In our Second Half 2022 report we discuss some of the major trends we are seeing in the market, and report on the M&A activity in the overall Supply Chain market. As before, we focus our public company analysis on the Supply Chain Technology and Supply Chain Logistics companies featuring key participants in each sector. Also, included is the list of 283 North American Supply Chain M&A transactions that have taken place since mid-2022.
After losing more than 25% in our fall report, the FOCUS Communications Service Provider Index (CSPI) turned things around and managed to deliver a three-month gain of 10.0%. This was better than the three-month gain for the S&P 500 of 7.1% and far superior to the 1.0% loss in the NASDAQ. Even so, the CSPI’s year-over-year performance remains dismal with a drop of 34.3%. This underperformed both the 19.4% loss in the S&P 500 as well as the 33.1% drop in the NASDAQ over the 12-month period. Sub sector multiples also dropped considerably compared to this time last year, falling from 2.7x revenue
and 7.6x EBITDA a year ago to 2.2x revenue and 6.2x EBITDA currently.
Middle market business fundamentals remain strong, although some companies are starting to show caution. Revenue growth and hiring have been robust, although companies continue to face challenges in finding skilled workers. There remains a strong appetite for quality deals as valuations have declined slightly. Private equity firms still have about $1 trillion of “dry powder” and appear impatient to put some of that to work. M&A volume moderated slightly in the second half of 2022 and appears unlikely to duplicate 2021’s record pace, but is on track for another strong year.
After two straight periods of decline, the FOCUS Telecom Business Services Index (TBSI) rebounded in our winter reporting period to deliver a strong three-month gain of
15.0%. This handily outperformed both the 7.1% gain in the S&P 500 and the 1.0% drop in the NASDAQ over the corresponding time period. Even with this period’s gains,
the TBSI remains in the red for the full 12-month period with a loss of 11.5%. On the bright side, this still outperforms the 19.4% drop in the S&P 500 and the 33.1% drop in the NASDAQ over the past year. Sector multiples are lower than they were a year ago, but only by the narrowest
of margins. The sector revenue multiple slipped from 1.0x to 0.9x, while the sector EBITDA multiple
inched down from 11.0x to 10.9x.
The FOCUS Carrier-Focused Telecom Technology Index (CFTTI) gained 4.8% in the past three months. This com-fortably exceeded both the 3.2% gain in the S&P 500 and the 3.0% decline in the NASDAQ. Even with this period’s gain, the CFTTI is still down 11.9% year-over-year. This performance was slightly worse than the 10.7% decline in the S&P 500 over this same time period, but much better than the 26.2% loss in the NASDAQ. Sector multiples are lower than they were a year ago, but not by a wide margin. The CFTTI revenue multiple dipped from 2.5x to 2.3x, while the EBITDA multiple fell from 12.0x to 11.4x.
Things went from bad to worse for the FOCUS Communications Service Provider Index (CSPI) this period as the sector plummeted 25.6%. This decline was significantly steeper than both the 5.3% decline in the S&P 500 and the 4.1% decline in the NASDAQ over the corresponding time period. The situation is also bleak for the full year period with the sector down slightly more than 45% over the past 12 months. Once again, this drastically underperformed the returns in the S&P 500 (down 16.8%) and the NASDAQ (down 26.8%). Sector multiples continued to fall, ending the period at 2.1x revenue and 6.0x EBITDA. This compares unfavorably to year-ago multiples of 2.9x revenue and 8.2x EBITDA.
The FOCUS Telecom Business Services Index (TBSI) suffered a negative return for the second straight reporting period with a 4.1% decline. While disappointing, the sector still managed to outperform the 5.3% decline in the S&P 500 and stay even with the 4.1% drop in the NASDAQ. The situation is similar for the full year period. While the sub sector is down 16.1% over the past 12 months, it still outperformed the S&P 500 (down 16.8%) and the NASDAQ (down 26.8%). Sector multiples closed out the period at 0.8x revenue and 9.7x EBITDA. Both of these are lower than year-ago multiples of 1.0x revenue and 10.4x EBITDA.