Marco Lanaro

Advisor SICAV Quality and Value / Managing Partner QV26

Merano. Italy.

Como convertir $1.000 en $700.000.

Escrito 20 Nov


Existe una empresa en Canada que resulta extremadamente interesante. fundada en 1998 y segun lo que dice el CEO (esto no lo he comprobado personalmente) si alguien hubiera invertido $1000 el dia que fue fundada y esperado tranquilamente hasta mayo de 2015 hubiera convertido esa modesta suma en $700.000 aproximadamente. He usado esa fecha porque en esa fecha fue que lo dijo el CEO.  En esa misma fecha el CEO dijo tambien que esa habia sido la empresa que habia tenido los mejores resultados en el Toronto Stock Exchange, es decir su accion era la que mas habia subido por todo ese periodo. En este articulo no quiero ir a hablar sobre los numeros que han hecho durante ese periodo sino tratar de entender como descubrir un "compounder" de ese tipo en sus comienzos. Curiosamente la empresa opera en un sector muy ciclico y no considerado de calidad por no tener pricing power. La empresa se llama Peyto y extrae gas y petroleo en Canada. Me he leido todos los reportes anuales desde 1999 hasta el ultimo del 2014 y los encontre de lectura placentera y recomendable, llenos de la misma sabiduria y la misma escuela de value investing pero aplicada a un sector muy dificil. Lamentablemente, no he encontrado ninguna formula magica o quizas si... la misma formula que esta ahi hace mucho tiempo.... Peyto empezo de la misma manera que Buffett comenzo su partnership, con dinero de familiares y amigos y tratando los inversores de la misma manera que si las posiciones fueran invertidas, esto para mi es importante porque el capital tiene dueno y ese dueno una cara y lo que menos uno quiere es usar mal el dinero de sus familiares o amigos. El fundador habia trabajado en la industria de la extraccion por mas de 10 anios y tenia muy claro algo, que las cosas se tenian que hacerse de manera diferente. Diferente es una palabra que me gusta mucho porque quiere decir no hacer lo que hace todo el mundo, descripcion esta ultima, en mi opinion, de mediocridad. Diferente quiere decir tomar el riesgo de tener resultados diferentes a la media, buenos o malos. Diferente acompanado de disciplina y pocas ideas pero muy claras puede resultar una mezcla muy poderosa para el exito. En los reportes, tambien, se habla mucho de vision a largo plazo, lo cual es tambien un sinonimo de paciencia. Esto no es comun en las empresas ciclicas donde muchas veces ni los inversores ni el management se recuerdan que si hay un periodo bueno es porque se viene de uno malo y que todo va a volverse a repetir asi que primero hay que preocuparse de sobrevivir a traves de cualquier tormenta que pueda aparecer, tarde o temprano.

Otro punto importante, y disculpen que quizas el orden de las ideas no sea demasiado correcto pero escribo como vuelven los recuerdos de lo que he leido, es que el management tiene sus intereses alineados con los inversores ya que son ellos mismos inversores.

En conclusion, encuentro que invertir es una actividad a futuro el cual desconocemos totalmente pero podemos tratar de conocer quien nos acompana y si son personas honestas, con vision a largo plazo, que arriesgan su capital lado a lado al inversor, tienen disciplina y una manera de pensar logica aunque muy diferente al pensamiento general, son los que nos pueden permitir convertir $1000 de nuestros ahorros en $700.000 como ha hecho Peyto para sus accionistas.

Aqui abajo les dejo partes de las notas que he escrito para mi de los reportes anuales de Peyto para que cada uno saque su conclusion sobre la formula magica que han usado para obtener tanto  exito.

From the 2003 annual report:


“PEYTO Exploration & Development Corp. is a gas exploration and production company that was founded in November 1998 with a clear strategy to build shareholder value by efficiently finding and developing long term gas reserves in Alberta’s Deep Basin area. The successful execution of this strategy has provided us with significant competitive advantages. These advantages include:                                                                 

  • long life reserves which provide us with a stable production base to build on and which have no production hazards such as water or sour gas;


  • low total cost structure combined with high heating value gas which gives us the most efficient cash flow generator in the industry; and                                                                 

  • a team that is aligned to the shareholders and has a proven track record of finding and developing high quality assets.”                              


From the 2004 annual report:


“A cornerstone of the Peyto style is that the unitholders are treated like fellow-owners. All of the members of the Board of Directors and senior management have substantial investments in Peyto. For most, Peyto is by far their largest investment. The objective of the Peyto team is obvious to everyone. The aim is to build value for the long-term benefit of all the unitholders. The interests of the Board and management are solidly aligned with those of the other unitholders.”


From the 2006 annual report:


“The most satisfying activity in my career as an investment manager was identifying investments for durable long-term portfolios. This required focusing on a company’s fundamental value and long-term prospects. The idea was to identify great companies as core portfolio positions and to hold them for a long time.


The most important message I wish to get across this year is that Peyto has been “designed” as a growing long-term investment with sustainable distributions in spite of the depleting nature of gas assets and the inherent cyclicality of natural gas markets.”


From the 2007 annual report:


“As an enterprise focused on building value, it is particularly important that we are able to be confident about the quantity and quality of our reserves.”


From the 2008 annual report:


“The prevailing sentiment on the world economic stage today is clearly deep fear. The world is experiencing a decline in business activity at a rate unseen in my memory. The reaction has been fiscal and monetary stimulus of enormous proportions, which will probably eventually lead to inflation but this obviously is not the concern at the moment. History teaches us that we will recover from this difficult period. We always do. On this occasion, there may well be significant changes in some financial institutions and the financial behaviour of some societies. The adjustments will probably take time.


In tough economic times, the best protection an enterprise can have is to be the most efficient and profitable in its business. In the current fearful environment, unitholders should take considerable encouragement from the fact that Peyto has industry leading low costs, a lean team of employees, high quality long life reserves, a substantial hedge book at attractive prices, and most importantly a well established habit of being disciplined in the running of the business. Peyto’s debt level is manageable, and under constant review by both management and the Board.”


From the 2009 annual report:


“Even as the team has evolved and the breadth of our operations have grown, our entrepreneurial culture and business model have remained intact.”




“One of those people who contributed to Peyto’s success was our former Chairman, Ian Mottershead, who retired in 2009. Ian and I first met when Peyto was only a few years old. At the time, Ian was in charge of the energy portfolio at one of Canada’s largest private investment firms. Ian was known in the industry for his analytical and disciplined approach to investing. After our first meeting, I knew that Ian was a long-term investor who understood what made Peyto unique and compelling. Based on my dealings with analysts and portfolio managers across North America, Ian’s approach was the exception, not the rule. Similarly, our focus on profitability, quality and low costs was the exception, not the rule. And that is what drew Ian to us and vice versa. In 2003, when Ian retired from the investment firm he helped build, I asked him to join the Peyto board. Although Ian had many larger companies seeking him as a director, he proudly accepted our offer. Ian served honourably as our Chairman for 6 years. I’m grateful to him for his stewardship and would like to thank him on behalf of all the directors and the employees for his invaluable contribution to the success of Peyto.”


From the 2010 annual report:


“Many companies in our industry try to confuse investors when they talk about production growth. When you look closer and do the math, you quickly discover they are talking in gross numbers, before adjusting for new debt or equity issued to achieve their so-called growth. In many cases, companies touting huge growth actually shrank on a per share basis. Unfortunately, this has been going on for years in our industry. I recall presenting at a major energy conference in Calgary back in June 2002. Two other CEOs had just delivered presentations in which they claimed huge growth numbers. They were outraged when, minutes later, I showed actual results for their companies and Peyto on a per share basis; my presentation completely contradicted what they had just told the audience. I decided that would be the last time I attended the conference as there was just too much noise for investors to really hear the true stories.”




“Companies have a responsibility to communicate to their owners honestly and shareholders should not have to dig deep just to find out how their share of the production, reserves and cash flow has performed. At Peyto we have a long history of treating our shareholders as partners and communicating with them openly and honestly.”


From the 2011 annual report:


“Our success starts in the minds of our people. These “Peyto” people are shareholders.”




“Peyto’s past is defined by the strength of its assets. Its future is defined by the strength of its people.”


From 2013 annual report:


“The first ten years of my career I worked for companies who in a lot of ways showed me how not to run a company. At Peyto we were going to do what made sense for its long term viability.”




“...the fall of 1998 was a very difficult time to raise capital for a start-up oil and gas company. The first was that oil and gas prices were quite low and most investors were in a state of fear. At that time, the price of oil was roughly $12/bbl and the price of natural gas was $2.00/mcf. I learned quickly that very few so-called sophisticated investors were willing to practice Warren Buffett’s mantra of "being greedy when others are fearful and fearful when others are greedy."




“Very few people know that, in the early days, Peyto raised all of its capital directly, without the help of a brokerage firm. It was six years after we had started when our share price was $42.65 ($21.33 on a split adjusted basis) per share that Peyto did its first equity offering using investment banks. We had a market capitalization over $2 billion at that time. What this means is we grew up with a strong and direct relationship with our investors, not the brokers and investment bankers. I can remember our first equity issue in 1998. We were trying to raise $1 million dollars by issuing shares at $0.075/share, but this offering went undersubscribed and we ended up raising only $450,000. We were doing this capital raise in order to drill our first Deep Basin Cardium gas well. My parents were one of the investors in that financing. Despite my dad’s desire for me to do this on my own, I managed to convince them to invest. In fact, when my dad said "Put us down for 30,000", I automatically assumed he meant $30,000 dollars. I was a little disappointed when I realized it was 30,000 shares or $4,500 (30,000 shares at $0.15/share, before split). It’s amazing when I look back today, that $4,500 investment has distributed back $791,400 in cash and is valued in the market at approximately $2.1 million. I’m very fortunate to know many friends, family and business associates that have been rewarded handsomely for the trust they placed in us. At Peyto, we have always seen the shareholder as our partner. These were people we knew, people trusting us to honestly invest their hard earned capital, people giving us a chance to succeed. It was these people that gave us the strength to do what was right for the long-term success of the company. Today, because of our humble beginnings, I believe Peyto is a much different company than so many others in the Canadian public oil and gas sector.”


From the 2014 annual report:


“One of the reasons Peyto has performed so well, year after year, is that we constantly strive to innovate and challenge ourselves to do things better, and we aren’t afraid to buck conventional wisdom in the process.”




“We felt strongly that there should always be a competition between the capital program developed by the team and the capital required to fund the monthly distribution. Competition leads to the best results.”