[SharePad] Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: TELECOM PLUS

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12 February 2023
By Maynard Paton

Difficult market conditions have prompted many investors to find safety through attractive dividend shares.

Hence a new screen to pinpoint companies that boast a dependable payout, a meaningful yield and respectable prospects.

The exact criteria I employed for this search were:

  • A record of dividend payments spanning at least 20 years;
  • A 10-year dividend growth record of 5% or more;
  • A minimum forecast three-year dividend growth rate of 5%, and;
  • A forecast dividend yield of at least 4%.

I applied the screen the other day and SharePad returned 14 matches:

(Source: SharePad)

I selected Telecom Plus from the shortlist as the company offered the highest forecast dividend growth for the next three years:

(Source: SharePad)

Let’s take a closer look.

Read my full Telecom Plus article for SharePad.

Maynard Paton

FW THORPE: FY 2022 Celebrates 20th Consecutive Annual Dividend Increase After Profit Up 29%, SmartScan Sales Up 49% And Encouraging Start Within EV-Charging Market

01 February 2023
By Maynard Paton

Results summary for FW Thorpe (TFW):

  • A record FY outcome (profit +29%) bolstered by the acquisition of Spanish firm Zemper that supported TFW’s 20th consecutive annual dividend increase.
  • Progress at Thorlux was supported by impressive SmartScan sales (+49%), with the innovative lighting system reducing running costs for customers by as much as 62%.
  • A positive Dutch performance has led to a reassuring non-exec appointment and an encouraging start within the electric-vehicle charging market.
  • Net cash of £39m may arguably be only £9m following the subsequent purchase of TFW’s largest customer plus the eventual earn-out for Zemper.
  • A possible 24x P/E seemingly reflects TFW’s healthy order book, savvy acquisition approach, distinguished operating history and growth opportunities beyond the UK and lighting. I continue to hold.

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[SharePad] Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: QUARTIX

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20 January 2023
By Maynard Paton

Today I have revisited a SharePad screen that applies two ratios favoured by ‘quality’ investors — operating margin and return on equity (ROE).

The exact criteria I re-used were:

  • An operating margin (latest and 10-year average) of 20% or more, and;
  • An ROE (latest and 10-year average) of 20% or more.

Any business with a margin and ROE consistently above 20% is probably quite special.

To narrow the field down further, I also sought companies that carried net borrowings of less than zero (i.e. net cash):

(Source: SharePad)

I selected Quartix because it was among the worst share-price performers during the last twelve months. Let’s take a closer look.

Read my full Quartix article for SharePad.

Maynard Paton

TRISTEL: Pandemic-Disrupted FY 2022 Reiterates Reassuring 10-15%/Year Sales-Growth Ambition As US Regulatory Approval Now Relies Upon FDA ‘Negotiation’ Over Product Batches

12 January 2023
By Maynard Paton

Results summary for Tristel (TSTL):

  • Another pandemic-disrupted performance, although 10-15% per annum sales-growth guidance suggests hospital customers will soon resume normal purchasing activity.
  • Progress was complicated by an accounting U-turn, with Brexit stock-piling, share options, US costs and write-offs creating a wide range of profit outcomes.
  • Management webinar comments suggested a positive US regulatory verdict is dependent on a “negotiation” with the FDA concerning data tests using different product batches. 
  • A useful 17% operating margin, net cash of £10m, worthwhile cash conversion and low capital requirements imply the group’s disinfectants still enjoy favourable economics. 
  • An estimated 24x P/E for FY 2025 is not an obvious bargain, but a premium rating may be justified by a US product approval and hefty royalties appearing soon thereafter. I continue to hold.

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Q4 2022: Down 23.3% For 2022

01 January 2023
By Maynard Paton

Happy 2023! I hope you survived last year’s tough market and continue to find my blog useful.

A summary of my portfolio’s 2022:

  • Total return of -23.3% (Q4: +0.2%)*;
  • 2 holdings recorded a gain while 9 holdings recorded a loss;
  • Returns ranged from up 23%, for Bioventix, to down 67%, for System1;
  • One share was topped-up: City of London Investment, and;
  • No new shares were purchased and no shares were sold.

(*Performance calculated using quoted bid prices and includes all dealing costs, withholding taxes, broker-account fees, paid dividends and cash interest)

I publish a portfolio review after every quarter (Q1, Q2 and Q3), and this post recaps my October/November/December activity as well as my 2022 performance.

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My Portfolio: Year In Review 2022

01 January 2023
By Maynard Paton

Happy New Year!

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

This 4,680-word post provides a ‘year in review’ of my current holdings. I recap how each business performed during 2022 as well as provide a few remarks about valuation. 

These reviews are very useful to write, not least because they help ensure I am still invested for the right reasons. Any upsets I will suffer during 2023 will most likely be caused by the shares I already own rather than any new shares I will buy.

I undertook the same annual review at the start of 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.

My portfolio lost 23.3% during 2022. This other post explains that performance in more detail and clarifies how my portfolio begins 2023.

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[SharePad] Small-Cap Spotlight Report: STRIX

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12 December 2022
By Maynard Paton

A profit warning and 32% share-price crash brought Strix to my attention the other week:

(Source: SharePad)

This small-cap dominates the market for kettle controls, and I wondered whether that strong competitive position could support an eventual recovery.

Let’s take a closer look.

Read my full Strix article for SharePad.

Maynard Paton

BIOVENTIX: Exceptional H2 Profit (+30%) Plus Promising Biotins Sales (+67%) Support Better-Than-Expected FY 2022 And 7th Consecutive Annual Special Dividend

22 November 2022
By Maynard Paton

Results summary for Bioventix (BVXP):

  • A somewhat better-than-expected FY performance, with record revenue and earnings supported by an exceptional H2 profit (+30%) that was bolstered by a post-pandemic recovery and stronger USD.
  • Encouraging sales progress from best-seller vitamin D (+13%), future big-seller troponin (+81%) and sudden surprise-seller biotins (+67%) more than offset lost income from an expired product. 
  • Tweaks to management’s commentary plus a revised pipeline grid suggest the development work on dementia research now offers a greater chance of becoming a real money spinner.
  • The accounts remain in great shape, with an astonishing 82% H2 margin, terrific employee productivity and robust cash conversion leading to the company’s seventh consecutive annual special dividend.
  • Troponin’s finite income and a basic sum-of-the-parts valuation may explain why the £36 shares have not made headway during the last three years. I continue to hold.

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[SharePad] Small-Cap Spotlight Report: TRUSTPILOT

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18 November 2022
By Maynard Paton

Read a set of company results, and chances are you will spot a reference to Trustpilot. Examples of quoted businesses mentioning the popular review website include:

  • AJ Bell: Our operational performance indicators have shown excellent levels of customer service as demonstrated by our high 4.5-star Trustpilot score.
  • AO World: “Over 350,000 Trustpilot ratings, averaging an “Excellent” 4.6/5 stars.
  • Big Yellow: “We have over 3,200 reviews from the independent review site TrustPilot. These reviews average a 4.7 out of 5-star rating, labelled as “Excellent” on the TrustPilot ratings scale.”
  • Procook: “We are pleased to have retained our excellent-rated Trustpilot score of 4.8.
  • Redde Northgate: “Customer satisfaction is the cornerstone of our business success and the ‘excellent’ satisfaction scores achieved across our businesses from Trustpilot.
  • Redrow: “We continue to be rated as ‘excellent’ on Trustpilot.
  • ScS Group: “Improved Trustpilot rating to the maximum 5 stars, maintaining our ‘Excellent’ rating with over 370,000 reviews.”
  • Travis Perkins: “The experience with Toolstation remains best-in-class with the business achieving a 4.6-star rating on Trustpilot.

With so many quoted companies trumpeting their Trustpilot reviews, is Trustpilot itself worthy of a 5-star investment rating?

Let’s take a closer look.

Read my full Trustpilot article for SharePad.

Maynard Paton

M WINKWORTH: Yield Approaches 7% Despite Acceptable H1 2022, Quarterly Dividends Lifted 23% And Confidence Towards £2m Profit Forecast 

04 November 2022
By Maynard Paton

Results summary for M Winkworth (WINK):

  • An acceptable H1 performance that would always struggle against the comparable (and exceptional) H1 but encouragingly matched the preceding H2.
  • The subsequent Q3 update provided reassuring ‘mini-budget’ commentary, reiterated an earlier £2.1m profit forecast and announced a further 23% quarterly dividend lift.
  • Claims of a leading SSTC market share may contradict statistics from Foxtons, with fresh leadership at the London rival set to create stiffer competition. 
  • A robust 25% margin plus £4m net cash left the accounts in good order, although cash conversion was impacted by rising intangible expenditure and more franchisee loans.
  • The gloomy outlook for the economy and housing market looks responsible for the possible 10-13x P/E and yield that approaches 7%. I continue to hold.

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CITY OF LONDON INVESTMENT: H2 2022 Profit Drops 20% And FuM Slides To $8.5b Although Yield Now Tops 8% And Run Of Net Inflows Extends To 4 Quarters

21 October 2022
By Maynard Paton

Results summary for City of London Investment (CLIG):

  • Rough market conditions causing funds under management (FuM) to fall 17% to $9.2b led to H2 net fee income dropping 5% and H2 profit diving 20%.
  • A post-year update showed FuM sliding a further 8% to $8.5b, but also the fourth consecutive quarter of net FuM inflows that may signal clients re-appraising CLIG’s ‘value’ approach.
  • Buying SPACs at discounts to cash helped merger partner KIM outperform the original CLIM division with 6% five-year annualised returns versus 3-4%.
  • Revenue “100%” denominated in the stronger USD, handy cash conversion plus net funds and investments of £30m counterbalanced an H2 margin squeezed to ‘only’ 42%.
  • Near-term earnings could now be running at 36p per share, which should still support the 33p per share dividend and 8%-plus yield at 400p. I continue to hold.

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