The Mission Marketing Group (TMMG.L) | Rex Bionics (RXB.L) | Frontier Developments (FDEV.L) | W Resources (WRES.L) | Netscientific (NSCI.L) | President Energy (PPC.L) | CPP Group (CPP.L) | Eagle Eye Solutions Group (EYE.L) | Dorcster (DAR.L) | Avesco (AVS.L)
Companies: TMG RXB FDEV WRES NSCI PPC CPP EYE ESC AVS
The Mission Marketing Group* (TMMG): Moving up the technology curve (CORP) | Parkmead Group (PMG): Preliminary results (BUY) | Avesco* (AVS): Recommended offer (CORP) |Orchard Funding Group* (ORCH): Analyst interview (CORP) |Abzena (ABZA): Analyst interview (BUY)
Companies: TMG PMG AVS ORCH ABZA
Seeing Machines* (SEE): Fleet has 100,000 units under trial (CORP) | Horizonte Minerals* (HZM): Pre-Feasibility Study completed (CORP) | Victoria* (VCP): A solid underlaying story (CORP) | Shanta Gold (SHG): Drilling results from Singida (BUY) | Avesco* (AVS): Just in time! (CORP) | Cello (CLL): Analyst interview (BUY)
Companies: SEE HZM VCP SHG AVS CLL
A welcome year-end trading update sees FY revenue and profit estimates upgraded and our target price raised (again).
Companies: Avesco Group
Avesco* (AVS): Still offering potential (CORP) | Trakm8* (TRAK): Exciting order growth but FX hit anticipated (CORP) | OneView Commerce* (ONEV): Upbeat AGM statement (CORP) | Joules Group (JOUL): Raising price target, maintaining Buy (BUY)
Companies: AVS TRAK JOUL ONEV
Avesco’s trading update outlines continued strong trading over the summer at Creative Technology in the US and at the Rio Olympics and Paralympics. FY16 results (to end September) will be “comfortably” ahead of previous expectations. Positive momentum continues into FY17, when a good schedule of sporting and commercial events, along with currency benefit, will buoy what would normally have been a weaker, odd-numbered year. With a rising dividend and asset backing, the valuation multiple remains very modest, despite the increase in the share price on this news.
A good H116 from Creative Technology, particularly in the US, underpins our maintained profit forecast for the full year. Avesco’s FY14 restructuring is clearly delivering on the promise to smooth results between odd and even years, while the recent sale of Fountain Studios has realised cash to pay down debt and increase targeted investment in equipment. With a progressive dividend, a discount to net assets and a very modest multiple, the group is an attractive and coherent investment proposition.
Group earnings quality continues to improve as a result of restructuring, and involvement in the Rio Olympics will help H2. Post the Fountain Studios property sale, the balance sheet is strong with modest net debt. The shares are trading below NAV with earnings and dividends on an upwards trend.
FY15 results were ahead of forecasts, with particularly strong performance from Creative Technology (CT) in the US and with CT Europe getting a boost from the European Games in Baku. FY16 should benefit from the UEFA European Championships and Rio Olympics. Growth of corporate revenues and the migration of Presteigne to dry hire only are helping to even out swings between odd and even years, with the ‘odd’ FY15 outperforming previous ‘even’ highs. The Fountain Studio sale will further bolster the balance sheet, supporting investment to grow CT and a progressive dividend.
Avesco*: The X factor (CORP) | Ithaca Energy: Operational update and 2016 outlook (BUY) | Ncondezi Energy: Agreement with Shanghai Power signed (BUY)
Companies: AVS IAE NCCL
The sale of the land and buildings at Fountain Studios releases £16m of capital, transforming Avesco’s balance sheet, increasing year-end NAV of 180p by 31p and in the process allowing investors to concentrate on value latent in Creative Technology which last year produced a trading profit of £9.1m. Forecast gearing will drop to below 10% from 50%, and while no cash return or special dividend is forecast, the financial standing and longterm dividend paying prospects of the group are much enhanced. We raise our TP to 250p and expect this to advance with earnings as the benefits of restructuring and growth at Creative Technology feed through.
Avesco is benefiting from group restructuring and growing corporate demand for its services, especially in the US. We have upgraded our 2015 PBT estimate by £1.2m to £5.2m and our 2016 PBT estimate by £1.4m to £6.5m as a consequence. A high tax charge constrains EPS to 16.2p for 2016 but prospects of a normalising rate thereafter, a pattern of earnings upgrades and NAV of 180p, support 200p as a realistic price target.
Castleton Technology*: Initiation of coverage – analyst interview (CORP) | BTG: Reassuringly expensive? (SELL) | LiDCO*: Japanese reimbursement for LiDCOrapidv2 disposables (CORP) | Volex: Encouraging FY results (BUY) | Avesco*: Strong interims; good progress (CORP)
Companies: BTG LID VLX AVS CTP
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The MISSION’s H120 results were as indicated at the trading update, with headline pre-tax loss of £2.2m. H220 looks stronger, with new clients and new business and the continuing benefit of a broad agency portfolio across verticals. It is adding central resource to service group agencies efficiently, setting up a digital production studio and using recently acquired Innovationbubble for behavioural consultancy. Careful cash management reduced net debt to £0.9m at end June, with annualised cost savings of £0.7m targeted. Our unchanged PBT and EPS forecasts leave the shares trading below peers.
Companies: The Mission Group Plc
Kape’s interims saw Group revenues rise +97% y/y to $59.0m (organic: +12%), driven by a 245% increase in Digital Privacy sales (+47% organic). Organic growth was stronger than anticipated in Digital Privacy, above N1Se estimates of 30%-40% as a function of strong end-user demand. CyberGhost (VPN) and Intego (end-point protection) subscriber bases grew +10% and +11% h/h respectively. The main takeaway is Kape’s inflection to positive FCF ($6.7m; H1’19: -$1.8m) alongside increased cash investment into customer acquisition (+60% y/y to $29m). We see meaningful cash flow margins (>25%) being delivered in the next 1-2 years, with £31m of FCF forecast for FY’21E generating a 6.3% FCF yield (peers offer 3.5%-4%). Putting Kape on a 4% FCF yield implies an intrinsic value of >£3/share.
Companies: Kape Technologies Plc
Kape has enjoyed a good first half of 2020 both in terms of operational progress and financial performance. Revenues increased 97% to $59.0 million (H1 2019: $29.9 million), a 12% increase on a pro-forma basis. The interim results reflect the Group’s continuing success in integrating its Private Internet Access (PIA) acquisition while growing subscriber numbers – now just shy of 2.4m in total - across the businesses. The focus on customer lifetime value is evident in the marketing spend and investment in new product development. Kape remains on track to meet previous guidance for the full year and expects to deliver synergies from the PIA deal at the top end of the mooted range. We believe that the Group has good revenue visibility and it continues to maintain a high level of user retention at 80%. We make no changes to estimates other than to reflect a higher amortisation charge. In our view, the interim results show that Kape continues to display the drive and capacity to meet the growing needs of consumers for digital privacy and security products in a rapidly evolving marketplace.
De La Rue remains challenged. New management has to navigate a difficult Currency market and consequent concern over its finances. The swift response in terms of a turnaround programme is a positive start, accelerating cost cutting initiatives and cash management measures, including suspension of the dividend. Restoring stability and rebuilding confidence in the investment case is likely to take some time.
Companies: De La Rue Plc
These were impressive FY 20 results that came in at the top end of guidance given back in March. The Data & Information core has proven resilient whilst the swift digital transition with Training and Networking has mitigated the worst revenue impacts from lockdown. Underlying cash generation was healthy, and management have been able to materially de-risk the balance sheet without needing to raise dilutive, new equity capital. In this note, we are re-initiating coverage will full estimates published for FY 21 and beyond. We also discuss the revenue scenarios outlined by the company at the FY 20 results announcement and what these imply in terms of earnings outcomes. Both of these scenarios hinge on the key swing factor for FY 21; namely whether face to face events can resume in time for Wilmington’s H2. Our estimates effectively represent a middle ground between these two outcomes. In our eyes, the current valuation is difficult to justify on fundamentals, nor on a comparative basis. Although we do not know the full current year outcome for the rest of the peer group, we would be surprised if many do better than Wilmington and yet the valuation gap has widened. Looking at the components within the group, the argument can be made that Risk & Compliance alone could be worth more than the current group market capitalisation. This suggests that investors are being given a free option on the c.£70m of revenue and £6m of EBIT (£80m / £13m pre-Covid) that sit outside Risk & Compliance.
Companies: Wilmington plc
Tremor’s AGM statement shows that Tremor was delivering on its strategy and on course to achieve FY20 revenue of $425m in Q1. However, the impacts of COVID-19 on the advertising industry led to a challenging Q2 20, with Tremor’s revenue falling with the market to be c40% below Tremor’s FY20 plan. In response, management have moved quickly to reduce FY20 opex by over $23m vs budget, and positioned Tremor’s platform to respond to a rebound in demand. There are encouraging signs for H2 20, but visibility continues to be low and Tremor is not giving guidance for FY20. We consequently introduce revenue and EBITDA ranges for FY20 and FY21, and place our estimates at the mid-point for FY20. To then highlight that Tremor’s platform can rapidly rebound, we move our previous FY20 forecasts to FY21. This reflects that we believe that Tremor’s investment case remains compelling, and even on our lower case FY21 EBITDA of $35m, Tremor is trading on 5x EV/EBITDA vs ad tech and AIM peers on >10x.
Companies: Tremor International Ltd.
Trading update: on track; Reiterate Buy rating
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
Dods has acquired Merit Group Ltd, an Indian provider of data services and software code established in 2004. This is a transformational acquisition which will enable Dods to diversify its service offering into faster growing, higher margin activities. Dods has raised over £12m in an equity placing to finance the acquisition.
Companies: Dods Group Plc
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.
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Centaur Media has delivered a resilient H1 in which adj EBITDA remained positive at £1.0m (H1’19: £1.2m). Group sales decline of 27% to £17.7m was substantially offset by tight cost control and a shift in mix towards higher quality revenue streams. The Lawyer revenue renewal rate remained strong (106%) and supported Group premium content sales (-3% y/y to £6.9m), with Mini MBA sales (+101% y/y) performing well. Telemarketing sales (-36% y/y) and events (-82% y/y) were unsurprisingly impacted by lockdown restrictions, with MarketMakers now being restructured to focus Group resources on more profitable areas. The outlook remains uncertain, and we are not reintroducing forecasts at this time, however in an undemanding medium-term scenario, we see £5m FCF as achievable which would generate a FCF yield of 19% at current valuation. Net cash of £8.4m was held at 30 June, while an undrawn £1.7m overdraft and £10m facility with covenants waived until Sept 2021 provide additional balance sheet strength.
Companies: Centaur Media Plc
Kape’s strong H1 trading update highlights revenue and adj EBITDA growth of 97% y/y (to $59.0m) and +180% y/y (to $16.1m) respectively, in-line with N1Se forecasts. Underlying pro forma growth of +12% y/y is being driven by strong performance in Digital Privacy, and management are confident of meeting FY’20E guidance of $120m-$123m of sales (N1Se: $122.6m) and $35m-$38m of adj EBITDA (N1Se: $36.6m). The higher-growth Digital Privacy segment is forecast to deliver c.76% of Group sales in FY’20E. Alongside this, the opportunity created by the Group’s Privacy suite to crosssell additional services into the Digital Privacy base, and to improve already market-leading customer retention rates, further underpins N1Se medium-term sales growth forecasts of 10% CAGR to FY’22E. Our FY’20E forecasts generate FCF of $19.1m representing a 3.9% yield at current valuation, rising to 6.1% the following year. As cash-generation steps up, we see scope for the valuation discount to peers closing over time.
Total advertising revenue dropped by 43% in Q2 20 and ITV Studios was affected by the stop in production. The adjusted EBITA margin collapsed to 14% of revenue (-8pts yoy) despite the reduction in the cost of programmes by £77m and overheads cost savings of £51m over £60m targeted in 2020. There is no guidance for Q3 20 and FY2020. The negative trend in advertising was reduced in July 2020 (-23%). ITV Studios restarted production in June 2020.
Companies: ITV Plc
4imprint’s first half trading was heavily affected by the commercial repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic as it spread across the US. With uncertainty over the speed and extent of the reopening of the US economy, projections for the remainder of the year (and for FY21) are more tentative than usual. Despite the difficult trading circumstances, 4imprint retains a strong, cash positive balance sheet, and has low fixed costs and capital requirements. We believe that it retains its long-term attractions in a large, fragmented market and should rebuild quickly as the economy recovers
Companies: 4imprint Group Plc
Tern plc* (TERN.L, 8.0p/£24.1m) | Corero Network Security (CNS.L, 8.25p/£40.8m) | Eagle Eye Solutions Group plc (EYE.L, 288p/£86.9m)
Companies: TERN CNS EYE