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Finsbury's AGM statement confirms that trading has remained resilient in FY21E, with the group expecting to deliver improved revenue and profitability this year. As such, with visibility improving, we are reinstating forecasts (FY21E Adj EBITDA of £26.0m). We also update our rating to Buy (from Under Review), which is driven by the group's low valuation (c7.7x FY21E P/E), planned reinstatement of the dividend (3.8% yield), and the increasing levels of FCF available to shareholders (11% FCF yield) now that the group has reached the end of a period of heavy investment.
Companies: Finsbury Food Group plc
Both of Carr’s Group’s divisions have continued to operate throughout the coronavirus lockdowns as they serve key markets. While adjusted PBT was 17% lower year-on-year during FY20 because of an unseasonably mild winter in the UK and delays in engineering contracts, a pick-up in US cattle prices at the year-end helped deliver a full-year result ahead of our estimates, which were revised down in March.
Companies: Carr's Group PLC
Nichols has issued a 9m trading update to the end of Sept and a full year outlook. Following on from H1, it is pleasing to see further positive momentum across the dominant activities of UK Vimto Packaged and International (c70% FY19 sales), whilst the cash position remains very healthy. Unsurprisingly OoH has remained significantly challenged (Q3 sales -45%), but we welcome the positive actions signalled this morning to align costs to a period of softer revenue whilst its main end market of hospitality navigates a pre/post Covid-19 landscape. Full year PBT guidance is for £11-13m - down c60% y/y, reflecting high operational gearing at OoH from a >£25m loss of sales. With FY21 a year of partial profit recovery, FY22 is of greater relevance from a valuation perspective and whilst guidance remains suspended, we see a pathway to get to 80-85% of our previous FY20 PBT of £29m. This would imply EPS of c53p, set against a 10 year P/E average of 20.4x. Overall, we feel OoH uncertainty is priced in and should not overshadow the ongoing resilience of core activities, as well as the fundamentals around longevity/growth prospects of the Vimto brand, geographical diversity and a strong c£44m of net-cash to capitalise on future opportunities.
Companies: Nichols plc
Cake Box’s interim results reconfirmed the company’s resilience in the face of extremely adverse circumstances for UK High Street retailers. Cake Box reported only single digit declines in sales revenue and profits in the period as the business benefited from its flexibility, financial strength, and an ongoing customer commitment to celebration. In our view, celebration’s resilience as a category, product innovation, increased outlets, and a commitment to “steady, sensible and sustainable” growth, augur well for further revenue expansion. Yet the group’s valuation remains attractive.
Companies: Cake Box Holdings Plc
Today's news & views, plus announcements from KGF, MRO, UU, BAB, BRW, FUTR, GNS, HICL, LIO, AEXG, FUL, KWS
Companies: AEX GNS HICL
Premier Foods’ FY20 results demonstrate the substantial progress the company has made over the past few years. The UK business has now grown for 11 consecutive quarters and Q121 is set to be very strong. In the UK the brands grew ahead of their categories and the innovation rate has hit a new high. A new landmark pensions agreement was signed in April, which could potentially significantly reduce the future funding requirements for Premier Foods. The recent triennial actuarial valuation delivers further credence to the pensions deal.
Companies: Premier Foods plc
MPE has reported interim results for the period ending June 2020. The operational performance is strong (CPO-equivalent production up +31%) but gross margins are lagging our expectations. Despite upgrading our CPO price expectation +8%, we are trimming our FY expectations by c10%. Our price target – which is not driven off volatile short-term earnings – remains at 1,000p/share.
Companies: M.P. Evans Group PLC
Dekel Agri-Vision has announced the completion of the acquisition of an addition 14.2% interest in the large-scale cashew nut processing project, currently under construction in Tiebissou, Côte d'Ivoire. (The company's intention to acquire this additional interest was first announced on 3 November 2020). Following completion, Dekel Agri-Vision now owns a 52% controlling interest in the project, which is on track for first production in Q2, 2021. We have consolidated revenues and earnings from the cashew business into our group financials and reflected the increased 52% profit contribution from the cashew project. As a result, we have increased our target price, based on our DCF valuation to 8.1p from 7.6p, reflecting a market cap of £36.7m, up from £32.2m, and compared to a current market cap of £10.2m. We reiterate our Buy recommendation.
Companies: Dekel Agri-Vision Plc
Cranswick’s H121 results underscore the company’s strength and broad-based positive momentum. Revenues were up an impressive 17% on a like-for-like basis, adjusted operating profit was up 31% to £62m with margins up +50bp, and adjusted EPS was up 30% to 93p, with reported EPS up 12%. The interim dividend was up 12% to 18.7p, and net debt (excluding IFRS 16 lease liabilities) was £54.6m. Cranswick has made a strong start to the year. Management is understandably cautious given uncertainty surrounding both the pandemic and Brexit, but the outlook for the current year remains unchanged.
Companies: Cranswick plc
We have completed another periodic refresh of our value screen, first established in our inaugural quant/screening note of 26 May 2015. As usual the screen selected the 25 stocks exhibiting the most extreme value characteristics (based on 2016 consensus P/E and latest price to tangible book ratio) from our universe, and we have chosen 10 stocks to focus on. Since inception last year the screen has outperformed the main small-cap and micro-cap indices (by about 8pp and 3pp respectively) and has proved to be pleasingly defensive.
Companies: ABBY AUG BILN CARR CGS GOAL BOOT LVD RAV VTU
Diversified Gas & Oil is paying $575m for further oil and gas assets in the Appalachia basin. This will enhance earnings as well as enable a significant increase in dividend. The deal is partly financed by a placing raising £189.5m at 97p a share. This is the third time in little more than 12 months that Diversified has raised cash at a share price above the flotation price.
Companies: FPO DRV APP WYN AAU CRPR
Premier Foods’ H119 results demonstrate the business has become more resilient under the stewardship of outgoing CEO, Gavin Darby. Revenue growth of 1.0% in Q2 despite the hot summer was encouraging, and the UK relaunch of the Mr Kipling brand has clearly gone well. The news that Ambrosia may be sold suggests yet another step in the business transformation, although the price will determine the level of dilution and any change to net debt/EBITDA.
The trade-off in the risk/reward for gold and gold mining equities is improving, as central banks push the current iteration of the post-World War II Bretton Woods financial order towards its limits.
Companies: AVO AJB AGY ARBB BUR CLIG DNL DPP FLTA GTLY GDR MCL MUR NSF PCA PIN SRE PHP RE/ RECI RMDL STX SCE TON SHED VTA W7L
As flagged in an interim management statement in January, Carr’s Group’s UK agricultural activities have been adversely affected by the mild winter that has depressed demand for feed and feed supplements. Based on the order pipeline, management had expected this would be balanced by overperformance in the Engineering division, but delays in receiving orders will lead to underperformance here as well. We cut our FY20 and FY21 EPS estimates by 26% and 10% respectively and reduce our indicative valuation from 190p/share to 172p/share.
Despite Covid-19 materially impacting the Foodservice business, Finsbury traded profitably throughout Q4, and was able to report FY20A Adj EBITDA (pre-IFRS 16) only c4% lower YoY at £24.4m, whilst strong free cash flow (c19% historic FCF yield) reduced net leverage by 0.3x YoY to 1.1x (net debt lower by £9.1m YoY). Demand has been recovering MoM since April, with group revenues now approaching their prior year levels. Notwithstanding the steady improvement seen, due to continued uncertainty caused by Covid- 19, including the potential effects of a second wave of infections, we are not reinstating forecasts at this stage, and maintain our Under Review recommendation.