The Biotech Growth Trust (BIOG) is managed by Geoff Hsu and Richard Klemm at OrbiMed Capital. They remain optimistic about the prospects for the sector in 2020 due to high levels of innovation and a relaxed regulatory environment, while a continuation in merger and acquisition (M&A) activity would also likely provide further support for biotech shares. The managers are very encouraged by the trust’s much-improved investment performance in recent months, noting they are being rewarded by the market for their in-depth fundamental research and portfolio positioning in favour of emerging rather than large-cap biotech stocks. BIOG’s NAV has now outperformed the NASDAQ Biotechnology index benchmark over the last one, three, five and 10 years.
Companies: The Biotech Growth Trust
There was palpable shift in sentiment over the third quarter with the cautionary undertone perhaps best reflected by gold’s resurgence. Ongoing trade jockeying between the US and China did not help the mood and neither did the Argentine debt default in August. At the real economy level, manufacturing output has been trending lower across some of the major global economies.
Companies: AEMC BIOG SIGT IBT JEFI MHN MERI MTE PSHD RSE SIR FJV LTI MVI SEQI SOND SLI EGL SUPP VNH CSH VSL BRLA UTL ADAM SOHO GPM TPOU LEAF JRS JLEN SEC IGC MPO LIV INTU THRL
The Biotech Growth Trust (BIOG) is managed by Geoff Hsu and Richard Klemm of OrbiMed Capital and aims to generate long-term capital growth from a diversified portfolio of global biotech equities. Investment performance has improved markedly in 2019, following a tough few years, and the managers retain their record of long-term outperformance versus the NASDAQ Biotechnology index. They remain very optimistic on the prospects for the global biotech sector, citing a favourable regulatory environment, a ‘golden era of innovation’ and an uptick in merger and acquisition activity, and believe that political noise in the run-up to the 2020 US presidential election will be manageable for the industry.
The Biotech Growth Trust (BIOG) is managed by Geoff Hsu and Richard Klemm at OrbiMed Capital, one of the leading global healthcare asset managers. The year 2018 proved to be tough for the trust’s performance as biotech companies delivering negative news were heavily penalised, while those delivering good news went unrewarded. However, the managers are optimistic about BIOG’s prospects. They cite a rich industry innovation pipeline that includes a series of technologies with multi-billion-dollar revenue potential; a favourable regulatory environment; and a higher level of deal activity, including major pharma company Bristol-Myers Squibb’s recent bid for Celgene (one of BIOG’s largest holdings) at a significant premium to its pre-bid share price.
The Biotech Growth Trust (BIOG) is managed by Geoff Hsu and Richard Klemm of OrbiMed Capital. They aim to generate long-term capital growth from a diversified portfolio of global biotech equities. The managers are very optimistic on the industry outlook, citing a more benign political environment, a high level of innovation, a favourable regulatory regime, and reasonable valuations. In addition, following US tax reform, they expect an acceleration in merger and acquisition activity, which has historically been an important driver of share prices within the biotech sector. The managers acknowledge that BIOG’s performance in the last three financial years has been disappointing and they are looking to build on the trust’s long-term record of outperformance versus the benchmark NASDAQ Biotechnology index.
The Biotech Growth Trust (BIOG) aims to generate long-term capital growth from a concentrated portfolio of global biotech companies. It is jointly managed by Richard Klemm and Geoff Hsu of OrbiMed Capital, who are positive on the outlook for the biotech industry due to a favourable regulatory backdrop, continued industry innovation, an anticipated uptick in M&A activity and reasonable company valuations. The trust is benchmarked against the NASDAQ Biotech index, which it has outperformed in NAV total return terms over 10 years, while trailing over shorter periods. Recent investment performance has been affected by negative newsflow from one of BIOG’s top 10 holdings, Celgene, in October 2017.
The Biotech Growth Trust (BIOG) was launched in 1997, aiming to generate long-term capital growth from a global portfolio of biotech stocks. Since 2005, the trust has been managed by OrbiMed Capital, the largest global specialist healthcare investor; over this period, BIOG has significantly outperformed its benchmark NASDAQ Biotech Index (sterling adjusted), despite less compelling short-term performance. The trust’s managers are bullish on the outlook for the biotech industry due to continued innovation, and suggest that investor concerns about drug price controls are overdone and have led to attractive biotech company valuations, especially for the larger-cap stocks. They believe that greater clarity surrounding US tax policy, including the potential repatriation of overseas cash, could lead to more industry mergers and acquisitions (M&A), which should be an important driver for the sector and could lead to a positive revaluation of the industry.
The Biotech Growth Trust (BIOG) is a specialist vehicle, aiming to generate long-term capital growth via investment in global biotech stocks. Following a particularly volatile period for the biotech industry, where concerns about drug pricing and investor risk aversion have weighed heavily on stock prices, the managers are hopeful that greater clarity regarding US healthcare policy will lead to continued improved performance of biotech stocks. Industry fundamentals remain attractive, including continued innovation and valuations are very supportive, which offers the potential for higher industry merger and acquisition activity.
The Biotech Growth Trust (BIOG) invests worldwide in the innovative area of biotechnology, with the aim of achieving capital growth. Biotech has been one of the strongest-performing market sectors in recent years, but controversy over drug pricing in the US caused a sell-off in September, denting returns over shorter periods. BIOG’s managers argue that truly innovative and effective new treatments will continue to have strong pricing power. The trust’s investment approach is catalyst-driven, with specialist managers and analysts assessing the likelihood of clinical success and positioning the portfolio accordingly. This strategy has worked well in the long term but a small number of company-specific events has affected recent performance, and BIOG’s discount is currently towards the wider end of historical ranges, with potential for rerating.
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Trading in the royalty partner portfolio over Q1/21 shows a material rebound from May, which has been sustained to date, as the portfolio as a whole returns to more normalised trading. Consequently, Duke's cash receipts, while down 20% YoY currently, are set to step up in H2/21 as forbearance measures largely expire and deferred royalties realised. This bodes well for a rebound in earnings and a return to cash paid dividends. A share price down over 55% since Feb 20, standing at p/book of 0.56x H1/20A's NAV p/s thus appears overdone. We await further clarity on the portfolio before reissuing forecasts, thus leave our recommendation U/R.
Companies: Duke Royalty
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.
What’s new: Purplebricks Group results for the year to 30 April 2020, show the Australian and US units as discontinued; but include the Canadian unit sold for C$60.5m (i.e. £35m) in July. Investors will focus on the UK unit which revealed:
11% fall in UK revenue to £80.5m (FY19: £90.1m), as the number of instructions fell 23% (impacted by early Covid uncertainty and lockdown), but the average revenue per instruction “ARPI” rose 12% to £1,394;
UK gross profit margin improved to 64.1% (FY19: 63.0%);
UK marketing costs to revenue improved to 25.6% (FY19: 29.6%);
Spend on Digital capacity pushed UK operating costs 32% to £26.2m (FY19: £19.9m), as new management team pursued initiatives which are being “delivered at pace with significant opportunity for further innovation.”
UK adjusted EBITDA fell 53% to £4.8m (FY19: £10.2m).
Companies: Purplebricks Group Plc
For this Monthly, we are delighted that Rooney Nimmo and 24Haymarket have allowed us to reproduce a recent report they jointly published, entitled An analysis of UK exits (2015-2019), which provides a granular analysis by sector of the activity in our dynamic private companies world. We hope you find the insights of interest.
Companies: AVO AGY ARBB ARIX CLIG ICGT NSF PCA PIN PXC PHP RECI SCE TRX SHED VTA
H1 20 operating profit declined by 12% to £1,225m and the COVID-19 claims impact was £165m. Cash remittances from business units to the group was only £150m. The insurer said that it will focus on the UK, Ireland and Canada, which means an exit from other European and Asian markets. The Board has declared a second interim dividend in respect of the 2019 financial year of 6p/share and will inform shareholders about the 2019 final dividend in Q4 20.
Companies: Aviva Plc
Since the restrictions were lifted in mid-May, Belvoir has seen a surge in activity due to pent-up demand, resulting in June being a record breaking month for the group’s Newton Fallowell estate agency network in terms of instructions and sales and the financial Services division in terms of written income. Management have stated that with the positive impact of the stamp duty reductions still to take effect they are confident that the Group is well positioned to capitalise on the current market upturn and to take advantage of the opportunities arising from more challenging conditions. We have upgraded our PBT forecasts for FY 2020 to the level we forecast pre-COVID. We have also upgraded our target price from 169p to 233p and highlight that H1 2020 has demonstrated the resilience of the group, management’s ability to navigate difficult market conditions and the power of the franchise-led strategy.
Companies: Belvoir Group Plc
Vacancy strongly increased in Q2 20. LTV surpassed the 50% mark on 30 June 2020 due to strong value destruction in H1 20. Hammerson announced a £550m cash capital increase coupled with a disposal of £270m. Its ex-post pro forma net debt should be £2.2bn, i.e. LTV of 42% on a proportionate basis. Too high?
Companies: Hammerson 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
Today's update highlights that despite the Covid-19 outbreak and UK/IRE lockdown, which has affected trading, Duke has continued to collect cash royalties from most of its royalty partners. Short-term alternative payment terms have been agreed with those partners hardest hit, to support them to periods where royalties can be fully recouped. Therefore the 61% fall in p/b from 1.3 (at 20 Feb) to 0.5 today, appears overdone.
The group’s earnings surprise was driven by goodwill impairments. On the negative side, management upgraded, albeit slightly, its full-year loan impairments guidance and warns about revenue and CET1 pressure. It also reckoned that the tensions between the US and China will impact the group.
Companies: HSBC Holdings Plc
The Law Debenture Corporation (LWDB) has reported another strong set of results for its independent professional services (IPS) business in H120, with EPS growth remaining in the target mid- to high single-digit range despite a more challenging economic backdrop. With the trust’s largely UK investment portfolio having been hit by the widespread stock market sell-off in February and March, IPS has provided a larger than average contribution to revenue returns. This means fund managers James Henderson and Laura Foll can continue to search for attractive total return opportunities in a broad range of sectors, while maintaining LWDB’s focus on both capital appreciation and above-inflation dividend growth.
Companies: Law Debenture Corporation
As expected, the quarter saw a sharp increase in loan impairments. However, one can wonder if the increase was not capped by the group’s willingness to keep its results afloat. Management’s downbeat guidance in terms of revenue recovery potential and cost reduction does not bode well as regards the group’s future credit loss absorption capacity.
Companies: Lloyds Banking Group Plc
Despite challenging market conditions, Picton’s Q121 DPS was well-covered by EPRA earnings and robust portfolio capital values. Combined with low gearing, NAV per share was just 1.3% lower versus Q420 and including DPS paid, the NAV total return was -0.6%. With encouraging rent collection data continuing and the lockdown easing, we have reinstated our estimates and look for the quarterly DPS run-rate to increase in H221.
Companies: Picton Property Income Ltd.
The scaling of Duke's royalty portfolio was progressing as expected up to March 2020, with record cash receipts that month. Due to Covid-19 and the UK's economic shutdown, macro conditions have worsened and become highly uncertain. This is likely to see some royalty partners' future cash royalties decline, which in turn, will negatively impact FV's in the FY20E results. Duke's high margin and cash generative nature ensures it is well placed to trade through these challenges. Given the degree of uncertainty in outlook, we remove forecasts and put our recommendation Under Review and await further clarity on the portfolio.
Raven’s positive trading update was reassuringly robust, despite ongoing uncertainty regarding the long-term impact of Covid-19 on the Russian market. We believe that kind of performance deserves attention, although we plan to reinstate detailed forecasts post (a) the General Meeting scheduled for 31 July, which will decide upon proposals designed to create a simplified capital structure (outlined below) and (b) the interim results due in August.
Companies: Raven Property Group Ltd.