of $97.6-million. Adjusted earnings per share came in at 64 cents, ahead of the consensus estimate of 54 cents. The company’s backlog, reflective of future revenue, ended the quarter at $1.555-billion, up from $1.438-billion reported last quarter.

The share price spiked higher that day, rising 7 per cent on high volume with over 1.3 million shares traded, which is well above the three-month historical daily average trading volume of approximately 300,000 shares.

On the earnings call, chief financial officer Ryan McLeod stated, “In summary, we’re pleased with another quarter of solid results. These achievements reflect organic growth, contributions from acquired businesses, in the ongoing deployment of our ABM [ATS Business Model] playbook in a challenging environment. We’re prepared to continue to operate in this environment with cost inflation and lead time pressures in our supply chain throughout the remainder of the year. We expect ABM efforts, combined with our strong order backlog will continue to serve us well in managing these challenges.”

The company will be releasing its second-quarter fiscal 2023 financial results before the market opens on Wednesday. The Street is anticipating the company will report revenue of $597-million, EBITDA of $91-million and earnings per share of 52 cents.

Returning capital to its shareholders

The company does not pay its shareholders a dividend.

For the three month period ending on July 3, the company repurchased 609,390 shares at a cost of $20.7-million.

Analysts’ recommendations

According to Bloomberg, this industrial stock with a market capitalization of $4.3-billion is covered by nine analysts, of which eight analysts have buy-equivalent recommendations and one analyst (Gavin Thomson from ISS-EVA) has an “underweight” recommendation.

The firms providing research coverage on the company are: Cormark Securities, ISS-EVA, Laurentian Bank, National Bank Financial, RBC Dominion Securities, Sadif Investment Analytics, Scotiabank, Stifel Canada and TD Securities.

Financial forecasts

For fiscal 2023, the Street is forecasting revenue of $2.55-billion, EBITDA of $399-million and earnings per share of $2.45. For fiscal 2024, the consensus revenue, EBITDA and earnings per share estimates are $2.69-billion, $434-million and $2.76, respectively.

Top and bottom line forecasts have been rising. Four months ago, the consensus revenue estimates were $2.43-billion for fiscal 2023 and $2.56-billion in fiscal 2024. EBITDA estimates were $415-million for fiscal 2023 and $460-million for fiscal 2024. The consensus earnings per share estimates were $2.34 for fiscal 2023 and $2.60 for fiscal 2024.


According to Bloomberg, the stock is trading at an enterprise value-to-EBITDA multiple of 12.3 times the fiscal 2024 consensus estimate, above its five-year historical average of 10.5 times. On a price-to-earnings basis, the stock is trading at 17 times the fiscal 2024 consensus estimate, relatively in-line with its five-year historical average of 17.5 times and below its peak multiple of approximately 23 times during this period.

The consensus one-year target price is $59, implying the share price has 26 per cent upside potential over the next 12 months. Individual target prices range from a low of $50 (from Laurentian Bank’s Troy Sun) to a high of $66 (Stifel’s Justin Keywood). Individual target prices provided by eight firms are: $50, $52, two at $55, $59, $60, $65.50 and $66.

Insider transaction activity

Quarter-to-date, there has not been any trading activity in the public market reported by insiders.

Chart watch

The share price has been volatile over the past two years. In 2021, the share price more than doubled, rallying 125 per cent. However, in the first half of 2022, the share price declined 30 per cent. Quarter-to-date, the share price is up 29 per cent making it the second best-performing stock in the S&P/TSX composite industrial (sector) index, behind Bombardier Inc. (BBD-B-T).

Looking at key technical resistance and support levels, the stock has major overhead resistance between $50 and $53, near its record closing high of $52.99 reached on Feb. 1, 2022. Looking at the downside, there is technical support around $40, near its 50-day moving average (at $41.96) and its 200-day moving average (at $41.25).

ESG Risk Rating

According to risk provider Sustainalytics, ATS has an ESG (environmental, social and governance) risk score of risk score of 34.2 as of September 3, 2022. A risk score of between 30 and 40 reflects a “high risk” rating.

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Source: Bloomberg and The Globe and Mail

The Breakouts file is a technical analysis screen intended to identify companies that are technically breaking out. In addition, this report highlights a company’s dividend policy, analysts’ recommendations, financial forecasts, and provides a brief technical analysis for a security to provide readers with more information.

If a stock appears on the positive breakouts list, this indicates positive price momentum, and that a company may be worthwhile for investors to look at the fundamentals in order to determine if the recent price strength is warranted and will continue. If a security appears on the negative breakouts list, this indicates negative price momentum, and may be indicative of either deteriorating fundamentals or perhaps indicates a buying opportunity.

Securities screened are from the S&P/TSX composite index, the S&P/TSX Small Cap index, as well as Canadian small cap stocks outside of these indexes that have a minimum market capitalization of $200-million.

A technical analysis screen does not replace fundamental analysis, but can help identify companies worth having a closer look at.

This report is not an investment recommendation.

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