Monday, June 1, 2009

Updated Research on Ceradyne (CRDN)

Here is my updated research on body armor supplier Ceradyne (CRDN). This is a long piece that is similar to a sell-side initiation. I discuss the market for body armor as well as the markets for CRDN's other products. I also compare CRDN in terms of margins and valuation to other specialty military suppliers such as AeroVironment (AVAV) and Force Protection (FRPT). For anyone interested in a thorough and comprehensive review of a company I did a lot of digging regarding CRDN.

I started to look at the company when the stock was around $14 because it was on the verge of becoming a net-net. It has run up a lot (along with everything else) since then and is certainly nowhere near as compelling. Due to the uncertainty regarding the timing of orders for the company's new XSAPI body armor from the US military and the dependence on elevated troop levels around the world, it is hard for me to justify buying this stock without a much larger margin of safety. Specifically, I would be much more bullish on the stock if it pulled back to around $10, an event that sure does not seem likely in the near term.

Ceradyne Updated 5-29-09