NCYF offers investors access to a relatively niche sub-sector of the high yield bond market – notably that where yields typically exceed 7%. Taking advantage of the closed-ended structure, Ian Francis has managed the portfolio in a prudent and patient manner for over a decade, focusing on stock selection and portfolio management in delivering a high dividend yield to investors (currently c. 9.0%) via quarterly payments. Dividends were 1.03x covered by underlying portfolio income in the 12 months to 30 June 2020, and further supported by revenue reserves of 4.15p (c. 93% of the FY20 dividend) should portfolio income falter in the future. The dividend has grown for each of the last 12 years, and despite the recovery in markets following the Covid-19 pandemic, the manager remains optimistic on further drivers of a recovery in NAV, over and above the high level of dividend income. The shares currently trade on a premium of c. 3.4% and we note this is at the lower end of the premium range for recent years.
Companies: CQS New City High Yield Fund
It was a remarkable second quarter with global markets staging the sort of comeback few would have thought plausible, at the end of March. With some countries still battling the first wave of infection and others seemingly headed to a second, not to mention what happens when governments start to remove direct stimulus measures, uncertainty still abounds.
Companies: NCYF EGL NAIT NAIT THRG GCP IGC HHI JLEN PCT VNH ASLI IBT HRI CSH SIGT
At the height of the market turmoil in March, CQS New City High Yield (NCYF) saw its share price fall faster and further than its NAV (to 27p), before rapidly recovering. The market has been concerned about the ability of the issuers of the bonds held by NCYF to meet their obligations in the face of the covid19 pandemic. However, with one small exception, all of NCYF holdings have met their obligations in full (no missed interest payments and no failures to repay loans when they fall due).
At the height of the market turmoil, CQS New City High Yield (NCYF) saw its share price fall faster and further than its NAV (to 27p), before rapidly recovering. The market has been concerned about the ability of the issuers of the bonds held by NCYF to meet their obligations in the face of the pandemic. However, with one small exception, all of NCYF holdings have met their obligations in full (no missed coupons and defaults).
Ian “Franco” Francis, the manager of CQS New City High Yield (NCYF), says that, since we last published nothing much has changed, which is what we think you should expect from this “conservative and boring” fund.
Ian “Franco” Francis, the manager of CQS New City High Yield (NCYF), says that, since QuotedData last published nothing much has changed, which is what we think investors should expect from this “conservative and boring” fund (see QuotedData’s March 2018 initiation note for explanation).
Ian “Franco” Francis, the manager of CQS New City High Yield (NCYF), says that although markets seem buoyant, investors should be warier. He sums up his feelings with a quote from his former boss who cautioned him by saying “Escalators do not go to the sky”. This is not to say that the market is devoid of opportunities (for example, he sees these in financials and discount consumer retail), but investors must be selective and position themselves appropriately.
Ian “Franco” Francis, the manager of CQS New City High Yield (NCYF), says that although markets seem buoyant, investors should be warier than they are. He sums this up with a quote from his former boss, who cautioned him by saying “Escalators do not go to the sky”. This is not to say that there aren’t any opportunities in the market (for example, currently he sees these in the financials and discount consumer retail sectors), but investors must be selective and position themselves appropriately.
In the words of its manager, Ian Francis, CQS New City High Yield Fund (NCYF) is really conservative and boring! However, we think Ian’s description undersells the fund. NCYF offers a compelling yield and has beaten the consumer price index, Libor and the MSCI UK Index by significant margins over the last 10 years; all the while providing low volatility returns. Furthermore, its premiumrating(anaverage of 5.5% during the last year) and its ongoing share issuance (5.3% during the last year) suggest that it is delivering what investors want.
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Litigation Capital Management (LCM) is an alternative asset manager specialising in disputes financing, with its main operations in Australia and the UK. The company provides funding for litigation in exchange for a share of any settlement and has built a strong track record of supporting winning c
Companies: Litigation Capital Management Ltd
Mondelez International has announced that it has appointed MediaMonks to manage global technology infrastructure, global websites and content production for North America, Latin America and AMEA. We believe this account win by S4 Capital further vindicates the unitary structure and integrated offer of the group as Mondelez initially worked with MightyHive before broadening the scope of this relationship to encompass MediaMonks. S4 Capital describes the account as a Whopper, indicating that it will generate revenues of over $20m when the account is fully transitioned. We will update our forecasts for the account win at the next financial newsflow from the group. We currently forecast LFL Gross Profit growth of +26% for FY21 and believe the Mondelez win will further accelerate this. We raise our target price to 500p (was 475p) and retain our Buy recommendation.
Companies: S4 Capital plc
Liontrust has delivered in line interims, however AuM growth since the HY point drives higher earnings estimates. In H1, net inflows remained strong despite the backdrop and, alongside performance, contributed to 28% AuM growth. Post-period, performance momentum has boosted AuM by a further 5% to £28.1bn, plus the completion of Architas. Together, this results in a step up in the run rate. We update our forecasts for higher than expected AuM driving a +5% upgrade to FY21e EPS and +10-13% in outer years. We do not forecast scaling in Architas or Global which could prompt further upgrades, reducing the 15x FY22e PER.
Companies: Liontrust Asset Management PLC
Today's news & views, plus announcements from Capita, JD Wetherspoon, HarbourVest Global Private Equity, Walker Crips Group, Randall & Quilter*, Michelmersh Brick, LoopUp, Schroders British Opportunities Trust and Baillie Gifford UK Growth Trust.
Companies: Randall & Quilter Investment Holdings Ltd.
An in-line trading update for the year to 31 December 2020 states EBITDA will be at least £3.6m and £2.0 at the PBT level. However, conservative budgeting affects 2021E and 2022E with the company rebasing expectations following year-end re-forecasting exercise, taking into account the prolonged challenging macroeconomic environment. The acquisitive opportunity remains in place.
Companies: STM Group PLC
Today's news & views, plus announcements from LLOY, POG, FRAS, PETS, SPR, WHI, FKE, RLE
Companies: Lloyds Banking Group plc (LLOY:LON)Real Estate Investors plc (RLE:LON)
Record has set itself the goal of generating greater growth and H121 showed some encouraging steps in this direction. The substantial new dynamic hedging mandate in the period was traditional business for the group, but there was also news of a new currency impact fund, which provides diversification, higher fee margins and the potential for significant development. The implementation of new IT systems is underway, and measures to develop and retain staff have been taken.
Companies: Record plc
H1 has seen a clearer outlook for portfolio valuations which has allowed Mercia to recoup some of the reduction at the Finals. Cash earnings are better than expected as costs have remained lower for longer. A well-funded portfolio and £25m cash has prompted declaration of a maiden 0.1p interim dividend – a strong signal of confidence. Lower costs and increased asset values have prompted 30-45% upgrades to adj. EBITDA across the horizon. The shares are trading at a 32% discount to NAV, of which 17% is cash. This disregards all value for the asset management platform. A 10x EBITDA multiple ascribed to 3rd party asset management earnings plus NAV points to a c.40p/share intrinsic value, before further value creation.
Companies: Mercia Asset Management PLC
President Trump likes to project himself as a highly successful businessman, but surprisingly little is known about his true financial position. Various articles, including a 2016 in-depth analysis by The Wall Street Journal, have speculated about his income and asset base. All sorts of claims and counter-claims have been made about his wealth – by Trump himself, pitching his fortune at some $9bn, and by journalist Timothy O'Brien, suggesting that it is as “low” as $150m-$250m. It is doubtful whether we shall ever know the truth, but we can use Trump’s UK corporate filings to gain an insight into his businesses in Scotland.
Companies: AVO ARBB ARIX CLIG DNL FLTA ICGT PCA PIN PHP RECI STX SCE TRX SHED VTA YEW
To achieve YoY revenue growth over H1/20A despite the challenges of Covid-19 and its impact on the travel sector is testament to Equals' resilience and increasing focus on B2B and International payments services. While weaker gross profit and EBITDA margins have impacted profitability in H1/20, we see potential for an earnings recovery in H2/20 given cost reduction measures currently being undertaken. This should lead Equals to cash breakeven in Q4/20 and FCF positive by early FY21.
Companies: Equals Group Plc
Palace Capital’s (PCA) H121 performance was robust and ahead of our central expectations. We have slightly increased FY21 earnings forecasts and introduced FY22–23 estimates, with growth driven by Hudson Quarter completion, on track for March 2021. Significant additional reversionary potential and development/refurbishment represent significant value creation potential.
Companies: Palace Capital plc
Today's trading update demonstrates Equals producing robust FY20E revenues, as it rebounds steadily from a COVID-19 affected Q2/20. Material progress has been made on rightsizing costs, the benefits of which should be felt in FY21E. While our newly reissued forecasts expect a weaker profit delivery in H2/20E, we expect strong YoY EBITDA growth thereafter, as the group returns to double-digit revenue growth with a rationalised cost base and geared profit growth. Should these forecasts be met, we expect the current c2x EV/Sales multiple to move back towards Jan 20's pre-covid 4x multiple, hence we move back to “Buy”.
1H’21 results cover the depths of the initial market impact of COVID-19. We note the 4.7% fall in EPRA NTA and the effect of the dividend rebasing announced some months prior. There are no negative surprises. The focus on regional offices is a positive. There are other positives that we consider to be important, namely the ongoing contractual performance of the leisure asset tenants and lengthening of leases there, and the continuing encouraging residential sales (and small letting) at the mixed-use development of PCA’s newly created Hudson Quarter, York. Here, we see just one of PCA’s initiatives to unlock value and deliver attractive returns.
Today's news & views, plus announcements from KGF, MRO, UU, BAB, BRW, FUTR, GNS, HICL, LIO, AEXG, FUL, KWS
Companies: AEX GNS HICL
Alliance Trust (ATST) underwent a major overhaul three and a half years ago, refocusing on its global equity portfolio. Non-core parts of the company have been sold and overheads slashed. Today, the trust’s assets are managed by nine of the world’s best stock pickers. Investing sustainably is a strong theme within the fund, but the manager, Willis Towers Watson, seeks to blend managers with different styles so that the trust is not beholden to any particular fashion in markets.
Companies: Alliance Trust