I know some private investors are frustrated with Afenta (AET) as it has spent more time in suspension than it has trading over the past couple of years since the acquisition of an asset in Angola was first announced, but I think people will be rewarded for their patience.
The Energy Profit Levy tax on oil and gas companies with operated assets in the UK has had a big impact on the sector, and the share prices of the companies operating here have reacted accordingly. The market is also nervous of what Labour might do if it were to win the next general election, as there has been much talk from its MPs of increasing taxes even more and also on restrictions to the development of new assets. The latest such company to see its share price hammered upon the release of its financial results has been EnQuest (ENQ) this week, with it trading at almost 15% down at one point and close to the low that it hit back in June prior to oil prices rising sharply.
Bushveld Minerals (BMN) was once one of the big mining success stories on AIM, but after its shares soaring by nearly 2,500%, they have steadily fallen ever since, and now trade at almost back where they began.
Emmerson (EML) has taken a big hit to its share price today following news that the regional investment authority hasn’t approved its Environmental and Social Impact Assessment, but I think that the market has over-reacted in marking it down around 40%. As I tipped it the other day HERE, you deserve an immediate update.
Hello Share Searchers. And still the vast majority of shares are stuck in a rut. Up a tiny bit one day, back to square one the next. Meanwhile the water behind the dam builds, and one day it will burst through. It urges me to expect a Santa rally to beat all Santa rallies. Meanwhile, here are more topical tips on how to play our great game.
Asset manager Lawrence Lepard of Equity Management Associates is another cheery fellow, viewing the world economy as a construct where the rivets holding it together are continuing to snap. He says that we have had a number of bank failures in a matter of weeks, part of a larger pattern going back years and we are seeing large commercial mortgage failures and companies walking away. Lawrence believes more pain is yet to come in the banking sector, with one to two trillion in write downs. He says that the Fed is likely to intervene once again, and something is likely to break soon
A couple of months ago, I observed that “Halfords (HFD) shares are still set to continue motoring along”. And, as I am the boring sort of person who notices how many people are going in or out of my local Halfords store, I am not surprised that its preliminary results are absolutely fine. Do I still though believe that the company’s shares can offer a c.25% appreciation scope and pay a decent, more than 4%, dividend yield?
Equipment rental company Vp plc (VP.) has announced results for its year ended 31st March 2023 and that, whilst some macro-economic volatility remains, it is confident that it will continue to deliver on its objectives of driving demand for products and services and increasing revenues and profitability.
Asset manager Egon von Greyerz, of Matterhorn Asset Management AG kicks off with the debt ceiling in the US and explains how it is a farce, and a regular show every time it’s reached. It’s been raised over a hundred times and every time, it’s nothing but a political posturing. This is only going to lead to the debt being increased exponentially. In fact, since Reagan, the U.S. debt has doubled every eight years, and by 2025, it is projected to reach around $40 trillion.
MJ Hudson Group (MJH) has announced that it has “completed the sale of the Data & Analytics division. The cash consideration paid on the completion of the sale of the Data & Analytics division was £15 million of which £3 million is being retained in escrow until 30 September 2024… Business Outsourcing sale will… be completed in stages following receipt or waiver of the regulatory consent(s) relevant to that part of the Business Outsourcing division. Consideration for the Business Outsourcing division is approximately £25 million”. Good news for the currently-suspended shares? Er, No…
Ferrexpo (FXPO) certainly isn’t for the feint-hearted as its iron ore mining operations are based in the Ukraine, and it is definitely a big gamble, but it is one that I’m willing to take given the upside.
Hello Share Munchers. Every cloud has a silver lining. We may have suffered more colds and flu this winter, but shareholders in Haleon (HLN) have benefitted from the scourge. Business in the first quarter of this year saw organic growth of nearly a tenth on last time.
A month or so ago I wrote about all the shenanigans at Woodbois (WBI) surrounding a placing that they didn’t appear to actually need, and the fact it was then deliberately leaked in order to crash the share price.
A busy day on the London market, but I will write about the consumer health company Haleon (HLN), which many of you will remember split out from GSK (GSK) back in July last year. Whilst its shares remain above the level when I last wrote about it in November last year, the stock is down 4% today despite apparently having an "extraordinary year” as being the “first listed company 100% invested” in its specific space.
Did you read the Q4/FY22 numbers from International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) this morning? The company, which includes British Airways within its key brands, is back to profit in recent months and even hopes to make nearly a couple of billion euros profit this year. However, despite the improving post-Covid world for the airline group, its shares are down this morning. It is always “good fun” investing in the airline sector.
Money manager Bob Elliot analyses the current economic situation, the role of debt cycles, and the trade-offs between a fiat monetary system and a commodity-based system. He note that productivity is the main driver of growth over the long term, and that debt cycles have been used to make up for declining productivity. He explained the risks associated with governments borrowing to make up for productivity declines and noted that wage growth is maintaining nominal spending at a higher level.
Matt Piepenburg is the sort of conspiracy theorist who will appeal to some of you. The author and asset manager discusses the Great Reset proposed by Klaus Schwab, and how it is a symptom of a broken and debt-soaked developed economy. Matt believes Schwab is an opportunist taking advantage of the COVID crisis, and his idea of ‘stakeholder capitalism’ is actually extreme centralization. This, Matt says, has never worked in history and has led to an addiction to debt, which has been weaponized by pharmaceutical companies, science, the media, political parties, and regulatory bodies.
Hello Share Twiddlers. I’ve been saying that the wisest policy at the mo seems to be to avoid buying shares. As usual, there are exceptions. For example, I fail to see how big pharmas can go into reverse. That’s because of three factors. A growing ageing population, new viruses and scientific strides in medical treatments.
Having secured one of the most expensive funding deals that I’ve ever seen, that arrangement looks set to become even more expensive for Canadian Overseas Petroleum (COPL) unless it can secure a reserves based lending facility within the next few weeks.
Hello Share Collectors. Like all oil producing combos, Tullow Oil (TLW) will do well out of the lofty price of oil. Even if it has just reduced its production aim of 60,000-64,000 barrels of oil a day to 60,000-62,000 barrels. It’s not much of a reduction and, given the sturdy current values for the black stuff, I don’t think the share price has risen as far as it should do, when compared to its larger rivals Shell (SHEL) and BP (BP.).
It’s been a while since we’ve had a new IPO of a large oil and gas company in the UK, so Ithaca Energy (ITH) caught my attention, especially as it is a company that I had followed previously when it was listed.
Learning and skills development programmes company Malvern International (MLVN) states that it “is pleased to provide a trading update ahead of the General Meeting”. The market is not so pleased, marking the shares down by more than 10% to around 0.09p – so what’s going on?
Nigeria isn’t my first choice of location when looking at investing in oil and gas companies due to some of the issues that foreign investors have had over the years, but if you’re bullish on the sector, then I can currently see value in shares in Seplat Energy (SEPL).
Personalised products marketplace group Altitude (ALT) has issued a trading update including that it “is pleased to report the group has delivered another excellent period of growth… well placed for accelerated future growth, the board remains confident in its positive outlook for the future”. What of a current approaching 5% higher share price response to 22.5p?
Oil has been showing signs of weakness in recent months after hitting highs of nearly $140/barrel – for Brent – earlier this year, and has suffered over concerns about the economic situation in many countries in the coming months.
I have been an uber-bear on sub-Standard and TSXV-listed Pure Gold (PUR and TXSV:PGM) ever since first writing about it in April of this year – and that from a Gold-bull. This morning we had news that has me racing for the Ouzo cupboard for my breakfast.
The markets in general are pretty weak at the moment, but unless you’re planning just to sit in cash, there are still opportunities as long as you’re taking a longer term outlook and can weather any further drops we may see.
If you want cheering up don't watch this. Kevin Wadsworth has a background in assessing systemic risks. He believes there are serious risks of systemic failure, particularly in Europe. U.S. government debt is in a parabolic rise, and the maths is starting to no longer add up. He warns that the cracks are forming in the foundations of the global central banking system.
Regular readers will know that I never have smoked or vaped and never will in the future. It is not my bag but if people want to buy the range of products offered by Imperial Brands (IMB), British American Tobacco (BATS) and the few other global corporate peers that exist out there (all of which are highly taxed by governments around the world), that is absolutely fine by me based on my belief in a freedom of choice. As for health and safety and common-sense, if you want to ban tobacco and related stocks then I guess you should do the same for alcohol and gambling and a bunch of pharmaceuticals. Anyhow, my view has been that Imperial Brands has been a must-have for your pension fund for a couple of years now. And so it has been pleasing to see a 20% share price rise this year (despite all the overall global market angst) and a 4% share price rise today.
With the recent weakness in the prices of some commodities, including copper, many junior miners at the pre-production stage have seen their share prices drop substantially. That has definitely been the case with US copper explorer Phoenix Copper (PXC) which was trading at close to 70p earlier this year, but has since gradually slid all the way back down to a current price of just 20p, and without any company specific news really justifying it.
Petrofac (PFC) definitely had its fair share of problems and scandals in recent years, but that all now seems to be behind it, and the sector that it operates in should perform strongly in the coming years.
Previously writing on “global media and hospitality business” Time Out Group (TMO), last year I wrote General Meeting approval for (as warned here) material dilution – concluding that with the shares up to around 50p, capitalising the group at circa £166 million, and a profitable business proposition still to be proven I certainly continued to avoid. Today the shares are 41p on the back of a “Loan Facility” announcement.
Hello Share Finders. It’s time for another medical adventure for you to take a look at. Gilead Sciences (0QYQ) is no mean player on the biotechnical scene. It’s looking to achieve a revenue of up to $25 billion this year.
I recently wrote a piece criticising Canadian Overseas Petroleum (COPL), and as a result appeared to upset some people on the bulletin boards – not that I really care! – and having now looked more closely at its latest financing deal, I’m even more convinced that it is a company to avoid like the plague.
Just under eight months ago HERE I gave Capita (CPI) - which describes itself as “supporting the justice system through smart technology solutions” - a slightly alternative name. I remember first using such an alternative name many years ago - and it is certainly neither unique or particularly smart. But it kind of captures well the company’s struggles over the last seven or eight years where its share price contraction stands at well over 90%. How striking for a company which many will remember its epic 1990s (and initially beyond) performance.
Canadian Overseas Petroleum (COPL) seems to have been getting a fair bit of attention today after releasing an incredibly rampy resources update for its Wyoming asset, with the focus being on oil in place rather than actual reserves and what might be extracted.
Last year we banked a more than 40%, less than 7 months, offer-to-bid gain on Wood Group (WG.) at 300.3p. That proved good timing with the shares eventually falling back towards 150p before then recovering to above 250p again. However, they are now available at a 155p offer price and are again a Buy.
I talked about the “boring world of Vodafone” (VOD) back in April HERE. I am sure that some investors are excited about the stock’s year-to-date movement, but the last five, ten, fifteen or twenty years has been a bit of a shocker. I have (correctly) not owned the stock for ages but (finally) is it starting to change?
AIM-listed Barkby Group (BARK) has released a trading update for its year ended 2 July 2022, along with an update on strategy. The former sees an unaudited bottom-line loss of £0.8 million whilst the latter implies there has been a strategic review – uh-oh!
Asiamet Resources (ARS) has turned out to be my worst ever investment in a mining company, in terms of percentage loss anyway, and has been a great example of what happens if as a company you continually miss deadlines.
Hello Share Masters. We can’t live without water. Or sewage. Which means big water suppliers should keep our investment safe whatever the effects of inflation and the higher cost of living. Pennon Group (PNN) has been doing ok recently. Its latest figures show underlying revenue rose 22.9% to £792.3 million for the full year. The operating profit, the more important number, came in at £237.2 million.
Hello Shares Splashers. Many of the techies haven’t been having a great time of it recently. Valuations have fallen as inflation starts to bite. But one company in the semiconductor business may have better prospects than most. It makes the components for mobile phones, broadband and so on. In its favour is a wider range of techno products than many of its peers. This makes the share more defensive. And investment in the techies is still attractive as it is, after all, the game of the future.
I’ve been a fan of Capricorn Energy (CNE), formerly Cairn, for some time now and my investment there has done pretty well, but I probably won’t be holding for much longer now that it has announced a merger with Tullow Oil (TLW).
The new ‘windfall’ tax on UK oil and gas producers has been all over the news this week, and whilst many of the public seem to be celebrating the fact that these ‘evil’ companies and their investors are going to take a hit, I’m not so sure the new rules are quite so great.
Gold closed the week at $1854 – a small improvement on last week’s $1847, but not yet enough to cure the sell-off in Gold stocks (although they did improve this week). So when are we going to see the great explosion I have been looking for since the start of the Covid crisis? I don’t think it will be long.
A couple of weeks back I wrote a piece here about how I was excited about the prospects of a small AIM oil company, Afentra (AET), where I hold a stake myself and which had just announced that it had potentially secured a stake in two blocks, subject to final due diligence. The company has now announced that it has entered into a sale and purchase agreement with the vendor, Sonangol, and has released a lot more information on the finer details of the proposed transaction – including the fact that it is expected to be funded from existing cash balances plus debt, and with no equity dilution to existing holders in order to complete the deal.
The share price of 888 Holdings (888) has remained pretty weak during the completion of its acquisition of William Hill, and as a result of revenue in the final quarter of 2021 showing a substantial fall.
Are you excited to read that the FTSE-250 company 888 Holdings (888) – which regards itself as “one of the world’s leading online betting and gaming companies” – has pushed its share price up over 25% today after announcing progress with its efforts to buy the international (non-US) business of William Hill? After all we all know that online betting and gaming is seeing more and more demand. But will it be paying too much in an area which is already highly competitive?
Central Asia Metals (CAML) is one of those companies which I think is consistently undervalued by the market, and although it carries some degree of geo-political risk, I believe that too large a discount is applied for that.
Jordan Roy-Byre of TheDailyGold.com is getting very excited about the prospects for Gold and Gold stocks, saying this week that now could be the last chance to buy cheap and that he thinks that we are in a bullish consolidation ahead of a major break higher in the next 2-5 months. Given that he is perhaps the most bearish Gold-bull around, it is a big call.
EnQuest (ENQ) has just released its results for 2021 and the market didn’t seem to like them, judging by the reaction of the share price, which I find surprising as I think they actually made pretty good reading.
Gold ended the week at $1922 – down from last week’s $1991 as the assault on the record high petered out. The Fed raised interest rates, the Bank of England hiked rates again, the Ukraine war continued with more horrific attacks and inflation was still there rearing its ugly head.
Capital Metals (CMET) has been covered in the past on ShareProphets, both positively and negatively, and, on behalf of a reader, Tom Winnifrith asked me to take a look and give my latest thoughts on this Sri Lankan focussed miner. You see, we do read your emails.
I was a little bit worried this morning, not because it was the Ides of March or anything like that but about how the Imperial Brands (IMB) share price might react to its announced observation of a “financial impact of an exit from Russia and the previously announced suspension of operations in Ukraine on our full-year guidance for FY22”.
Have you enjoyed the last week in the financial markets? It certainly has been volatile but such is life in the stock market world and – as I have observed before – if you see volatility as more of a threat than an opportunity, get somebody else to manage your investment portfolio as it will make you a lot less stressed and a lot wealthier. Meanwhile for us obsessed with the world of the financial markets the key always remains how you react. And that brings me this morning to the just announced FY21 numbers of SIG (SHI).
After the excitement of Wednesday’s market moves comes Thursday…which unsurprisingly after the down and up volatility of the last few days is a bit more boring. We could all probably do with it, although a regular bout of volatility is the markets for you (and I would have it no other way). As for today’s corporate updates, two strike me as being particularly noteworthy, Capita (CPI) and DS Smith (SMDS)…
The all-important inflation data for January in the US has come out. Anyone still taken in by the Fed’s “transitory” description of the thief in the night will be sorely disappointed and the pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking that saw people thinking that inflation might moderate in the face merely of threats of rate rises have had a bit of a shock.
The National Aviation Services business of Agility Public Warehousing Co. has noted the “Rejection of Unsolicited Approach” announcement from John Menzies plc (MNZS) yesterday and argues its possible 510p per share offer “represents a compelling opportunity for shareholders to realise full value for their investment in cash” and that it “is a disciplined investor… we urge Menzies’ shareholders to consider carefully… our offer”. So what to make of this?…
Cineworld (CINE) reckons that as the world emerges from the scamdemic its trading is improving helped by some really great movie releases. I am not quite so sure about that and today’s trading update misses out the most critical number investors need to see, the movement in the vast debts in which this company is drowning. That omission tells you all you need to know.
It has been a funny last 13 months, but fortunately the financial markets have been the last of my challenges. Obviously I am still not the next Peter Lynch, but I keep on learning (something) even if it was a quarter of a century ago now that I first rocked up in the City. And whilst I could ramble on at length about a few winners this year, one of the more dull stocks has been Carnival (CCL) which I am currently up on 0.25% year-to-date.
Whilst I do think there are some interesting travel plays, I am far away from excited by either TUI (TUI) (which reminds me of a German equivalent of Thomas Cook) or SSP Group (SSPG) (where you will not be seeing me buying something from an Upper Crust store at a railway station or an airport). I am a bit intrigued though to see that the Taylor Wimpey (TW.) CEO has decided to move on, especially as we saw last weekend rumours that private equity players may be buying a stake. I wonder if the rumours around this have had an influence, although serving as its CEO for 14 years is a decent innings. I don’t think though I have ever written about McColl’s (MCLS), the convenience shop and newsagent operator with trading names Morrisons Daily and (naturally) McColl’s.
In its November 15 trading update Cineworld (CINE) included a table, which compared revenue from months in 2021 with revenue from months in 2019. This was an attempt to illustrate that cinema viewings were returning to pre-covid levels, the CEO specifically commented that “We are thrilled to see audiences returning in significant numbers”. As Tom pointed out then, Cineworld made these comparisons notwithstanding that October 2021 had five weekends whilst October 2019 only had four weekends. Given that cinema viewings tend to cluster around the weekend, this meant that the October 2021 numbers artificially appeared stronger than reality.
Me and my big mouth! Last week it was all positive: Gold had been moving higher, seemed to be out of the downtrend of lower highs and Gold shares were riding high. Then wallop! All of a sudden Gold is back below $1800 at $1792, having been $1845 the previous week. But is this sell-off really serious?
Horizonte Minerals (HZM) looks as though it has defied the odds and will actually manage to bring a large project requiring significant Capex into production, whilst at the same time retaining 100% of it.
Gold may have sold off at the end of last week, but seems to me to be sitting pretty at $1845 – down $21 on the previous week but still nicely above former resistance at around $1835. But there is perhaps a rather more troubling line to cross at around $1900 or thereabouts, which might take a few goes to crack.
Nostra Terra Oil and Gas (NTOG) is one of those companies that has always seemed to be popular with private investors over the years, but it is hard to see why as all it has done during that time is rack up substantial losses for them.
Lekoil (LEK), describing itself as an “oil and gas exploration and production company with a focus on Nigeria and West Africa”, has announced half-year 2021 results. After from fake sheikhs to now subsidiary CEO farce, yet more farce?…
Gold closed the week at $1757, down a tad from last week’s $1761 but pretty much unchanged. Nothing to write home about, perhaps, but very quietly Gold stocks seem to be showing a little more poise than of late. My chart of Gold against GDX (Gold majors’ETF), GDXJ (Gold not-so-juniors ETF) and GOEX (Gold explorers) shows what I am talking about.
As rare as is it to see an AIM mining minnow with a large and potentially very valuable resource in the ground actually make it to the production stage whilst retaining ownership of all of the project, Horizonte Minerals (HZM) now looks on the verge of achieving that.
Sometimes I look at a company and think its shares are just too cheap at the current market cap and is pretty much being priced to fail, yet in some cases there certainly doesn’t appear to be anything fundamentally wrong that suggests that to be the situation.
European hostels company Safestay (SSTY) has today emphasised “confidence of returning to pre-Covid levels of trading” but also stated “this is a natural point… to undertake a strategic review”, including a formal sale process. Hmmm.
Horizonte Minerals (HZM) is a company that I’ve written about a number of times in recent years, and is also one where I’ve been patiently holding shares myself for a long time. When it comes to AIM mining stocks it is quite a rarity that they either actually make it into production, or get taken out by a larger predator prior to that stage, and for many of them the resource in the ground sounds far better than the reality of actually extracting it commercially.
I’m surprised to see Central Asia Metals (CAML) showing some share price weakness prior to the release of its interim results next week, as I’ve no reason to suspect that they will disappoint the market – in fact I would expect them to be good!
If you want to invest in London listed precious metals producers your choice of shares is fairly limited, and has become even more so in recent years following takeovers of a couple of the popular miners.
It might be August, but Thursday is always a busy day for anyone following stock market updates. Today I could write (again) about TUI (TUI) or Entain (ENT) but frankly I said enough on the former back in May, and today’s update may be talking about rising numbers of holidaymakers (but it is still making a loss and has a bunch of corporate debt). Meanwhile the latter has been a really good holding for me over the last 20 months, albeit after a dodgy start. As I previously noted, I still conclude that taking profits over recent months has been very sensible, but it is fine to run a few still (as I do) if you wish. Today though I am going to write more about Aviva (AV.).
Back in March I asked the question ‘do you feel lucky…Rolls-Royce (RR.)?’ as ‘for a lack of profits/cash flow even this year, this one remains a long term stick the shares in the bottom of your drawer play’. I admitted then that I remained a holder on the basis of its airline engine, defence and even ‘being a player for low-carbon civil aerospace solutions’ over the next decade or two. But, reflected by the massive share price fall since early 2020, it has a lot of debt and correlation with the COVID-19 impacted world. So whilst Rolls-Royce shares are a few pence down from their previous level and March (and only a few pence up year-to-date), there is a little bit of positive progress in today’s first half numbers.
Back in May I observed that I was ‘still holding onto my profitable position’ in Playtech (PTEC) the gambling software development company. Today it is less profitable than it was back then as over recent weeks the shares have fallen back to levels last seen in November last year. Thankfully I doubled up my holding sixteen months or so ago when almost everything was perceived a bit more cautiously. Anyhow back in May, whilst observing firm multiples and a bit of debt, I did also observe that its ‘online growth has remained very strong in 2021’ and hence I still hoped that Playtech shares had ‘the scope to return to around the six quid level again’. Well despite the romp in Entain (ENT) shares over the last couple of years working out very well, Playtech has been a lot duller. Since May there have been a couple of interesting further announcements too.
Whilst you might think that I’m mad to even be looking at the travel sector at the current time, I believe that often the fear of what might happen outweighs the actual reality, and often things don’t turn out as badly as people thought they might – the commodities sector during the first half of 2020 being a good example!
Gold edged higher again this week to $1788 from $1782 a week ago. It is not much of a move, but following the beating in the wake of the Fed’s threat to raise interest rates in two years’ time that is now two positive weeks, which is good (for gold bulls). There are plenty of reasons for optimism that Gold will head a good deal higher a few months out, but I am keeping the faith that we will again see $2000 Gold by year-end and this is why.
I3 Energy (I3E) has been a great example of why past failure doesn’t necessarily point to a continuation of that in the future – in the same way that past success doesn’t mean that a company or management team will manage the same again.
Energy services provider Lamprell (LAM) saw its share price take a big hit following the release of its annual results for 2020, which included a statement about the need to raise further capital via an equity issue – the exact amount and terms of which is yet to be announced.
A few days after my article here back in March, I did take some very minor profits and ran away from my holding in the ‘British multinational engineering and consulting business’ John Wood Group (WG). Since then the shares have dropped well over 20% to a 217p share price on Friday. So do I feel lucky enough to buy it back (punk)?
As I noted last month here, I do own some shares in Carnival Corporation (CCL) on the basis that (1) I was too optimistic in early 2020 thinking about Covid-19 only being focused on China but; (2) I did double up my holding a couple of months later on the basis that the owner of the Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, P&O Cruises, Seabourn, Costa Cruises, AIDA Cruises and Cunard was going to be loved by a growing number of (rich and ageing) holidaymakers around the world. Obviously I would not ever go myself…but as discussed about multiple other sectors and stocks, this has never been a reason for me not to invest (after all, inherently I am personally unbelievably boring in any case).
Crash! Having had a fair old go at clearing $1900 Gold went into reverse this week to close at $1764 – down a whopping $114 from last week. Apparently Jerome Powell, head of the US Federal Reserve, has suddenly become a hawk……having told us he would ignore inflation data for the rest of this year, that unemployment is his biggest concern and that he wasn’t even thinking about thinking about tapering QE (which, we are told, would come before raising rates), now we are told to expect maybe two rate hikes in 2023. And that was enough to send precious metals into a tail-spin.
It always surprises me how impatient investors can be and how much a missed deadline can sometimes be punished, even when that event has the potential to unlock significant amounts of value, if and when it finally happens. I’ve been invested in Horizonte Minerals (HZM) for several years now and during that time have seen lots of ups and downs, including disappointment when ‘deadlines’ have been missed.
Back in the day we all used to go to one of the 2,800 branded catering, 180 airport and/or 300 railways stations where SSP Group (SSPG) acts as a food supplier. Naturally matters have been a bit different over the last fifteen months, hence why the company’s interim results were pretty shocking with a 78.8% fall in revenue and a loss of nearly £300 million. No wonder it announced a money raising the other month, to help bring down its net debt level to just over £350 million. You can all guess the realities that the operator of Upper Crust since the 1980s and names such as Le Grand Comptoir and Camden food co. has faced as fewer people have travelled to cities, railway stations and airports.
When an AIM company changes its name it can often be to try and hide a dodgy past, generally where it has raised money consistently from shareholders but failed to actually deliver anything, but there are also times when it can signal a change to the business and a move in the right direction.
It has been a great last year for my investment in Aviva (AV.), shares in which have risen from just over 250p to above 400p in the last month or so. Certainly my view back in February was that the sale of its business in France, Poland, Italy and part of Asia struck me as a very sensible move. The completion of these deals is still set for later in the year – along with the anticipated return of capital. Elsewhere, ‘our positive trading performance in the first quarter of 2021 reinforces our confidence in the targets we announced earlier in the year…we still have much more to do, to deliver stronger returns for our shareholders’, which sounds like good movement.
I have had a positive view on the waste management company Biffa (BIFF) for a while now, mentioning last October here that ‘on a similar multiple for its likely earnings for the 2021 or 2022 full years and this is how you get a three quid odd share price target’. Back then the stock was about 220 pence, but today it is almost at my three quid target…and it is nothing to do with its next set of numbers (which are due next week). Earlier today, Biffa announced it would be buying the collections business and ‘certain recycling assets’ from its industry peer Viridor. So why are its shares up nicely this morning?
Hello, Share Bunnies. In a week when eating places return to inside noshing, the share price of catering king Compass Group (CPG) is holding up rather well when you consider that its revenue dropped by nearly a third in these difficult times. Even so the latest half-year revenue is still £8.6 billion and that’s tickling up a share price which has been slowly recovering.
Hello Share Bunnies. Fool that I am, my biggest holding is in Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA). My intention is to sell up as soon as the price gets closer to its highs, even though I realise it will not get all that close, possibly ever again. Never mind, the share price is currently rising as the value of Brent Crude continues to soar.
Private investors are often looking to buy into companies where the share price has fallen, rather than those which are near all time highs, but in some cases that is the opposite of what they should be doing!
A “trading and strategy update” announcement from Grafenia (GRA) includes “revenue in March 2021 improved and was 80% of the same period last year. This April has started well… there’s lots of reason to believe our clients will reopen to increased demand… using our software platform to smooth the process” and “we made significant and permanent reductions to our overhead base during 2020, to reduce our breakeven point”. Why then are the shares currently little changed, at 5.625p, in response?…
Libertarian investor Rafi Farber is an economist of the Austrian school so clearly a sound chap. He outlines the treasury market operations and the massive increase in debt issuance. Much of this debt is now being redeployed under Janet Yellen and will require an enormous amount of additional issuance to finance the infrastructure spending under Biden. This debt will be raised through ten-year and two-year treasuries, and the Fed will have to monetize nearly all of it. And that will have only one result.
It is good to see the UK market opening up again after the Easter break, including a pleasantly positive move by Central Asia Metals (CAML) which I positively wrote up yesterday HERE. Otherwise I have been following Tom’s comments on the comedy Deliveroo (ROO) float. I note this morning’s update that ‘Deliveroo Holdings plc will announce its trading update for the First Quarter of 2021, on Thursday 15th April’ as finally a bit of sensible news from this one. Look forward to writing that up then…and finally giving a view about whether the nearly 30% share price fall since last week’s float has made it close to being at an interesting share price…or not! Elsewhere I also see that HomeServe (HSV) is out with an update…
Last week I noted that Gold was going nowhere fast. This week it moved fast, and quite a bit, but ended up more-or-less back where it started. This week’s action might offer some hope to gold-bulls like me, but I fancy there remains a way to go before one can be certain the selling of the past 8 months is finally over.
Trader Francis Hunt “The Market Sniper” says that gold is acting as the bellwether for the collapsing global economy. Gold and silver will soon be unleashed, not unlike the recent major moves in palladium and rhodium. He says that a lot is happening behind the scenes that will affect precious metals, and he looks closely at the macro picture surrounding the markets and bonds.
Two steps forward, one step back. Gold closed at $1734 per oz this week, down a tad from last week’s $1745, ending a two-week rally but the truth of it is that it has been going nowhere fast over the last two and a half weeks, as can be seen on the chart below. I guess that is better than continuing the decline.
Wm Morrison (MRW) has announced its results for its year ended 31st January 2021 and that it is confident it can continue momentum into the new year, expecting both profit growth and a significant reduction in net debt.
Wall Street veteran Peter Grandich believes that the loose monetary policy day of reckoning must come. He says, “We just past another couple trillion in money printing. This debt isn’t something that will go away; someone will pay the price and pay dearly. Servicing this debt is an issue, and the average American has no understanding of what is occurring.”
Hello, Share Lovers. I’ve loyally held shares in Tullow Oil (TLW) for 5 years or so. Worst luck! At one stage, and it was a long time ago, the shares multibagged. But presently I’m down about 60%. Of course, the virus knocked the stuffing out of what value remained for me. But with the oil price soaring, there’s a chance that Tullow may fare better soon.
Back in August the Gold price peaked at $2063 and it has been more-or-less downhill ever since. On Friday the Gold price closed at $1700 – a 17.6% drop in around seven months. So is the Gold bull story all over? My answer is definitely no. But as a Gold Bull, I would say that, wouldn’t I!
Quite often ShareProphets readers contact us asking for an opinion on a particular company, and I’m always happy to take a look – although there is no guarantee that the conclusions I come to will necessarily be what they wanted to hear about the company!
Pharos Energy (PHAR) has been one of the worst stocks that I’ve been invested in – not necessarily in terms of the share price performance, although that has also been awful, but more the way the company has been managed and the amount of money that I’ve seen them waste over the years.
I noted a few weeks ago that ShareProphets’ favourite technical analyst, Jordan Roy-Byre of TheDailyGold.com, has called the end of the Gold correction which started last August. It was a very rare error. Now, noting that making declarative statements does not necessarily add value for the reader, he has called the bottom for gold miners and juniors. I hope he is bang on the money this time!
When it comes to investing, I’ve always gone on the basis that you should always react to new information, not necessarily in terms of buying or selling, but certainly in assessing upside potential and risks – even when that emerges soon after you’ve made a decision as to whether or not a company is worthy of investment.
Schroder UK Public Private Trust (SUPP) – the former Woodford Patient Capital Trust has today announced the sale of seven assets for a total of £51.9 million. Well done, you might say – until you read that this represents as discount of some 19% to the forex adjusted (as at 25 January) valuations as at 30 September 2020. Not so hot, all of a sudden.
Any regular reader of this website may have noticed that I have become fairly bullish on the travel sector recently, although mixed with a degree of caution as well as there are still plenty of risks for these businesses.
It was all looking so rosy. The correction from $2063 which started last August seemed to have played out, a low had been put in at $1776 and recovery was well on the way as the yellow metal rose and rose again to over $1950. And then we hit a bump in the road and we’re back down to around $1830. Even ShareProphets’ favourite technical analyst was taken aback by the drop: I hate to say it, but it looks as though Jordan Roy-Byrne of TheDailyGold.com has finally got something wrong!
Asset manager Lawrence Lepard of Equity Management Associates argues that the system has failed due to unsound money, and an immediate restructuring would be preferable. The alternative may be dragging the process out for the next twenty years. He explains the differences between today and 2008 and why we haven’t seen much increase in money velocity yet.
EnQuest (ENQ) is a company that I have followed for a long time and have previously been invested in myself, but over the past few years its shares have performed terribly and has never really recovered from the previous oil price slump, which bottomed out in 2016.
When I last commented on Gold I noted that it seemed to have smashed through overhead resistance at $1900-1925 but cautioned that it may turn tail again in the short term. My view was – and remains – that it will head sharply higher over the next year to eighteen months but we must await the return of the Gold Bull. Well, it seems that it has indeed turned tail – we will be waiting a little longer for the bull to reappear.
There are, once again, bubbles everywhere. US markets are at all-time highs and Japan is at a thirty-year high, according to David Scott. Government bonds (as opposed to their yields) aren’t far off all-time highs and – importantly – the returns are minimal if not negative. Traditionally, that would be a warning sign that all is not well – normally when one is high the other is low. But these are no normal times.
You might have noticed that recently I have started covering a few companies in the oil and gas sector as being worthy of a long term investment, and in case you are wondering if I’m mad to be doing so given what is going on in the world, I believe that it is the right time in the cycle to start positioning again.
Cineworld (CINE) is drowning in more than $8 billion of net debt. Its net assets at the half year were just $1.2 billion and if you strip out intangibles that number falls to MINUS $4.3 billion. With cinemas around the world either shuttered or likely to reopen to much smaller audiences, what to do? Yup…take on more debt.
Buying shares in a large company which seems to be going through a rocky patch is always a risk, as in some cases these companies never actually manage to recover, but if you do get it right it can be very lucrative and Covid appears to have helped to create some good opportunities. Energy provider, Centrica (CNA) has performed terribly over the past six or seven years and anybody who has held it as a long term investment during that period of time will be sat on a sizeable loss. Even prior to the arrival of Covid it was already in a downwards spiral with high levels of debt and falling profitability, but the virus accelerated that and even though the markets and many energy shares have recovered to some degree in recent months, Centrica is still trading closer to the lows with a share price of 44.8p…
The announcement by Pfizer (NYSE – PFE) that its Covid vaccine was 90% effective saw markets rally and gold drop sharply – initially by around $100. Yesterday saw vaccine no.2, from Moderna (Nasdaq – MRNA) announced, and the Dow Jones closed at an all-time record. But the effect on gold was much more limited…
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…
And so we are indeed heading back into lockdown. I’ll leave aside the merits or otherwise of that, but would urge readers to take a look at THISand consider a polite, brief but acid note to your MP pointing out that their own job prospects may be in question if they do not challenge Bonkers Boris, as suggested by Peter Hitchens if you think fit.The question now, for investors, is what to do.
Chaarat Gold (CGH) has updated on the third quarter of the year, noting “a strong Q3 operational result and continued progress at our Tulkubash project” despite COVID-19 and “events” in its countries of operation…
Gulf Marine Services (GMS) has updated that “at its general meeting held today, the resolutions put to shareholders both failed to pass… Of the 176,388,633 votes cast against the resolutions, 96.7 per cent. (170,575,984 votes) were voted in respect of shares beneficially owned by Seafox, Mazrui Investments LLC or Horizon Energy LLC”. The shares have currently responded further lower towards 7p…
Asset manager Egon von Greyerz of Matterhorn Asset Management AG based in Switzerland argues that today’s events are not nerw. History does repeat itself. Governments love to spend more than they receive in revenue, and no currency has ever survived. Deficits have been nearly non-stop since 1930, and often an unrelated trigger can cause the crisis.
Currently you could easily argue that there is a longer term investment case for numerous oil and gas producers, based on the assumption that commodity prices will improve over the next few years, and could even spike in the same way that we’ve seen in the past after prolonged periods of low demand.
Previously writing on UK engineering and construction company NMCN plc (NMCN), last month I noted an update attempted no-one watching o’clock? – with clearly a far from planned CEO ‘step down’ and a trading warning following recent CFO resignation and with the shares around 250p to avoid / sell. Now a further “Trading Update”…
Provider of temporary structures for events, Arena Events (ARE) “is pleased to announce that the group has secured funding of £15.6m through the Government Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Scheme… this additional funding, coupled with securing non-event revenues such as medical facilities and fixed cost reductions will enable the group to continue to trade through during these extraordinarily difficult times”. The shares though currently remain at 5.6p…
At 10:04am Gulf Marine Services (GMS) announced it “has today been notified that Hesham Halbouny and Hassan Heikal have resigned as Directors of the Company with immediate effect. Mr Habouny and Mr Heikal were previously appointed to the Board on 4 August 2020 at a General Meeting requisitioned by Seafox International Limited”. At 11:27am Seafox responded…
Hello, Share Tweakers. The rise and rise of Compass Group (CPG) was keeping this old punter very happy. But that was before the pandemic struck. How can you expect a company to succeed when it specialises in contract catering for firms, schools, and universities at a time when a pestilence has shut them down?
Rolls Royce (RR.) is one of the most famous British companies, and even though it no longer associated with the car brand, it is still renowned around the world for its engineering prowess. But despite its reputation, it has struggled in recent years and the arrival of Covid-19 in combination with a poor set of results for 2019, not to mention impending debt repayments, caused the share price to plummet back in late February and throughout March. Since then, apart from a brief recovery in early June when the markets bounced back, it has seen a further decline and is now trading at close to an 85% discount compared to where it was a couple of years back…
When, on August 11th I looked at the rescue rights issue for fully-listed Hammerson (HMSO) and the terms, I concluded it was a slam dunk sell. At the time, the shares were (in consolidated terms) 264.9p with a mother-load of rights offer confetti to come at just 15p. The official ex-rights price calculation was 25.59p: now the stock is languishing at just 16.6p. A glass of Ouzo for me, then.
Only a week or so until the start of October and the formal start of the fourth quarter of a certainly different year. In the narrow commercial world of stock market investment, many of the thoughts in the institutional world will be about how year-to-date performance against both benchmarks and absolute terms is looking – and whether there are a few tweaks needed in the last few months of the year. For my personal pension fund such considerations should not really matter as – unless I fancy talking to myself – I don’t have to rock up early next year to talk to a much of dusty trustees, excitable intermediaries or comedy line managers about how well or badly my portfolios have done. However, all those years taking the institutional shilling continues to influence and – like the investment sad-o I am – on my monitoring spreadsheet I do have a year-to-date performance column. I have been a fan of PZ Cussons (PZC) for a while…
Hurricane Energy (HUR) promised so much but it looks like it will end up joining the long list of failed companies in the natural resources sector following recent updates, including the interims today.
Chaarat Gold (CGH) describes itself as an “AIM-quoted gold mining company with an operating mine in Armenia and assets at various stages of development in the Kyrgyz Republic”. The shares commenced 2020 at 35.2p, with the gold price then below $1,550. The gold price is now above $1,950, but the shares are still available at a 38.9p offer price – with the company most recently updating earlier this month…
Once again we stumble across someone who makes Nigel Somerville look sane and balanced. Trader Steve Penny claims that “Commodities have never been so cheap relative to paper assets.” He argues that today is a generational wealth transfer opportunity. His macro thesis is that the national debt is mathematically impossible to repay. History has shown that politicians will always try to inflate away the debt.
Industrial engineering company The 600 Group (SIXH) has updated including of “a £1.2m ($1.6m) new term loan with a 3-year bullet repayment under the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme through HSBC” and “all sites are operational… the level of order backlog has returned to acceptable levels”. The shares though are little changed at around 8p…
Gold is all the rage at the moment and looks set to remain strong, even if we do see some pullbacks or it not advancing to the price levels that some are predicting. So, it is no surprise that there is so much focus at the moment on any company operating in the gold sector, either producing or even just early stage explorers. With such a big recent rise in the gold price, many miners have followed it upwards, so if you are only just getting into gold now, the trick is to try and find value, and if something does look cheap, to understand why it might be trading at a lower market cap than you would expect. One ShareProphets reader has recently asked me to take a look at Tanzanian gold producer Shanta Gold (SHG), as to him it seemed relatively cheap and he wondered if there was a good reason for it being so…
I have never owned or – to the best of my knowledge – written about AA plc (AA.). Briefly last decade I was a member before an alternative breakdown service was bundled into my bank account but I remember thinking it was a bit of a rip-off back then. Obviously some people (Neil Woodford) did not think it was a rip-off and built up a large double-digit percentage stake before having to admit it was yet another mistake…
Operator of 165 neighbourhood café / bar / restaurants across England and Wales under the Lounge and Cosy Club brands, Loungers (LGRS) “is pleased to update on current trading having now re-opened all 165 sites in the estate, with the exception of Cosy Club in Leicester which opens this Friday” – and the shares have currently responded to 130p, more than 20% higher…
Centrica (CNA) updated the market this morning with its half-year report…..and the proposed sale of its US unit, Direct Energy for $3.6 billion. With the sale process of Spirit Energy still to be restarted once commodity and financial markets have settled and the eventual divestment of its nuclear business still to come, Chris Bailey reckons it looks like this is a trip back to the future as the company returns to its mid-80s look as a regulated UK business. Here, here.
Risk management technology for capital markets-focused KRM22 (KRM) has updated including “progress has been made with two new customer wins and cost and debt reduction” and that it “continues to have a strong pipeline of opportunities and is progressing well through the procurement process with two further tier one banks which the company expects will close in the second half of the year”. The shares have currently responded to 28p… approaching 14% lower!...
There are some sectors where I am incredibly wary of buying in general at the moment, but amongst those there are companies that have the strength to survive the current situation with Covid-19 and will do very well long term, so there is an argument for buying them as an investment.
Buying bombed-out shares in companies that have previously run as successful businesses can be very lucrative if they somehow manage to turn things around, but it also offers a very high chance of losing all your money if you are proven wrong and hold to the bitter end. There are plenty of companies on the stockmarket that have been at death’s door but have managed to survive and have subsequently gone on to do quite well, but there are also a large number of others that went bust and where investors lost all their money, and there is a very fine line between the two if you do decide to take a risk on a company that finds itself in this situation.
Technically insolvent AIM-listed POS Trafalgar Property (TRAF) has announced a bailout placing/subscription, courtesy of a Peterhouse special, to raise £750,000 at just 0.08p. Alongside that, there is a corporate loan restructuring which will see £600,000 of intercompany debt morphed into convertible loan notes issued to a director but still leave behind a further £1.4 million debt to said director. Well, you can’t say you were not warned…….
I had been wondering when further news would come from i3 Energy (I3E) and these week two significant RNSs dropped on the same morning, which ultimately led to shares being suspended for the foreseeable future.
I start with two points of order on my next premium podcast (out later tonight) and on July 18 ( more details tomorrow). Then I look at Walcom (WALG) and lessons learned, Tomco (TOM) and lessons not being learned as who gives a flying wotsit about criminality on AIM, and at Cineworld (CINE) where there are four reasons to stay short.
The board of Angelfish Investments (ANGP on the AQSE ‘Growth Market’) “is pleased to announce… Company Update and Proposed Director Appointment”. This with it previously - in October - “continuing to review the options to address the capital structure and will provide further updates in due course”. So now, at last, some good news then?...
There is a lot of focus on oil companies of all sizes at the moment, with many investors speculating on their future recovery now that commodity prices have improved, but I would probably be more focussed on those which largely produce gas.
Regular readers will know my long-term negative view on Cineworld (CINE). Was it really December 2017 that I first penned some caution on the name?...Yes it was as you can read here. Even with the recent comedy bounce, the shares are still down two-thirds in value since then which is not too shabby. So what to think now?...
Oil, gas and renewable energy industries support vessels provider Gulf Marine Services (GMS) yesterday announced a new debt structure which it argued provides it with a “secure platform to sustain recovery”. Now a requisition of a General Meeting from Seafox International!...
I last wrote about Johnson Matthey (JMAT) in late March, since when unsurprisingly the share has made some solid progress (although clearly it remains heavily down year-to-date). Back in March I wrote about how the stock would be a member of my top five 'quality longer-term FTSE-100 constituents' on the basis of the range of 'typically high barrier to entry businesses (recycling and refining of precious metals, clean air and car emissions regulation focused, plus batteries and value-adding fine chemicals)'. Well that is all fine and dandy but - as today's full year to 31st March numbers show - it does not preclude profits getting a whack...
Be Heard Group (BHRD) “notes the recent movement in Be Heard's share price, and can confirm that it is in advanced discussions with MSQ Partners Limited regarding a possible cash offer of 0.5 pence per Be Heard share”. The shares have currently responded around 0.20p higher to circa 0.46p, capitalising the group at around £5.75 million...
Time Out (TMO) has updated that “6,135,967 new ordinary shares were taken up under the open offer, including open offer shares applied for pursuant to the excess application facility, raising gross proceeds of approximately £2.1 million”. The shares have currently responded trading at around 40p...
You may recall back in September I rhapsodised about waste company Biffa (BIFF) observing - after pacing through its capital markets day presentation - that 'the company is exposed to themes such as tighter regulation, recycling and participation in energy from waste'. A quick look at the shares over the last nine months showed that my hopes of a three quid share price proved correct. Having done all the difficult work, I really should have got back in the stock after it nearly halved at the time of the March lows. Anyhow, here we are in June with the share having regained about half the decline and today's full year numbers update is really in two parts – as are so many corporations reporting up to 31st March…
The economic low tide of Covid-19 has shown many businesses to be naked below the waist, with insufficient equity to protect their sensitive parts. It is a good moment to consider why so many firms run this risk, and if a change in government policy might be in order. I believe that it is.
Over the past couple of months it has generally been a good idea to avoid resource stocks unless you’re either buying for the long term or are happy to try and trade high volatility, but one metal that is showing signs of strength is copper.
We recommended shares in tobacco and ‘next generation’ products smoking company Imperial Brands(IMB) amidst the market instability in early April – noting trading performance resilience although we regarded a dividend cut as almost inevitable. The company has now announced results for its half-year ended 31st March 2020 – and there’s subsequently been a new addition to the shareholder list...
Normally a preliminary results announcement would be of the uppermost interest when thinking about the daily newsflow grind around a FTSE-100 company. However, for Whitbread (WTB) today its own preliminary update is superseded by a rights issue announcement from the owner/operator of the Premier Inn franchise. A rights issue! In the current era of placings, it felt like a blast from the past to have a table showing the indicative timing of events...
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...
As everyone except a few delusional souls such as Bernie Madoff in his pomp have noted, this investment game is not easy. Today's ongoing lesson for me is Imperial Brands (IMB), where, if you had asked me yesterday – the day before its first half results, I would have predicted a playbook something akin to (1) the company says life is not easy but sort of workable akin to its revised guidance of a month or two ago (check), (2) it would cut the dividend citing the need to reduce debt but the absolute yield would still be attractive (check) and; (3) the shares would go up as panicky investor types would get the other side of their fears and realise there is an interesting and out-of-favour defensive total return story (hmm)...
Is there much more to say about Intu Properties (INTU)? I last directly wrote about the stock a couple of months ago, and for over a couple of years I have been pushing the bear tune. My essential thought is that even at today's share price - which I see on a decent up day on the markets has advanced 5% - I am still aggressively avoiding the stock and regard the likelihood that it remains overvalued as very high. Today's announcement concerning the impact of the coronavirus we all see on commercial property realities - 'breaches of covenants' and 'material uncertainty for any asset disposal or additional funding process which intu might pursue to address these covenant issues' - is the hard and harsh truth...