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Why we own shares in Alliance Aviation

Why we own shares in Alliance Aviation

When it comes to investing, we’re not big fans of airlines.  But in the case of Alliance Aviation Services (ASX: AQZ), we’re happy to make an exception. You see, Alliance operates fly-in fly-out charter services for Australian mining companies, and its flights are in demand. With high returning business and strong cash generation, we think there’s a lot to like.

The Montgomery Small Companies Fund looks to invest in stocks with competitive advantage, run by talented management with their hands deftly gripped to value creation levers in their control. The airline sector with its high capital intensity, inflexible and high fixed cost and exposure to major imponderable externalities such as fuel costs (oil prices) and unknown demand is not the normal place to go shopping for stocks that meet that criteria set! These are not the best of times for the aviation sector but that’s when Alliance’s value creation opportunity resonates.

Management are proven value creators

In our view Alliance is an example of the value that quality management can bring in small caps. They listed on 20 December 2011 with an IPO price of $1.60, delivering a total return including dividends of 149.1 per cent since then, that’s an annual compound rate of return of 11.2 per cent, smashing the rate of return for the Small Ords Accumulation Index at 5.4 per cent over the same period.

The management team has built a resilient winning business model, executing a nimble strategy to take advantage of opportunities that arrive from the cyclicality of the aviation sector. Let’s run through AQZ’s equity story and the opportunities ahead.

Key Competitive Advantage 1:  Low unit capital cost assets are in AQZ’s DNA


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We think Alliance Aviation Services' competitive advantage means it will profitably grow and generate strong cashflows into the post-COVID-19 opportunity that exists in the Australian aviation market. Here's why. Click To Tweet

For my latest insights on Alliance Aviation Services, CEO Lee Schofield joined me for an interview. Watch here: FLYING HIGH – A REMARKABLE TRACK RECORD


Gary Rollo is the Portfolio Manager of the Montgomery Small Companies Fund. Gary joined Montgomery in August 2019 after spending three years at MHOR Asset Management in Sydney as a Founder and Portfolio Manager. Prior to this, Gary was a Portfolio Manager at Renaissance Asset Manager in Sydney for six years. Before moving to Australia, Gary spent five years in London running Morgan Stanley’s Technology Sector Equity Research Team, as well as two years covering technology companies for JP Morgan.

This post was contributed by a representative of Montgomery Investment Management Pty Limited (AFSL No. 354564). The principal purpose of this post is to provide factual information and not provide financial product advice. Additionally, the information provided is not intended to provide any recommendation or opinion about any financial product. Any commentary and statements of opinion however may contain general advice only that is prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial circumstances or needs. Because of this, before acting on any of the information provided, you should always consider its appropriateness in light of your personal objectives, financial circumstances and needs and should consider seeking independent advice from a financial advisor if necessary before making any decisions. This post specifically excludes personal advice.

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  1. Thank you very much for your insights into this company. Many years ago I travelled on Alliance as a mine site worker and found it a pleasure to travel with them. I didn’t realise it had since become a public company, but I can now understand why it would be worthwhile to be a shareholder in such a company.
    Stephen Brown

  2. Thanks, Gary. A very insightful and well written article. A pleasure to read! It appears as though the small companies fund has uncovered a gem in an unlikely spot.

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