Anexo has placed 6 million new shares at a price of 125p to raise approximately £7.5 million before expenses. In addition, three senior members of the management team have sold 2.8 million shares at the same price. The placing and the team’s sales represent 5.5% and 2.55% respectively of the Group’s existing capital. The net proceeds from the primary placing will be used to expand the advocacy and specialist litigation team, headed by Executive Chairman, Alan Sellers, with specific emphasis on funding the acquisition and processing of VW emissions cases. It will also continue recruitment in the legal services business and increase the fleet size. The placing will also support small opportunistic acquisitions. A brief trading update reveals that, although new case numbers were impacted by fewer cars on the road in the early stages of lockdown (and have subsequently recovered steadily), this was mitigated by longer hire periods. Anexo continued to be cash generative in the first four months of 2020 and retains a positive outlook.
New Equity Driving Growth
As well as its credit hire and related legal practice businesses, Anexo also operates an advocacy practice, with in-house barristers, which is headed by Executive Chairman, Alan Sellers. That team is involved in the high-profile Aston Hall abuse case and today’s announcement brings news of its significant role in the group litigation against Volkswagen (VW). Although no specific revenue or profit numbers are mooted, Anexo currently has around 8,000 clients and expects to gain more (while mitigating its exposure to the cost of acquiring new claimants). Litigation is ongoing so there is no guarantee of success, but the potential level of the impact on profits and cash flow clearly warrants an announcement from Anexo. Although Anexo withdrew forward estimate guidance recently, we note the very positive impact that a case settlement would bring.
Volkswagen high court case – potential positive
Anexo’s trading update confirms that FY 2019E adjusted PBT will be in line with market expectations but that forward guidance is withdrawn given the current uncertainty over COVID-19 – although trading so far in FY-2020 looks relatively unaffected. Accordingly, we make no changes to our FY 2019E numbers and withdraw those for future years until the outlook is clearer. The timing of the FY 2019E results announcement will be confirmed in due course. Like others, Anexo is taking measures to preserve cash. Crucially, it continues to operate as an essential business under the current government restrictions. Staff are following the appropriate guidelines while providing a service to many key workers. Obviously, there is uncertainty over the long term impact of COVID-19 and therefore the focus on collections remains vital. In our view, the group remains in a strong position to drive cash out of its backlog of cases without necessarily committing further new working capital.
Positive trading update
Key pick for 2020; Cash collections rising
Good end to the year
Intention to float by Gemfields Group. No Capital Raise. Currently listed on JSE. (GML:JNB) at circa £122m. The Group's key producing assets, the Kagem emerald mine in Zambia (believed to be the world's single largest producing emerald mine) and the Montepuez ruby mine in Mozambique (one of the most significant recently discovered ruby deposits in the world), are both expected to have long mine-lives with potential for expansion. Also owns the Faberge brand. Due Valentines Day 2020.
Companies: ITX SPE EYE CNC ANX ONC NFC BOD FEN ECSC
Anexo Group has established itself as a provider of an end-to-end litigated claims service to predominantly impecunious non-fault motorists. It provides replacement vehicles – either from its own fleet or leased - and associated legal services. It has a highly experienced management team with experience in both credit hire and legal services. Thorough vetting of potential claims backs a high pre-court settlement rate. Its legal services business, Bond Turner, conducts the processing of the claim against at-fault motorists and their insurers and secures settlement. Currently targeting more measured growth in credit hire while recruiting more high-quality litigators, Anexo is increasing its capacity to settle cases and improve cash generation. By executing on its growth strategy and managing that balance between new business generation and cash collection from existing cases, we expect Anexo to produce strong earnings growth and cash generation.
We provide our three key takeaways from yesterday’s CMD. Strong legal precedent: Anexo’s unique model hinges upon an individual’s right to replacement vehicle following a road traffic accident that was not their fault. More specifically, Anexo services the impecunious customer who would be unable to pay the up-front costs of vehicle hire, enabling Anexo to reclaim commercial hire rates. At yesterday’s event we were provided an overview of the various developments in case law that have occurred over the last 25 years, each evolution further supporting the model, in our view. Further details within.
At a time where UK public market valuations remain subdued, especially given GBP weakness, it seems reasonable to assume the potential for opportunistic private bids may increase. We have long argued the merits of certain business services companies with exposure to the legal sector, and we believe recent private interest in the space supports this. In our view, the demonstrable private intrigue may provide a floor to valuations, leaving significant upside risk; if the public market does not correct this mispricing, private equity or M&A may do.
Companies: ANX GTLY INCE NAH REDD
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
We have previously written on the off-balance sheet value embedded within the Group’s asset of unsettled cases, and the ability to bring this value onto the balance sheet in the coming periods given lawyer hiring. In response to investor feedback we have attempted to quantify the cash value of this asset and have arrived at a figure of £202m of cash inflows, justifying almost the entire market cap without any consideration for future growth. In our view, coupled with the current 10.2x PER, this demonstrates the continued undervaluation of the shares. Reiterate Buy rating.
Anexo’s interims display the clear momentum in the business; revenue increased by 56%, adjusted PBT by 63% and cash collections by 30%. We believe the Group is now poised to enter a period of accelerated cash collection given the investment that has been made in its legal division. We remain of the strong view that 10.6x FY19 PER is the wrong valuation for a business set to grow EPS by 43% with expanding margins in excess of 30%. Reiterate Buy, 345p TP.
Research Tree provides access to ongoing research coverage, media content and regulatory news on Anexo.
We currently have 31 research reports from 4
Strix has released an AGM statement indicating that trading in the early part of the year has been solid, the new financing facilities have been put in place, product development is on track with 14 new products released during the year and the factory move remains on schedule and to budget. The current trading period is an important one and the scheduled trading update 23rd July should provide more colour on the underlying performance as well as the early indications from the new products already released and the outlook for those that are scheduled to be released in H2. The resilience of the Strix business has been reaffirmed during the current situation with financial guidance having been maintained and the final dividend committed to, a 10% increase yoy.
Companies: Strix Group
Despite some initial integration issues with WatBio (since resolved), Filta generated strong organic growth (+16% YoY) and delivered results in line with expectations. Given ongoing uncertainty around the pace at which self-isolation measures will be eased, we maintain our Hold rating, and will look to reinstate forecasts once visibility improves.
Companies: Filta Group
TClarke's trading update is refreshingly positive in all key aspects of investors' current COVID fears and hopes. The decision to fully pay the 2019 final dividend sustains income attractiveness (4% yield on the final alone), the avoidance of trading losses in the teeth of the industry lockdown period (after a profitable Q1/20) demonstrates resilience whilst maintenance of net cash balances through April and May illustrate a robustness of cash flows despite reduced activity levels. It has also maintained the order book and has moved quickly to re-structure the cost base ensuring that margin recovery is not entirely dependant upon market improvement. Prudently and we believe reasonably, we are removing all forward forecasts until visibility on revenue recovery and productivity rates into H2/20 become clearer. However, TClarke's operational strengths, financial robustness and cash coverage of dividend in the most testing of circumstances gives us renewed confidence to uphold a Buy recommendation.
FY results ahead due to a waiver of the management bonuses and final dividend is proposed. Current trading is impacted by COVID but there are clear signs of improvement.
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
Judges Scientific, the group focused on acquiring and developing companies in the scientific instrument sector, has announced the acquisition of UK based ‘Health Scientific Ltd', a world leading maker, and global exporter, of calorimetry instruments. The initial cash consideration equates to £5.3m, with a further £2.0m cash earnout if profits hit £1.22m in 2020. The business generated £4.4m of revenue and an adjusted EBIT of £0.88m (20% EBIT margin) to April 2019, and is expected to have an even stronger year to April 2020, suggesting a ‘6x EBIT takeout multiple' if the earnout target is hit.
Companies: Judges Scientific
In the midst of a crisis, Judges has made what we think is an excellent acquisition in a high growth sector (lithium battery testing). Heath Scientific fits all of Judges’ acquisition criteria and is a business that is well known to management. We think that the current crisis may well throw up more opportunities and, with its strong balance sheet, Judges is well positioned to capitalise on this. FY20E EPS increased by 1.8% and FY21E by 3.2%. DCF based TP raised from 5245p to 5380p. CY21E PE 26.3x. Buy.
Filta Group (Filta) announced FY’19 results pretty much in line with our numbers. Adjusted EBITDA was £3.2m, vs. our £3.3m estimate, and revenue was £24.9m, vs. our £25.1m expectation. These figures confirmed that the integration of Watbio was back on track and the business was trading well until COVID-19 struck. Most of Filta’s customers are currently closed, but the company is optimistic that they will bounce back one distancing restrictions are lifted. We have removed our 2020 forecasts.
TP Group's FY19A results were in line with our expectations, with strong organic revenue growth of +16% YoY. Whilst the business remains resilient, with a large net cash position and a record order book, COVID-19 has caused uncertainty around the timing of some pipeline opportunities. Therefore, in line with a number of other companies, TP Group is withdrawing market guidance. We also withdraw our forecasts and place our recommendation Under Review.
Companies: TP Group
Costain has raised £100m of gross proceeds. We reduce FY 20 and 21 FD EPS by 45% and 59% due to the dilution.
Companies: Costain Group
The biggest takeaway from Sureserve Group’s interim result was its strong cash performance in the first half, with net debt falling to £3.5m at end March (£12.9m at end March 2018). This sets a solid base for the group to ride out the disruption of the lockdown. Our focus is on the outlook, with H1 only having eight days of impact from the lockdown. We have reduced our estimates for FY20, with the bulk of the revenue cut from £230m to £210m being a £13m cut in the Energy Services division. The cut to PBT from £9.8m to £9.1m is less severe, reflecting the improving efficiency in the Compliance division and the cost mitigation efforts of the group. With the long-term investment themes of regulatory compliance and energy efficiency likely to stay in focus, we see solid support for the group’s business and our FY21 numbers reflect the start of a bounce back in activity.
Companies: Sureserve Group
Trading has recovered from the initial hit from COVID-19, with improving B2B activity adding to strong B2C trends. Revenue has been better than previously expected at both DX Freight and DX Express, with this now running at 10-15% below normal levels for this time of the year, compared with the initial 33% impact at the commencement of the lockdown.
Companies: DX Group
Avation is a lessor of 48 commercial aircraft to a diversified airline client base. Intra-day yesterday, the group announced that, as a result of the present uncertain backdrop caused by COVID-19, the Board had withdrawn from the previously announced strategic review and formal sale process, and that it was no longer in active discussions with any interested parties. The key reasons behind this were 1) the present uncertainty meaning that an attractive valuation was seen as unlikely to be achieved at this present moment in time and 2) the distraction of the process in the day to day operational activities of the business.
Petards supplies advanced security and surveillance systems to the Rail, Defence and Traffic Technology markets. Intra-day yesterday, the group confirmed that its RTS Solutions subsidiary had secured a multi-year renewal agreement for the provision of software support services to one of its major rail customers.
Touchstar is a supplier of mobile data computing solutions and managed services to a variety of industrial sectors. This morning, the group has released full year results to 31 December 2019, alongside providing an update on progress against the present COVID-19 backdrop. In line with the market updates provided in February and April, group revenue in the year increased by 3.2% to £7.1m, whilst revenue from continuing operations, excluding the Onboard business that was disposed of in the year, increased by 7.2% to £6.7m, driven by traction being gained with new products and services. The gross margin in the year increased by 280bps to 53.9% reflecting the greater proportion of software and service income. This resulted in a trading loss after tax before exceptionals of £89k, which post exceptionals of £412k that predominantly related to the disposal of OnBoard, resulted in a loss after tax of £501k. As previously reported, the year-end net cash position stood at £850k, which reflected an increase of £554k in the year; this post £1.1m of new product development expenditure and cash costs associated with the disposal.
Companies: AVAP TST PEG
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
FRP is a UK-focused business advisory firm, specialising in corporate restructuring (administrations, liquidations etc), with a nationwide network and team of c360. In its AIM IPO, FRP raised £80m gross (£20m new) at 80p on a pre-money market cap of £170m to fund organic plans.
Companies: FRP Advisory Group