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ABS - ABC Learning Centres

Discussion in 'Stocks 0-H' started by Lucstar, Oct 1, 2004.

  1. Lucstar

    Lucstar

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    Hi guys, is ABS an attractive stock. What is ur views?? I know the 12 month share target price is $4.40 (as at 2 September). But its reached that price so early. Would this stock run out of steam?? Or is this just the start??
     
  2. RichKid

    RichKid PlanYourTrade > TradeYourPlan

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    Re: ABS

    There would have to be profit taking and a slowdown at some stage. Price targets can be tricky as different people put different values and stock prices tend to have a mind of their own.

    The synergy from the merger apparently wont come through for a year or two so maybe it's best to wait for weakness. It's one I've got my eye on too but as you suggest it's probably hit full value by now and there's no point buying expensive stocks. But it depends on your investment style- long term this looks good.
    It's also one of many stocks that'll do well regardless of the election outcome.
     
  3. RichKid

    RichKid PlanYourTrade > TradeYourPlan

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    Re: ABS

    I'm not actively following the stock at the moment but ABS has been involved in some sort of share placement recently- it was oversubscribed from memory. Might be worth a look if you're really keen on it. Articles should be in the FinReview, SMH etc from last week.
     
  4. Afterglow

    Afterglow Want to retire june 2013

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    Re: ABS

    Hi to all, as I have stated in other threads I am new to this, and am starting to get more and more interested and involved as the weeks go on. There is a hell of a lot to learn.

    During yesterdays lul [21-10-04 ]
    I bought some shares in ABS at $4.75 and now have a couple of questions.

    As settlement has not taken place, Will I be eligible to take advantage of the offer announced today?

    And What affect will the offer do to the share price??????

    The following is a link to the announcement.


    http://imagesignal.comsec.com.au/asxdata/20041022/pdf/00470700.pdf
     
  5. Joe Blow

    Joe Blow Administrator Staff Member

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    Re: ABS

    Afterglow,

    I am sure you will be able to take up the share offer as you were a holder at 7:00pm on October 21 which is the deadline according to the announcement.

    As for what will happen to the share price it's hard to tell, and especially hard for me because I am not familiar with ABS. Although, often when offers like this are announced the share price will tend to drift down closer to the placement price (in this case $4.00).

    Perhaps someone with a more intimate knowledge of ABS can offer an opinion?
     
  6. Afterglow

    Afterglow Want to retire june 2013

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    Re: ABS

    Thanks Joe Blow , I am considering selling tomorrow and taking up the offer.
     
  7. Long Shot

    Long Shot

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    ABC learning...

    Hi, just wondering what people think of ABC Learning...
    Surly they are on the receiving end of some bad publicity. However the company’s position in both domestic and global market is strong… Once it’s US arm is fully integrated, there is a lot more room for profit upgrade in the future.
    I got some ABC at a bit over 7 dollars,,, do you guys think there may be a reentry point soon?

    cheers
     
  8. twojacks28

    twojacks28

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    Hi guys, ABC learning centres are at a high price now but considering they have the best man in australia and possibly the world running the centres it is likely to be a great stock in the long term. In the short term it is not worth buying as it isnt a stock that is highly volatile. ABS is also in the best position as they are dominating in Australia and now are expanding around the world.

    twojacks28
     
  9. michael_selway

    michael_selway Coal & Phosphate, thats it!

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    In trading halt, any ideas? thanks

    ---------------

    Date: 11/4/2006
    Author: Kelly Burke
    Source: The Sydney Morning Herald --- Page: 7
    The owner of Australian child care group, ABC Learning, claims that his aim is not profit. Eddy Groves told a New South Wales Council of Social Service conference in Sydney on 10 April 2006 that his $A1.2 billion company was a labour of love. He said that the success of the business was due to its public structure, which provided capital for expansion. Groves added that adequate provision of services for the country was only possible through the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors working together

    Date: 3/4/2006
    Author: Farah Farouque
    Source: The Age --- Page: A1/A6
    There have been some complaints in Australia about the service standards at ABC Learning Centres, a child care group. It is taking legal action in the Supreme Court of Victoria and wants to stop Victorian officials asking for details and documents relating to alleged breaches in child care standards. Two cases involving children in Victoria are central to the case. In one case, a mother picked up her child from an ABC Centre, and her son was screaming. He was found to have a broken arm, but the centre staff just said that no-one saw it happen. In another case, a child at an ABC Centre was lost in a lift, but the staff would not discuss it. The legal case will be heard in August 2006. Some believe that there are tensions at ABC between adequate child care and profits
     
  10. sandik17

    sandik17

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    Dominating in Australia? All I hear is negative things about how they cut costs....not even allowed to buy more toilet paper if they're over budget???
     
  11. RichKid

    RichKid PlanYourTrade > TradeYourPlan

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    There was a critical item on the ABC's 7.30 report a few days ago, about claims of negligence at some Victorian centres, legal action pending I think from memory. Groves was interviewed and said it was just a tiny no of complaints but I think they could be in big trouble if more claims surface, class action in the making??? Parents really resent having to fork out lots of money and then seeing it go towards profits rather than the proper care and supervision of their children. On top of that the industry enjoys taxpayer funded dollars.
     
  12. michael_selway

    michael_selway Coal & Phosphate, thats it!

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    Australian Broadcasting Corporation
    TV PROGRAM TRANSCRIPT
    Broadcast: 24/04/2006

    Parents question quality of care at ABC Learning Centres
    Reporter: Natasha Johnson


    MAXINE McKEW: Welcome to the program. Among working parents today,the topic of child care is a hot issue. It's cost, its availability and its quality. At the core of the system is a particular duty of care - that children will be looked after in a safe environment and that if something does go wrong, then parents will be informed. But that hasn't been the experience of some users of the world's largest listed childcare company, ABC Learning Centres. These parents have questioned the quality of care and transparency at some centres after incidents which saw a baby becoming dehydrated, a toddler suffering a broken arm and a child being left in a lift. ABC Learning Centres is now a billion dollar business and has enjoyed spectacular growth since listing on the stock exchange five years ago. It now controls one in five childcare centres in Australia. The group defends its practices but is also using its considerable financial clout to take the Victorian Government to court. In effect, it's challenging the Government's right to demand answers about its complaints handling procedures. Natasha johnson reports.

    JOANNE GOLDING: When I picked her up from the centre she was very blue, and she was very floppy. It was like she was asleep, and I couldn't wake her up.

    EMMA KENWORTHY: I got to the creche and I could hear him screaming from the carpark. Within half an hour of the X-rays, he was in surgery.

    KRISTEN RAVEST: My son told me that he was stuck in the lift and that he was going up and down, up and down and "I was too little and I couldn't reach the buttons."

    NATASHA JOHNSON: The experience of Elizabeth Golding, Todd Kenworthy and Brock Ravest at two ABC Learning Centres didn't live up to the promise of the slick advertising for the world's biggest publicly-listed child care operator.

    ADVERTISEMENT: And you'll find we constantly upgrade our facilities, ensuring a safe and secure environment for your child.

    EDDY GROVES, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, ABC LEARNING CENTRES: I won't comment on the individual cases, but I will say this, I really don't think there's things going wrong. We have 40,000 children going through these centres a day. And every day is a new day in child care, so that's 200,000 children a week, or 10 million a year. That's a lot of children and the number of incidents that we have is very, very minor.

    NATASHA JOHNSON: Elizabeth Golding, Todd Kenworthy and Brock Ravest attended Learning Centres in East Melbourne and Bendigo, which are currently under investigation by the Victorian Department of Human Services. But ABC is fighting the department with an unprecedented challenge to its right to ask questions and seek documents relevant to complaints.

    SHERYL GARBUTT, VICTORIAN COMMUNITY SERVICES MINISTER: This is the first time anyone's ever challenged our regulations. Most centres are very happy to cooperate.

    EDDY GROVES: I just believe that ABC is smart enough to understand that there's a whole process of law in place. I think for many years the small independent operators have been stood over in some of these cases. And I know that there's a letter of the law we all have to follow. ABC is expected to follow it, I believe the department is expected to follow it, and that's all I want.

    NATASHA JOHNSON: ABC founder Eddy Groves says the litigation is about protecting staff.

    EDDY GROVES: We try to provide independent legal advice for those centre staff so they know what their rights are.

    NATASHA JOHNSON: Well, why wouldn't they answer the questions?

    EDDY GROVES: Because at the end of the day I think people have to know that they don't have to answer questions if they don't want to answer questions.

    KRISTEN RAVEST: If they knew that they had nothing to hide they would answer the questions.

    NATASHA JOHNSON: It was Kristen Ravest's complaint that triggered and court action. In December 2004, her three-year-old son Brock was left in a lift at this East Melbourne ABC centre and found in the building's carpark by a stranger, who returned him to the centre.

    KRISTEN RAVEST: If he'd have got out on ground floor he would have got out onto the road. That man could have taken him away if he was a bad man, so to speak. He could have got run over in the carpark. My son is affected by it now. He still freaks out a bit when we go in a lift and he remembers it.

    NATASHA JOHNSON: Kristen Ravest says that she and her husband only found out about the incident when told by their son - not staff.

    KRISTEN RAVEST: They definitely have like a big responsibility to report to you everything that has happened to your child. Even if it's good or bad. But obviously if it's something like that, you would hope that you would be finding out about it from them, not from your child.

    NATASHA JOHNSON: Lawyer Joanne Golding has made a series of complaints about the East Melbourne ABC. Most seriously, that in November 2004, her daughter Elizabeth - then six-months-old - became dehydrated and was taken to hospital after a day in care.

    JOANNE GOLDING: When I collected her that afternoon she was visibly blue. I took her to the children's hospital and when we arrived at the children's hospital they took a look at her, and the nurse and the doctor both confirmed that she was showing the early stages of dehydration.

    NATASHA JOHNSON: Baby Elizabeth recovered the next day, but Joanne Golding says ABC didn't call her to tell her the baby was unwell and not feeding properly.

    JOANNE GOLDING: I can understand that things can happen, children can get sick, but I think that we had the right to get an explanation and to be told what had happened and what their version of events was. To this day, we still haven't heard from the ABC centre about it.

    NATASHA JOHNSON: In February last year, Emma Kenworthy was called by ABC Bendigo because her teo-year-old son Todd wouldn't stop crying. She took him to hospital and it was discovered he had a broken arm.

    EMMA KENWORTHY: As soon as they said that he had to go into surgery. When he went into surgery, I was straight on the phone to ABC Learning asking questions of what had happened, that my son was in surgery having his elbow now operated on.

    NATASHA JOHNSON: She's been told he tripped in the playground. But Emma Kenworthy says no-one can explain exactly how the accident happened and she's angry no-one realised how seriously injured he was.

    EMMA KENWORTHY: All they've said is they've seen him on the ground crying and he had a scarred knee and that's all they thought that had happened. For the state he was screaming, they should have called an ambulance straight away and taken him to Emergency. They had to sedate him at the hospital because he was just in so much pain.

    NATASHA JOHNSON: ABC won't discuss the detail of these cases. But Eddy Groves says he's confident correct procedures were followed and he has documents signed by the parents.

    EDDY GROVES: If I showed you the documentation with those parents' signatures on it when the accident and incidents had taken place I could do that, but I will not comment on individual cases.

    NATASHA JOHNSON: Well why don't you release the documents showing the parents' signatures?

    EDDY GROVES: Because at the end of the day that is private, confidential information between that child, that parent.

    NATASHA JOHNSON: But if the parents are happy for you to release those documents to us, why don't you?

    EDDY GROVES: Because that's private confidential information. We're bound to privacy laws. I will not do that.

    NATASHA JOHNSON: But if they give you permission, you're not bound anymore.

    EDDY GROVES: I will not do that, Natasha. We're not trying to hide anything. At the end of the day, it is very important to us to protect the information.

    NATASHA JOHNSON: Kristen Ravest and Joanne Golding say they did not sign any documents, while Emma Kenworthy released this incident report to us, which records an accident in which her son's knee was injured, but nothing about his broken arm. The East Melbourne centre is currently operating on a limited six-month licence. As well as the probe there and at Bendigo, three other Victorian ABC centres are currently under investigation. One complaint concerns a missing child at the same centre where ABC has previously been fined over a runaway toddler. ABC is currently awaiting the outcome of an appeal against that decision. Eddy Groves believes the department is picking on ABC, a $2.3 billion corporation which now controls 20 per cent of Australian child care centres.

    EDDY GROVES: Because of our size they have to prove that they're harder on us than anyone else.

    SHERYL GARBUTT: It doesn't matter what company it is, or whether it is a community-based centre. We will investigate all complaints and take the appropriate action. Nobody is on a pedestal and no-one is excluded.

    ADVERTISEMENT: One, two. At ABC Learning Centres, you'll find qualified, dedicated professionals...
     
  13. michael_selway

    michael_selway Coal & Phosphate, thats it!

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    NATASHA JOHNSON: While Eddy Groves believes he's getting a tough time from the Victorian regulator, the not-for-profit community operators believe he should be getting a tougher one, particularly from the Federal Government, considering 46 per cent of ABC's revenue, $230 million a year comes from Commonwealth subsidies to parents.

    LYNNE WANNAN, COMMUNITY BASED CHILDREN'S SERVICES: I think there's a fundamental problem when the purpose for delivering your human service to young children is to make profits for shareholders. That is what their prime legal responsibility is. And that means they can't put children first. We need more regulation. We need more quality assurance checks. We need more of those spot checks to make sure things are going well.

    EDDY GROVES: In the last four years, ABC has reinvested $100 million into existing centres, centres that would never have had that money spent on them if we hadn't of bought those centres. This is a very, very strong company based on educational goals and I guarantee you the child comes first every time.

    NATASHA JOHNSON: Federal Community Services Minister Mal Brough says he's currently tightening the Commonwealth accreditation system and will introduce spot checks, but there's nothing to suggest that private owners require greater scrutiny than the not-for-profit operators.

    MAL BROUGH, FEDERAL FAMILIES AND COMMUNITY SERVICES MINISTER: I would not segregate or segment this market and say that any particular part of it has a lower standard or a higher standard. The whole sector - everyone - should have confidence in the entire sector, not by the name that's on the organisation.

    NATASHA JOHNSON: ABC's challenge to the Victorian regulations is to be heard in the Supreme Court in August, and either the parents will have their questions answered, or the department will have to find a new way to ask them.

    KRISTEN RAVEST: Any little accident, you want to know. You feel bad enough having to put your children in child care because you're working.

    EDDY GROVES: We have done great things for this industry and it is very disappointing to me that we just hone in on those few incidents. Now they are regrettable, absolutely regrettable and I wish they didn't happen, but at the end of the day, it is a very small number compared to the number of children that come through our centres every single day.

    ADVERTISEMENT: You'll find it all at ABC.

    http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2006/s1622919.htm
     
  14. RichKid

    RichKid PlanYourTrade > TradeYourPlan

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    Thanks for the article Michael, you're way too quick!! :)
     
  15. twojacks28

    twojacks28

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    abc has hundreds of centres and considering that each centre has from any where between 30-70 children it is going to be no suprise that there will be problems. Eddy installed a system where the centres have allocated toys for onoe year and they dont get anymore until that date the following year. of course there are going to be complaints but in relation to kids this is nothing.
     
  16. Julia

    Julia In Memoriam

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    Yes, I saw that interview also and thought Eddie Groves was very defensive and didn't come across as being transparent or with the best interest of his customers(do you call them customers?) at heart.

    I've been considering adding ABS to my portfolio but will hold off and see if there are any repercussions to this.

    Your points about how parents feel about childcare centres being focused on profit, Rich, are really relevant. I expect the problem for a lot of parents is that they don't have a lot of choice about where to place their children, given ABC's dominance of the market.

    Julia
     
  17. chansw

    chansw

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    http://www.theage.com.au/news/business/600m-for-abc-learning/2006/04/26/1145861419612.html

    $600m for ABC Learning
    By Christopher Webb
    April 27, 2006


    EDDIE Groves' ABC Learning Centres was close last night to raising $600 million for further expansion in the US.

    The company yesterday morning asked the stock exchange to halt trading in its shares ahead of its broker Austock doing the rounds of institutional investors.

    The company had not by the close of trading announced the results of the book-build or the intended use of the money.

    But it is believed it will be used for debt reduction as well as providing Mr Groves with a war chest for more acquisitions of child-care centres in the US.

    The book-build is pitched within a $7.10 to $7.60 price range, which compared with a $7.82 last-sale price for the shares.

    The tip was that the money would be raised at around the mid-point of the book-build range.

    Late last night the share issue was almost done and that was without including any cash from London investors.

    Institutional investors have until 10 this morning to respond to the book-build.

    The issue adds to ABC Learning Centres' recent cash raisings, which were also done by Austock.

    Last December, $260 million was raised through a book-build of 37.2 million shares at $7 apiece.

    And in October 2004, $400 million was raised in a capital raising that attracted subscriptions of slightly more than $1 billion.

    As well as reducing debt, the latest raising will go towards the acquisition of about $190 million worth of child-care centres in the US, and possibly more.

    Last year ABC paid $218 million for the US-based Learning Care Group.
     
  18. sandik17

    sandik17

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    Interesting story on 60 minutes last night....

    hmmmm :cautious:
     
  19. visual

    visual

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    yes,wasnt it!
    like how he compared himself to those two women ,who supposedly were in competion with him!wonder who is competion was when he started.

    Apart from council run childcare centres at this minute I cant think of anyone else running childcare centres in the fashion that he is doing.Of course you had schools doing it but I`m not sure that there was a big corporation doing what he is doing.

    Loved the bit where he didnt want to be held responsable for his staff incompetence,if not him who then?by the same token I suppose he is saying that if he is ever in an accident the other driver would be responsable and not us as taxpayers,through the accident compensation whatever its called.
     
  20. RichKid

    RichKid PlanYourTrade > TradeYourPlan

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    Spot on Julia, monopolistic power, that's why these types of stocks are hard to beat down. Far too risky for me to buy now, the chart is very messy in places, if this was less volatile I'd be on it but you can never tell when it might just collapse in a heap (or skip higher!).
     
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