What is Happening to the McGrath Ltd Share Price?

What does McGrath Ltd do?

McGrath Ltd [ASX:MEA] is a real estate agency with a dominant position in the prestige market of Sydney’s Eastern suburbs. It has growth plans to move into the lucrative Melbourne market.

Real estate agencies make their money from sales commissions and rental rolls. Their rental/property management income is their bread and butter, while the sales commissions behave more cyclically.

What’s happening to the MEA share price?

McGrath only listed in December last year. The IPO price was $2.20, but ever since listing the MEA share price has declined. It last traded at $1.30 and today went into a trading halt while it prepares to update the market on new earnings expectations.

Given the performance of the stock and the slowdown in the Sydney housing market, it is likely that MEA will warn of lower than expected profits for the year to 30 June.

If this is the case, you’ll likely see the share price fall even further.

What now for McGrath Ltd?

Stocks that struggle from their initial listing usually take some time to recover, if at all. MEA took advantage of a strong real estate market to sell itself to the public at what now looks to be an inflated price.

With the market now cooling, the weakness of MEA’s business model is exposed. That is, it appears overly reliant on sales volumes. Therefore, a slowing market has a large impact on sales. The company’s forecasts as outlined in the prospectus appear in hindsight to be too rosy.

As you can see from the chart below, the McGrath share price has been in a constant downtrend. By following the simple rule of never buying into a stock trending down, you would’ve easily avoided MEA.

MEA stock price chart 15Apr16


Source: BigCharts.com

[click to enlarge]

Never assess a stock’s fundamentals without looking at the chart too. Combining fundamental analysis with charting can yield powerful results.

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Greg Canavan
Editor, Markets and Money

If you’d like to know more,

Greg Canavan
Greg Canavan is a contributing Editor of Markets and Money and is the foremost authority for retail investors on value investing in Australia. He is a former head of Australasian Research for an Australian asset-management group and has been a regular guest on CNBC, Sky Business’s The Perrett Report and Lateline Business. Greg is also the editor of Crisis & Opportunity, an investment publication designed to help investors profit from companies and stocks that are undervalued on the market. To follow Greg's financial world view more closely you can subscribe to Markets and Money for free here. If you’re already a Markets and Money subscriber, then we recommend you also join him on Google+. It's where he shares investment research, commentary and ideas that he can't always fit into his regular Markets and Money emails. For more on Greg go here.

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