AS Company (ASCO:ATH) : A Cheap Greek Toy

This is not the first time I feature a Greek company on this blog. Before, I have posted about:

  • OPAP (1, 2) – The gambling monopoly which has doubled since my February 2013 write-up.
  • METKA – The metal constructions company that didn’t go anywhere in the past year.
  • JUMBO – The toy store chain that had already tripled at the time of the write-up and went on to nearly double in the year since.

Overall, select Greek companies delivered great returns ever since the 2011 turmoil. In 2013, the Greek stock market was the best performing in Europe after Ireland.

Today, I am revisiting a very simple Greek stock idea that I haven’t posted before, probably because my broker couldn’t trade it and it got buried.

AS Company (ASCO:ATH) is another toy company. It manufactures and distributes board games, puzzles, dolls and all other sorts of toys. The company also imports toys under licensing agreements with Walt Disney and Warner Bros.

ASCO is a tiny company, headquartered in Thessaloniki – €8.5m cap, €18.5m revenue and 65 employees. It has been solidly profitable in each of the last 8 years, for which I found information, although it did take a hit from the crisis. Operating profit dropped to the €1m range post-2009 – from €3-4m range pre-2009.

In the past 8 years, ASCO generated €13m in free cash flow and €11.5m in net income.

Today, ASCO’s net current asset value is €11.7m and trades at nearly 30 % discount to this, making it a great addition to your foreign net-net basket…if you find a broker to trade it.