Belvoir Group (BLV): Corp Moving the strategy forward | genedrive (GDR): Corp Trading and COVID-19 Test Update | InnovaDerma (IDP): Corp FY trading update | SRT Marine Systems (SRT): Corp Projects business recommences after lockdown
Companies: IDP SRT BLV GDR
Belvoir Group (BLV): Corp April significantly stronger than anticipated | Bigblu Broadband (BBB): Corp Reassuring update with strong organic customer growth | ClearStar (CLSU): Corp New COVID-19 testing service | KRM22 (KRM): Corp Finals to December 2019 | Oncimmune Holdings (ONC): Corp EarlyCDT Lung partnership | Shield Therapeutics (STX): Corp FY 2019 results | Universe Group (UNG): Corp FY19 on track, with a good start to FY20
Companies: 9537 UNG STX KRM BLV BBB ONC
Bango (BGO): Corp Platform deal with major global telco | Belvoir Group (BLV): Corp Fully open for business again in England | Byotrol (BYOT): Corp A pair of licences and a positive trading update | Iofina (IOF): Corp US SBA loan received | KRM22 (KRM): Corp Completion of placing | Oncimmune Holdings (ONC): Corp Autoantibodies as predictors for survival
Companies: BYOT IOF KRM BGO BLV ONC
Amino Technologies (AMO): Corp | Belvoir Group (BLV): Corp | Bioventix (BVXP): Corp | Maintel (MAI): Corp | Morses Club (MCL): Corp | PCI Pal (PCIP): Corp | Solid State (SOLI): Corp | Somero Enterprises (SOM): Corp
Companies: AMO BVXP MAI SOLI SOM MCL PCIP BLV
Belvoir’s FY 2019 results were strong, with adj. EPS up 13% (13.6p vs our forecast 13.0p) and strong cash generation. COVID-19 will affect property sales in FY 2020 but lettings (61% of 2019 gross profit) will be more resilient, helped by the Government’s measures to support employment and incomes. Management has reacted quickly, reducing costs and putting plans in place to support franchisees. We now forecast a ‘lost year’ in FY 2020, assuming five months of no sales activity, a significant reduction in financial services and a reduction in lettings fees, partly offset by a £1.5m cost reduction. The capital light franchise model, inherent high levels of cash generation and no final dividend for 2019 mean we forecast gross cash of £2.0m at December 2020, down from £3.6m. Belvoir is in good financial shape to weather the storm and support its franchisees before returning to normal activity. The success of the strategy was again evidenced by a strong start to 2020 prior to COVID-19.
Companies: Belvoir Lettings
ANGLE (AGL): Corp Interims in line – key upcoming value inflection points | Aukett Swanke (AUK): Corp Significant turnaround | Belvoir Group (BLV): Corp Comfortably ahead | Best of the Best (BOTB): Corp H1FY20 = another positive surprise. | discoverIE (DSCV): Corp On track for the full year | Pebble Beach Systems (PEB): Corp Strong trading update highlights strong return to growth
Companies: DSCV AUK BOTB AGL BLV PEB
In a positive year-end update, Belvoir has detailed FY 2019 sales growth of +43% driven by +6% in the Property division and +148% in Financial Services. Given the twin challenges of the tenant fee ban and political and economic uncertainty around Brexit, we view this as a very strong result, evidencing the success and potential of the strategy. Cash flow has remained strong with net debt at December 2019 of £6.9m (our forecast £7.9m). We have upgraded our FY 2019 EPS by +5.5%, our target price from 194p to 238p and highlight that with the potential for better market conditions post the election and the benefit of the Dacres deal (Financial Services) and the acquisition of Lovelles (estate agency network) to come there remains the potential for positive surprises.
Altitude Group (ALT): Corp | Belvoir Group (BLV): Corp | Robinson (RBN): Corp
Companies: ALT RBN BLV
Belvoir has agreed to acquire Lovelles, an independent, predominantly franchised estate agency, for £2m in cash. Lovelles generated operating profit of £0.5m in the year to March 2019; hence, the business is being acquired for only 4x historic profits. It is a good geographic and cultural fit and there are a number of opportunities for Belvoir to quickly add value. We have upgraded our FY 2020 EPS by 7% and our target price from 190p to 194p, and we reiterate our view that Belvoir’s franchise model maximises entrepreneurial potential, flexibility and cash flow while minimising risk − positive characteristics that are not factored into the FY 2020E PER of 8.5x and 6.3% dividend yield.
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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
With a new CEO, Amanda Blanc, Aviva’s shareholders could dream of a possible change in the group’s strategy, with a more focused insurance business. The new Chief has an opportunity to take painful decisions in a year where no one will require a high operating performance.
Companies: Aviva Plc
The Native Antigen Company (“NAC”) has been acquired by LGC for up to £18.0m – with the ongoing COVID pandemic highlighting the value of knowledge and execution in the infectious diseases space. Mercia invested in NAC via both its balance sheet and 3rd party funds. The exit represents a strong return for both sources of capital, validating complete connected capital to optimise value creation. For the balance sheet stake, the £5.2m proceeds represent a £2.5m gain on realisation (c.1.5% of our FY21e NAVps). Final Results will be announced next week, when we will review our forecasts. The shares are currently trading at a 45% discount to NAV (which is 20% cash). Today’s exit demonstrates justification for a much narrower discount, if not a premium, to conservative carrying values.
Companies: Mercia Technologies
Trading Well in Tough Market
Companies: Palace Capital
With the sale of The Native Antigen Company (NAC) for up to £18m in cash, Mercia expects to realise £5.2m (1.2p per share) for its 29.4% stake. This exit delivers another significant milestone in management’s strategy to achieve an evergreen funding model. Management has confirmed that the group is profitable on a day-to-day basis following the acquisition of the NVM VCT management contracts (NVM) in December 2019. NVM, together with additional allocations from the British Business Bank (BBB), has lifted AUM to c £800m. Management’s three-year strategy targets a sustainable, evergreen balance sheet with AUM of £1bn in FY22, with future investment commitments met through existing cash resources and realisations without the need for further recourse to the markets. Despite real progress, Mercia trades at 0.69x its September 2019 NAV, with the fee-earning funds business as further upside, not captured in an NAV-based calculation. FY20 results are due on 14 July 2020.
HgCapital Trust’s (HGT) 12-month NAV TR to end-March 2020 was a solid 13.8% despite the COVID-19 market downturn in March 2020 (ytd NAV performance since end-December 2019 was a 6.2% decline). The coverage ratio reached a historically low level (13% vs three-year average of 53%) after HGT notably increased its investment activity and commitments in Q120. However, a significant part of these new commitments will not be drawn in the near term. The board continues to review its future funding arrangements and may also opt out of a new investment without penalty across all funds. HGT’s portfolio focus is on the resilient software and technology sector and the manager expects a limited direct earnings impact on its portfolio from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Companies: Hgcapital Trust
Hot on the heels of the Architas acquisition – announced 1st July, Liontrust has issued in line final results (£38.1m adj. PBT vs £38.3m consensus, 24p second interim dividend). An accompanying trading update also confirms that AuM bounced back in Q1 as markets recovered and net inflows were sustained at a record £971m for the quarter. The Architas acquisition – once completed later this year – stands to drive Liontrust through the £25bn AuM mark and bolster the existing multi-asset product offering and wider appeal to the current client base. As joint corporate broker, we have withdrawn forecasts pending the approval of the acquisition at the forthcoming general meeting.
Companies: Liontrust Asset Management
Beijing’s forced implementation of the Hong Kong security law threatens the region’s financial hub status. This is a potential game-changer for HSBC but it does not seem to come as a surprise for the group as confirmed by the acceleration of its investments in China or its efforts to secure a leading position on the RMB.
Accelerating activity in to FY21
Companies: Manolete Partners
Ground Rents Income Fund (GRIO) has today released its interim results for the period ending 31 March 2020. The fully diluted NAV is 110.1p down marginally from previous NAV of 111.3p as at 30 September 2019 year-end. This valuation included a material valuation uncertainty clause as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has subsequently been removed since the period end for long dated ground rent valuations given the defensive nature of the income streams and continued market/transactional activity. The latest valuation represented a decrease on a like for like basis of £0.36 million or -0.3%. Two Interim dividends were paid during the six-month period ending 31 March totalling 1.98p, and a further dividend of 0.99p has been declared today (ex 16 July / payable 10 August). Dividend cover excluding the non-recurring litigation costs on Beetham Tower was 90%. Assuming a full year dividend of c4p this puts the shares on a flat yield of 4.9% and a discount of 26%.
Companies: Ground Rents Income Fund
PetroTal (PTAL LN/TAL CN)C; Target price £0.45: 1Q20 results/Bretaña expected to restart in July – 1Q20 financials are in line with expectations and 1Q20 production had been reported previously. At the end of 1Q20, current trade and other payables had been reduced to ~US$45 mm compared to ~US$55 mm at YE19. Most importantly. PetroTal continues to expect the Bretaña field to be re-opened this month. The contingent liability with Petroperu is estimated at US$25 mm at the current oil price and the company has entered into a financial swap for 0.46 mmbbl of oil with an ICE Brent reference price of US $40.58/bbl to cover the upcoming sale by Petroperu at the Bayovar port. This is a recovery story that we continue to like. It offers a combination of value, production and cash flow growth and reserves upside. We anticipate that the imminent reopening of the field with be an important catalyst to the share price.
i3 Energy (I3E LN): Reveals takeover target in Canada | Maha Energy (MAHA-A SS): Production update | Aker BB (AKERBP NO): 2Q20 update in Norway | Energy (RRE LN): Recommended offer by Viaro Energy | Spirit Energy: Dry hole in Norway | Enwell Energy (ENW LN): Ukraine update | JKX Oil & Gas (JKX LN): 2Q20 update in Ukraine and Russia | Pharos Energy (PHAR LN): Operating update in Egypt and Vietnam | Sound Energy (SOU LN)C: Terms of Moroccan licence renegotiated | Tethys Oil (TETY SS): June production in Oman | Victoria Oil & Gas (VOG LN): Gas sales contract with ENEO in Cameroon terminated
EVENTS TO WATCH NEXT WEEK
14/07/2020: Aker BP (AKERBP NO) – 2Q20 results
15/07/2020: Premier Oil (PMO LN) – 1H20 update
13-17/07/2020: GeoPark (GPRK US) – 2Q20 update
Companies: I3E MAHAA JKX PHAR EQNR AKERBP ENI HUR PTAL REP RRE SOU TPL VOG OMV
Burford has announced its results for 2019. As previously indicated, these were lower than in the previous year. Revenue fell 17% from $430m in 2018 to $357m. Profit after tax, on Burford’s basis, declined 31% from $329m to $226m. As announced earlier, there will be no final dividend so only the interim dividend of ¢4.17 was paid for FY19. Unusually, Burford has also released a trading update for early 2020 alongside its main figures. Court results and arbitral awards have been obtained that would generate some healthy profits. Most notable is $200m in income ($300m in cash receipts) regarding which further legal review is unlikely.
Companies: Burford Capital
Gfinity plc* (GFIN.L, 1.625p/£14.0m) | Blackbird plc* (BIRD.L, 16.5p/£55.4m) | Tern plc* (TERN.L, 11.5p/£31.1m) | The Panoply Holdings (TPX.L, 72.5p/£39.9m)
Companies: GFIN BIRD TERN TPX
ICGT, the 39-year listed private equity (PE) investor, has delivered a total NAV return of 178% over 10 years (comparable FTSE All Share return 61%). Since Intermediate Capital became the manager in 2016, ICGT has earned mid-teen p.a. underlying returns every year. This has been achieved by leveraging the attractive PE market with incremental manager synergies. It has a concentrated portfolio of “high-conviction” investments (19% p.a. average returns over five years, 42% of portfolio, defensive growth focus) and a diversified third-party PE funds book. ICGT manages over-commitment tightly. The 33% discount to NAV is above peers.
Companies: ICG Enterprise Trust
Numis’ update for Q320 was positive, reflecting both the need for equity funding in the market and the strength of the group’s franchise as well as its ability to deal with current operating constraints. Subject to the market background in its final quarter, we now expect Numis to achieve a full-year result in line with or ahead of the high end of our previous scenario range.
Companies: Numis Corporation