The Age of Peter Is Over

The Gender equality debate continues to rage within Australia with women unable to attain comparable salaries, or management opportunities. Perhaps one of the comical statistics reported was that there were more Peters heading ASX companies than there were women. This looked at both CEOs and chairman (a title which sort of discriminates in itself).

In researching for this post I came across another not so fun fact. Slightly outdated (from January 2014) the Wall Street Journal displayed a clear trend of under representation of female led IPOs. In the USA 2013 saw 82 companies go public, and only 2 of these companies were led by females.

While so often the common practice is to call for quotas or those special leadership programs, this blog suggests something a little more radical. Let’s focus on supporting those companies that lead the way in equal opportunity.

Long before looking into the demographics of the management I bought into Bellamy’s Organic (Unfortunately, we could not get stock quote ASX:BAL this time.). This is a company that just entered the ASX300 having launched at a price point of $1.31 in August 2014. Those lucky enough to get in at the ground level back then and stay in have seen a capital return of over 450%.

What may surprise some middle aged male investors is not only has this female led company outperformed the ASX200 (which has lost 6.7% in the same period), it’s done so with another female as CFO. This is highly unorthodox for a publicly listed company, but may point towards a future of management, one where those born without a regal name like Peter can dare to dream.

For those that don’t know much about Bellamy’s here is my ‘in a nutshell’ brief description. Catering for the growing demand in baby formula both here in Australia and abroad (in particular Asia) Bellamy’s offer a 100% organic range. Having diversified into a broader collection of baby food the business has boomed and offer an alternative for health conscious parents. You may also like have have a look at Money Ball which has dived deep in to the stats.

While Australia represents about 85% of sales, it is expected that a portion of this is locals buying and sending to family back in Asia. To make the process easier for Chinese consumers to access the products, ASX:BAL have employed a multichannel distribution including the setup of a Tmall store. That’s like eBay on steroids for China. Growth is anticipated to continue owing to a booming middle class and a controversial free trade agreement. Side note, what is under reported about the China FTA is that the government has signed agreements with Korea and Japan as well, further opening new markets.

If the capital gains hasn’t peaked your interest, then get a hold of these financials. Gross revenue up 152% while remarkably net profit after tax is up 616%. It’s based on these figures as well as the hotly anticipated booming middle class that paints a picture of growth. That is part explains the P/E ratio of 74.18. Quite high by industry standards but on par with high growth companies.

Ticking a lot of boxes for this green thumb investor, I’ll throw one more statistic at you to close. As of the FY15 annual report, approximately 80% of the company employees are female.