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Consensus eps falling…falling…falling…rising 2.0
29 Apr 16
In January we screened for companies with estimates that had been declining consistently since a year previously, but which had risen in the immediately preceding three months (see our note dated 22 January 2016). We have reviewed the performance of those companies and, given the overall strength of this selection, we have re-run the screen. In the c.3 months since selection, the unweighted average rise was c.34% against a c.11% rise in the main All-Share index. From the same universe as before (some 900 companies) we find 38 companies selected by the screen. We note a number of stocks in the list where we have a supportive stance including: Devro (DVO LN, Buy), James Fisher (FSJ LN, Corporate), Mattioli Woods (MTW LN, Buy) and Spirent Communications (SPT LN, Buy).
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.
Panmure Morning Note 17-10-2016
17 Oct 16
No change to underlying profit guidance from Pearson, with a tough underlying trading picture (particularly for North American courseware) offset by extra cost mitigations. We see something for both bulls and bears in this update. For bulls, maintained underlying guidance, forecast rises due to FX, and a 6.2% dividend yield which looks increasingly well covered. For bears, top line trading which remains significantly worse than guidance, with destocking by US retailers cited on top of existing other cyclical/regulatory/structural issues. Overall, the shares may struggle to push much higher in the near term, in our view, following a decent rally into this update.
Margin recovery in FY17 could drive strong re-rating
04 Oct 16
Full year results confirm a significant margin hit in FY16 from expansion into new verticals, and from investment in the core paid search cable affiliate market. Revenue growth of 19% was in line with July’s update, but EBITDA fell even more than indicated in July ($2.5m rather than $3.1m, impacted by a $0.8m revenue reversal). Going forwards, DGS remains confident that the investments made in FY16 should drive good revenue growth and a recovery in margins back towards historic levels (mid-teens). We trim our forward estimates, but continue to forecast strong recovery in EBITDA going forwards. DGS remains cash generative, soundly financed (net debt $0.2m) and continues to pay a decent dividend (4% trailing yield). Valuation is very low even on these reduced estimates (6x EPS, 3.6x EBITDA, 13% FCF yield, 0.3x revenues). This reflects the volatile profits record, but suggests strong re-rating potential if management can deliver on a sustainable recovery in margins.
AIMing for income
30 Jun 16
So what is the profile of a typical AIM quoted company? The market’s detractors may argue that London’s junior market is peppered with cash consuming companies that are not sufficiently advanced in their route to profitability nor corporate governance regimes to justify their listing. Supporters of the London Stock Exchange’s growth market would say that the Alternative Investment Market is the world’s most successful market for growing companies rewarding investors prepared to brave the risks of earlier stage funding, and driving innovation and job creation. Neither view suggests that AIM would be a fertile hunting ground for income generating stocks. However a glance at the FTSE AIM All Share constituents (Source: Fidessa) suggests that over 250 of its members or circa a quarter of the market’s members pay dividends.