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).
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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).
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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.
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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.
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Y2K is a numeronym and was the common abbreviation for the year 2000 software problem; and, for the benefit of millennial readers, the abbreviation combines the letter ‘Y’ for year and ‘K’ for the SI unit prefix kilo, meaning 1000. Hence, 2K signifies 2000.
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‘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.
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“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”.
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This VAR was conceived in 2010 by the Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) but it was seven years later, in April 2017, that it had its professional club competition debut in the A-League in Australia in a match between Melbourne and Adelaide.
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This ominous-sounding term originated from the work of famed Swedish meteorologist, Tor Bergeron (1897-1977), but it only entered popular vernacular this year – and there have been ample opportunities in 2018 to use it.
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e il futuro
‘The $64,000 Question’
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Codemasters has announced that it has signed a licence agreement for the exclusive rights to develop and publish the FIA World Rally Championship videogames and Esports tournaments. The initial 5 year annual series will be out from 2023, with the agreement ensuring a step-up in the release cycle of Codemasters’ off-road games to three games over two years rather than the current one per year. The major success of F1 highlights the potential of combining another global racing license with the company’s gaming expertise. This news, following the F1 contract extension with Liberty Media, the deal with NetEase in mobile, and the acquisition of SMS, adds to the visible growth profile of the business and increasingly underlines Codemasters’ position as the leading car racing platform in the gaming sector.
New franchise win: World Rally Championship
The phased reopening of Walker Greenbank’s two manufacturing facilities (both in the UK) is underway with Standfast & Barracks already operational and Anstey restarting this week. The company’s business model is such that near-term activity levels can be rebuilt gradually. It may also support new business development in the UK in due course compared to overseas supply sources. No new financial information was provided ahead of the company’s scheduled FY20 results announcement on 30 June, at which point activity levels during FY21 to date should also be disclosed. Our estimates remain suspended at this time.
Companies: Walker Greenbank
Warpaint has announced another exciting new contract win with a large national retailer. The new agreement is with Wilko which, from mid-September, will stock about 100 exclusive Body Collection branded products which will be stocked in 355 UK stores, and over 115 Technic branded products which will be stocked in 189 UK stores. Warpaint’s brands will be merchandised on bespoke display stands in prime locations in the stores, and will also be sold online through Wilko’s website. In addition, it is envisaged that a range of Technic and Body Collection gift sets will also be stocked in stores for the Christmas shopping period. This is excellent news and should be well received by the market.
Companies: Warpaint London
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.
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Fast & Furious launch date shifted to Summer
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Companies: AVAP SHI GFRD
Walker Greenbank is a higher-end interior furnishings business with well-established global brand names and manufacturing facilities in the UK. This morning, the group has provided a further update on the business in relation to COVID-19 following its previous announcement on 25 March. In addition, and in line with recent FCA/FRC guidance, full year results to 31 January 2020 have been rescheduled to 30 June (previously expected 23 April).
With cash ahead of expectation in a year of transformation, PTY has reported inline results for the year to December 2019, with revenues standing at £80.4m and £0.1m adj. PBT. Net cash at £0.9m is ahead of our expectation prior to the company's pre-close update by some £1.9m, a significant beat.
Dillistone's update this morning is, on the whole, reassuring. Although the economic implications of COVID-19 will likely materially affect FY2020E results, as with many businesses seeing a significant reduction in demand for products and services, it is too early to determine the quantum. As such, we remove our FY2020 estimates that previously looked for an EBITDA contribution of £1.6m and adjusted PBT to £0.1m.
Companies: WGB DSG PTY
Walker Greenbank’s FY20 results date has been reset to 30 June (and complies with updated FCA policy guidance). Its latest update provides no new financial information though orders continue to be received despite lockdown conditions. Operational steps already taken appear to be appropriate, retaining sufficient infrastructure to service prevailing sales demand levels while additional actions aimed at preserving business liquidity are referenced, consistent with those seen elsewhere in the quoted sector. Taken together, the company appears to have quickly adjusted its business model to meet current market challenges in FY21.
History indicates that the emergence of cloud gaming and game subscription services could significantly increase investment in video game content, industry employment and the number of production companies, thereby leaving Sumo well positioned for growth.
Companies: Sumo Group
Disappointing H1 driven by NGP. Reducing investments in this category was the company’s choice, but we believe it is a bad mid-term strategy. The dividend cut has finally shown increasing weaknesses vs. peers during the crisis.
Companies: Imperial Brands
Codemasters has announced that Fast & Furious Crossroads will be launched in Q2 FY21, despite a twelve-month delay in the film’s release to April next year. This leaves FY21 forecasts unchanged but adds to the strong release line-up through this year and provides holiday season and movie release windows to further monetise the game. The shares continue to trade at a c.40% discount to peers; however, further news flow around the success of games as well as business development opportunities can continue to drive a re-rating back up towards the sector average in the coming months.
Due to a change in Analyst role, Cenkos Securities plc has suspended coverage of the following stocks (see table 1). Our previous recommendation and forecasts can no longer be relied upon.
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Much of the UK’s privatisation programme took place between the early 1980s and the mid-1990s: subsequent sales have been few. Undoubtedly, privatisation attracted many private investors to the market, many for the first time.
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Delivery on the transformation plan has been swift and the £78.75m sale and leaseback of TED's head office represents further decisive action. Combined with cost savings and cash conservation measures, we estimate it could improve the group's cash position by over £100m.
Companies: Ted Baker