Research, Charts & Company Announcements
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Research reports on
06 Dec 16
600 Group* (SIXH): Interim results: order book showing signs of improvement (CORP) | Real Good Food* (RGD): Commodity volatility impacts numbers (CORP) | Minds + Machines* (MMX): .vip goes live in China (CORP | Imaginatik* (IMTK): Interims (CORP) | iomart* (IOM): Quality business as usual (CORP) | Fulcrum (FCRM): Upgrades continue (BUY)
Joy of Techs
21 Nov 16
ICT evolution is driven by technological development as advances are made which both meet and shape customer requirements. Our 2011 note No such thing as a telco described the modern reality in that former ‘telcos’ now deliver varying elements of a range of managed services. We built on this theme last year, exploring in further detail their evolutionary paths, operating fundamentals, and cashflow yield similarities. In the consumer environment, demand for bundles of technology is complemented by demand for content. Across the pond, the mooted combination of AT&T and Time Warner typifies the bundled need of ‘pipe’ and content, since unbundled alternatives such as FaceTime and WhatsApp can be easier and clearer to chat over, and Amazon and Netflix are easier to watch anywhere. In the UK, BT’s defensive actions cover delivery, content and capabilities, acquiring EE yet also buying football rights. While TV was long ago added to triple play to become quad play, voice is now merely an app, and fixed and mobile seen as just dumb pipes: it's the content that will influence consumer choices. Growth of TV and film as well as music and gaming over IP leads to UK small cap opportunities. In context of the drive to maximise value from pipes and access by offering content and data, we look at some amongst the potential tech small cap beneficiaries: Amino*, Keyword Studios, ZOO Digital*, 7digital*, KCOM* and CityFibre*.
Zwillenberg moves his first chess piece
09 Dec 16
New CEO Paul Zwillenberg has followed up swiftly on the strategy update of a week ago with his opening move: cutting DMGT’s stake in Euromoney from 67% to 49% via a placing and buyback by Euromoney. Chess players might see this as something of a queen’s gambit, sacrificing something upfront (EPS dilution of c7%, c2% reduction to SOTP, significant reduction in reported FCF) in exchange for increased future financial flexibility (both for DMGT and Euromoney). We see this as a sound move strategically. Even so, we move back from Buy to Hold, reflecting the recent rally in the shares, a valuation no longer obviously cheap relative to peers (just under 15x calendar 17E EPS following this deal), plus lower confidence on long term growth prospects for the portfolio. Near term we see better value in a DMGT “synthetic” (one third each INF/ASCL/ITV) offering similar macro-exposures at a lower multiple (under 13x EPS).
Conviction List Q4 2016
05 Oct 16
Since its inception in 2010, the Conviction List has outperformed the market in 13 of 18 periods and a reinvested Conviction List would have returned 255% against a Small Companies index that would have returned 130%. Our Conviction List returned 3.7% over the last quarter; this was set against the benchmark UK Small Companies index that returned 11.3% over the same period. Our Q4 portfolio reflects our outlook for a temporary sweet spot for UK growth during the second half of 2016. The downside risk from the uncertainty of the EU Referendum result has been countered by stimulus from the Bank of England, signs of a looser fiscal stance and an 18% YoY reduction in the Sterling Exchange Rate. Compressed corporate fixed income spreads continue to provide a valuation underpin for global equities.
Leveraging brands and data
24 Nov 16
Future is building and widening its revenue streams based on strong global brands and on a scalable delivery platform. Growth of revenues in categories such as eCommerce, events and digital advertising resulted in broadly maintained group FY16 revenues, while the margin has started to build, helped by operating leverage. The Imagine purchase, post year-end, brings further scale and efficiency. The lengthening record of delivery against expectations and the premium projected earnings growth are making the multiple increasingly attractive.
The return of the goodwill IPO: How to value a brand?
21 Jun 16
I wake up in my DFS (DFS) bed with a Gin and Fevertree (FEVR) hangover, place a trade on my phone through CMC Markets (CMCX), have a quick go on my Hornby (HRN) train set, eat half a box of Hotel Chocolat (HOTC), all before heading out in my brand spanking new Joules (JOUL) wellies to my local Metro Bank (MTRO) branch. All of these well-known consumer brands share a common theme in that they are all listed or quoted on the London Stock Exchange. It’s been a year so far reminiscent of 2014 when we saw a flurry of large brands rush for the IPO door such as Pets at Home (PETS), Saga (SAGA), AA (AA) and Poundland (PLND). Most looking for a private equity exit. The IPO adventure of these companies tends to be fairly boiler plate: the valuation is a battleground between the exiting private equity house and incoming institutional investors, the book is many times covered and the scale backs are eye watering. But what makes these companies more alluring to investors than a company nobody has ever heard of which in fact may be profitable, dividend paying and ultimately, on a lower valuation?