Advance Nanotek (ANO.ASX)

April 4, 2021

We continue with examples of Boole’s quantitative investment process in action.

Recently, we looked at the following companies:

Danavation (DVN.CN):

Myomo Inc. (MYO):

The Singing Machine Company (SMDM):

ADF Group, Inc. (DRX.T):

Thermal Energy International Inc. (TMGEF):

Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. (HLX):

Five Star Senior Living Inc. (FVE):

North American Construction Group Ltd. (NOA):

Vera Bradley, Inc. (VRA):

Lazydays Holdings, Inc. (LAZY):

Karora Resources Inc. (KRRGF):

Diamond S Shipping Inc. (DSSI):

DHI Group, Inc. (DHX):

Saga Communications Inc. (SGA):

Northwest Pipe Co. (NWPX):

Smart Sand Inc. (SND):

Terravest Industries Inc. (TVK.TO):

LGL Group, Inc. (LGL):

G-III Apparel Group, Ltd. (GIII):

Hummingbird Resources Plc. (HUMRF):

Micropac Industries, Inc. (MPAD):

Barrett Business Services, Inc. (BBSI):

Delta Apparel, Inc. (DLA):

AdvanSix, Inc. (ASIX):

Universal Technical Institute (UTI):

Burnham Holdings Inc (BURCA):

Select Interior Concepts (SIC):

Manitowoc (MTW):

Ciner Resources LP (CINR):

Global Ship Lease (GSL):

Alico, Inc. (ALCO):

Genco Shipping (GNK):


Tidewater (TDW):

TravelCenters of America (TA):

Teekay Tankers (TNK):

Ranger Energy Services (RNGR):

Macro Enterprises (Canada: MCR.V):

This week, we are going to look at Advance Nanotek (ANO.ASX).  ANO makes two products: ZinClear and Alusion.  ZinClear is a nanoparticle zinc oxide UV blocker used in sunscreen.  Alusion is a nanoparticle alumina oxide used in cosmetics to hide wrinkles.  ZinClear is about 90% of sales and 88% of profits.

Advance Nanotek has a market cap of $244 million.  The stock price is $4.15.  (All values are in Australian dollars.)

This is not a typical deep value investment and it is not owned by the Boole Microcap Fund.  But it’s an interesting idea to track because the company is growing fast.

Step One

First we screen for cheapness based on five metrics.  Here are the numbers for Advance Nanotek:

    • EV/EBITDA = 2.18
    • P/E = 4.15
    • P/B = 8.83
    • P/CF = 2.22
    • P/S = 0.83

These figures are based on estimated EBITDA of $110 million, which the company could achieve in a few years.

Step Two

Next we calculate the Piotroski F-Score, which is a measure of the fundamental strength of the company.  For more on the Piostroski F-Score, see my blog post here:

Advance Nanotek has a Piotroski F-Score of 7.  (The best score possible is 9, while the worst score is 0.)  This is good.

Step Three

Then we rank the company based on low debt, high insider ownership, and shareholder yield.

We measure debt levels by looking at total liabilities (TL) to total assets (TA).  Advance Nanotek has TL/TA of 13.9%, which is excellent.

Insider ownership is important because that means that the people running the company have interests that are aligned with the interests of other shareholders.  At Advance Nanotek, insiders own 49% of the shares, which is outstanding.

Shareholder yield is the dividend yield plus the buyback yield.  At Advance Nanotek, the dividend yield is zero and the buyback yield is zero.  So shareholder yield is zero.

Step Four

The final step is to study the company’s financial statements, presentations, and quarterly conference calls to (i) check for non-recurring items, hidden liabilities, and bad accounting; (ii) estimate intrinsic value—how much the business is worth—using scenarios for low, mid, and high cases.

See Advance Nanotek’s most recent annual report (June, 2020):

Intrinsic value scenarios:

    • Low case: EBITDA may only be $20 million.  The company may be worth an EV/EBITDA of 8.  That works out to $2.65 a share, which is 36% lower than today’s $4.15.
    • Mid case: Normalized EBITDA is at least $110 million.  With an EV/EBITDA of 10, the stock would be worth $16.93 per share, which is over 300% higher than today’s $4.15.
    • High case: EBITDA may reach $150 million.  With an EV/EBITDA of 10, the company would be worth $25.43 per share, which is over 510% higher than today’s $4.15.



An equal weighted group of micro caps generally far outperforms an equal weighted (or cap-weighted) group of larger stocks over time.  See the historical chart here:

This outperformance increases significantly by focusing on cheap micro caps.  Performance can be further boosted by isolating cheap microcap companies that show improving fundamentals.  We rank microcap stocks based on these and similar criteria.

There are roughly 10-20 positions in the portfolio.  The size of each position is determined by its rank.  Typically the largest position is 15-20% (at cost), while the average position is 8-10% (at cost).  Positions are held for 3 to 5 years unless a stock approaches intrinsic value sooner or an error has been discovered.

The mission of the Boole Fund is to outperform the S&P 500 Index by at least 5% per year (net of fees) over 5-year periods.  We also aim to outpace the Russell Microcap Index by at least 2% per year (net).  The Boole Fund has low fees.


If you are interested in finding out more, please e-mail me or leave a comment.

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Disclosures: Past performance is not a guarantee or a reliable indicator of future results. All investments contain risk and may lose value. This material is distributed for informational purposes only. Forecasts, estimates, and certain information contained herein should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but not guaranteed. No part of this article may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission of Boole Capital, LLC.