Canadian General Investments (CGI) is managed by Greg Eckel at Morgan Meighen & Associates. He stresses that despite the tough macro backdrop as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, he is sticking to the company’s philosophy and fundamental investment process, which has generated a very long-term record of outperformance versus the Canadian market. The manager says: ‘We will not veer off into unknown, dangerous territories and away from our core, proven strengths. It is easy to fall victim to near-term pressures, but doing so has proven to handicap and impair returns otherwise available. We rely on our experience and learnings of the past in an effort to avoid such pitfalls, and make every effort to provide our shareholders with the results to which they have become accustomed.’
Companies: Canadian General Investments
Canadian General Investments (LSE:CGI and TSE:CGI) was launched in 1930, it is North America’s second-oldest closed-end fund. Since 1956, it has been managed by Morgan Meighen & Associates. Portfolio manager Greg Eckel invests with a medium- to long-term outlook in a broad selection of primarily Canadian equities, aiming to outperform the total return of the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index. CGI has a favourable tax status, but to maintain this, the company is unable to repurchase its shares to help manage the share price discount to net asset value. CGI has followed a levered strategy since 1998 and more than 50% of its shares are held by related parties.
In this webcast, Morgan Meighen’s executive vice president and chief operating officer Jonathan Morgan discusses the outcome of the recent general election, and the free trade agreement. He then focuses on the health of the Canadian economy, including the housing sector. Morgan also highlights CGI’s gearing, distribution policy, portfolio activity and investment performance.
Canadian General Investments (CGI) is a well-established company with a long-term track record of outperformance. Manager Greg Eckel is ‘sticking to his knitting’, seeking companies with strong fundamentals and well-respected management teams, that are trading on reasonable valuations and can be held for the long term. While there are economic headwinds, including the ongoing US-China trade dispute, the manager says that ‘Canada remains an island of stability’, and suggests investors may benefit from Canadian exposure as part of a global portfolio. Eckel is continuing to find what he considers to be interesting investment opportunities in a variety of sectors, in both Canada and the US.
At Hardman and Co, we try to answer the questions of why to invest in a company and what the risks are in doing so. For many investors, simply having a deep discount to NAV is a good enough answer to the first question. However, investors need to appreciate the risks and, in particular, the reasons why the shares are at a discount. Having understood those risks, investors need to be convinced that there is a catalyst for change on the part of the manager and how long (if at all) it will take for market sentiment to reflect this in a lower discount. In this report, we examine the companies with the largest discounts and review those very issues.
Companies: ADAM BC12 BGHL CGI HAN JZCP LMS MPO MVI MHN NSI NAS OCI PSHD RSE SIHL TFG TPOU UTL VIN ELTA ELX
Canadian General Investments’ (CGI) manager Greg Eckel is optimistic on the outlook for Canadian equities in 2019, particularly if there is resolution to the US-China trade dispute, along with clarity about the revised North American trade agreement. The manager says that while there are macro issues to consider, the Canadian equity market looks reasonably valued and he is encouraged by the outlook for corporate earnings, judging by the US Q119 results so far. Eckel is continuing to ‘stay true to CGI’s heritage’, following a bottom-up, low portfolio turnover approach, and is finding interesting new investment opportunities. The company has a very strong track record; its NAV has outperformed the S&P/TSX Composite index over the last one, three, five and 10 years. CGI’s total dividend is on track for its first growth in seven years, and offers a prospective yield of 3.1%.
Canadian General Investments (CGI) aims to generate an attractive total return from a portfolio of primarily Canadian equities. Manager Greg Eckel describes the fund as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for investment in Canada. He says that the country is currently out of favour with investors, and equity valuations are reasonable, which may provide an attractive opportunity. While he invests for the long term, Eckel actively manages CGI’s portfolio, seeking to buy companies with attractive fundamentals and long-term growth potential, while adding to or trimming existing positions to maximise returns. This strategy has proved effective, with CGI outperforming its S&P/TSX Composite index benchmark over one, three, five and 10 years. It also offers an attractive dividend yield of 3.5%.
Canadian General Investments (CGI) is a Canadian investment corporation, providing investors with a broad exposure to primarily Canadian, but also selected US, equities. Manager Greg Eckel suggests the company may be considered a ‘one-stop shop’ for investment in Canada. CGI has a positive investment track record; it has outperformed its benchmark S&P/TSX Composite index over one, three, five and 10 years, and over much longer time periods. More recent performance has benefited from a repositioning of the portfolio at the beginning of 2016, which included increasing the materials exposure. Total annual distributions have remained stable for the last six years, but the manager is hopeful that annual dividends can increase in the future. CGI has a dividend yield of 3.4% (including a 4c special dividend).
The Canadian economy expanded at a blistering pace (c.4%) in the first half of 2017. Having raised rates twice to 1%, the Bank of Canada (BoC) has paused to let the markets and the economy absorb these rises. In 2017, the equity market performance has been relatively muted following a strong 2016, partially because of uncertainty about NAFTA. However, from a bottom-up perspective, the portfolio manager of Canadian General Investments (CGI), Greg Eckel, continues to find attractive opportunities and CGI has outperformed the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite over one, three and five years. We believe the dividend yield is another key reason to buy CGI for a combination of income and strong long-term returns.
Canadian General Investments (CGI) enjoys favourable tax status as a Canadian investment corporation. Its portfolio of primarily Canadian equities is broadly diversified, suggesting that the company can be considered as a ‘one-stop shop’ for investment in Canada, where there are investment opportunities available across a range of sectors. As a result of positive fundamental stock selection, CGI’s NAV total return has outperformed the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index over one, three and five years. The board has been shifting emphasis towards more regular interim rather than year-end special dividends; CGI’s current dividend yield is 3.1%.
Canadian General Investments (CGI) is registered as a Canadian investment corporation, which confers favourable tax status; it is listed on both the Toronto and London stock exchanges. Given its broad exposure to primarily Canadian equities, the fund may be considered as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for investment in Canada. CGI’s NAV total return has outperformed the S&P/TSX Composite index benchmark over one and five years. The manager’s high ownership of CGI ensures that all shareholders’ interests are aligned; however, this may be a factor in the size of the discount. Emphasis is moving more towards regular, quarterly rather than year-end special dividends; CGI’s current dividend yield is 3.6%.
Canadian equity markets have rallied significantly this year as commodity markets have stabilised. While we are concerned about the level of debt carried by the Canadian household we believe the equity market still remains attractive, on a relative basis. Investors looking for diversified exposure to the Canadian equity market should buy Canadian General Investments (CGI LN). The dual listed fund is trading at a discount of c.32% with an expected dividend yield of c.4% and an excellent long-term performance record.
Research Tree provides access to ongoing research coverage, media content and regulatory news on Canadian General Investments.
We currently have 19 research reports from 5
FY20A results largely reflect a period prior to the Covid-19 lockdown, yet show Duke entering a more challenging FY21E with momentum. Yesterday's trading update demonstrated another notable rise in quarterly cash receipts for Q2/21, as royalty partner trading continues to improve. As some partners' forbearance measures will expire this month, Q3/21 receipts should continue this upwardly momentum. This opens the door to a return to cash dividends at some future point. Today, Duke also confirms it is now seeking new royalty partners, alongside follow-ons.
Companies: Duke Royalty
With the sale of the Singaporean operations for £1.6bn, the new CEO, Amanda Blanc, shows her intention to focus rapidly on its preferred markets (the UK, Ireland and Canada). The next candidate for sale is the French unit. This transaction is more complicated than the previous one, with the necessity to obtain the agreement of Afer, its key partner in France. With potential proceeds of £2.9bn, Aviva could reduce its debts significantly and allocate more capital to the UK bulk annuity business.
Companies: Aviva Plc
Oil posted its first back-to-back weekly loss since April's rout with the end of the summer driving season and concern about OPEC's production compliance weighing on prices.
Futures in New York edged up on Friday, but prices fell 6.1% this week coinciding with a retreat in U.S. equities. Traders are also examining data indicating the United Arab Emirates since July has been regularly exceeding its quota under a deal between the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies.
The uncertainty over how much supply OPEC+ is returning to the market adds another wrench in the recovery for oil prices still reeling from the pandemic-driven blow to consumption. While U.S. supplies had grown tighter in past months and producers were expected to restrain production amid a weak financial backdrop, stockpiles rose again last week for the first time since mid-July.
Companies: XOM HES KOS JSE 88E ADV CAD CHAR ECHO ENOG EME I3E PMG RBD SQZ SOU TLW VGAS WTE PHAR
What’s new: CLIG results have beaten Zeus expectations at revenue, EPS and DPS. On 14 July CLIG provided an update which revealed $338m of net inflows (6% of opening FUM), outperformance of the Emerging Market and Developed strategies (98% of FuM) and 25% rise in FuM in 4Q to $5.5bn and an indication that the final dividend would be not less than last year. In our opinion, key features of CLIG’s full year results include:
4.4% rise in revenue to £33.3m (Zeus forecast: £32.0m);
6.1% fall in adj PBT to £10.7m (Zeus forecast: £10.3m), excluding gains/losses on seed investment 9.4% rise to £11.6m (FY19: £10.6m);
3.2% rise in adj EPS to 35.3p (Zeus forecast 32.5p);
11.1% rise in final DPS to 20.0p (Zeus forecast: 18p) with the total DPS of 30p (Zeus forecast: 28p) is 11.1% above the prior year excluding special DPS.
Net cash of £14.6m (Zeus forecast: £10.0m)
The acquisition of KMI is expected to complete on 1 October 2020.
Companies: City of London Investment Group Plc
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact globally in many areas. While primarily a health issue, it has had wide-ranging implications for stock markets, which have now rallied after the plunge in share prices in mid-March when the full severity of the emerging pandemic became more widely appreciated. Nonetheless, the FTSE 100 Index remains almost 20% off its late February 2020 figure.
Companies: AVO ARBB ARIX CLIG DNL GDR ICGT NSF PCA PIN PXC PHP RECI STX SCE TRX SHED VTA YEW
S4 Capital had an extraordinary week with strong interims and an impressive CMD accompanied by a further merger and topped off with winning its third Whopper. Interims were ahead of our expectations and we were particularly encouraged by LFL Gross Profit growth of +18% in July. The group announced the merger with Dare.Win, an award-winning digital creative agency which extends the geographical presence of MediaMonks to France. BMW and MINI consolidated its Pan-European account into a team led by MediaMonks, which is the third whopper account for S4 Capital, and notable in our view for being won in a pitch, rather than by land & expand, and being an automotive rather than technology client. The group held a three day CMD and our summary would be i) Day One demonstrated the compelling strategic logic and strict financial discipline underpinning the group ii) Day Two illustrated the already formidable partner/client list of S4 Capital, including Adobe, Amazon, Google and CAA and iii) Day Three highlighted the chemistry between the individual agencies brought together to form S4 Capital and the outstanding work that they produce. To reflect BMW and Dare.Win we raise our FY21 EPS forecast by +8% to 10.8p (was 10.0p) and continue to view 15p as a realistic target with further whoppers in prospect and the balance of the recent equity raise to deploy. On a 30x multiple, we raise our target price to 450p (was 375p) and retain our Buy recommendation.
Companies: S4 Capital Plc
Frontier IP has announced it has invested £320k in a £720k convertible loan financing of Nandi Proteins. Nandi Proteins is developing functional proteins for food ingredients aimed at reducing levels of fat, additives and gluten in processed foods addressing important social, health and environmental concerns about processed food. Frontier IP holds a 20.1% equity stake in Nandi Proteins; the last disclosed value of the holding was back in July 2017 at approx. £2.9m. Connected in part to the announcement today, we have used the opportunity to refresh our cash flow forecasts to reflect the net £2.1m proceeds of the July 2020 fundraise, the planned deployment of proceeds into bridge financing and refreshed our Sum-of-the-Parts valuation analysis to reflect the excellent portfolio progress made in FY’20. We anticipate a 50% increase in the unrealised profit on the revaluation of investments in FY’20e to £5.82m (vs. £3.0m prior estimate; £3.85m in FY’19). Applying the peer group multiple of 1.6x on Yr1 Book value of late-stage assets and incorporating the £2.1m proceeds and dilution associated with the July placing, implies an intrinsic value of 82p/share, 27% above the current share.
Companies: Frontier IP Group Plc
We believe now is an interesting time to invest in Northgate, with a new executive board and a capable management team in place who have already delivered progress on an ongoing turnaround as we await a full strategic review. The group now has a clear and well communicated capital allocation strategy in place and improved earnings quality, in our view. We believe that the growth opportunity in the UK, the value of the Spanish business and the progress made to date with the turnaround are not being reflected in the share price, which is currently 15.9% below book value (414p per share in FY19A rising to 468p in FY22E). We use a variety of valuation methods including P/B, SOTP, DDM and DCF modelling and arrive at an average implied share price of 450p, 29.0% above the current share price.
Companies: Redde Northgate Plc
Following a solid H120, HgCapital Trust (HGT) announced several portfolio transactions representing a considerable uplift to the carrying value at end March 2020 and translating into a c 12.0% ytd NAV total return (TR) to end August. On completion of these deals, HGT’s cash resources will improve significantly to £314m from £123m in early July, while its unfunded commitments will decline to £814m. Consequently, HGT’s commitment coverage ratio will improve markedly to c 39% vs 13% in early July.
Companies: Hgcapital Trust
Artemis Alpha Trust (ATS LN) has undergone a radical transformation over the past two years following a comprehensive strategic review. In April 2018, the trust held around 90 stocks with approximately 25% of NAV held in unquoted positions. Following the implementation of the review, Kartik Kumar (who has been with Artemis since 2012) was appointed lead manager alongside John Dodd remaining in place with an overseeing role. Kartik has since significantly reduced the number of stocks to a much more concentrated high conviction portfolio of just 36 stocks, and has significantly reduced the unquoted exposure to only 7%. This shift in focus has at the same time improved portfolio liquidity by moving up the market capitalisation scale.
Companies: Artemis Alpha Trust
L&G reported an operating profit from continuing divisions (excluding Mature Savings and General Insurance businesses) of £1,128m, -2.2% yoy. The COVID-19-related cost was £129m. LGR posted a growing operating profit to £721m. Net profit amounted to £290m vs. £874m a year before, being affected by the reduced discount rate used to calculate LGI reserves. The Solvency II ratio stood at 173%. The Board recommended an interim dividend of 4.93p/share, stable relative to H1 19.
Companies: Legal & General Group Plc
Avation is a lessor of commercial aircraft to a diversified airline client base. In relation to the ongoing administration process of Virgin Australia, Avation has this morning announced that following the successful placing of five of the original thirteen aircraft that were on lease to the airline (two Fokker 100s plus three ATR 72-500s, with the latter having gone to two new customers), the remaining eight aircraft will be returned to Avation, being made up of three ATR 72-500s and five ATR 72-600s. Additionally, subject to approval at a creditors' meeting scheduled for 4 September 2020, the expected return to unsecured creditors is now anticipated at between 9-13% being paid prior to 30 June 2021.
Companies: Avation Plc
Deltic Energy is entering an exciting phase in its development based on its fully funded joint-venture projects with Shell. Preparations are now underway for an exploration well to test the Pensacola Zechstein prospect in the SNS (Southern North Sea). Deltic has indicated that it expects the current contingent well commitment to become firm on schedule by December 1, 2020. Drilling, according to Deltic, should follow in H2 2021. We see scope for positive news flow over the next few months, not least from the evaluation of Shell’s recently obtained processed 3-D seismic over Pensacola. Following Pensacola, the Selene prospect is scheduled to be drilled in mid-2022. The recent 32nd Round UKCS licence awards greatly expands Deltic’s exploration potential in the CNS and particularly the SNS Carboniferous fairway. Here some highly prospective acreage has been obtained.
Companies: Deltic Energy Plc
Belvoir’s H1 results evidence both strategic progress and profits growth. Given the challenges presented by COVID-19, this bodes very well for the group’s long-term growth potential. H1 adj. EPS grew +16%, the acquisition of Lovelle contributed well and in July the group entered into a strategic alliance with The Nottingham Building Society. Cash flow remained strong and the progressive dividend policy has been reinstated, with a 3.4p interim declared plus an additional 2p, as partial compensation for the missed 2019 final. With the resilience of lettings and the current record activity levels in sales and new mortgages the Board is optimistic that full-year results will hit its pre-COVID expectations and we make no changes to our PBT/EPS forecasts. Our target price of 233p (48% upside) assumes a 10% discount to the small/mid cap market. Given the above average performance in H1 and continued evidence that the long-term growth strategy is yielding value we see good upside to this target over time.
Companies: Belvoir Group Plc
S4 Capital has reported interim results that are ahead of our expectations and indicates an acceleration in the pace of recovery in Q3. LFL Gross Profit rose +12.2% in H1, with Q1 +18.8% and Q2 +6.5%. Encouragingly, after the trough of +3% in April, recovery accelerated to +5% in May, +11% in June and July was an impressive +18% ahead. PBT and EPS were both slightly better than our forecasts, while the group delivered a particularly impressive cash performance leaving it with net cash in June even before the £113m July placing. While we maintain our FY20 LFL Gross Profit growth forecast of +14% (Q3 +12%, Q4 +18%), the strong July result makes this look conservative. Further, the group awaits the outcome of two 'whopper' pitches each worth $20m+ with one due 'very shortly' and it can now see the pathway to 20 whoppers. S4 Capital is in a growth sweetspot and has already started to deploy the funds from the July placing to build capability in eCommerce (Orca Pacific) and econometrics/media optimisation (Brightblue). There are a number of moving parts in our forecasts and overall we retain our EPS estimates of 7p for this year, rising to 10p in 2021. We believe landing the whoppers combined with further M&A as the group deploys its recent equity raise & increased debt facility could see EPS of 15p next year.