Companies: HZD SAVE MPE GAN HUW HUR GTLY AFS IMM CDM
Alumasc Group plc, the premium building products, systems and solutions group, has announced its intention to move from the Premium Segment of the main market to AIM. Expected market cap of £33.4m. Expected 25 June 2019 Argentex a UK-based forex service provider founded in 2011 by its current management team which operates as a Riskless Principal for nonspeculative and forward foreign exchange as structured financial derivatives is looking to join AIM. Offer TBC, expected 25 June
Companies: TEK EDL GWMO OBD TENG NWF SSTY HUW WATR ACSO
Renold plc—a leading international supplier of industrial chains and related power transmission products, announced that it will cancel the listing of the Company from the premium segment and apply for admission on AIM. Expected 06 June 2019.
Alumasc Group plc, the premium building products, systems and solutions group, has announced its intention to move from the Premium Segment of the main market to AIM. Expected market cap of £33.4m. Expected 25 June 2019
Companies: LOOK PGD TLY KRM BAGR HUW TOT ACSO STR BOOM
Network International Holdings—Pleading enabler of digital commerce across the Middle East and Africa region, operating across over 50 highly underpenetrated payment markets that contain a total population of 1.5 bn. 2018 rev $298m, underlying EBITDA $152m. Due April. No new funds to be raised. Secondary sell down. Targeting 25% of at least 25%.
Techniplas –global producer and support services company providing highly engineered and technically complex components, making the supply chain to original equipment manufacturers more efficient. FYDec17 rev $515m.
Companies: MWE IND SAVE MOS MCM AAU HUW BLVN FA/ PMG
We reiterate Buy on Helios and, following a transfer of coverage, present new forecasts and set a 12-month forward target price of 175p (previously 160p). This together with an estimated 3.9% dividend yield implies 67% TSR potential. Following a significant year of acquisitions, we estimate 32% growth YoY in the capacity portfolio in 2018, underpinning +25% in adjusted NAV. Trading at 0.5x adjusted NAV at end-2018E, we see considerable share price upside, with the current valuation not reflecting the recent acquisitions Helios has announced.
Companies: Helios Underwriting
Path Investments (PATH) -RTO of a 50 per cent. participating interest in the producing Alfeld-Elze II gas field located 22 kilometres south of Hannover in Germany. Offer TBA. Due late Aug.
Vitesse Media (VIS) — To be renamed Bonhill Group. RTO of the trade and assets of InvestmentNews, a Business Information and Data & Insight brand supporting the US financial adviser and wealth manager community Due 17 Aug. Raising £18.6m at 80p. Mkt cap £26.7m.
Kropz PLC-Intention to float by the emerging plant nutrient producer with an advanced stage phosphate mining project in South Africa and exploration assets in West Africa
Companies: OMG ALM ALT ASO IXI IMMO FAB HUW CHG ZEN
Block Energy— UK based oil exploration and production company whose main country of operation is the Republic of Georgia. Raising £4m. Mkt cap £9.3m. Due early June.
Codemasters Group— video game developer and publisher, specialising in high quality racing games. Offer TBA. Seeking £15m in primary. Due 1 June.
Strongbow Exploration (TSX:SBW) intends to dual list on AIM. Holds rights to the South Crofty underground tin mine, a former producing tin mine located in the towns of Pool and Camborne, Cornwall . The project is estimated to require the Company to raise £25 million over the next 18 months to progress to a production decision. Offer TBS. Due June.
Maestrano Group, a software company with operations in Australia (main country of operation), the UK, US and the UAE, is looking to join AIM. Cloud based automated management data system. Raising £6m at 15p. Mkt Cap £12m. Due 30 May.
Yew Grove REIT—newly formed Company will pursue its investment objective by investing in a diversified portfolio of Irish commercial property. Offer TBA. Due Late May
Companies: GROW ERGO ECHO EUSP HUW NAK HAYD HYDG MTPH
In the week to 1 May the FTSE All Share rose 1.2% vs. the Insurance Index at +0.5% and 0.9% for the Lloyd’s Index. The best performer was JLT (+2.5%); Beazley (-0.2%) was the worst performer. The Q1 reporting season has begun: newsflow has been mixed with a number of US insurers reporting improved PBT/rates, but also loss creep, higher Q1 losses and warnings from brokers about stalling rate rises ahead of the key Jun/Jul US renewals. The 2018 hurricane season starts 1 June with consensus for slightly raised activity.
Companies: BEZ HUW HSX JLT LRE
In the week to 24 April the FTSE All Share rose 2.6% vs. the Insurance Index at +1.8% and 0.0% for the Lloyd’s Index. The best performers were Helios* (+7.0%) and Beazley (+1.5%); Hiscox (-1.1%) was the worst performer. Following last week’s analysis of the issue of underinsurance with the 2017 cat losses, we look at the growing risk of a Californian earthquake – not necessarily in San Francisco but along the Hayward Fault. Latest analysis suggests an insured loss of cUS$30bn but an economic loss of cUS$170bn.
In the week to 17 April the FTSE All Share fell -0.3% vs. the Insurance Index at +0.5% and +0.2% for the Lloyd’s Index. The best performer was Lancashire (+4.0%); Helios* (-2.3%) and JLT (-0.8%) were the worst performers. Swiss Re’s sigma analysis of the 2017 insured losses highlights the material protection gap. It estimates the total insured losses from the 2017 catastrophes at US$144bn vs. total economic losses of US$337bn, giving a cat risk protection gap of US$193bn (57%). Herein lies a potential (re)insurance opportunity.
The FY17 results will inevitably be impacted by the 2017 catastrophe losses but we believe the quality of Helios’s Lloyd’s portfolio will enable it to continue to outperform the average, as seen with the latest syndicate returns. We reduce FY17E’s pre-tax loss (Norm) to £0.42m and raise FY18E PBT Norm to £0.46m and FY19E to £1.0m. Helios is well positioned to benefit from rate rises, plus we believe more LLVs should come up for sale through 2018-19, and at more attractive prices. Our revised target price is 160p (45% upside); we stay at Buy.
In the week to 10 April the FTSE All Share rose 3.0% vs. the Insurance Index at +1.5% and +0.8% for the Lloyd’s Index. The best performer was Hiscox (+3.0%); Lancashire (-2.2%) was the worst performer. We look at the first forecasts for the 2018 hurricane season. These early estimates suggest a slightly elevated level of windstorm activity – and an increase in US landfall probability. Of course, it is the if/where of the latter that holds the greatest risk of insured loss and, in 2018, will be a major dictator of where rates go from here.
In the week to 3 April the FTSE All Share rose 0.4% vs. the Insurance Index at +0.8% and +0.8% for the Lloyd’s Index. The best performer was Lancashire (+2.8%); JLT (-1.9%) was the worst performer. This week we review the 1 April renewals, where prices were as muted as we expected. Ongoing competition dampened rate movements where accounts were loss free. It was always going to be a big ask to get those not affected by the 2017 cats to pay up – and they didn’t. Interestingly, M&A is picking up, a sign that life is getting tougher.
In the week to 27 March the FTSE All Share fell -1.0% vs. the Insurance Index at -1.8% and 0.2% for the Lloyd’s Index. The best performer was Beazley (+4.3%); Helios* (-3.1%) and Hiscox (-1.6%) were the worst performers. We remind investors of the growing cyber hacking threat to energy providers, especially in the US. Several speciality insurers are already teaming up with energy experts, eg Beazley and Energy Insurance Mutual, to look to provide customised cover for this risk but the insured exposure is widespread.
Kore Potash— advanced stage mineral exploration and development company whose primary asset is its interest in the Sintoukola Project, a potash project located in the Republic of Congo. ) Measured, Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource of 5,953Mt at an average grade of 22.0% KCl. Offer TBA. Due end March.
Perfomatrix PLC, a global end to end Performance Marketing technology and services company headquartered in the UK, is looking to join AIM in early April 2018, offer TBC
Crusader Resources, an ASX-listed public company incorporated in Australia, which is primarily focused on the exploration and development of gold assets in Brazil. Offer TBC, expected late March.
SimplyBiz, a Financial Services Firm, looking to join AIM raising £30m via placing and £34.6m via a sale of existing ordinary shares at 170p giving a market cap of £130m. Expected 4 April
Bacanora Lithium—Readmission. No new money. Mkt cap £140m. Due 26 March. the new holding company for Bacanora Minerals Ltd
Core Industrial REIT—established to invest in Irish-based industrial properties, predominantly located in the Greater Dublin Area. Vendor placing and new funds to a total of €225m, Target gross proceeds €207m. Expected Mid March
Polarean - Medical drug-device combination company operating in the high resolution medical imaging market. Offer TBC. Due 26 March
Companies: FLYB COG HUW EZH XSG CITY REDX LTHM FRR TPG
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Ramsdens has reported a strong set of trading results in the last twelve months to March 2020. COVID lockdown has led to store closures, which will lead to weaker trading over the following months. However, Ramsdens has a very solid balance sheet, is diversified and is well positioned to re-open stores and continue its growth. We use an 8x multiple on last 12 months to March 2020 earnings as a reflection of a normalised earnings base which reduces our target price to 162p from 180p. At this target price Ramsdens would trade on a CY20 P/B of 1.5x. This target price offers 15% upside and we re-iterate BUY.
AFH interim results have shown resilience in a tough period. Revenues grew by 5% yoy and Adj. EPS is up 8% yoy. We reduce our FY20 EPS forecast by 8% to reflect the wider market falls and slower new business due to the lockdown. This reduction in earnings is significantly less than peers, highlighting the defensive nature of the business and the prudent temporary cost measures being introduced in FY20. The improved FCF of the business should lead to a re-rating, particularly as AFH now trades on 9.3x CY20 P/E, a significant discount to peers. Our reduced target price of 524p implies 81% upside. Re-iterate BUY.
Companies: AFH Financial Group
ULR’s finals were in line with on EPRA NAV and earnings a little better than expected. Valuations remain stable and full rent collection has been achieved for the current quarter. We see fundamental quality and resilience in the (now expanded) portfolio – ULR has already invested nearly £100m in the first two months of the new year following the £136m equity raise. We make no material changes to forecasts. Current valuation points to an 7%+ annualised return, with upside remaining from deployment of funding headroom, active management and potential for valuations to improve.
Companies: Urban Logistics REIT
Aside from its FY 19 earnings presentation, British Land has adopted a more cautious anticipation about Offices in the City of London. We share this pessimism and have been surprised by the recent share’s bump. The latter is the opportunity to turn negative, again, and update our divestment case.
Companies: British Land Company
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: AGR CSH ESP DIGS IHR LXI PHP RESI SIR SUPR THRL SOHO BBOX SHED WHR
The covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on the share price of property companies, with 31% wiped off the value of their total market capitalisation during the first quarter of 2020.
Companies: AEWU CREI CSH BOOT INL HLCL THRL SUPR RESI RGL DIGS GR1T SOHO PHP BOXE ASLI UTG AGR UAI BLND UANC CAL SHED CWD WHR EPIC WKP GRI YEW HMSO PCA INTU NRR
The Merchants Trust (MRCH) is managed by Simon Gergel at Allianz Global Investors (AllianzGI). Aiming to continue to provide a high and growing level of income, he is adjusting the trust's portfolio in the wake of dividend cuts sparked by the negative economic effects of COVID-19. If there is an income shortfall in this financial year, MRCH is well positioned to maintain its dividend, with revenue reserves of more than 1x the last annual payment. It has not been an easy period for value managers over the last decade as growth stocks have led the charge; however, Gergel has outperformed the UK market over this period in both NAV and share price terms. The board reduced MRCH's gearing in late January 2020, which was opportune timing ahead of the recent significant stock market weakness.
Companies: Merchants Trust
U+I’s post-close trading update confirms c. £16m of development and trading gains for FY20, which includes Harwell. This is broadly in line with our revised expectations. Proactive steps are being taken to preserve liquidity in the short-term, including suspending the final dividend and stopping all non-essential spend. Positively, benefits of the cost saving programme will now be realised 12 months early. The balance sheet is strong, with ample liquidity; covenant levels are a long way off. Management’s time is being spent repositioning teams to be ready when restrictions are lifted, when there will be a renewed focus on the short-to-medium term value gain opportunities, of which there are plenty. The shares currently trade at 59% spot discount to our updated NAV forecasts, vs the UK sector at a 9% discount. We leave our recently lowered 180p target price unchanged and continue to see upside from here.
Companies: U&I Group
In the past month the group has made significant progress in pivoting its business away from its traditional face-to-face model. Although lending levels remain appropriately subdued, it has achieved an impressive collections performance, with its largest business running at about 90% of pre-lockdown levels. This, combined with the group’s high risk-adjusted margins has enabled it to generate £3m of FCF in the first three weeks of April, taking its net cash position to £38.7m as of 21 April. This strong financial position, combined with the group’s innovative approach to product development puts it in an extremely strong position to serve its clients and win share when the current government restrictions are eventually lifted. Reflecting this positive outlook we reiterate our BUY rating.
Companies: Non-Standard Finance
In this note, we analyze the indebtedness of 35 international E&Ps publicly listed in the UK, Canada, Norway, Sweden and the USA. For each company, we look at (1) cash position, (2) level and nature of debt (including covenants), (3) debt service and principal repayment framework and (4) Brent price required from April to YE20 to meet all the obligations and keep cash positions intact. We also estimate YE20 cash if Brent were to average US$20/bbl from April to YE20. While the oil demand and oil price collapse are of unprecedented historical proportions and the opportunities to cut costs much more limited than in 2014, most companies (with a few exceptions) entered the crisis in much better position than six years ago, with stronger balance sheets and often already extended debt maturities. In addition, this time around, many E&Ps have already been deleveraging for 1-2 years and are not caught in the middle of large developments that cannot be halted. The previous crisis also showed that debt providers could relax debt covenants for a certain period as long as interest and principal repayment obligations were met. This implies that as long as operations are not interrupted and counterparties keep paying their bills (Kurdistan), the storm can be weathered by most for a few quarters.
With (1) Brent price of about US$50/bbl in 1Q20, (2) reduced capex programmes, (3) material hedging programmes covering a large proportion of FY20 production at higher prices and (4) limited principal repayments in 2020, we find that most companies can meet all their costs and obligations in 2020 at Brent prices below US$40/bbl and often below US$35/bbl) from April until YE20 and keep their cash intact, allowing them to remain solvent at much lower prices for some time. In particular, Maha Energy and SDX Energy are cash neutral at about US$20/bbl. When factoring the divestment of Uganda, Tullow needs only US$9/bbl to maintain its YE20 cash equal to YE19. Canacol Energy, Diversified Gas and Oil, Independent Oil & Gas, Orca Exploration, Serica Energy and Wentworth Resources are gas stories not really exposed to oil prices and Africa Oil has hedged 95% of its FY20 production at over US$65/bbl.
Companies: AKERBP AOI CNE CNE DGOC EGY ENOG ENQ GENL GKP GPRK GTE HUR IOG JSE KOS LUPE MAHAA OKEA ORC.B PEN PHAR PMO PTAL PXT RRE SDX SEPL TETY TGL TLW TXP WRL
The positive market movements (£19.5bn) offset the net outflows of £1.3bn. The adjusted operating profit before tax reached £1,149m, down 21.9% yoy. The insurer benefited less from longevity assumption changes (£126m vs. £441m in 2018) in the Heritage business and the lower Asset Management fees margin (38bp vs. 40 bp in 2018) in the Savings and Asset Management one. The current context has led to a decrease in the Solvency II ratio by 10%, but the capital position remains resilient at 166%.
Today's news & views, plus announcements from VOD, POLY, SMDS, BLND, BYG, WEIR, DC, SNR, SHI, INTU, IHR, CNC, ARE, INCE
Companies: INTU SHI INCE
Recent news: On 21 April CLIG’s 3Q trading update to 31 March 2020, revealed:
27% fall in Funds Under Management (“FUM”) from US$6.0bn to US$4.4bn
- with weaker Sterling, FUM in £ fell 20% from £4.5bn to £3.6bn.
In 3Q, while Diversification CEF strategies (Opportunistic Value and Developed funds) had net inflows of US$25m, the Group’s Emerging Market Funds had net outflows US$68m
The Group has an active pipeline across all its major CEF offerings with increased interest in the Diversification CEF strategies
Post COVID-19, income to FuM remains unchanged at c. 75 bps of FuM
Companies: City Of London Investment Group
The COVID-19-related crisis further increases the top-line pressure. However, the quarter showed ongoing efficiency gains and, above all, management’s cost of risk guidance stood significantly below our stress test based projections.
Companies: Lloyds Banking Group
Smaller companies are usually a problematic area to invest in during significant downturns or recessions; and the sharp fall in 2020 hasn’t been an exception. In this article we assess the performance of smaller companies trusts throughout the pandemic, while identifying the factors that have differentiated the winners from the losers. This includes the impact that cash, market cap exposure, sector allocation, revenue exposure and growth or value biases have had, with some surprising results. We also ask whether now is an attractive time to invest in smaller companies, highlighting the trusts which stand out to us…
Companies: THRG GHE MINI RMMC ASIT ASL MTE TRG BRSC DSM