FW Thorpe: Immediate Covid-19 Problems Prevented After £47m Net Cash Allows 2% H1 Dividend Lift And Commendable Refusal Of Government Assistance

18 May 2020
By Maynard Paton

Results summary for FW Thorpe (TFW):

  • Acceptable 7-9% first-half growth, although profitability has essentially stalled for the last 2-3 years as the LED mini-boom subsides.
  • A 2% dividend lift, net cash and investments of £47m, a “strong” order book plus an outstanding response to government assistance do not imply immediate Covid-19 problems.
  • However, trading is not perfect, as margins at the largest division continue to decline while overseas cross-selling progress remains slow and small. 
  • The SmartScan light-monitoring system could be a ‘hidden gem’, with sales up 50% last year to represent 20% of total revenue.
  • A P/E of 22-25 feels warm, but may reflect the ‘pandemic-proof’ balance sheet, SmartScan potential and/or resilient profit history. I continue to hold.

Read moreFW Thorpe: Immediate Covid-19 Problems Prevented After £47m Net Cash Allows 2% H1 Dividend Lift And Commendable Refusal Of Government Assistance

My Portfolio: Year In Review 2019

10 January 2020
By Maynard Paton

Happy January!

I trust you enjoyed the festive break and are now ready to battle the market for another twelve months!

This 5,562-word post provides a ‘year in review’ of my current portfolio holdings. I recap how each of the underlying businesses performed during 2019, 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 I double-check my investment logic to ensure I am still invested for the right reasons! The upsets I will suffer during 2020 will most likely be caused by the shares I already own rather than by new shares I purchase.

Read moreMy Portfolio: Year In Review 2019

FW Thorpe: 2019 Results Declare Record £57m Cash Hoard Despite Slowing LED Sales And Brexit Reducing Profit By 10%

18 October 2019
By Maynard Paton

Results summary for FW Thorpe (TFW):

  • Ongoing economic uncertainty” caused by Brexit led to flat sales and lower profit. 
  • Talk of a “healthy order book” provides hope that trading won’t deteriorate into 2020. 
  • Comments concerning new products imply slowing LED growth and a plucky move into non-lighting applications.
  • Accounts boast enormous £57m cash hoard that could be used for acquisitions — or (fingers crossed) further special dividends.
  • Underlying P/E of 19 seems optimistic given recent progress. I continue to hold.

Read moreFW Thorpe: 2019 Results Declare Record £57m Cash Hoard Despite Slowing LED Sales And Brexit Reducing Profit By 10%

FW Thorpe: H1 Results Confirm 10% Profit Drop As Cash Piles Up To New £53m Record

29 March 2019
By Maynard Paton

Results verdict on FW Thorpe (TFW):

  • Lower revenue and profit due to “challenging trading conditions” caused perhaps by the collapse of Carillion.
  • The statement’s highlight was management talk of orders having returned to “record levels”.
  • Fresh product developments continue and include “radical” new range of workplace lighting.
  • Accounts showcase huge £53m cash pile while dividend on course for 17th consecutive annual increase. 
  • Underlying P/E of 21 seems optimistic given recent progress. I continue to hold.

Read moreFW Thorpe: H1 Results Confirm 10% Profit Drop As Cash Piles Up To New £53m Record

My Portfolio: Year In Review 2018

01 January 2019
By Maynard Paton

Happy New Year!

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 2019 provides a ‘year in review’ of my current portfolio holdings. I recap how each of the underlying businesses performed during 2018, as well as provide a few remarks about valuation.

Read moreMy Portfolio: Year In Review 2018

FW Thorpe: ‘Excellent’ 2018 Results Show Underlying 2% Profit Advance And Claim Sales Of High-Tech Systems Have ‘Rocketed’

21 September 2018
By Maynard Paton

Update on FW Thorpe (TFW).

Event: Preliminary results for the twelve months to 30 June 2018 published 20 September 2018.

Summary: The specialist lighting manufacturer delivered its fifth consecutive year of record results, although describing an underlying 2% profit advance as “excellent” overplayed the performance somewhat. Still, the figures were a touch better than I had expected and showcased all the usual financial attractions — decent margins, vast surplus cash and robust reinvestment returns. Sales of some new high-tech products apparently “rocketed”, too. That said, TFW suffered mixed divisional performances while the share-price rating remains rich. I continue to hold.

Read moreFW Thorpe: ‘Excellent’ 2018 Results Show Underlying 2% Profit Advance And Claim Sales Of High-Tech Systems Have ‘Rocketed’

FW Thorpe: Record H1 Figures Can’t Disguise Slowing Growth And Elevated 22x Multiple

16 March 2018
By Maynard Paton

Update on FW Thorpe (TFW).

Event: Interim results for the six months to 31 December 2017 published 15 March 2018

Summary: These first-half figures actually set new H1 records, but they also confirmed TFW’s good run of double-digit profit growth will pause during 2018. Pressure on prices for tunnel lighting was cited as one reason for the pedestrian performance. Should revenue and profit continue to plateau, the elevated share price — rated at 22x my earnings guess — may be at risk of a de-rating. Still, the lighting specialist remains a very respectable business, and continues to be led by directors that think long term. I continue to hold.

Read moreFW Thorpe: Record H1 Figures Can’t Disguise Slowing Growth And Elevated 22x Multiple

My Portfolio: Year In Review 2017

01 January 2018
By Maynard Paton

Happy New Year!

I trust you have enjoyed the festive break and are now raring to do battle with the market for another twelve months!

This first Blog post of 2018 provides a ‘year in review’ of my current portfolio holdings. I recap how each of the underlying businesses performed during 2017, as well as provide a few remarks about valuation.

Read moreMy Portfolio: Year In Review 2017

FW Thorpe: Record Annual Results Spotlight Further Double-Digit Growth As Dividend Lifted For 15th Consecutive Year

22 September 2017
By Maynard Paton

Quick update on FW Thorpe (TFW).

Event: Preliminary results for the twelve months to 30 June 2017 published 21 September 2017

Summary: Yet again this lighting specialist has delivered a very satisfactory annual performance, with revenue and profit attaining fresh all-time highs and the dividend lifted for the fifteenth consecutive year. Although the group’s largest division appears to be performing very well, other subsidiaries did not enjoy the very best of second halves. Management comments about 2018 seemed quite cautious, too. The accounts remain in pristine condition, but I am mindful of the shares trading at a rich multiple. I continue to hold.

Read moreFW Thorpe: Record Annual Results Spotlight Further Double-Digit Growth As Dividend Lifted For 15th Consecutive Year

FW Thorpe: Impressive H1 Results As All Divisions Grow By 15% Or More

17 March 2017
By Maynard Paton

Quick update on FW Thorpe (TFW).

Event: Interim results for the six months to 31 December 2016 published 16 March 2017

Summary: Once again this lighting specialist has issued a very satisfactory set of results. The highlight was the performance of the group’s main division, which following a few subdued years has suddenly enjoyed a step-change to its financial progress. TFW’s other divisions reported impressive numbers, too, while the balance sheet remains teeming with surplus cash and investments. Throw in a coded management ‘upgrade’ for the full year and it’s perhaps no surprise the shares presently trade on an extended rating. I continue to hold.

Read moreFW Thorpe: Impressive H1 Results As All Divisions Grow By 15% Or More

My Portfolio: Year In Review 2016

01 January 2017
By Maynard Paton

Happy New Year!

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!

Read moreMy Portfolio: Year In Review 2016

FW Thorpe: Record Results Once Again As Dutch Division Shoots The Lights Out 

23 September 2016
By Maynard Paton

Quick update on FW Thorpe (TFW).

Event: Preliminary results for the year to 30 June 2016 published 22 September 2016

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.

Read moreFW Thorpe: Record Results Once Again As Dutch Division Shoots The Lights Out 

FW Thorpe: A Welcome 2p Special Dividend But The Board Could Pay Far More

21 March 2016
By Maynard Paton

Quick update on FW Thorpe (TFW).

Event: Interim results for the six months to December 2015 published 21 March

Summary: A respectable but not a spectacular set of figures, with underlying revenue and profit both advancing by 5%. Although progress at the group’s main Thorlux division looks to have stagnated, last year’s Dutch acquisition appears to be performing very well. A special 2p per share dividend was a welcome move, but a cash pile of 30p per share suggests much more could be distributed. I continue to hold.

Read moreFW Thorpe: A Welcome 2p Special Dividend But The Board Could Pay Far More

My Portfolio: Year In Review 2015

01 January 2016
By Maynard Paton

Happy New Year!

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 2016 provides a short ‘year-in-review’ of each of my current portfolio holdings.

As I mentioned at the start of 2015, 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!

Read moreMy Portfolio: Year In Review 2015

FW Thorpe: More Dependable Results With A Super H2

17 September 2015
By Maynard Paton

Quick update on FW Thorpe (TFW).

Event: Preliminary results published 17 September

Summary: Yet another dependable set of figures, with revenue, profit and the dividend reporting further advances — and all accompanied by the usual unpretentious management commentary. That said, it is TFW’s smaller divisions that are making the greatest strides at present — and it remains to be seen whether they can sustain such progress. Elsewhere, a recent acquisition is doing well and the balance sheet remains flush with cash. I continue to hold.

Read moreFW Thorpe: More Dependable Results With A Super H2