Sunday Long Reads: Modern Art Scandal, Sewers of Hong Kong, Knife Crime, Everest Horror, Secret War with Russia
Notes from Underground: The most-read stories of the week, and what shares do you think we should be covering?
Looking back a couple of months to my appearance on Tom's radio show many of the views I expressed there have aged pretty well. Long/buy calls such as Barrick Gold (GOLD in the US) and easyJet (EZJ) have performed appropriately whilst dogs such as Metro Bank (MTRO) and Dignity (DTY) keep woofing. I remain amazed that shares in bad boy St James's Place (STJ) have so far shrugged off a bunch of disaster stories about its overcharging culture...you can guess my continued negative thoughts on that one. However, one share which I mentioned and has not behaved as I would have hoped in the last couple of months is Imperial Brands (IMB)...
I found it interesting that the comment that was written to my article about the challenges of high headline dividend yields asked about my views on Imperial Brands (IMB). I took the view that for the tobacco giant it actually was more of an opportunity than a threat because I could not see the scope for the dividend to be cut because of what I perceive as the strengths of its cash flows. And actually this is how it seems to be working out...
I have been a supporter of the shares of Imperial Brands (IMB) for a while now, including noting back in September last year that 'the shares should be in the £30s at the very least. I remain a non-user of their products...but a buyer of their shares'. Well that might be my aspiration...but reality has been somewhat shabby with the shares currently revisiting the sub 23 quid level for the second time in six months. So what is going on?
I see there are various reports circulating that Mark Williamson - the chairman of Imperial Brands (IMB) - is set to fall on his sword soon, having been hassled by institutional investors over perceived "overboarding", given he is also the chair of Spectris (SXS) and on the board of National Grid (NG/).
Time for another write-up on Imperial Brands (IMB)...and no doubt time for a bunch of criticism in the comments about how this is an uninvestable sector. Well I do not smoke, would not want my children to smoke/use tobacco-based products but - in a modern world of information and regulation/taxation - I respect the right of adults to do so and I remain perfectly comfortable in investing in the sector. Otherwise, where do you draw the investing line? Alcohol? Defence? Gambling? Clothing names who directly or indirectly use child labour and lots of water? Energy and mining names due to their use of the world's assets? You get the gist...
Hello Share Swappers. A fellow Shareprophets scribe and a very nice chap I meet with pleasure at all the Global Group UK Investor Shows, writes to commend investment in Imperial Brands (IMB). That, of course, is a tobacco company.
I was too early with my positive call on Imperial Brands (IMB) that I shared with you back in November . Sure I have picked up some dividends but it is capital growth you all really want. Today's half year numbers however highlight why this name should be in your portfolio even if - like me - you are not a user of their products.
The last time I wrote about Imperial Brands (IMB) HERE, there were a few overly excitable comments made. As noted last time, I have never smoked but have no moral hang-up to investing in the sector. If you do...then I guess you have stopped reading or I look forward to your comments. Anyhow, since my original piece the stock is slightly down but only by a percent or two and full year preliminary numbers highlight an improving second half of the year showing a touch of revenue and EPS growth.
I have never smoked and have no plans ever to but I am enough of a libertarian to take the view that if individuals want to light up after knowing everything that medical science has discovered about tobacco over the last couple of generations then that is their business. And so I do periodically invest in the tobacco sector.
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