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G4M’s H1 trading update confirms the continued strength of the top line sales growth already disclosed in its Q1 sales update. H1 sales have risen by an impressive 42% to £70.2m, complemented by gross margin expansion of 330bps to 28.5%, reflecting G4M’s focus on profitable sales growth. This translates to gross profit growth of £7.5m (+60%) compared with last year and will deliver interim financial results materially higher than last year. While sales momentum has continued into October, management remains mindful of the ongoing uncertainties around Covid-19 and Brexit heading into the peak trading period. With market estimates already raised on the Q1 update, this prudent caution tempers our full year PBT upgrade to 13%.
Companies: Gear4music (Holdings) PLC
REACT Group plc (REACT), the specialists in deep cleaning services for customers in the public and private sectors, has announced an encouragingly positive trading update for the financial year to September 2020 stating that the Group’s maiden profit before tax will be ahead of market expectations. Consequently we are raising our PBT forecast from £152k to £182k. Cash balances at the year-end were also higher than forecast at £1.8m and we continue to remain very positive on the prospects for the Group.
Companies: REACT Group Plc
Gear4music continued its recent run of positive news announcements yesterday with an upbeat AGM trading statement. Growth, following an exceptional first quarter in FY2021 (April to June), remained brisk in July and August. Moreover, the company’s strong sales momentum is more than matched by improvements on costs and margins.
Guild Esports is positioned to become the leading global esports brand based in the UK. With strong support from David Beckham, the company plans to pioneer the UK Premier League academy model in esports, attract leading sponsors, build a loyal fan base and establish a premium line of merchandise. Within 12 months of the IPO, Guild plans to contract 19 esports staff, register 1m fans and generate £5m sponsorship revenue, £1m merchandise revenue and £0.6m media revenue. Today, Guild announced a £3.6m three-year sponsorship deal with a new European fintech company and appears well positioned to meet its sponsorship revenue target.
Companies: Guild Esports PLC
Pendragon was making good progress in its turnaround when COVID-19 struck but appears to be coming through the crisis in good shape to date. Despite a £44m hit to profits during lockdown, we can envisage a modest underlying profit for the full year without further shocks. Today’s IMS is supportive of this view. The group’s new strategy should help deliver a transformation in the value of the business, long-term. The potential is not reflected in the current price which is weighed down by macro worries and misplaced concerns about debt. We see the risk/reward balance as attractive.
Companies: Pendragon PLC
Gear4music reports that trading has remained strong in the 1st 2 months of Q2. Back in July it said it had achieved 68% sales growth in Q1 (to 30 June) along with improved gross margins and cost efficiency, notably in marketing. Today’s update says G4M is continuing to generate improved margins alongside proportionally lower marketing costs YoY, no doubt with additional operating leverage in other cost lines too. As a result, FY21 results “will be at least in line with recently upgraded expectations”. We make no changes today, pending an H1 trading update on 22 Oct, but highlight that forecast and valuation risk is very much to the upside. Time to take a look for those that haven’t yet.
Escape Hunt announced the acquisition of its Middle East master franchise partner, Escape Hunt Entertainment LLC (“EHE”). The operation offers high potential returns at modest cost and risk to Escape Hunt. The transaction also pushes the company’s rollout ahead of our forecasts. Such acquisition opportunities, combined with attractive new lease terms and rebounding early demand, position the company for strong return potential.
Companies: Escape Hunt Plc
In this note and following the SMMT June data released earlier this week, we look at the key dynamics of the sector during H1 2020, and the prospects for the rest of the calendar year. While no direct stimulus for the sector was announced in the recent summer statement, customers who were considering their purchasing options now have the clarity to move ahead with buying decisions that were potentially on hold.
Companies: CAMB LOOK MMH PDG VTU
Gear4music is the leading UK online retailer of musical instruments and music equipment and has established operating bases in Sweden and Germany to spearhead its expansion into mainland Europe. It operates a low-cost model, with further efficiency gains targeted, and is profitable from the first customer transaction, achieving a 250% gross margin return on its marketing investment in new customer acquisition.
The final results revealed adjusted PBT up 99% year-on-year, which was 10% better than forecast despite four upgrades during the financial year. This strong performance reflects the financial benefits that have accrued following the shift in the business model to online only, as well as management’s strategic decision to significantly increase marketing spend. A second special dividend for the 2020 financial year has also been announced, reflecting the strong cash flow characteristics of the business model. Our 2021 profit forecast implies continuing momentum and a year-on-year increase in PBT of 86%. We raise our target price to 1050p.
Companies: Best of the Best plc
N Brown is taking crucial steps in its transition to being a pure-play online retailer (currently 77% of sales) and to strengthen its leading position in the under-serviced market for fashionable plus-size apparel. While strategic updates may be on hold until a new CEO is appointed, the company closed the loss-making portfolio of high-street stores in H119 and further brand consolidation seems inevitable. The shares trade on a low FY19e P/E of 5.5x and yield 7.2%.
Companies: BWNG BGUA NBRNF
We are introducing our Best Ideas for 2019 and also review the performance of last year’s picks. We suggest ten solidly financed stocks with good business dynamics that ought to be considered for core portfolio holdings and six UK domestically focused stocks that our analysts believe should perform strongly in the event that uncertainties unwind. We also introduce a new style of research from N+1 Singer which presents a Company’s dynamics and metrics in a clear and concise manner and concentrates on the pivotal issues affecting that Company and an investment decision.
Companies: BCA CLIN CLG CBP DNLM EAH STU FCRM FUTR GTLY INS GLE NICL SDL SPR TRI
The global online gaming market generated c £40bn of gross gaming revenues (GGR) in 2018 and newly regulating markets (the US) are expected to contribute to 7% CAGR to 2023 (according to H2 Gambling Capital (H2GC)). However, while regulated markets have provided significant opportunities for operators to date, government intervention remains a constant threat and legislation is tightening. Some mature markets (notably the UK) have been raising taxes and implementing regulatory burdens, which increases the cost of business. In our view, success will depend on a combination of scale, diversification, proprietary technology and a strong balance sheet. Many of the 12 operators in this report should benefit from these dynamics and sector valuations remain attractive, at 12.6x P/E, 8.2x EV/EBITDA and 6.0% dividend yield for FY19.
Companies: 888 BAH ORPH GVC GYS OPAP PTEC RNK WMH
Disney+ hits 22m mobile users, SoftBank backed firm downsizes IPO, German mobile carrier selects Huawei
Companies: ENET 7DIG MVR ZOO ZOO AMO BOOM MIRA MWE
Gear4music, which reported positively on FY2020 profits in its recent 23rd June 2020 results announcement, released further good news today. The company already stated that FY2021 had started on an exceptionally strong note for sales revenue. But profitability – an upgraded priority in the past 18 months – now looks to be ahead of expectations. We raise our forecasts on this report.