Many, many years ago, I panicked when a significant investment of the hedge fund I was working for at the time started one Thursday morning significantly down…until I realised it had just gone ex-dividend. So, if you own shares in Aviva (AV.), Mondi (MNDI), Diageo (DGE), Haleon (HLN), Ibstock (IBST), Auto Trader (AUTO), Land Securities (LAND), Legal & General (LGEN) and a bunch of other stocks do not panic. I could also flip it around the other way, and observe that you should not get overly excited about yesterday evening’s results from the Silicon Valley favourite, Nvidia.
I read today Marks and Spencer (MKS) observe that it has seen strong trading. Or to be more specific, “the first 19 weeks of the year has seen continued market share growth in both the Clothing & Home and Food businesses, and good progress on the programme to reshape M&S”. That is a lot better than many UK retailers…but how and why?
Regular readers will know that I am not the biggest Ocado (OCDO) shares fan. Yes, a couple of times a year we get one of the company’s electric vehicles to deliver its (and Marks & Spencer (MKS)) food and related products…but it is only a couple of times a year as the J Sainsbury (SBRY) equivalent is almost as good and certainly a lot cheaper. Why then, after a shocking share price performance in 2021 and 2022, are Ocado shares now slightly up year-to-date, with a current this morning 10%+ share price rise?
I have got some bad news for Ocado (OCDO). Despite the company offering me a “summer offers on sunscreen and ice cream, a romantic Meal Deal for two and a barbecue feast”, via email the other day, I have just booked next week’s food shopping home delivery once again with J Sainsbury (SBRY). Don’t get me wrong, Ocado (and its M&S (MKS)) range of offerings is quite nice…but it is not really required by me and family in late May. It should probably contact me again nearer my birthday or maybe Christmas. And in the meantime, it should think a bit more about whether its share are going to be kicked out of the FTSE 100?
The last time I wrote about the shares of Marks and Spencer (MKS) was just before the world of Covid-19 kicked in globally. Back then I concluded that “at least the incoming Marks & Spencer CFO knows how to admit a wrong strategy”, and over the last 27 months or so M&S shares have gone down and up. This morning’s rise, after full year numbers publication, of about 11% has taken the shares back to the level of just over 180p of when I last wrote about them. Is the turnaround actually working?
Whilst typically we are users of J Sainsbury (SBRY), now and again we organise a home food delivery from Ocado (OCDO). Whilst a few bags of food and related from the latter is not cheap, the quality is really good and having a delivery (or two) from it rather than a single restaurant meal is an easy call in my opinion. However, as an investor, I have avoided Ocado shares.
Hello Share Chewers. Many years ago now Marks & Spencer (MKS) was an alluring share. Decent dividends and a steadily rising price graph. I sold my holding when the shares attained about 340p. Good job I did because nowadays the company’s shares have struggled for years and are currently at only 141p. But a few happy recent trips to M&S move me to consider buying back in.
I am looking forward to this week. Whilst I have no idea whether the weather will be good or bad, I do see a bunch of fascinating upcoming corporate comments and statements from Wednesday. The realities of Christmas trading will start to become apparent as well as a few hopes for FY23 earnings progress (or not).
I do quite like receiving a food delivery from Ocado (OCDO). It is not cheap but the quality is good and it is certainly better than going to a restaurant or something like that. However - as I last detailed HERE three months ago - it is a “good job I prefer Ocado’s food delivery to its shares”, especially as the nearly £6 billion market cap company has felt the need to raise nearly £600 million in an equity raise. What is going on?
I am sure there are some people who are still very hopeful about their Marks & Spencer (MKS) shares but I dumped mine so long ago that I guess even a pair of its expensive boxers would have worn out by now. Forget though the 60% fall in the company’s share price over the last five years or the 40% fall year-to-date, or even the decision of the CEO to exit stage left after six years in charge, is there any interest in the shares over the next year or not?
It is far from being a quiet Friday in August. And whilst there is plenty of scope to chat about the commodity sector given the excitements in China, once again I find myself wanting to comment on the UK grocery and related sector.
I believe there is a football game at 8pm later today (sorry Italy, but someone has to lose) but – helping to make sure the family has a range of nice things to eat and drink whilst watching the game – Ocado (OCDO) is dropping around at the house in a few hours time. It might describe itself as ‘a publicly-traded company that develops software, robotics, and automation systems for online retailers’, but specifically in the UK it has switched from working with Waitrose to now working with Marks & Spencer (MKS).
AIM-listed online ladies wear purveyor Sosandar (SOS) has announced a deal with Marks and Spencer to bring a curated collection of its products to M&S’s online store. Whilst there are no numbers offered, this strikes me as good news.
The small villains are the uber-spiv directors of Remote Monitoring Systems (RMS), Trevor Brown and Paul Ryan who get a good slating. I, again, ask questions about the timeline of events. The big villain is Sir Phil Green of Arcadia and I ride to his defence and have a pop at one of his critics Sir Stuart Rose formerly of Marks & Sparks (MKS) Finally we are just £400 short on the Woodlarks appeal. Help us over the line and I promise not to mention the charity again until February. Thanks to those who have donated, if you have not you can donate HERE
Almost as embarrassing to admit that I spent six hours of time gawping at the BBC’s American election coverage overnight (I did eventually switch to a financial TV channel), is that the smallest position in my SIPP is Marks & Spencer (MKS) upon which I am currently sitting on a stonking loss (i.e. a small starter position has got even smaller). They cannot all be Barrick Gold (NYSE – GOLD) or GVC Holdings (GVC) I guess…
Hello, Share Trappers. Many of you will be wondering how much dosh is currently being made by Ocado (OCDO) because of the virus. At one time, some investors avoided the stock because online supermarket shopping was considered to be not that popular. But now the pandemic has shifted more focus to armchair shopping, well, what could go wrong?
Few people can be surprised by yesterday’s update from Marks & Spencer (MKS) that it is cutting a little under a tenth of its workforce. The update may technically have been in-line but the tone was undoubtedly very cautious. In the last 13 weeks reported on, the like-for-like sales in food may have risen by 2.5% (and even better ex-hospitality interests), but the shocking aspect was 40% odd declines in clothing/home offerings even if online was strongly positive…
Confession time first. I do own some Marks & Spencer (MKS) shares…they are though right at the bottom of my SIPP and equate to approximately 0.2% of portfolio value. Clearly I should get rid or stick to my own rules of having no position smaller than 1% nor greater than 10% (hello Barrick Gold!). If truth be told, I have been considering whether I should quintuple (or more) my holding. Today's full year (to the end of March) results seem like a good chance to consider when I pull the trigger…to buy or sell...
I start with Malcolm Stacey's column today and explain why he is wrong in his conclusions about supermarkets. Then I try but fail to answer Leeson's question about the markets. I discuss Zoetic (ZOE), Marks & Spencer (MKS), JD Wetherspoon (JDW), Future (FUTR), Rightmove (RMV) and Purplebricks (PURP)
You all know I am a Marks & Spencer (MKS) shareholder and - as I described here a couple of months ago - my basic view that the recent harsher and focused management style of Archie Norman and Steve Rowe has given the company the most viable future potential backdrop for a generation. I still think this despite being down on my two quid odd average in price and the recent resignation (or push out?) of the CFO, who I do not think was up to that sort of a job. Today's half-year update ('far reaching change - delivered at pace') is a classic interim statement…
I mused on Friday in the cases of Tesco (TSCO) and perma dog Metro Bank (MTRO) that management - unsurprisingly - matters. The Sunday press brings more examples...and it is with another perma dog that we start. In the most blindingly obvious shift since Metro Bank finally got rid of its chair, apparently 'Aston Martin Lagonda (AML) is under pressure to shake up its board and bring in directors with more experience at listed companies after a disastrous first year on the stock market'.
Hello Share Takers. Gosh, it’s a heck of a long time since I sold all my Marks & Spencer (MKS) shares because they were static. I bought them for £3 a throw and what are they now, many, many years on? About 188p, that’s what...
So the weekend press story that the Marks & Spencer (MKS) chief financial officer Humphrey Singer was set to resign has been confirmed this morning. Naturally it is all nice words ('I feel privileged to be a part of the challenging but hugely rewarding turnaround at Marks & Spencer') but let's face it, no CFO exits into the night if something is about to go hugely right – especially after some well-publicised tough times…
Investment is a credibility and confidence game. And part of this game is admitting that sometimes (actually quite often) you are wrong on shares. But as always it is how you react that matters and with psychology being an important driver of share prices in the shorter-term, trying to work out what the average investor is thinking is part of the game.
Undoubtedly you have read in the press that embattled retailer Marks & Spencer (MKS) has just lost its fourth clothing chief in a decade. Apparently it is something to do with a lack of skinny jeans availability. Whatever...but it goes to show that M&S is still struggling to find its place in the modern day clothing retail market. Perhaps even more intriguingly Jill McDonald is going to be temporarily replaced by Steve Rowe, the current CEO of M&S...and ex-head of clothing. I cannot remember it doing that much better under his tenure...
In this bearcast I look at the demise of Jamie's overpriced restaurants, at Marks & Spencer (MKS), Management Resource Solutions (MRS), Wishbone Gold (WSBN) and the very real scandal at Westminster Group (WSG). Now, with two rogue bloggerettes joining our trek on Saturday, the total raised has moved up to £44,296.18 - if you are yet to donate please do so today HERE
Investment can be a kind of introspective business and it struck me yesterday that it was kind of interesting that when i wrote up my latest musings on Marks & Spencer (MKS) the other day, I did not even mention the dividend cut. It was not as if I did not know about it but in an article where I probably squeezed in too many corporate names, it did not feel that relevant versus the Ocado related money raising, continued roll-out of the new strategy and the reiteration of numbers. I found it interesting too that you had to delve quite deep into the deadwood press articles of the next day to spot this aspect of the update too.
I noted earlier in the month that Tesco (TSCO)was 'no longer on the ropes and is flexing its muscles'. I think the Sunday press story - which I see the company did not deny but did not offer further comment on - concerning 15,000 job cuts (c. 3% of its workforce) as it reconsiders the future of some fresh food counters and bakeries, is very consistent with this...
In this podcast I thinkI agree with Dan's tip. I then look at Independent Oil & Gas in light of Jim Armitage's article in the Evening Standard which takes this scandal forward some more. I cover ramp dog Chesterfield (CHF), Marks & Spencer (MKS), Gear4Music (G4M), Halfords (HFD), Starcom (STAR), UK Oil & Gas (UKOG), Angus Energy (ANGS) and the zero scenario, and Carclo (CAR). Tomorrow I may have better things to do than a bearcast as is the case every January 12. Or maybe not!
In today's podcast I look at Brighton Pier (PIER) in some detail and am almost tempted to make a small speculative punt on my pal Luke Johnson. I look at Debenhams (DEB) and Marks & Spencer (MKS) and at Imaginatik (IMTK). Finally I have a few questions ( again) about Wey Education (WEY). Oh. There is also a sexist joke in there and if you are offended I really don't give a damn.
I noted two different hope cycles in the weekend press commentary. The first is a short term one based on the plethora of retail sector numbers that will be published over the next week or two. The headline that caught my attention was 'M&S’s (MKS) lifeline from last-minute spending spree' which seemed to be a straight extrapolation from the Next (NXT) numbers, which I wrote up last week.
Okay, he is a conceited, overpaid, arrogant mother so I don't really feel sorry for him but I explain his appalling problem at doomed RM2 (RM2). I also look at Inspirit (INSP), Sabien (SNT) and Tomco (TOM) all three of which should be taken out and shot as their sole purpose on the AIM Casino is as a funder for the coke and hookers used by crony capitalists in the City. I explain a flaw (or two) in Malcolm's thesis today as I look at three retailers in trouble: Marks & Spencer (MKS), Debenhams (DEB) and Mothercare (MTC).
So after all that midterm election excitement (the pollsters got it broadly correct for once), time to consider today's large cap highlights. Two names stand out for me: ITV (ITV) and Marks & Spencer (MKS)…
I start with a Wigan Athletic supporting homophobic yob tweeting abuse at me on behalf of Frontera Resources (FRR). What a silly man at every level. FFS the real insult is he thinks I wear an England Rugby shirt. Whatever... Then it is onto the blurred line between PR and journalism and the Sunday Times splash on M&S (MKS) which should be taken with a bucket load of salt. Finally a few words on Mike Ashley. He may be a lardbucket and a tosser but...
Hello, Share Puzzlers. What do you think might be the results of Marks & Spencer (MKS) for the second quarter of its year? If you are a long-time holder, you will not be very excited. I first bought this share at least 20 years ago. It was 300p a throw, quite a lot of money, then. Yet despite a huge devaluation of the pound and inflation the share is still only 349p today.
The macro news today showed a glimmer of hope for retailers with the UK British Retail Consortium (BRC) data showing a 1.2% rise in June like-for-like retail sales compared to a year ago. All hail the hot weather and the Eid celebrations which apparently - according to the experts - helped out.
Hello Share Pingers. For the last few years I’ve poured scorn on investing in most retail chains. This is because of the encroachment of on-line shopping. But I’ve changed my mind. For one thing the big retailers have built up blistering on-line operations of their own. They are putting up a strong front of competition to long-time on-line specialists like ASOS (ASC).
Hello Share Squeezers. You have to love traditional institutions. Marks and Sparks (MKS) is certainly one of those. But apart from a purchase early on in my investing career (not far beyond the Iron Age) I have avoided the shares. Reason: I bought them at £3 plus and for most of the years ever since the share price has monkeyed about at roughly the same level.
So you think blue chip shares are safe? Hat tip to a Mr N Wray from London for the table below which proves that they are not.had you stuck £5,000 into all the stocks in the FTSE 100 10 years ago in 17 cases you would have lost money in absolute terms. The worst investment would be RBS (RBS) where your initial £5,000 would today be worth £191. Other household names such as Tesco (TSCO), Marks & Sparks (MKS) and Aviva (AV.) were just dogs. As the table below shows even supposedly safe blue chips carry risk.
Hello Share Tasters. As far as I can see the share price at Marks and Sparks (MKS) has not moved very much in the last 10 years. There have been some alarming peaks and troughs along the way. But its the overall flatness of the share price that’s the main reason why I sold all my stock some time ago - and won’t be returning. However, I can see the advantage of being on board for all those share shifters who relish tasty dividends. And with the general performance of most shares at the moment, who can blame them?
More stilly tweets from free speech deniers Paul Scott prompt a further defence of an unmuzzled press. I deal with Paul's bizarre conversion to totalitarianism and Cyan in a seperate podcast here. Lorne Ebony of FastForward (FFWD) asks you to accept that black is white. It isn't and his shares are a sell. I look at Gable (GAH) where a free press that warned you all is vindicated. Maybe some folks think I should not have let you know? I cover Marks & Spencer (MKS) and its problems before dealing with grossly overvalued Nyota (NYO) and its boardroom coup.
Hello Share Shufflers. I've been a bit wary of Marks and Sparks (MKS) on this scintillating website before now. But I'm beginning to change my mind. I still find its clothing range a bit bland. Though I'm, not a fashion expert, and maybe what I see as a bit bland is really exciting new fashion.
The news that Alan Stewart was to depart Marks & Spencer (MKS) as it Finance Director saw the next day’s M&S share price increase a little. In the case of Tesco (TSCO) the price was down 1%. Stewart has a tough job to do at Tesco but as one might imagine, logically - and from his new Tesco pay packet - that he is up to the job.
Two days ago I gave my opinion on Marks & Spencer (MKS) shares. Today its Finance Director announced that he is off to Tesco (TSCO). This is an understandable move for the man in question, Alan Stewart, and for Tesco where ‘every little helps’. Although, judging by Mr Stewart’s hefty salary increase to £750,000, plus a ‘golden hello’ worth a reported £1.73 million, his contribution is expected to be more than a little.
In the last year to 29 March 2014 we were told that the first fruits of restructuring and reforming Marks and Spencer (MKS) were starting to appear. The company had just started up its own new digital buying web site rather than relying on sales through Amazon and the important women’s’ ware had been revamped by someone with the credentials to do a good job. The first quarter’s results were thus looked forward to with the anticipation that horticulturalists have each spring. Were the green shoots appearing?