Red Dwarf, the very British sci-fi comedy franchise, ran for 11 seasons – most recently in 2017; and The Promised Land is a feature-length TV movie – out this year. Yes, the programme is an acquired taste. Strangely, too, many episodes are impacted by a virus or three (physiological, not main-frame).
Companies: WJG BKG CSP CRST MCS INL BDEV RDW GLE SPR TW/ PSN VTY GLV CRN ABBY BWY
For fighter pilots, it is a minimum requirement. But having 20/20 ‘visual acuity’ (correct term) does not necessarily mean you have perfect vision (as convention assumes); instead, it indicates sharpness and clarity of vision at a distance. It is measured by a Snellen Chart, which displays letters of progressively smaller size and whereby 20/20 means that the test subject sees the same line of letters at 20 feet that a person with normal vision sees at 20 feet (or 6 metres; but 6/6 simply didn’t catch on).
Companies: ABBY BDEV BWY BKG VTY CRN CSP CRST GLE GLV INL MCS PSN RDW SPR TW/ WJG
H1 20 interims – on track to meet FY20 expectations
Following continued delays of a Brexit agreement, few sectors within the UK market have remained attractive to investors despite low valuations. One sector which has continued to outperform despite the political drama has been the UK video gaming sector (henceforth UK gaming), which we are fans of. We believe a combination of sector-leading growth, strong cash conversion and timely cyclical positioning support our positive view on the UK video gaming sector.
Companies: ABBY AMS ANX ARS ATYM AVON BLVN PIER BUR CGS CAML CDM CSRT TIDE CYAN DTG DEMG ELM EMR FPO FDEV GTLY GENL GHH GRI GEEC GKP HMI HAYD HEAD HILS HTG HUR IBPO IOG INDI JHD JOG KAPE KEYS KWS KCT KGH LAM LIT LOK MACF MANO MOD OXIG PCA PANR APP SRE PHC PMO RBW RMM RBGP REDD RSW RNO ROR SUS SCPA SEN SHG SOLG SOM SUMO TM17 INCE TWD TRAK TRI VNET VTC ZOO ZTF
Dame Agatha Christie (née Miller) published more than 80 books and plays; and the Guinness Book of World Records lists her as the best-selling novelist of all time with roughly two billion copies sold. ‘And then there were none’ was originally published in 1939, with an un-politically correct title; and it is still the world’s best-selling mystery (with more than 100 million sold). It is also number six on the list of best-selling books of all-time.
Companies: ABBY CSP WJG TW/ BWY PSN GLV BDEV RDW BKG VTY CRN GLE SPR GFRD
Following the FY19 prelims in July, we update our forecasts for FY20 (~12% reduction in adj. PBT) allowing for reduced contributions from UK housebuilding, margin pressures in Ireland, and general uncertainty in the near-term. We reiterate our Buy recommendation.
Dwight Barkley PhD is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Warwick. He studies waves in excitable media such as the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction, heart tissue and neurons. In 1997, Dr Barkley and Dr Laurette Tuckerman, a Paris-based mathematical physicist, developed ‘bifurcation analysis for time steppers’, which is a technique for modifying computer codes to perform bifurcation analysis. More lyrical, perhaps, Dwight is also known for formulating an equation to estimate how long it will be until a child in a car asks the question “are we there yet?” And, it is shown on the image on page 3 of this report. Herein, there are three factors which decide the timing of this wearisome question i.e. one plus the number of activities, divided by the number of children in the car squared. That figure is then added to the time it took the family to get into the car and set off on its journey. Crucial in putting off the first query as to the proximity of the destination are onboard activities for children i.e. no activities equals a question before leaving the driveway. Dr Barkley says: “Mathematics can help answer many of life’s questions”. If only the Brexit journey were that simple. It is not. We are all children now stuck in the back seat; and, maybe, we are still on the driveway with a dearth of on-board activities. Yes, three years on Brexit-resolution-fatigue is making itself felt across the board, including the UK Housebuilding Sector, where the fall in value in 2Q’19 was 7%. Berkeley said something similarin its final results, on 20 June, when it lamented an uncertain operating environment and “a lack of visibility in the political outlook”; and its PBT is expected to fall by a further third this fiscal year. The daily Sector value chart is also lurching from top-left to bottom-right (as is the British Pound versus the Euro). Yes, there were two palpable positives in 2Q from the NHBC and UK Finance about building activity and mortgages; plus, on the third day of 3Q, CBRE’s bid for Telford Homes. Nonetheless, prospective earnings growth for the Sector is now flat in both 2019 and 2020. This is about the journey.
Companies: MCS TW/ PSN BDEV ABBY CSP WJG VTY TEF INL GLV GLE CRST BWY BKG
We’re just over three months in to 2019 and we’ve seen a 10% UK market rally, retracing much of the Q4 decline, such is the nature of fickle market sentiment. That said, many of the issues we wrote about three months ago that were impacting markets remain: notably Brexit, trade wars, geopolitics and global monetary policy. The 2019 rally thus far feels somewhat fragile, with competing forces of optimism on a potential trade deal which could underpin the rally, against the deterioration in underlying economic data that could ultimately undermine the recent market gains. In this context, we look at what the lead indicators and the market are telling us about the industrial cycle and the stocks most exposed to various industrial trends. The Q4 derating in short cycle industrials and autos had been vicious and while these sectors have seen a more solid footing in 2019, with earnings downgrades being priced in, it will likely take a trough in lead indicators before short cycle stocks can start to perform again and re-rate relative to the market.
Companies: ARS CYAN HYR LIT SOM ABBY AMS AMER ANX ATYM AVON BLVN PIER BUR CGS CAML CALL CSRT TIDE DTG DEMG EMR FPO FST GTLY GENL INCE GRI GEEC HDY HMI HAYD HEAD HILS HTG HUR IBPO INDI JHD JOG KEYS KCT KGH LAM LOK MACF MNO MANO MOD MKLW OXIG PCA PANR APP PXC PHC PMO RBW RMM REDD RSW RNO RKH RBGP ROR SUS SCPA SHG SOLG TRAK TRI VNET VTC ZOO ZTF
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The market has not faced quite so many conflicting challenges for a number of years, whether related to global geopolitics, trade wars, ongoing Eurozone issues or the “will they, won’t they” saga of Brexit. In our Best Ideas, we sought to highlight stocks that present investors with interesting opportunities following recent market moves. Those stocks, we believe, warrant investor attention, in many cases for uncorrelated or stockspecific reasons, regardless of the near-to-medium term market direction. These stocks, in general, represent attractive and well-managed businesses or assets, with share price catalysts and where valuations or recent stock performance provide investors with a good entry point.
Companies: 7DIG ABBY AMS ANX ARS ATYM AVON BLVN PIER CGS CAML CALL CSRT TIDE DTG DEMG ELM EMR FPO FST GTLY GENL GRI GEEC HDY HMI HAYD HEAD HILS HTG HUR IBPO IOG INDI JHD JOG KEYS KCT KGH LAM MACF MOD MKLW OXIG PCA APP PMO RBW RMM REDD RSW RNO RKH RBGP ROR SUS SCPA SHG SOLG TWD TRAK TRI VNET VTC ZTF
‘From the deserts of East Ham to the gardens of Cottenham’, the UK Housebuilding Sector was whacked to the tune of 27% in 2018; and not one share price (out of 18) rose on the London Stock Exchange.
Companies: BWY CRST BDEV WJG PSN TW/ MCS CSP TEF BKG ABBY GLE RDW
The June IPO of Knights Group Holdings, a Top-100 regional law firm, marked the fifth entrant to the burgeoning UK-listed legal sector. Following recent expansion of our coverage across all five listed legal firms, complemented by coverage of three broader support services peers with exposure to the sector, we revisit and build upon our views on this rapidly evolving sector.
Companies: ARS GTLY GENL KEYS KGH MNO RBGP TWD 7DIG ABBY AMS AMER ANX ARS ATYM AVON BLVN PIER CGS CAML CALL CSRT TIDE DTG DEMG ELM EMR FPM FPO FST GTLY GENL GRI GEEC HDY HMI HAYD HEAD HILS HTG HUR IBPO IOG INDI JHD JOG KEYS KGH LAM MACF MNO MKLW NAH OXIG PCA APP CAKE PDG RBW RMM REDD RSW RNO RKH RBGP ROR SUS SCPA SHG SOLG TWD TRAK TRI VNET VTC ZTF
“It’s like the cow that every single day during 10 years sees the train crossing in front of it at the same time. And if you ask the cow what time is the train going to come, it’s not going to have the right answer. In football it’s the same”.
Companies: ABBY TEF CSP TW/ BWY PSN BDEV MCS BKG GLE SPR RDW
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We currently have 30 research reports from 4
A number of REITs have the ability to thrive in current market conditions and thereafter. Not only do they hold assets that will remain in strong demand, but they have focus and transparency. The leases and underlying rents are structured in a manner to provide long visibility, growth and security. Hardman & Co defined an investment universe of REITs that we considered provided security and “safer harbours”. We introduced this universe with our report published in March 2019: “Secure income” REITs – Safe Harbour Available. Here, we take forward the investment case and story. We point to six REITs, in particular, where we believe the risk/reward is the most attractive.
Companies: AGY ARBB ARIX BUR CMH CLIG DNL HAYD NSF PCA PIN PXC PHP RE/ RECI SCE SHED VTA
The ongoing pandemic only serves to underline business models that are robust, and those that aren’t. This morning’s trading update from UPGS puts them firmly in the winners’ category. As the company approaches the final weeks of FY2020, it not only reports “better than expected progress” against an uncertain business backdrop, but also that revenue and key profit measures for the year should be ahead of current market expectations. Furthermore, online as a portion of total business should record a fourth consecutive increase, providing additional flexibility and strength in the case of a second wave.
Companies: Up Global Sourcing
Edison Investment Research is terminating coverage on ADMIE Holdings (ADMIE), AJ Lucas Group (AJL), Australis Capital (AUSA), Elbit Medical Technologies (EMTC), Focusrite (TUNE) and PPHE Hotel Group (PPH). Please note you should no longer rely on any previous research or estimates for this company. All forecasts should now be considered redundant.
Previously published reports can still be accessed via our website.
Photo-Me was trading in line with expectations until COVID-19 hit in the final months of FY 2020. FY 2020 sales declined by -5.6% to £215.4m including £22.7m sales lost due to COVID-19 as consumer activity was impacted significantly. The Board believes that activity levels could take a long time to return to pre-COVID-19 levels; a thorough review of the business is underway and restructuring programmes are being implemented to better align operations to the current trading conditions. Net cash at April 2020 was £7.9m, comprising gross cash of £66.5m and drawn debt facilities of £58.5m. A €30m additional credit facility was received in May and June.
Companies: Photo-Me International
Walker Greenbank has a tangible strategic impetus under its new management team with a clear business model migration plan. While COVID-19 related market effects are affecting near-term trading – and the decision not to pay an FY20 final dividend – they are also presenting opportunities. Our estimates remain suspended for now ahead of the AGM on 29 July when an update on trading and the financial position can be expected.
Companies: Walker Greenbank
Today’s year end update confirms that FY20 has concluded in line with current market expectations, with no surprises just three weeks on from the last update. As we have heard recently from other listed housebuilders, demand appears to be coming back strongly (net daily reservations now at 80% of pre-COVID levels) and build activity is steadily improving (currently at 60% of pre-COVID levels and expected to reach 80% by September). The most striking feature of Gleeson’s update is the ambition to resume previous site opening plans (25 new sites targeted for FY21) and, thereby, to fulfil the strategic plan of completing 2,000 homes p.a. in FY22.
Companies: MJ Gleeson
Portmeirion has provided an AGM trading update this morning effectively covering 20 weeks of H1. Online commentary is upbeat and export demand has sufficiently picked up for management to partially reopen the ceramics factory. Unsurprisingly the core retail demand in UK/USA remains subdued but we should stress Q2 (Apr-June) accounts for c25% of sales – 60% of sales and 80% of profits are made in H2. Investors should also take huge comfort around the balance sheet. Pro-active actions to minimise cash outflow means a significantly low cash burn of <£1m for the whole of Q2, whilst liquidity headroom of c£15m on our estimates is highly reassuring in the current climate. Management remain committed to reinstating the dividend once deemed prudent to do so. N+1 Singer currently has no formal forecasts in the market and will initiate coverage in due course. The stock has recovered from its 240p low in March and trades on a historic P/E of 7x and 4.5x EV/EBITDA with a >10% FCF yield and a NAV of 452p. Fundamentally the legacy brand portfolio is an attractive cash-cow with broad international appeal and significant brand equity. We feel this provides the foundation to support an exciting NPD/online/Wax Lyrical led strategy recently unveiled by the new CEO. The share price at the current depressed level presents an attractive entry point for investors looking for deep value, asset backed plays on a mid-term basis.
Companies: Portmeirion Group
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
Much has been written about the effects of the virus on the world and on the stock market. Here is one analyst’s take on some of the likely impacts on the way we should look at companies. This article was originally produced as a blog, “10 Changes Post Virus”, which was published a few weeks ago.
Companies: AGY ARBB ARIX DNL GDR NSF PCA PIN PHNX PHP RE/ RECI STX SCE SIXH TRX SHED VTA
UPGS released an unscheduled trading statement this morning which confirms better than expected numbers for FY2020 sales revenue, profitability, and net debt. A more encouraging outcome than previously envisaged when the company reported its interim results on 30th April.
GaaS and eSports a welcome boost; Buy
Whether we know it or not, advanced materials are a core component in the everyday life of the everyday person. They are the key material in items we often disregard, such as printer inks and lotions, to objects which defy the laws of gravity like the Airbus A380 and London’s Shard. Furthermore, these materials are not only essential to many objects and structures, but, due to their superior qualities, are the key to the advancement of many industries. One such example is the use of carbon fibre which offers five to ten times more rigidness, stiffness, and strength than its aluminium counterpart. As a result of these impressive qualities, motorsport and athletics have improved ten-fold since their mainstream use and new records are broken every year.
Companies: AGM AUTG BIOM BOY CAR CKT EMH EXO GRPH HAYD IKA ITX CRPR MGAM NANO OXIG SYN SCE SYM VCT ZEN HDD
Churchill China has had another strong trading period and this is articulated in today’s H1 trading update. The business continued to sustain good export momentum, led by Europe, whilst UK Hospitality also moved forward despite Brexit uncertainty. We are lifting our 3 year EPS forecasts by 3.5%-4.0% this morning and see the risk on the upside as the year progresses. The shares currently trade on a 2019 P/E of 20x falling to 18x. On a 12m view we see fair value >1850p (22.5x FY20 P/E). Overall, today’s news further reinforces Churchill’s ongoing value creation and growth attributes. Non holders should take a close look at this high quality small-cap stock operating in an attractive global market with secular growth features.
Companies: Churchill China
Games Workshop’s (GAW) interim results are ahead of expectations. The highest rates of revenue growth were achieved in the channels with the highest operating margins, ie Trade (40% margin) and Online (64% margin). This has produced a strong improvement in free cash flow generation and ROCE has improved from 96% to 111%. We upgrade our forecasts for FY20 and FY21 by a further 3% following the 9% upgrade in November. Our DCF-based valuation increases by 11% to 5,748p.
Companies: Games Workshop Group
Covid-19 could be the catalyst for build-to-rent (BTR) to “come of age” according to residential for rent developer and manager Watkin Jones. It was already ramping up BTR alongside its core of student accommodation, but we now believe demand for purpose-built private rental could be further boosted by people choosing to rent and by an institutional hunger to replenish dwindling sources of yield. The recent interims showed BTR overtaking student housing’s pipeline and we believe WJ’s low-risk, capital light model is tailormade to serve this burgeoning market.
Companies: Watkin Jones