Today’s trading update confirms that the positive trend in both revenues and ROCE have continued throughout H1. Group revenues for the period to 30th September are anticipated to be c.6.5% ahead of the prior year, with services revenue growth of c.8.0%. UK and Ireland core hire LFL revenues are broadly flat, with strong growth in the higher margin SME market which has offset lost revenue following the liquidation of Carillion. Trading remains in line with expectations and we make no changes to our forecasts, with adj. PBT anticipated to increase by 17% in the current year. We believe that Speedy’s growth trajectory, upgrade momentum, its strong and improving balance sheet and its in line dividend yield justifies a sector EV/EBITDA rating (5.6x). We maintain our Buy recommendation and 70p TP.
Companies: Speedy Hire
A G Barr (BAG LN) | Directa Plus (DCTA LN) | Genus (GNS LN) | RhythmOne (RTHM LN) | Sigma Capital Group (SGM LN) | Speedy Hire (SDY LN) | Swallowfield (SWL LN) | WYG (WYG LN)
Companies: BAG DCTA GNS RTHM SGM SDY BAR WYG
Green Man Gaming—pure play e-commerce and technology company in the digital video games industry. revenue CAGR growth of 26.7% in the last three years to £47.5m. Due 28 Sep. EBITDA Profitable. Offer TBA
Crossword Cybersecurity PLC* (NEX:CCS)—the technology commercialisation company focusing exclusively on the cyber security sector is exploring its options in relation to a potential move to the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange which, if it were to proceed, would likely take place over the next few months.
Path Investments—an oil and gas company focused on the acquisition of production, or near production, oil and gas assets looking to join AIM. Offer TBC, expected early October 2018.
Companies: SSTY SDY SDI SYM WAND ORPH PTD TGL BOD TILS
Be Heard (BHRD LN) H1 shows strong revenue growth, but profit shortfall | dotdigital Group (DOTD LN) Another year of strong growth & cash generation | EKF Diagnostics (EKF LN) Manufacturing agreement with Oragenics Inc | Goals Soccer Centres (GOAL LN) Profit warning | LiDCO Group (LID LN) UK distribution deal with Maicuff Technology | Nichols (NICL LN) Solid interims with a 3% PBT beat | Speedy Hire (SDY LN) In line Q1 update, with ROCE continuing to move forwards |
Companies: BHRD DOTD EKF GOAL LID NICL SDY
We update our forecasts for the recent FY18 results and introduce a new forecast year for FY21. We nudge our FY19 and FY20 EPS forecasts up by 1%, with growth of 18% and 11% expected in each year. Our FY21 EPS forecast implies growth of 14%. We do not assume significant end market growth and expect earnings growth and improvement in ROCE (towards the Group’s 15% target) to be primarily driven by management initiatives (margin improvement, asset efficiency and growth in Services revenue) and M&A. A change in the prospects of the construction market could present upside to our forecasts, with a number of large infrastructure projects in the pipeline. We have increased our target price to 70p (sector average cal. ’18 EV/EBITDA of 5.6x).
1Spatial (SPA LN) Capital markets day highlights growth potential | Abzena (ABZA LN) Monetising the Abzena Inside portfolio | Consort Medical (CSRT LN) Prelims in line – another setback with Mylan | Gym Group (GYM LN) Positive corporate and premium pricing newsflow | N Brown Group (BWNG LN) In line update but number of moving parts might leave investors cold | Rathbone Brothers (RAT LN) Acquisition of Speirs & Jeffrey, no EPS accretion until FY20e | RhythmOne (RTHM LN) FY18 results show execution, EBITDA to almost quadruple in FY19 | Speedy Hire (SDY LN) Recovery delivered; Returns improving
Companies: ABZA CSRT GYM BWNG RAT RTHM SDY SPA
Augean (AUG LN) Consultation on Colt; group trading in line | Brewin Dolphin Holdings (BRW LN) Solid outturn, margin maintained in H1 | Itaconix (ITX LN) Joint marketing effort defined with AkzoNobel | LiDCO Group (LID LN) Trading update points to increased US traction | Marston’s (MARS LN) Broadly in line interims | Speedy Hire (SDY LN) Earnings momentum continues with results ahead of expectations | Zotefoams (ZTF LN) Placing to invest in (even more) new capacity
Companies: AUG BRW ITX LID MARS SDY ZTF
We have completed another refresh of our value style screen, first established as of 12 May 2015. As usual the screen selected the 25 stocks exhibiting the most extreme value characteristics from our universe, and we have chosen 10 stocks to focus on. Since the last refresh, two days before the last general election, which resulted in a hung parliament, the screen has performed a little better than the small-cap index with our focus stocks outperforming by about 500bps. The weighting to UK consumer stocks noted last time detracted from performance, which came as little surprise given our cautious stance, much discussed in our other strategy work this year. One might have expected more consumer exposure in the refreshed screen given this year’s severe underperformance, but it appears forecasts have been similarly downgraded, keeping much of the sector outside our value criteria
Companies: AUG EHG GOAL MMH RTHM SDY TEF VANL
Speedy Hire (SDY LN) Continued earnings momentum
Speedy Hire has signalled that it is fully through a transformation process and clearly focused on profitable growth. H1 revenue (ex-disposals) was almost 7% higher, at £183m, and management flagged that it expects to exceed previous adjusted PBT expectations for the full year by c 6-7%, which will form the base for future years. The positive results, benefiting from the recent operational restructuring, two recent bolt-on acquisitions and positive demand, point to sustained investor support.
Brewin Dolphin Holdings (BRW LN) Solid FY17 outturn, positive strategic progress | Cineworld Group (CINE LN) Joining the sector consolidation | Clinigen Group (CLIN LN) Quantum to add multiple growth opportunities | Findel (FDL LN) Digital transformation gaining momentum | Futura Medical (FUM LN) Good progress in Eroxon® licensing discussions; PK trial underway | Photo-Me International (PHTM LN) Snap it up | Raven Russia Ltd (RUS LN) Completion of Sever logistics park acquisition | Redcentric (RCN LN) Solid interim results | Speedy Hire (SDY LN) Earnings momentum continues | Wilmington (WIL LN) New CFO appointed
Companies: STU SDY WIL RAV BRW CINE RCN FUM CLIN PHTM
We are upgrading our forecasts for the recent acquisitions and for the underlying progress reported at the interims. Our adj. EPS forecasts increase by 8%, 18% and 14%. Since initiation, we have cumulatively upgraded our FY18 and 19 EPS forecasts by 84% and 59% respectively to reflect underlying recovery in the business. We upgrade by a further 2% and 8% for the recent acquisitions. Management has done a commendable job to turn the business around, not least strengthening the balance sheet. We expect trading to continue to improve against a positive market backdrop and potential for further self help, cross selling and M&A. We upgrade our target price from 63p to 68p and remain at Buy.
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The two strategic acquisitions give the Group a stronger foothold in the Midlands and the South West.
Future (FUTR LN) Results underline change and opportunity | IndigoVision Group (IND LN) Trading behind expectations; Chief Exec leaves | James Fisher & Sons (FSJ LN) Outlook unchanged; Offshore Oil recovery delayed | Sanderson Group (SND LN) Scaling up the Enterprise division | Speedy Hire (SDY LN) Earnings enhancing acquisitions | Vernalis (VER LN) Reduction in cough cold forecasts | WYG (WYG LN) UK challenges prompt further downgrades
Companies: SDY VER FSJ IND WYG SND FUTR
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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
Full-year results were at a record level and slightly ahead of expectations by £0.2m at the adjusted PBT level, or 2.8% better at the EPS level. Cash generation was also stronger than expected, resulting in net cash of £3.2m. The dividend was maintained – a sign of confidence. Good strategic progress was made, helped by the integration synergies of Pacer and new product development programmes. Our forecast and price target remain under review given COVID-19-related uncertainties.
Companies: Solid State
The announcement that Avon Rubber is to sell milkrite | InterPuls, its dairy division, to DeLaval Holding for £180m gross proceeds is strategically logical and financially compelling. The fit of dairy and defence has always looked slightly anomalous and the terms of the deal show that the opportunity to augment dairy through value-accretive deals is difficult given the scale of the business and opportunities. Management must now recycle the cash balances that will be created into Avon Protection, where there are a greater number of potential investments.
Companies: Avon Rubber
Brick and concrete products manufacturer Forterra has raised c. £55m gross in an equity placing in order to maintain its strong balance sheet and support the Group's continued investment programme. It was accompanied by, in our view, a reassuring trading statement which we believe is backed by yesterday’s brick industry data and comments from housebuilders, which suggest that demand has been recovering from its lockdown lows, before the PM’s promises to “build, build, build” housing and infrastructure.
Successful K3 Capital placing to raise £30.45m (gross) at 150p to fund the £9.3m acquisition of Randd UK Ltd, an R&D tax credit specialist with an LTM EBITDA of c.£2.0m, with a margin of c.50% and revenues typically contracted for 5 tax years with many recurring thereafter, followed by future potential deals in SME exposed markets. K3 has established itself as an innovative company that is able to effectively gather, generate and mine large quantities of data in order to scale up M&A services to SMEs. Transferring these lead generation capabilities to adjacent SME markets can allow rapid growth from proven models, at scale.
Companies: K3 Capital Group
Blackbird plc* (BIRD.L, 19.25p/£64.7m) | Mirada plc* (MIRA.L, 92.5p/£8.2m) | Tern plc* (TERN.L, 10.75p/£29.0m) | Checkit plc (CKT.L, 39.5p/£24.5m)
Companies: BIRD MIRA MIRA TERN CKT
Further Profitable Growth to Come
discoverIE reported FY20 results ahead of our forecasts for underlying operating profit and EPS. Looking through short-term COVID-19-related disruption, the company has set new strategic targets for the next five years. These are a continuation of the strategy to grow the Design & Manufacturing business organically and via acquisition and include the target to increase the group operating margin from 8.5% (pro forma) to 12.5%. We maintain our normalised operating profit and EPS forecasts.
Companies: Discoverie Group
Smart Metering Systems (SMS) has announced that it has emerged from the recent Covid-19 uncertainty in a strong financial position and taken the decision to return funds received from the Government under the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme. Current net cash of £48m (not including furlough grant) is ahead of previous expectations and underlying profitability for the year to 31 December 2020 is expected to be in line with expectations prior to lockdown, despite the obvious interruptions to meter installation activity that it has caused. During lockdown essential emergency field engineering work continued and SMS completed the sale of a proportion of its meter asset portfolio for a gross cash consideration of £291m (£282m net). In March 2020, SMS announced that it would rebase its dividend to 25p (prospective yield 4.3%), index linked to FY24 and commencing payments in October 2020, quarterly thereafter. A phased resumption to meter installation activity commenced on 1 June 2020.
Companies: Smart Metering Systems
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
Marlowe has raised £40m in new equity to finance the acquisition of Elogbooks (£7.3m cash upfront and up to £6.8m contingent deferred) and accelerate consolidation of their markets. We update our forecasts to reflect this transaction and COVID-19 trading conditions (FY21E Adj EBITDA unchanged at £24m).
Updating forecasts following 2019 results
Companies: Trackwise Designs
Full year results ahead - robust position against uncertain near-term backdrop
Solid State is a manufacturer of computing, power and communications products, and value added distributor of electronic components. This morning, the group has released full year results with PBT and EPS slightly better than our upwardly revised forecasts had assumed and reflecting a strong margin performance in the year. As previously flagged, cash generation was particularly strong. The group entered FY 2021E with a strong order book, which is reported to have stood at £37.9m as at 31 May 2020, an increase of some 5.6% from a year earlier. With little in the way of cancellations or deferrals of orders, Q1 2021E revenue has held up well, whilst order intake has been just under 15% lower than the prior year, which suggests a weaker revenue performance in Q2/Q3 but with the tender pipeline implying a potentially stronger Q4. Reflecting the present uncertainty, we leave our forecasts under review for the time being. Fundamentally, and backed by a strong balance sheet, we believe that Solid remains well positioned to come through the current crisis and will emerge as one of the winners when normal service resumes.
The Smart Zones customer base is expected to reopen, to a large extent, this weekend. The reopening of pubs will bring forward a revised billing profile and markedly improve the Smart Zones revenue base. Smart Machines continues to operate profitably and the group's Business Interruption Loan should buttress the balance sheet through this year. While our forecasts remain withdrawn we can see an encouraging pathway to normalised trading next year.
Companies: Vianet Group
As flagged in the April trading update, Solid State’s FY20 results showed a 19.7% growth in revenues and 34.3% jump in adjusted profit before tax. Demand from the medical and food retail sectors is strong but weakness in the oil & gas and commercial aviation sectors related to the coronavirus pandemic is likely to result in lower year-on-year sales during Q2 and early Q321. While management sees potential for a Q4 recovery, the current range of FY21 profit outcomes is wide, so it is not providing guidance.