Summary: I was very satisfied with ASY’s first-half progress. The specialist hire group reported positive performances both within the UK and overseas and could now be on course to deliver its best-ever annual results. A 20%-plus operating margin and substantial net cash remain key bookkeeping features, while management hints of an encouraging second half have kept the share price buoyant. I continue to hold. Continue reading →
Summary: These results were very satisfactory and showcased ASY’s best-ever second-half. Notably, this supplier of air conditioners, heaters and water pumps said “robust operational management” rather than “extreme climatic conditions” had supported its positive progress. The accounts remain in good shape, too. With earnings now at their highest level since 2008, the share-price has re-rated to a P/E of 15. I continue to hold. Continue reading →
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: 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: These results were very acceptable and extended the improved performance reported during September’s interims. However, the comparison to the weak 2014 figures was always going to look good and, notably, ASY still has work to do to repeat its achievements of 2012 and 2013. While long-term growth may be elusive, the accounts remain in top shape and the generous dividends keep on coming. I continue to hold. Continue reading →
Summary: Not a bad set of results, although the performance was flattered by the poor figures of 2014. The highlight was the positive outlook statement and the prospect of further second-half progress. While ASY may find long-term growth elusive, the accounts remain solid and the company continues to pay out all of its earnings as a dividend. I continue to hold.
Summary: Results better than I had expected. A dismal first half was followed by a less dismal second half and the outlook for 2015 appears relatively promising. Accounts still showcase solid financials and I’m pleased ASY’s 90% owner continues to share the wealth through sizeable dividends. The yield is 7.9% at 300p. I continue to hold.
You may have gathered by now that I do like my companies to have hefty insider ownership.
My theory is simple: I’m convinced directors are more likely to run their businesses successfully — and are therefore more likely to deliver satisfactory returns to outside investors such as you and me — if they boast significant shareholdings themselves.
I’m certainly hoping that’s going to be the case at Andrews Sykes(ASY), where the chairman and his family own 90% — yes 90%! — of the company.
Such shareholder dominance will of course mean this £127m hire business won’t be for everyone. Indeed, the tycoon in charge has adopted a very haphazard dividend policy and does not believe in standard boardroom governance. He is also very old at 94.
Nonetheless, a closer look ASY’s accounts reveals exactly why he wants to own so much of this company. Super margins, immense cash flow and lofty returns on capital in particular mark ASY out as a top-quality operator — and drew me in during May 2013 at an average of 233p.
So far at least, the threat of being ‘done over’ by a boardroom fiefdom has not emerged.
Instead, I have enjoyed a satisfactory return, with the shares rising to 300p — plus a sizeable 29.7p dividend for 2013 representing a lovely 12.7% income on my purchase price. Continue reading →