NEW YORK, April 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Arnaud Ajdler, a Senior Managing Director of Crescendo Partners (a New-York based value-oriented activist investment firm) and a shareholder of Exceed Company LTD. (Nasdaq: EDS), announced today that he sent a proposal to Exceed to be voted upon at the company’s upcoming annual meeting.
Arnaud Ajdler stated, "I believe it is extremely important for Exceed to initiate a quarterly dividend under a generous dividend policy. The company is very well capitalized and generates a significant amount of free cash flow, which is currently not reflected in its stock price. Pro forma,(1) the company currently trades at a price-to-earnings multiple (net of cash) below 2.5. This is well below the multiple of its peers in Hong Kong. For Exceed to be valued like its peers in Hong Kong, Exceed needs to adopt a similar dividend payout policy and share its free cash flow with shareholders. Based on comments on the last earnings call as well as a recent sell-side note,(2) it is obvious that shareholders believe a dividend would highlight the undervaluation of the company and help increase the stock price. A dividend would also expand the potential shareholder base which would increase the liquidity of the stock. By voting in favor of this proposal, shareholders can send a clear message to the Board that returning cash to shareholders through a quarterly dividend is an important and necessary tool to increase shareholder value at Exceed. I urge other shareholders to communicate with management and further reinforce this message."
Arnaud Ajdler further stated, "Assuming 2011 net income of US$64 million (earn-out earnings target for 2011) and a 50% dividend payout policy, the annual dividend would be US$0.73 per share.(1) I conservatively suggest an annual dividend of US$0.60 per share payable on a quarterly basis (US$0.15 per share quarterly). Based on the US$6.40 stock price as of April 12, 2011, a US$0.60 annual dividend per share would represent a very attractive 9.4% dividend yield. Such a yield should play a significant role in raising the stock price."
For Additional Information Please Contact:
Arnaud Ajdler (212) 319-7676
(1) This assumes a fully diluted number of shares of 44 million, which includes the earn-out shares for 2010 and 2011 as well as the exercise of 10 million warrants.
(2) See recent report from Global Hunter Securities on April 7, 2011, where Joe Giamichael (an analyst who follows the Company) wrote: "We would encourage the company to concentrate on enhancing shareholder value by initiating a cash dividend. Exceed currently has US$115 million in existing cash and was able to generate over US$80 million in operating cash flow in 2010. Given the asset-light model, the company is able to show material operating leverage which translates into significant earnings growth and cash generation. The stock currently trades at about a 60% discount to domestic-listed peers and about 75% to US-listed athletic wear companies, nearly all of which pay dividends from operating cash flows that generate a meaningful yield for investors. We believe that the company is well positioned financially to follow its peers in this practice and would encourage the company to do so. We also believe that if the company were to implement a dividend policy it could do so with no disruption to future growth or development plans. In doing so, investors should be willing to give the stock multiple expansion as it begins to emulate the capital markets strategies of its significantly higher valued peers. Additionally, the company positions itself to a broader investor base, one that seeks yield in addition to value and growth."
SOURCE Arnaud Ajdler