I trust you enjoyed the festive break and are now raring to do battle with the market for another twelve months!
This first Blog post of 2017 provides a ‘year-in-review’ of my current portfolio holdings. I recap how each of the underlying businesses performed during 2016, as well as provide a few remarks about valuation.
As I mentioned this time last year, I find writing such reviews extremely useful — not least because it encourages me to double-check my investment logic to ensure I am still invested for all the right reasons! Continue reading →
Summary: What a letdown! I had hoped EDP could announce the conclusion of its strategic review within these results, but no such luck I’m afraid. Instead, shareholders have been left in the dark about possible corporate action as the underlying business puts in another dismal revenue performance. The irony is this company actually develops software for others to improve sales! I can only hope 2017 will see a generous buyer emerge and I can then move on. I continue to hold. Continue reading →
Summary: These were not the bumper results I had become accustomed to from MTVW. The residential-property trader owned up to lower earnings due to rising stamp duty, although the all-important net asset value did march higher as debt was reduced to a new low. My latest sums point to a possible net asset value of £200 per share based on the firm’s previous mark-ups on sold properties. I continue to hold. Continue reading →
Summary: These results were better than I had anticipated. Boosted in part by the weaker GBP, the commercial property group declared 6% greater rental income alongside a new all-time high for net asset value. There may be a little question mark with cash generation, but debt is still relatively low while DJAN’s seasoned management should be able to cope with any ongoing sector uncertainty. The shares trade at 59% of net asset value and I continue to hold.Continue reading →
Summary:If nothing else, REC’s results are consistent — once again this specialist currency manager revealed stagnant financial progress, a lack of new business and a dependence on a handful of major clients. Nevertheless, the group sports high margins and cash-flush accounts, while the P/E could be as low as 7 thanks to the weaker GBP. Talk of potential special dividends unfortunately remains talk for now, but at least the ordinary payout yields 5.2%. I continue to hold. Continue reading →
Summary: Earlier statements had already signalled lower earnings for 2016/17, and these results were in fact CGS’s worst first-half figures for six years. The engineer still reckons lost work can be replaced, but the immediate outlook remains stagnant at best. The upcoming retirement of the chief executive brings some further uncertainty, too. Still, I don’t think good companies become bad companies overnight and the group’s long track record suggests a recovery will one day arrive. I continue to hold.Continue reading →
Summary: These figures were better than I had expected, not least because WOR enjoyed the benefits of the weaker post-Brexit pound. However, the software developer did warn that costs would continue to rise — which in turn would keep a lid on earnings for the “foreseeable future”. At least revenue is marching higher while the weaker pound ought to help the group’s progress in the States. The accounts remain simple and flush with cash, and you could argue the underlying P/E is just 5. I continue to hold. Continue reading →
Summary: A lot happened at GTC before these results and I am no longer as keen on the group as I once was. That said, the figures from this specialist data supplier to the oil and gas industry were not truly awful — a profitable second half gives hope that one day the business will recover. The asset-rich balance sheet also lends support. But a new boss and various acquisitions just don’t make me entirely comfortable. I continue to hold. Continue reading →
Summary: The antibody developer had already said this statement would reveal bumper results, but the figures were still better than I had expected. Although progress was helped by post-Brexit currency movements, it was clear the underlying business delivered yet another robust performance. The financials remain extremely impressive, with the second-half operating margin hitting an incredible 80%. The icing on the cake was management underpinning its confidence with the declaration of a welcome £1m special dividend. I continue to hold. Continue reading →
Summary: July’s upbeat trading statement from this medical disinfectants specialist had already signalled these record results. The finer details revealed UK revenue enjoying a healthy second-half performance and overseas operations progressing consistently well. The financials appear to be in order, too, although cracking the United States is taking a bit more time and money than expected. The executives remain confident and have issued bold new projections, which is all reflected by the elevated share-price rating. I continue to hold. Continue reading →
I purchased my BVXP shares at an average price of 1,133p (including all costs) during August 2016. The bid price is presently 1,250p and the position currently represents approximately 5% of my portfolio.
I have to admit, BVXP is somewhat racy in comparison to many of my existing holdings. In particular, I may have paid ‘a high price for a cheery consensus’ following the company’s impressive progress.
There are also drawbacks involving a limited customer base and certain product revenue about to cease. The business is not that straightforward either — it develops sheep monoclonal antibodies for use in blood tests.
Nonetheless, supporting the notion that BVXP has above-average investment potential is what seems to be a very respectable competitive position, the benefit of long-term royalty income, some impeccable financials and leadership through the group’s founder. Continue reading →
Summary: A very satisfactory set of figures, with the likelihood now that ASY is on course to report its best year since 2008. The group, which supplies air conditioners, heaters and pumps for hire, said all of its divisions made progress and that recent trading had been “positive”. The question now is whether ASY can deliver sustained earnings growth alongside its chunky dividend payments and 6.9% yield. I continue to hold. Continue reading →
Summary: A very satisfactory set of record figures from this lighting specialist, underpinned by last year’s Dutch acquisition that appears to have delivered 75% annualised profit growth. TFW’s other two divisions reported positive progress, too, while the balance sheet remains awash with surplus cash and investments. Although the near-term valuation appears rich, the group’s decent financials, illustrious dividend and veteran board remain very captivating. I continue to hold. Continue reading →
Summary: A very respectable set of figures that confirmed this market-research agency has now returned to double-digit growth. However, the group’s best-selling system has started to face “pricing pressure” and the wider competitive advantage may not be as strong as it once was. The statement’s highlight was news of a 12p per share special dividend — the third in four years. The accounts remain in good shape and I continue to hold. Continue reading →
Summary: A quite satisfactory statement that suggested this London-dependent estate agency should be able to cope with the capital’s slower property market. Indeed, the business appears keen to expand and the pace of its new franchisee openings may in fact accelerate. Margins remain high, the balance sheet remains strong and a P/E of 7 seems to price in a lot of bad news. I bought more shares in August and continue to hold. Continue reading →
Summary: I’m starting to go off City businesses. First it was Record and now it is CLIG that wants to pay its employees a lot more… despite profits at both having gone nowhere for years. Sadly, CLIG’s revised bonus plan has offset some promising news of greater funds under management and the real prospect (finally!) of a dividend lift. I can only hope the fund manager can soon deliver the much-needed performance to justify the extra bonus cost. I continue to hold. Continue reading →
I purchased my BJU shares at an average price of 325p (including all costs) during March and April 2016. The bid price is now 425p and the position currently represents about 2% of my portfolio.
I have to admit, BJU is somewhat quirky in comparison to many of my existing holdings. The group is a market-research agency and has pioneered techniques to judge the potential success of adverts using ‘behavioural science’.
If you’re wondering what on earth behavioural science is, don’t worry. For years BJU’s business never made much sense to me — until I read this year’s annual report, watched a beer advert… and finally got to grips what this £58m small-cap actually does.
Anyway, supporting the notion that BJU had above-average investment potential was a respectable record of progress, decent financials, an executive team led by the firm’s founder/major shareholder… as well as the opportunity to further ‘disrupt’ the wider market-research industry. Continue reading →
Summary: These results were very mixed. I am pleased the restaurant chain’s revenue growth has improved following the ‘blip’ in the second half of last year, but disappointed the roll-out plan has slowed a little. Margins have also shrunk due to greater expansion costs. Mind you, the board here remains a class act while the longer-term potential is still considerable. I sold some shares before these results and I continue to hold the rest. Continue reading →
Summary: A satisfactory set of results, which I reckon included the drill specialist’s best quarter as a quoted company. Revenue and profit continue to head the right way, although working capital and other investments absorbed considerable cash flow. Notable positives from the statement included comments on new product development alongside vague talk of recovering demand from mining customers. I continue to hold. Continue reading →
Summary: Regular monthly updates had already ensured this statement would not be too surprising. However, CLIG trimmed back its projections for 2017 and despite stagnant funds under management, extra costs are filtering into the business. Fortunately the group should benefit significantly from the weaker pound, and its dollar-based income may currently support a P/E of 10 and 7%-plus yield. I continue to hold. Continue reading →