Yesterday, as I am in the grim North, I met up for a quick pint with Lucian Miers at a boozer which had the most abominable customer service I have encountered in years. Hell’s teeth they made Darren Atwater’s approach to customer service and that of the entire French population, seem Nobel prize winning. I digress. After discussing historic abuse at public schools we moved on to Ukraine and then to Lucian’s portfolio of shorts.
It s just 19 days to Sharestock and I bought the big tent for it yesterday!. It will not just be about shares to short. Peter Hambro will talk about gold and how to play it. Chris Bailey will talk about making money from long only value investing in a bear market and 3 CEOs will face a 15 minute grilling from me, including Optibiotix boss Steve O’Hara and Cathal Friel of Open Orphan. But the short sellers presenting are legends.
Yesterday I was reviewing Lucian Miers’ big 5 small cap shorts with the great bear over breakfast. Breakfast BTW was porridge with homemade stewed apples (from the Welsh Hovel) in cinnamon. In the podcast, I discuss last night’s culinary fare but then probe Lucian on what he sees as critical mid and end points for each of his 5 UK small cap big shorts: Tern (TERN), Versarien (VRS), Chill Brands (CHLL), Supply@ME Capital (SYME) and Eurasia Mining (EUA).
I discuss Joshua’s future career, gooseberry planting and two discussions and missives to regulators. Then the three UK shorts of Lucian Miers: TUI (TUI), Cineworld (CINE) and Versarien (VRS). then a five figure sell in my SIPP and how the cash was redeployed with a buy to treble!
I have two guests in this week's show which is sponsored by Open Orphan PLC (ORPH) .I also discuss Coronavirus and the markets an d my own experiences as a (failed) whistleblower. My first guest is Petrick Abbott, formerly head of Versarien's US operations who sets the record straight on why he left and spills the beans on what is really happening, or not, at his old employer. Then I chat to Lucian Miers about the markets, his top 3 US shorts, Apple, NMC Health (NMC), De La Rue (DLAR), IQE (IQE), Tullow (TLW), Telit (TCM) and Versarien (VRS). I am walking 34 miles for Woodlarks with Lucian and others this June 13 and I ask you to sponsor we rogue bloggers HERE. If you like this podcast and can't wait seven days for more of the same and are tired of being a cheapskate you should listen to my Bearcast and enjoy our cracking writen exposes and analysis every day HERE.
There’s nothing like talk of a short squeeze to get private investors predicting all sorts of crazy figures and scenarios – when the reality is that it is normally nothing more than just a rumour designed to pump the share price, and even if true it would be more likely to result in suspension of trading for a disorderly market, than a huge rise in the share price.
Last week fully-listed Keir Group (KIE) followed its disastrous rights issue of December and its awful trading update of earlier this month with pretty awful results – and a 79% cut in the dividend. The shares collapsed (again) and the short sellers piled in. But there was one lone voice buying – yes, you guessed it: Neil Woodford.
Over the weekend I covered a waste-to-energy company called Eqtec (EQT) and surmised that it was going to need funding very soon, and this would most likely come in the form of a discounted equity issue.
The lawyer's letter? I must keen you in suspense as I discuss with my lawyers how to respond so you can still vote on who sent it HERE. I also chatted today to Lucian about three slam dunk shorts: Telit (TCM), Purplebricks (PURP) and Tesla (TSLA). Or are they slam dunks? Might disbelief be suspended forever.? I then look at Photonstar Led (PSL) at Conroy Gold (CGNR) and at how AIM gives capitalism a bad name by not letting bust companies such as Andalas (ADL) fail.
It is all very well saying that tiddly little companies like Advanced Oncotherapy (AVO) or Eden Research (EDEN) are worthless cash guzzling frauds heading for 0p but they are just very hard to short. That both stocks will hit zero is a given. In the end frauds always run out of other people's money. What you want are stocks you can short which look almost certain to collapse. And right now you need them badly as a hedge. A hedge against what?
Steve Moore and I are pretty proud of NOT having published a new tip for several months on our pemium Nifty Fifty website There are commercial pressures to write tips – folks do not renew if you see no tips! – but we could not have acted differently and felt good about ourselves. Instead we have advised the selling of a number of older tips some at a profit others not so and we hope our readers are now fairly heavily cash weighted as a result.
In the last two years my seven most covered bear selections have been: Gulf Keystone (GKP), Iofina (IOF), Cupid (CUP), Quindell (QPP), Globo (GBO) Avanti(AVN) and Purecircle (PURE). With the exception of Purecircle, the other six are all firm retail favourites and I often wonder what it is that draws the private punter like a flame-bound moth to such eminently shortable stocks. One can highlight various useful themes but all seem to throw up exceptions – modestly I point oiut these have all bar one (so far) been great short calls by my good self.