Atlantis Japan Growth Fund’s (AJG) lead adviser since May 2016 is Taeko Setaishi of Atlantis Investment Research Corporation; during her tenure AJG has outperformed the benchmark Tokyo Price Index (TOPIX) in both NAV and share price terms. Over time, AJG’s board has simplified the company’s structure. Recently it announced it will no longer offer a six-monthly redemption facility; instead it will pay a quarterly dividend based on the fund’s NAV, which will be paid out of revenue and capital. The board believes that this could broaden AJG’s appeal for investors seeking Japanese equity exposure.
Companies: Atlantis Japan Growth Fund
Atlantis Japan Growth Fund (AJG) is advised by Atlantis Investment Research Corporation (AIRC). Lead adviser Taeko Setaishi says that although consensus Japanese corporate earnings growth is being revised downwards, she is still able to identify primarily smaller-cap companies with promising growth prospects that are trading on attractive valuations. As an example, Setaishi highlights changing dynamics within the Japanese economy, which are generating growth in the widely diverse services sector. AJG’s portfolio is trading on higher valuation multiples than the TOPIX index, but has meaningfully higher forecast earnings growth and a superior return on equity, which have contributed to the fund’s medium- and long-term outperformance versus the benchmark.
Atlantis Japan Growth Fund (AJG) is advised by Atlantis Investment Research Corporation (AIRC). Lead portfolio adviser Taeko Setaishi aims to generate long-term capital growth from a portfolio of primarily smaller-capitalisation Japanese equities. AIRC’s philosophy is that over the long term, a company’s share price performance is driven by its earnings growth, especially for smaller companies. Setaishi notes that Japanese equities have experienced negative investor fund flows in 2018, which has had a large impact on the Japanese stock market. However, while overall economic growth in the country remains modest, the adviser is continuing to find companies with attractive fundamentals that are trading on reasonable valuations, particularly in small and mid-caps. While recent performance has been more challenging, AJG has outperformed its benchmark TOPIX index over the last one, three, five and 10 years.
Atlantis Japan Growth Fund (AJG) aims to generate long-term capital growth from a diversified portfolio of primarily mid- and small-cap Japanese equities. In 2016, in response to shareholder concerns, which included the trust’s investment performance, the board appointed deputy fund adviser Taeko Setaishi to the position of lead fund adviser. Since then, AJG’s performance has improved. The trust has outperformed its TOPIX benchmark over one, three, five and 10 years, and is the best-performing fund, out of four, in the AIC Japanese Smaller Companies sector over one year. Given the improving economic backdrop in Japan and relatively attractive company valuations, Setaishi is positive on the outlook for Japanese equities and she continues to find interesting growth opportunities across a variety of sectors.
With strong performance from most emerging markets, smaller companies and technology, 2017 will be remembered as the year that rewarded those investors willing to take some risk with their investments. Despite initial worries about political risk stemming from Brexit and upcoming European elections, equity markets in general soared. For the first time in recorded history the S&P 500 made gains in every month of the calendar year, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index ended the year up 30.55% (in sterling terms), while the Japanese Topix Index returned 22.23%.
Companies: IBT SMT JEO EMF SDP FAS BGS AJG
We believe that the Federal Reserve is being forced to withdraw liquidity as the US economy is now at or near full employment. Going forward, either the US economic expansion is likely to falter or interest rates in the US will rise further. We believe that stock selection rather than index returns will be key in driving returns in the next phase of the bull market we are witnessing and favour mid and smaller companies worldwide. We recommend the Atlantis Japan Growth Fund (AJG), now advised by Taeko Setaishi, who has a strong long-term performance record. The annual subscription right programme and share redemption facility that AJG has, should gradually help increase liquidity and allow the fund to grow over time while controlling the discount.
Edison Investment Research is terminating coverage on Atlantis Japan Growth Fund (AJG). Please note you should no longer rely on any previous research or estimates for this company. All forecasts should now be considered redundant.
Atlantis Japan Growth Fund (AJGF) is an actively managed growthoriented fund entirely invested in Japanese equities. Given this mandate the portfolio has tended to have a bias to small and medium-sized companies. The fund’s objective is to generate long-term capital appreciation. Since the fund was launched in 1996, day-to-day investment decisions have been advised by Ed Merner, who has long experience as a Japanese equity adviser and manager. AJGF has outperformed both Topix and MSCI Japan Smaller Companies indices over one, three and five years.
Atlantis Japan Growth Fund (AJGF) is an actively managed growth oriented fund entirely invested in Japanese equities. Given this mandate the portfolio has tended to have a bias to small and medium-sized companies. The fund’s objective is to generate long-term capital appreciation. Since the fund was launched in 1996, day-to-day investment decisions have been advised by Ed Merner, who has long experience as a Japanese equity adviser and manager. AJGF has outperformed both Topix and MSCI Japan Smaller Companies indices over one, three and five years.
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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.
Premier Miton have reported their H1’20 results, which have shown delivery of key operational milestones during the period and strong performance despite the COVID-19 fears. Since the end of March, markets have recovered and net flows have been positive in April, meaning AUM has reached £9.9bn. We believe this shows the resilience of the business and that the benefits of the merger are coming through. As delivery continues we believe Premier Miton will see a significant re-rating as the shares currently trade on just 9.7x CY20 P/E, a significant discount to peers and historic levels of 12.5x. We reiterate our BUY rating and DCF based target price of 152p, implying 52% upside.
Companies: Premier Miton Group
The Renewables Infrastructure Group - £120m capital raise
Marwyn Value Investors - Proposed share acquisition by manager and crystallisation of carried interest
DP Aircraft I - 5% ownership stake in Norwegian
Companies: Renewables Infrastructure Group Marwyn Value Investors
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
Despite the disruption caused by COVID, Harworth has continued to make good progress across each business area. Liquidity has also been enhanced with an increase in the RCF announced at the end of April.
Companies: Harworth Group
Companies: AVO AGY ARBB ARIX BUR CMH CLIG DNL GDR HAYD PCA PIN PHP RE/ RECI RMDL STX SHED VTA
There has been much comment on the fact that equity markets in the US and Europe have been shrinking for some years now, certainly in terms of the number of quoted companies, if not in total market capitalisation (MCap). This paper has been written with the assistance of the Quoted Companies Alliance (QCA) and focuses on the evidence for such in the London market and, in particular, that for smaller and midcap companies. It assesses that evidence and considers explanations. Finally, we ask why it matters, and assuming that it does, what practical steps can be taken to reverse the trend. Successful public markets have been a key part of the United Kingdom’s economic success for generations, even centuries, and we should not allow them to wither on the vine.
Companies: AVO AGY ARBB ARIX ASAI DNL GDR HAYD NSF PCA PIN PXC PHP RE/ RECI RMDL STX SCE TRX TON SHED VTA
We believe RECI’s 21% discount to NAV reflects a reduction in investors’ confidence, reflecting the uncertain outlook, security values and potential impairments. When considering if this discount is excessive, we note i) a relatively low-risk profile, ii) strong liquidity means RECI can optimise recovery returns, iii) restructuring is a core competency, iv) realised losses to date are just 2.1p, v) bond valuations are expected by RECI to be repaid at par, but priced at 17% below par, and vi) borrowers have been injecting equity into their deals. The stable 3p 4Q dividend and unchanged policy show confidence and re-investment returns rising.
Companies: Real Estate Credit Investments
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
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
Trading Update – Showing Resilence
Companies: Manolete Partners
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
AFH Financial released an AGM statement suggesting that trading for FY20 remains in line with expectations. In the first four months of FY20 AFH has continued to see inflows at Q4’19 levels. The company also expects to see continued consolidation and a growing need for financial planning. Although the current market uncertainty has hit the industry, we believe that AFH is less affected than others by market movements due to its protection broking revenues and initial advice fees totalling 40% of revenues. We leave our forecasts and TP unchanged. These show AFH trading on 10.8x FY20 P/E falling to 9.7x in FY21, and yielding 2.8% rising to 3.1%. BUY.
Companies: AFH Financial Group
Given the substantial share price decline for Ramsdens in the last month, following clear risks to near term earnings, we revisit the group’s valuation and suggest a potential impact to earnings from the COVID-19 related lockdown. The analysis shows that Ramsdens has a solid balance sheet with a number of clear valuation supports and will be able to withstand the extreme conditions that are likely to occur over the coming months. We use an 8x multiple on FY20 earnings as a reflection of a normalised earnings base which reduces our target price to 180p from 258p. At this target price Ramsdens would trade on a FY21 P/B of 1.6x and yield 4.5%. This target price offers 114% upside and we retain BUY.
Mattioli Woods has issued a trading update around the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We are reassured to hear that trading for the first 9m of FY20e (to Feb-20) was in line with expectations. There is likely to be a revenue impact, from falling asset prices and limits to normal business activity, however, it is not possible to quantify this just yet. A number of proactive measures are being taken to adjust the cost base to mitigate the short term impact, including reduced senior management team/variable compensation. We would highlight that c.55% of MW’s revenue is not linked to the value of client assets, providing a degree of insulation to asset prices. We make no forecast changes at this stage, but will monitor events and make any adjustments when there is greater certainty
Companies: Mattioli Woods