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Results: FGP

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More challenges at FirstGroup - an abuse cover up?

You my recall that I sold my holding in the bus and rail company FirstGroup (FGP) about three months ago after it had announced that it was selling its US business at a decent - but not too exciting - price. It was certainly time to book a small profit and move on. A month or so later I was observing that a UK National Rail Contracts agreement may have also helped keep its day-to-day bus and rail business going, but its ability to make reasonable continuing profits over the next few years was pretty limited. Clearly that all continues as whilst it may be the so-called ‘Freedom Day’, life is a little bit different.


FirstGroup to sell its US business. Also time to sell its shares too?

Did you see the big deal involving FirstGroup (FGP) - the bus and rain operator - whose shares are back to a level last seen in early March 2020 following their sale of two North American bus businesses (First Student and First Transit) to Swedish-based private equity group EQT Infrastructure for £3.3 billion? That is kind of interesting given here, back in September last year, the key was observing that ‘it is remarkable what a load of subsidies and a bit of cost control can do’ in terms of a share price that has doubled since.  


FirstGroup: it is remarkable what a load of subsidies and a bit of cost control can do

Back in July I concluded about bus and train operator FirstGroup (FGP) that 'councils and governments appear supportive but shareholders always have to worry when a subsidy game is propping a company up materially'. Today's AGM trading update exhibits similar themes...but also slips in a surprise profit running ahead of expectations ('small adjusted operating profit for the seasonally weaker first half of the financial year') comment. Hello a near 10% share price rise (although not yet a return of the share price to levels seen throughout the second quarter). So what is going on?...


FirstGroup: your bus and train operator is still stopped at subsidy central

Rail and bus operator FirstGroup (FGP) may be surviving but it hardly is thriving. Personally, I have not been on a train for almost four months and - frankly - I cannot imagine jumping on one for at least another couple of months. Others will be more or less gung-ho but today's full year numbers nodded towards a similar theme. If you want to understand today's share price fall, then you have to start with 'travel volumes have reduced very substantially (still 75-90% in the UK rail and bus operations) and while guidance to limit travel and socially distance remains in place, this will have a significant impact on our service capacity and financial performance'...

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