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The issue of a substantial number of new shares, even if overwhelmingly to existing shareholders, is often accompanied by a decline in share price as it alters the supply/demand balance. However, the issue of 2 million shares by WHIreland (“WHI”) was immediately followed by a sharp rise in the share price to a 5-year high followed by a modest decline to just below the previous high. We do not know the reason for the moves, but continue to think that the shares are undervalued. Therefore, it seems an appropriate time to update our research and add a forecast to our “sum of parts” valuation.
Companies: WH Ireland Group plc
The true performance of WHIreland (“WHI”) is obscured by a raft of exceptional costs, some of which have been quantified and some of which, particularly double-running costs during the changeover of their back office systems, are just included under “administrative expenses”. So we consider the £0.4m operating profit before exceptionals to be very conservative.
WHIreland has reported a dramatic improvement in first half profits with a turn-round from pre-tax losses of £1.52m to profits of £360k thanks to a 24% rise in revenue to £14.9m and a major reduction in one-off charges.
After a long run of disappointing news, it is a pleasant relief to see some encouraging statements from stockbrokers. Charles Stanley’s swing back into profit for 2016/7 followed a significant improvement in Brewin Dolphin’s interim profits and the almost predictable report that Rathbones had continued to outperform the market in their first quarter.
Companies: CAY BRW WHI RQIH
A strengthened balance sheet and the growth in funds managed for clients are the foundations for a recovery in WHI’s fortunes after a traumatic period for Small Cap stockbrokers.
With the FTSE100 running into early January with a record breaking 14 consecutive “Up” days, and, at the same time, 12 successive new “All Time Highs”, 2017 has started on a promising note. News from a variety of Mid & Small Cap financials in the first half of January would appear to confirm the more positive sentiment.
Companies: WHI IPX HAT RQIH RAT PMI
AIM-listed firm saw sharp decline in transactions in H1 but pipeline has since rebounded
Asia Pacific Investment Partner - The research-driven emerging and frontier markets real estate development business intends to float on AIM and conduct a placing in December
RM Secured Direct Lending - The secured direct lending fund intends to float on the Main Market on 15 December raising up to £100m
Diversified Oil & Gas - Schedule One now out. $60m to be raised. Expected admission 6 December.
Creo Medical Group - UK based medical device company focused on surgical endoscopy, a recent development in minimally invasive surgery. Admission due 7 December. Fundraising details TBA.
Companies: SHEP BREE JOG WHI SCHO RLD BZT CSSG REDX
W.H. Ireland (“WHI”) has gained a new and powerful strategic investor in Kuwaiti European Holdings (“KEH”), the vehicle of the highly respected Al–
Humaidi family, which has purchased 23% of the shares at 140p per share, a 39% premium to Friday’s closing price.
Research Tree provides access to ongoing research coverage, media content and regulatory news on WH Ireland Group plc.
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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 $2.3m framework agreement with an existing Tier 1 global customer is further validation of Clareti’s competitive advantage, of its ability to land and expand and, logically, is the augury of incremental revenues ahead. Gresham continues to gain market share in the critical Tier 1 space and we expect this to show in a resumption of revenue growth next year. Trading on forward Clareti recurring revenues of c. 4.1x, we see significant upside.
Companies: Gresham House
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
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
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated trends in online retailing, to the benefit of the European logistics market, in which Tritax EuroBox (EBOX) is a leading player. Demand for logistics space is growing exponentially, while supply of existing and new stock is depleted. This dynamic is even more acute in prime locations close to heavily populated conurbations and prolonged rental growth is forecast. EBOX has amassed a portfolio of big box facilities located in major logistics hotspots across Europe. Numerous value-add opportunities also exist within the portfolio, including development and asset management projects. One of the key differentiators of EBOX to its peers is its exclusive ties with established logistics developers. Through the relationships, EBOX has access to and first right of refusal over a pipeline of development assets worth €2bn.
Companies: Tritax EuroBox Plc
Avation is a lessor of 46 commercial aircraft to a diversified airline client base. This morning, the group has released results for the 12-months to 30 June 2020, which illustrate the challenges faced by its customer base as a result of Covid-19, as well as the corrective actions taken by the Board that have resulted in profitability being maintained in the year as a whole. Loan repayment deferrals of c.$24.4m were obtained in the period, in comparison to $13.1m short-term rent deferrals being granted to airline customers and thus emphasising management's focus on liquidity during an unprecedented period for global airlines. Avation again reports that it is currently reviewing alternatives in relation to the 6.5% senior notes due in May 2021. Whilst at this point our forecasts remain under review, and near term challenges remain across the industry, we believe that demand for aircraft from lessors such as Avation will increase in time as a result of airlines being even more reliant upon aircraft leasing firms due to the retirement of older aircraft during 2020 in combination with much weaker balance sheets that are unable to support direct aircraft purchases.
Companies: Avation PLC
Today's news & views, plus announcements from KGF, MRO, UU, BAB, BRW, FUTR, GNS, HICL, LIO, AEXG, FUL, KWS
Companies: AEX GNS HICL
BlackRock Greater Europe Investment Trust (BRGE) has passed an important test, with its investment philosophy and process continuing to deliver despite an unprecedented shock to markets and economic growth. Co-managers Stefan Gries (developed Europe) and Sam Vecht (emerging Europe) remain constructive on the outlook for Europe in 2021; they believe the region is dealing with the coronavirus outbreak better than some other areas and there has been an enormous fiscal and monetary response to the crisis. Although timelines have been pushed out, the managers are confident that a new economic cycle is underway in Europe, a region that is very geared into the health of the global economy. They believe that if the risk premium declines, Europe will become a more investible market, and in the meantime, they are still finding attractive, high-growth companies that are creating long-term value for shareholders.
Companies: Blackrock Greater Euro Inv Tst
Standard Life UK Smaller Companies (SLS) manager Harry Nimmo is very bullish on the outlook for UK small-cap stocks, with the proviso that Brexit presents a near-term risk. He notes that despite current challenges due to the coronavirus, many companies are trading above expectations and there are now only a handful of SLS’s portfolio companies that are not paying dividends. The manager is comfortable with the trust’s ability to maintain its own dividend payments and is hopeful its valuation will improve given its very strong performance record. SLS’s NAV has outperformed its benchmark over the last one, three, five and 10 years; however, Nimmo cautions that given the trust’s focus on quality businesses, if there is a cyclical recovery in the UK market with a ‘dash for trash’, SLS is likely to underperform during this period.
Companies: Standard Life UK Small Co's Tst
Aberdeen Asian Income Fund (AAIF) has recovered well from the widespread market sell-off driven by the coronavirus pandemic, although its focus on quality stocks with attractive dividends has held back returns relative to the broad Asian index, which is increasingly dominated by non-yielding Chinese internet companies. Portfolio manager Yoojeong Oh says the team has ridden the technology wave differently, with exposure to semiconductor companies that are supporting the cloud-based boom in working from home, as well as e-commerce stocks in high-yielding markets like Taiwan, and firms that benefit from green stimulus in Europe. While gearing (currently c 8%) was a drag in the March market falls, keeping it steady has helped boost returns in the recovery, and the fund is on track to deliver a 13th consecutive year of dividend growth, partly supported by reserves it has built up over the past decade.
Companies: Aberdeen Asian Income Fund
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.
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
Today's news & views, plus announcements from AV, BVIC, PZC, RQIH, PMI, MUL, AEXG, INCE
Companies: AEX RQIH INCE