befimmo louise blue tower

Befimmo is a real-estate investment fund having their main portfolio assets in the Brussels area.

For real-estate holdings, I like to keep things simple. Reports are always telling us that the current portfolio is superior, that the previously held and now sold assets were less good, and that from now on there will be a very bright future for shareholders. But you can judge a real estate holding company with two simple factors: dividend policy and net asset evolution.

Much more than for an industrial company, investors purchase real-estate shares because of a good return from dividends. Dividends replace the rental income you would have yourself if you would own a rental property. Therefore, you would  expect something in the range of 7% gross return, or after operating costs some 5-6%, after dividend taxes some 4-5% net return.

Befimmo is succeeding this first hurdle: in the past, net dividend returns have always been higher than 4%, today it stands at 5%.

befimmo noord building

Net asset value (NAV) on the long term represents the success of the company with regards to their asset purchasing strategy. You cannot judge it on a short term (less than 5 years) because of real estate market fluctuations, but over more than 10 years, an investor would expect the value of the property per share to increase considerably. This is the weakness of Befimmo: 15 years ago, the NAV was 54 euro/share. Today it is exactly the same 54 euros. In between it has gone up to 74, but down again to 54. In other words, from the perspective of the shareholder, Befimmo has purchased a property in 1999 for 54 euro, and 15 years later, the property is still worth 54 euro. That does not sound like a tremendous acquisition strategy to me.


The share price today of 55 Euro is correct and mirror’s the NAV. The dividend is also correct, and is at least much more than 1 or 2 % which one can expect from a savings account. In return, you have to take the limited perspective for share price increases for granted.

Befimmo logo

As a conclusion, this stock  is OK to replace sleeping savings-account money, but you should not expect more than the 4-5% net return from the dividend, unless the real-estate acquisition strategy would change considerably for the better.


Ackermans Van Haaren


Ackermans & Van Haaren is a fund with a very solid track record. Their main activities are in Marine Engineering & Infrastructure, Private banking and Real Estate.

AvH - deme

Over the past 15 years, the equity per share has increased from 11,5 EURO to 67,22; an annual growth of 12,5%. This growth is the result of sound investments, in a limited series of investments where Ackermans & van Haaren have a deep understanding and insight of the business. There is no reason why they could not do this again the next 15 years. Added to that is a net dividend yield of 1,5 %.

The share price today (92 EUR) can be considered high. The correct share price should hoover around approx 80 EUR.  Considering a minimal portfolio value growth of 10%, the dividend yield, and today’s high share price, short-term investment potential may be limited, but long-term potential is still firm, estimated at 11% annual total return.

There could be better deals in the market, but you can’t do wrong with a long-term investment in  Ackermans-Van Haaren.



AB Inbev 2013

ABInbev logo

AB Inbev– Annual Report 2013


14 June 2014

Last reported year – 2013


AB Inbev is the leading global brewer,  having revenues of more than 45 billion USD per year, employing over 150.000 people. They come from a very modest background: local breweries in Belgium, where the headquarters of this giant are still to be found.

stella artois oude fles

Their recipe for growth is classical but they have mastered it as the best: save some money and borrow some, purchase another brewery,  add it to the installed base, operate the bigger company, make more money, borrow some more, purchase another company and so on…flesjes

As a result, the revenues have grown exponentially: 14 years ago, in 1999, their annual revenues were 3.2 billion dollar, today 45 billion, which is x 14, or 1300% growth, or 21% annually during 14 years, an amazing growth. However, since the share amount has equally grown, the net share price has not grown that much: around 7 % annually as an average over the last 10 years. Add to that a net dividend yield of 1% (today 1.8%) for a total annual return of 8%.

Today’s share price of 82 (EUR)  is expensive: a PE of 16 is high for a company with 7% growth. We would consider a share price around 65 EUR more appropriate. So on the shorter term (next years), a 20% drop of the share price is a possibility. On the longer term, the high price of today is combined with a steady growth expectation, giving a total expected annual return of 5.6 %, with a lower range of no profits, and a higher range up to 11% annually.

All in all not a superior return to be expected from this giant.


Barco Annual Report 2013

Barco vintage


Barco– Annual Report 2013


13 June 2014

Last reported year – 2013


Barco logo


This is a technology company, but one with a long history. The financial numbers reflect both: the long history is some sort of guarantee that there is a firm customer and product / brand name base, and that numbers somehow stabilize over the years. The technology aspect on the other hand makes numbers very much dependent on economic cycles and temporary success of products and services.

Looking at revenues and at the bottom line profit, we can see three phases during the last 15 years:

  • until 2000, Barco could lift on the technology bubble, with high growth (> 15% annually) and profit margins (net profit margin > 6%).
  • between 2001 and 2009, growth was very limited (almost zero), and profits were small (net profit margin averaged at 2%)
  • from 2010 until today, again firm growth, and decent profits.

Today’s share price is a fair estimation of the real value of the share. Because of correct pricing, on the short term nothing can be said about potential profits.

It is not easy to predict long-term (10 year) growth and profits. Best-, average and worst-case figures differ a lot:

  • average estimation: 5,6% annual growth + 2 % net dividend yield gives 7.6% annual return.
  • best case: 17% + 2 % = 19% annual return.
  • worst case: -4% + 2 % = – 2 % annual return.

Umicore – Annual Report 2013



7 June 2014

Last reported year – 2013


Revenues have declined, and subsequently all numbers following revenues up till the bottom line net profits. The company gave declining metal prices as a main culprit. However, metal prices cannot keep declining, therefore the new revenues can be taken as a starting point for the future expectations of the company. There is no reason not to believe that the very solid growth of Umicore can be continued in the future. This means an average top line (revenues) growth of 10%, a net profit margin of 2.5% and a dividend yield of (net, after 25% taxes) 2.2%.

The fair share price based on the numbers of 2013, should be between 23 en 30.5 EUR, with a good average of 27.5. Today’s price at 34is a bit higher than that.

On the short term, there is more downside risk (-20%) than upside potential. On the longer term (10 years), taking into account today’s high price, the expected growth (10%) and the annual dividend yield (2.2% net), we can expect a total annual profit of 9%, with a range from 0% (worst case) to 13% (best case) (annually).