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Moeller Maersk update Aug. 26th, 2019

This is not a recommendation or proposal to do anything. The data written in this article is not guarranteed. It is my private personal opinion. I`m not independing as I own a position of Moeller Maersk shares. 

Moeller Maersk is the world biggest shipping company with revenues of about 40bn $/yr, EBITDA 5 bn$, capex 2.2 bn$ not sufficient to keep capacity(guidance 2019 Q1/2019)Maersk moves about 18% of all containers world-wide and is considered a barometer of the global trade. Moeller Maersk was due to low shipping rates and high bunker fuel prices in its key business till q2 not profitable. It was a conglomerate with an oil&gas business. This business was sold recently. The oil&gas drilling activities were put on the stock exchange separatly.  

Potential motivation to buy Moeller Maersk shares is a bet on a turnaound of the container shipping market with higher freight rates hope sooner or more realistic later.  

Chances & Risks

The main chance is that the container shipping demand increases (not Yet!) and the shipping capacity decreases thus freight rates increase and Moeller Maersk will increase profitability significantly. Moeller Maersk has 305 own ships plus 408 chartered ships in service (31.03.2019) but only 6 ships are on order. Container ships have a lifetime of 20 - 25 years. That means it would require about 15 new ships/yr. to keep the actual capacity. 

The actual risk are the US trade sanctions against China. The main risk in the longer term is that countries like China support their shipbuilding and shipping business without considering profitability. 

Moeller Maersk aims to become a player in the logisitic market. There are already plenty of independent players in the market. Actually this division is not profitable! I do not think this move will become the most successful one. It would be more promising if MM would focus on an optimization of the shipping core business.   

A challenge for sea shipping are new emission control regulations as of 2020. These regulation are a cost burden for all players in the market. Maersk's key focus will be to use low sulfur fuels including blended ones that are compliant in all geographies," This does not imply that Maersk will not use scrubbers at all -- it plans to invest an overall $80 million in its scrubbers related initiative, Pedersen said (7).

Another risk is that Moeller Maersk as success in the core business is rare put the focus on green religious nonsense. Actually most articles about Moeller Maersk in Europa are about such nonsense (2). The last communicated initiative is to make MM CO2 neutral by 2050. This is not an issue as it is easy to make promises for 2050. But Mearsk stated to have spent already 1 bn$ in the last 4 years on energy efficiency (8). It is to hope that it created savings > 1 bn$. I would rather appreciate if Moeller Maersk would focus on such opportunities as establishing LNG as bunker fuel. It would help to reduce costs and fullfill environmental requirements (sulphur emissions). Due to its size and the the operatorship of terminals and harbour equipment it is in the ideal position to establish a new fuel. 

It seems as well that MM did not realize the negative economic situation yet. MM tightens its ship recycling procedures that means not using the inexpensive recycling yards in Bangladesh(12). That means creating unnessecary costs while the unit is not yet profitable. 

All in all it seems as the MM management is acting in a world away from real life. It is to concentrate on the core business and make it profitable again.  


Data & Information (16)

Exchange rate 1 $ = 6.66 DKK (Aug. 6, 2019)

Revenue (Q2/19)                                                           9,630 mio. $

EBITDA (Q2/19)                                                             1,360 mio. $ guidance, 2019 5bn$

EBIT (Q2/19)                                                                  416  mio. $
Profit/Loss (Q2/19):                                                         141 mio. $     eps 7$   
Capex Guidance 2019                                                        2.2bn$

Business Segments (mio. $ q2/19)

                                      Revenue       EBITDA    EBITDA margin    Capex     

Ocean                            7,150            1068       14.9%                  314

Logistics & Services         1,484            61          4.1%                     29

Terminals & Towage         957              226         23.6%                   85

Manufacturing & Others   459              36           7.8%                     10


The terminals division is the only division that is really profitable. It depends indeed on the usage by the ocean division. Logistics that MM plans to become a big player is not profitable at all. Potentially it would make sense to get rid of the logistics and the "Others". 

Dept (2018):                            8.7 bn$

Net Profit (2018):                     The result for the continuing operations was a loss of USD 148m  $

Total assets (Q2/19)                 56,555 mio. $ 

Dividend (paid 2019):               DKK 150 per share = 22.5$ in august. 

Shares 19.08.2019

Total Shares                         Treasury Shares          Outstanding      

10,756,262 A-shares                               61864                                     10.694.398

10,060,398 B-shares                               298296                                   9.762.102

Total                                                                                   20.456500

As many other companies MM has a share buy back program. The share buy-back program allows to buy shares of up to DKK 10bn (1.5 bn$) (that is about 10% of the outstanding shares) during a 15-month period beginning 4 June 2019. During the first phase of the program running from 4 June 2019 up to 1 November 2019, the Company will buy-back A and B shares for an amount of up to DKK 3.3bn.



                                                                            Share                     Votes


A. P Møller Holding A/S, Copenhagen, Denmark      41.51%                  51.45%

A.P. Møller og Hustru Chastine Mc-Kinney

Møllers Familiefond, Copenhagen, Denmark            8.84%                    13.12%

Den A.P. Møllerske Støttefond, Copenhagen,

Denmark                                                             3.11%                     5.99%


Source Marketscreener (5)

Some News

2019/05/25  A.P. Moller-Maersk warned that rising U.S.-China trade tensions could cut container growth by as much as a third this year. "New tariffs can potentially reduce expected growth in global container volumes by up to one percentage point," from Maersk's current projection of 3% growth. Even if the U.S. and China reach a deal, "It won't be the end of the trade war," "We'll just see the U.S. turning its attention toward Europe, where there is an unresolved issue with German automakers and other things." (15)

The Maersk product tanker division increased revenues in 2018 to USD 647.0 million, the company recorded a loss before tax of USD 35.0 million and a negative free cash flow of USD 27.7 million(13)

Maersk Green Bullshit

Mearsk plans to let the Mette an 18,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) on a return journey using up to 20 percent sustainable second-generation biofuels that will save 1,500 tons of carbon and 20 tons of sulfur in a single voyage (10). This is the food equivalent of 500 poeple one year that is burned for green religious purposes. Cost are most probably much higher as if the ship would use bunker fuel. From a non religious point of view using LNG instead of bunker fuel would be preferable. Another option could be to use a nuclear reactor as the russian SVBR100 to power the ship.  

The Container Shipping Market 

Actually  low demand has lead to a drop of the FAK rates. MM and others hope that FAK rates will increase in for the rest of 2019 

A report by BIMCO estimates that 2018  250.000 TEU will leave the market while the new built is forecasted to 1.05 mio. TEU. That means a capacity increase of 3.9%. The demand is estimated to grow 4 - 4.5% (1). It does not look like a tighter market with higher rates in the near future.  


Maersk Block Chain Technology

Some reasons that Maersks logistic platform might not perform successful.."There are fantastic benefits to be had from a blockchain-enabled shipping platform: cost savings, reduced error, increased profit, etc. However, these benefits can’t outweigh the undeniable reality facing Maersk’s competitors: to join the TradeLens network is to make Maersk more profitable....Another obvious issue is that Maersk owns the intellectual property that the TradeLens platform is built on. Even assuming safeguards are put in place (to ensure that unfair advantage is not taken by Maersk or its agents), the optics are terrible." (3)


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A few references

(17) 2019/08/06 https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2019/08/05/1896706/0/en/Transactions-in-connection-with-share-buy-back-program.html

(16) 2019/05/25 https://ml-eu.globenewswire.com/Resource/Download/26adfa0f-4e09-44aa-9ff1-dfd043ea394a

(15) 2019/05/25 https://seekingalpha.com/news/3466875-maersk-sees-new-tariffs-weighing-global-container-volume-growth

(14) 2019/05/16 https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/container-rates-alert-asia-europe-low-demand-leads-to-maersk-rate-drop/

(13) 2019/04/11 http://en.portnews.ru/news/275268/

(12) 2019/04/09 https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/maersk-tightens-its-ship-recycling-procedures/

(11) 2019/04/03 https://seekingalpha.com/news/3447943-maersk-needs-time-turnaround-say-chairman-top-shareholder?app=1&dr=1#email_link

(10) 2019/03/26 https://www.benzinga.com/news/19/03/13414917/port-report-maersk-aims-to-beat-the-regulatory-clock-on-carbon-free-shipping

9. 2019/02/22 https://ml-eu.globenewswire.com/Resource/Download/3b5d6bab-974e-44bb-abaa-97fbabde11c5

8. 2018/12/11 https://www.electrive.net/2018/12/09/maersk-will-seine-schiffflotte-bis-2050-co2-neutral-machen/

7. 2018/11/19 https://www.spglobal.com/platts/en/market-insights/latest-news/shipping/111918-interview-maersk-group-favors-low-sulfur-fuels-working-on-new-bunker-adjustment-factor-exec

6. 2018/11/15 https://www.bloombergquint.com/business/an-8-billion-payout-from-maersk-raises-questions-for-creditors#gs.HaJSnZs

5. https://de.marketscreener.com/AP-MOLLER-MAERSK-1412885/unternehmen/


3. 2018/11 https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/how-maersks-bad-business-model-is-breaking-its-blockchain/

1. https://www.seanews.co.uk/container-shipping-market-an-outlook-for-2018/

2. https://seekingalpha.com/news/3387060-maersk-tests-wind-power-cut-shipping-fuel-costs?ifp=0&v=1535715900



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