Where the FM got it wrong
The FM prides itself on bringing you the facts. But we may have wildly exaggerated Markus Jooste’s deal-making prowess or been the naysayers on the success of the Gautrain. Askies
The Naspers share hit a peak of R4,090 in November 2017. In June 2009, when the share was at R185.88, we said this about what has become one of SA’s best-performing companies:
Naspers’s value has increased in the past three months to a market capitalisation of R80bn. Its p:e ratio of 20.9 against the media sector’s 16.1 and the Alsi’s 10.5 makes Naspers look relatively overpriced.
And in July 2011, when the share price reached R380.07, we said:
Analysts feel Naspers is fairly valued, trading at a historical p:e of 3.5, which excludes its investment in Tencent and Mail.ru. These investments are worth around R312.27 a share and R32.66 a share respectively and will remain the key drivers of future growth. These investments have a high risk profile and investors should adopt a wait-and-see approach.
On disgraced former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste, in September 2012 we said:
For investors cautious on Steinhoff as a whole, but wanting to back the Jooste magic, JD Group, in which it has had a 50.1% stake since April, is an alternative. "JD is also cheap," says [then Sanlam Investment Management fund manager Claude] Van Cuyck.
And in July 2014:
The company’s CE, Markus Jooste, is already renowned as a skilled deal-maker at home. He has often said he’d like to transform the company into one of the world’s top furniture retailers and manufacturers. He’s one step away from the top spot in Europe.
Again in December 2014:
The group is led by an experienced management team overseas and in SA, but heading the pack is the clear talent of CEO Markus Jooste. In SA, when business commentary turns to the country’s top dealmakers, it’s usually Brian Joffe of Bidvest and Stephen Saad of Aspen who are mentioned. Jooste is in the same league, expert at spotting and evaluating good deals, and exceptionally talented at organising the best combination of finance for these deals. Through astute acquisitions and bold marketing initiatives, he has driven Steinhoff to where it is today.
It got worse in December 2015:
Under his astute leadership and guided by his strategy smarts the group has become a retail titan, yet Jooste remains low key and down to earth.
On Sasol’s Lake Charles project, which blew the budget and missed all its deadlines, we had this to say in December 2014:
The construction of an $8,1bn ethane cracker and derivatives complex at Lake Charles, Louisiana, will strengthen Sasol’s position in the global chemicals market and soften the blow of a lower oil price. Sasol is now firmly in buy territory as the energy picture shifts.
On the Gautrain, July 2005:
To this day there are serious concerns that Gautrain will fail to get sufficient passenger numbers and will therefore be derailed by financial problems.
And in the same article:
Come 2010, Gauteng may look like a huge construction site to the millions of soccer fans who will be flocking to SA. That has the makings of a public relations disaster.