2013 Investment Ideas

Wednesday, Jan 02 2013 by

In a similar vein to the '12 for 2012' portfolio experiment I ran through 2012, I've chosen the following 12 stocks to track throughout the year (amongst others):


  31-Dec 31-Mar 30-Jun 30-Sep 31-Dec % change Dividends
Avingtrans (LON:AVG) 1,000 1,030 1,179 1,365 1,689 68.9% 22
Asia Resource Minerals (LON:ARMS) 1,000 1,073 943 789 836 -16.4%  
Coastal Energy Co (LON:CEO) 1,000 1,012 665 875 862 -13.8%  
dotDigital (LON:DOTD) 1,000 945 945 1,173 1,694 69.4%  
Eco City Vehicles (LON:ECV) 1,000 795 955 818 750 -25.0%  
Entertainment One (LON:ETO) 1,000 1,101 1,136 1,293 1,527 52.7%  
Genel Energy (LON:GENL) 1,000 1,032 1,164 1,193 1,368 36.8%  
Getech (LON:GTC) 1,000 1,400 1,342 1,853 2,009 100.9% 9
Idox (LON:IDOX) 1,000 926 713 728 608 -39.2% 6
accesso Technology (LON:ACSO) 1,000 1,564 1,423 1,564 1,992 99.2%  
Ophir Energy (LON:OPHR) 1,000 914 855 810 800 -20.0% 150
SOCO International (LON:SIA) 1,000 1,044 973 1,213 1,219 21.9% 112
Portfolio value (£) 12,000 12,836

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accesso Technology Group plc is a United Kingdom-based company engaged in the development and application of ticketing, mobile and e-commerce technologies, and virtual queuing solutions for the attractions and leisure industry. The Company's solutions include accesso LoQueue, accesso Passport, accesso Siriusware and accesso ShoWare. accesso LoQueue is a queuing solution that includes Qsmart, Qbot and Qband. The accesso Passport ticketing suite is built where its customers shop. accesso Siriusware provides clients with ticketing and admission solutions, and includes various modules, such as OnSite Ticketing, OnLine eCommerce, Point-of-Sale and Guest Management. accesso ShoWare offers a range of ticketing software solutions for theaters, fairs, arenas and tours. The Company's products and services support attractions in the world, including a range of paid admission operations ranging from theme parks, water parks and zoos to cultural attractions and sporting events. more »

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24 Posts on this Thread show/hide all

StrollingMolby 3rd Jan '13 5 of 24

Some material news from Entertainment One (LON:ETO) this morning relating to the proposed acquisition of Alliance Films in Canada. The waiting period during which the Canadian Competition Bureau could object has lapsed, and the takeover can now complete, funded by the earlier placing and bank facilities.  The combination of eOne and Alliance will make the combined group the largest independent film distributor in Canada and the UK, and the enlarged group will have 35,000 film and television titles.


SP is up 5% to 181p.



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StrollingMolby 3rd Jan '13 6 of 24

News has emerged from the part-owned co beneath the London-listed, Indonesian coal miner, that has been ravaged by boardroom disputes, Bumi (LON:BUMI), of significant derivatives losses, which are likely to be the 'financial irregularities' that Bumi plc wishes to investigate.

Bumi Resources, the Indonesian coal miner part-owned by London-listed Bumi Plc, lost $632m in the nine months to September on the back of substantial derivatives losses, as the battle over the businesses’ future rages.

Bumi Resources reported $422m in losses on unspecified transactions, prompting the $632m loss that compared with a $176m profit for the same period in the previous year. Operating income fell 60 per cent to $312m.


That'll teach me to pick a special situation play in the dozen picks!


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StrollingMolby 7th Jan '13 7 of 24

I've just posted this brief review of dotDigital (LON:DOTD) over on TMF for my 2013 competition entry, and some brief reasoning as to why the company is well placed for further growth...


With humble apologies for my DOTD write-up timing as it was up 16% on Friday…

I’ve recorded my thoughts and a few numbers and product details below as a starter, and hope it piques your interest, or maybe someone will highlight a significant drawback with the stock? Anyway, I wanted it out before Monday morning so here it is.

Current share price – 17-17.5p
Shares in Issue – 275,362,065
Market cap - £48m


What do they do?

In their own words…

“dotDigital is a provider of software as a service (SaaS) technology and managed services to digital marketing professionals. The Company operates in the provision of Web-based marketing services. The Company’s product portfolio includes dotMailer, which is an email marketing automation platform, and dotSurvey, which is an online survey tool. The Company also provides digital marketing services for businesses seeking dramatic growth through integrated, multi-channel engagement, conversion, acquisition and retention. dotDigital’s services include dotAgency, which consists of Website design and ecommerce, and dotSearch, which consists of search and content marketing.”

The company appears to have found a sectoral sweet spot and appears to be firing on all cylinders. During the year the company integrated its dotMailer product with Salesforce.com and the eBay X-Commerce fabric, and translation of its userface into eight new languages. These SaaS offerings bring in 80% of revenues (up 38% on 2011).


www.dotmailer.co.uk – the jewel in the crown, this product provides email and cross-channel marketing automation solutions. Pre-built or custom-built integrations allow the dotMailer platform to share data with client’s CRM, eCommerce and third party applications (such as Facebook and Twitter), improving the understanding of their customers' behaviour to develop even more relevant and rich relationships.

www.dotsurvey.com – new product released in 2012 to existing clients in beta initially, it is an online survey tool with dotMailer integration, with 500 clients signed-up and 2,000 more trialling it (at 30-Jun-12). The dotSurvey product aims to compete with Survey Monkey, a U.S business, which has increased its revenues from $78m to $301m in the last 3 years with just this one product, and is valued at $1bn.

www.dotagency.co.uk - provides expert support services for SasS technology clients and all marketers seeking to increase their online engagement and sales through a more effective website and mobile marketing strategy and presence.

www.dotsearchmarketing.co.uk - provides strategic, bespoke search marketing services focused on helping clients achieve greater online visibility and drive & convert more website traffic and revenue.


DOTD has approximately 6,500 clients, having added 1,813 in the year to 30-Jun-12 (1,470 new clients in prior year).

DOTD has increasingly targeted corporate clients as they are worth the sales effort, are ‘sticky’ clients, and help to self-promote. The company stated in the 2012 AR that it would expect to earn £40k over the lifetime relationship with a corporate client, compared with £4k from an SME. From the results comes this corporate client list:

”Our portfolio of blue chip clients now includes names such as DHL, Nationwide, BBC Worldwide, Capita, AstraZeneca, Esso, Ryman, Tarmac, Nicole Farhi, Nicky Clarke, EDF Energy, Virgin Train and Betfair.”

Segmental splits

dotMailer + dotSurvey = SaaS Email Marketing Revenues
dotAgency + dotSearch = Services & Search

SaaS EM Revenues 9.5m

Services & Search



Are the revenues sustainable? Well, in a word – yes. 67% of total revenue (£8m) is recurring revenue, with 60% of the total (£7.2m) coming from monthly dotMailer income. As this product and the SaaS side of the business is growing faster than Services & Search, then the contracted earnings into the years ahead can be more confidently predicted.

As mentioned above the stock put on a spurt during Friday with above average volume, as I understand it was tipped in both MoneyWeek and TechInvest that day. There should be a trading update in the next week (perhaps Tuesday?), whilst the Interim results should be released in late-Feb.

DOTD increased in value for me by 75% during 2012, but I still believe there’s plenty of potential for further rises (notwithstanding the increase already this year).

Full year results showed revenue up 34% to £12m, PBT up 25% to £2.9m (before exceptionals), EPS of 0.9p and y/e cash of £4m. EPS was hit by the exceptionals figure of £1.2m related to impairment of goodwill. Revenues are forecast to continuing growing by 20%+ in 2013, though the board acknowledge that profits will be lowered by increased sales and marketing spend in the short term to generate top-line growth. Nonetheless I’ve included it in my 2013 picks as I believe it is a company in the right sector providing clever solutions to other firms of all sizes to maximise their own marketing conversion rates – we will see!

I wouldn’t rule out a takeover at some stage either if growth is shown to be continuing and growing…


Other Info

Charles Stanley note Oct-12: http://www.dotdigitalgroup.com/includes/documents/cm_docs/20...

Glasshalfull post Feb-12 - http://boards.fool.co.uk/share-idea-dotdigital-dotd-digital-...

Significant Shareholder holdings

Shareholder % holdings/voting rights
Ian Taylor 18.08
Simon Bird 15.18
New Edge Group SA 10.47
Investec Asset Mgmt Ltd 7.97
Blackrock Inc. 7.37
Legal & General 6.96
Peter Simmonds 5.83


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StrollingMolby 7th Jan '13 8 of 24

Re Eco City Vehicles (LON:ECV), the December Taxi Registration numbers were released today revealing that LTI failed to sell any of their traditional TX4 black cabs, whilst ECV sold 42 Mercedes Vitos. Therefore, I now have a full 6-year table showing the growth in popularity of the Mercedes Vito cab vs decline in LTI-cab registrations (admittedly from a higher start point - a more buoyant era).

LTI Mercedes Vito
Merc share%
2007 3,132 0 0.0% 3,132
2008 1,971 108 5.2% 2,079
2009 1,685 406 19.4% 2,091
2010 1,685 445 20.9% 2,130
2011 1,451 291 16.7% 1,742
2012 997 578 36.7% 1,575

10,921 1,828 14.3% 12,749


2012 was a record year for Eco City - the trading update in late Jan will hopefully detail how successful the firm has been (and whether they believe they can repeat the success)...


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StrollingMolby 25th Jan '13 9 of 24

Gosh, it's been two weeks since I last posted on this thread, and as per the start to last year, I've not posted a rationale for the 12 shares selected to outperform in 2013 - apologies, I will attempt to rectify this soon.

I'm still rather pushed for time, but Edmond Jackson on iii.co.uk has handily pulled together the latest developments at my special situation pick Bumi (LON:BUMI), which is approaching the February EGM called by Nat Rothschild's investment vehicle, NR Investments, to remove 10 of the 12 directors and reinstall himself, and concentrate on divesting the Bumi shareholding and going it alone on Berau Coal.


A key question is the quantum of 'misappropriated assets' that the recent Macfarlane's report established - the report remains unpublished because of privacy concerns in Indonesia, though Nat Rothschild believes it should be released under UK whistleblowing laws, and the Serious Fraud Office have been informed/consulted.  It seems this will run and run throughout 2013....

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StrollingMolby 25th Jan '13 10 of 24

You wait ages for a post, then two come at once...

Eco City Vehicles (LON:ECV) has issued a Trading Update for the y/e 31-Dec-12:


· New Vito sales increased by 71% to 561 vehicles in 2012 (2011: 331)

· Revenue for the year ended December 2012 increased by 40% to £31.1m (2011 £22.2m)

· EBITDA before non-recurring items is estimated to be in the region of £0.8m - £1m (2011: EBITDA loss £0.9m)

· Net debt (being cash and cash equivalents together with long and short term borrowings) of £0.8m (2011: £3.1m)

· Loss before tax from continuing operations and excluding non-recurring items amounted to £0.1m - £0.3m (2011: loss £2.2m)

John Swingewood, Chairman, said: "We are delighted with the continued improvement in performance over the last year and the return to positive EBITDA. This year has also seen a significant reduction in debt, disposal of non-core assets and the consolidation of our controlling position in One80 Limited that earns revenue through intellectual property licence fees from the manufacture of the Vito Taxi.

"We look forward to further increasing our market share, geographical expansion and product and service innovation in the coming year."

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StrollingMolby 9th Feb '13 11 of 24

With the usual apologies for the delay, I've posted the end-of-January numbers in the header for the chosen dozen stocks versus various indices (I'll work on the gremlins in posting the spreadsheet cells - it doesn't seem to like ETO...).

Well, with quite disparate performance either side of the starting prices, the portfolio is up 5.9%, which is just about in-line (but behind!) the FTSE 100 (+6.4%) and the FTSE SmallCap (+6.2%), and ahead of the AIM AllShare (+3.7%).

Notable movements (of >10%) came from Getech (LON:GTC) and Bumi (LON:BUMI) which were up 33% and 24% respectively. All others were within 9% of where they started.

This graph shows the gains and losses on the initial notional £1,000 invested in each company:

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StrollingMolby 9th Feb '13 12 of 24

Subsequent to month-end, there was a placing of 9% of Ophir Energy (LON:OPHR) shares at 475p, being a partial sell by Mittal and Och-Ziff, leaving the shares 6% down for the year. Meanwhile, Bumi (LON:BUMI) continues to rise, in line with the ratcheting up of campaigning by the current board to resist the EGM request to replace the Board with a new board of Nat Rothschild's choosing. The shares rallied into Friday's close ending at 378p, up 37% YTD.

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StrollingMolby 3rd Mar '13 13 of 24

The end of February arrived and the results weren't particularly good for the 2013 Folio versus any indices you care to mention. With the FTSE Smallcap up 9.4% for the year, FTSE 100 +7.9% and the FTSE AIM All-share +4.8% the dozen shares selected for 2013 returned a measly 0.7% for the month, giving a YTD return of 6.6%.

Lo-Q (LON:LOQ) was the star performer of the month rising from £4.04 to £5.24, whilst on the flipside Idox (LON:IDOX) fell from 57p to 50p on the back of a trading update that read as a profit warning (though subsequent reports from the AGM on the sameday indicate the mood and tone was more upbeat, with a strong pipeline.

Bumi (LON:BUMI) rose as high as £4.40 but fell all the way back to £3.36 where it started February following the failed attempt by Nat Rothschild to replace the Board at a requisitioned EGM (only three resolutions were passed).  Avingtrans (LON:AVG) produced some solid results, whilst SOCO International (LON:SIA) slipped back after delaying updated reserves numbers.

So let's see what March has in store...


(28-Feb prices and holding values are in the thread header...)

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StrollingMolby 21st Mar '13 14 of 24

I attended ShareSoc's inaugural Technology Company Seminar last night, and was mightily impressed by the presentation given by dotDigital (LON:DOTD) CEO Peter Simmonds. His depth of knowledge of the market place, vision for the company and the KPIs the firm uses to measure its progress demonstrate the firm is strong managed.

Significant growth is expected from the SaaS products (dotMailer & dotSurvey), which if comes through will see fantastic bottom-line growth due to the operational gearing in play.

In the slide deck is mention of a 'social' tool, dotSocial, to tap-in to that space (though in searching now I see that name is already taken by a US marketing agency...).

He covered the winddown of the search & consultancy businesses and, in relation to dividends, asked for a straw poll of who in the room would expect/like to see a growing tech company to pay a dividend - from where I was sat it was an overwhelming sea of hands in favour. So watch this space as the Board has committed to reviewing its dividend policy ahead of the annual results in early October.

Peter also expressed an interest in presenting again in late October following release of the finals.

That's all I've time for now, but may return with some other thoughts later. All-in-all very happy to hold from what I heard. Hopefully others were suitably impressed too and will chip-in. I can only see a handful of small buys today so maybe others weren't as impressed (or are already holders...).


(thanks also to marben100 for organising, Roger Lawson for opening with a quick run-through of pitfalls to avoid when investing in tech companies, Ed for providing and talking through the data pages of all three companies presenting - and of course to Carmensfella's ladies for the culinary delights (and keeping my wine glass healthily topped-up...))

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StrollingMolby 2nd Apr '13 15 of 24

So to the end of the first quarter of 2013, and the results so far...

The MolbyDozen shows a return of 7.0%, but has been outshone by each of the comparator indices - the FTSE Smallcap is up 11.3% for the year, FTSE 100 +8.3% and the FTSE AIM All-share +3.0%.

Not much to shout about within the portfolio which only advanced to a 7.0% gain YTD from 6.6% a month before.  Lo-Q (LON:LOQ), Getech (LON:GTC) and Genel Energy (LON:GENL) have provided the main gains this month whilst the laggards were Bumi (LON:BUMI) and dotDigital (LON:DOTD).

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marben100 3rd Apr '13 16 of 24

Hi SM,

Nothing to be ashamed about in that performance - beats my overall 3.8% gain YTD (allowing for hedging losses). Not too much point worrying about quarterly performance, though - we need to keep focussed on the longer run.

Have you taken account of Ophir's rights issue, though, in calculating your performance? Either you should add-in gains from nil-paid nights lapsing or (probably better) assume you sold sufficient shares to allow you to take up your rights. Otherwise Ophir performance will be understated.


Nice article on dotDigital from Liontrust's manager here: http://www.liontrust.co.uk/ProfessionalAdvisers/NewsandViews/LiontrustBlog/tabid/291/entryid/639/Default.aspx

Good to see him engaging actively with dotDigital management.

We have a history of taking an active role in the development of smaller companies which we invest in (not to be confused with an activist role) and the same goes for prospective investments. We first met Dotdigitial’s management team back in November 2011 when the growth potential of the business was clear, but the predictability of earnings and the sustainability of its competitive advantage was difficult to assess due to the ‘lumpy’ or ‘ad-hoc’ nature of its contracts with clients...



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StrollingMolby 1st Jun '13 17 of 24

Returning to the MolbyFolio with a couple more month-ends of data, the performance is lagging the market and in fact has gone backwwards whilst the market has powered on. The 12 shares selected provided a YTD return of 5.7% which is positive at least and ahead of the AIM All-share which is up 3.2%. However, this is smashed by the return of the FTSE 100 (+11.6%) and the FTSE SmallCap Index (+15.7%).

From the chart below there are a few shares to highlight:

Idox (LON:IDOX) issued a trading update this week that saw 20% knocked off the price and is now the worst performer in the portfolio.  Whilst EBITDA is coming in at no less than £18m (and is ahead of last year), it clearly was less than the market expected and the price fell to 36p having been as high as 57p at the end of January.  The AGM statement at the end of February seemed to mask over the delays in orders and this week's statement confirmed a slower than expected first half.  However plenty of detail was provided of activity within the divisions and for now I am happy (and may buy more at these levels) but am wary of bad news coming in threes...

The shares of Bumi (LON:BUMI) are still suspended (from 22-Apr) due to the ongoing investigation into certain items of expenditure before the acquisition by the Vallar shell created by Nat Rothschild, but the 2012 results were issued ths week.  Despite the corporate shenanigans going on, the business returned operating profit of $365m, and the RNS reports higher production and efficiencies in Q1'13 though the selling price of coal is a fair way below last year.  The independent review of expenditure in subsidiary PT Berau highlights $200m of payments with no clear business purpose i.e. of dubious provenance and the company is pursuing its return.

Lo-Q (LON:LOQ) is going from strength to strength (and providing some foundation to the portfolio).  I anticipate plenty of contract newsflow this year, particularly in Asia, and also with waterparks globally. At Friday's price of 635p I am indebted to Carmensfella for bringing it to my attention in late 2008 before I bought at 42p! in Jan-09 - though he'd already had a 10 bagger by then having acquired a few at 4p...

My four oilies for the year (Coastal Energy Co (LON:CEO), Genel Energy (LON:GENL), Ophir Energy (LON:OPHR) & £SIA) are a mixed bag in terms of return - 2 are up, 2 are down - which highlights the need to diversify across a few rather than betting the farm on one!  The notional £4,000 invested would be worth £3,949 at 31-May.

So fingers crossed for a good June and some good stock-specific news from the dozen companies. 

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StrollingMolby 2nd Jun '13 18 of 24

I forgot to add to yesterday's update the Idox (LON:IDOX) thread started by Mark Carter here http://www.stockopedia.com/content/idox-a-painful-kickin-73693/

Also, I've not yet added in the value of the Ophir Energy (LON:OPHR) nil-paid rights. If I assume they were allowed to lapse (as I did for my personal holdings) then there is a cash amount to add. However, whilst I received 188.9p per share from Sippdeal I notice I received only 75.5p per share from First Direct so I've emailed FD to query. Can anyone else who let their rights lapse detail what they received in cash per share?


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StrollingMolby 1st Jul '13 19 of 24

Well, we’ve reached the midway point of 2013 and its time to reflect on an indifferent year.  Markets have all fallen back in unison since an exuberant jump forward in May, with the falls classified as a correction (i.e. >10%).

Against that background the performance of the twelve share portfolio fell back 4.3% in June, whilst the FTSE 100 fell 5.6%, the SmallCap index declined by 3.5%, and the AIM All-share dropped by 5.2%.

The returns over the six months see the portfolio up 2.4%, the FTSE 100 up 5.4%, the SmallCap up a very respectable 11.6%, with the AIM All-share dipping to a negative return of -2.2%.

All of the prices and indices have been updated in the header.

It’s embarrassing to note that one of my better performers during June was Bumi (LON:BUMI) – which has been suspended since April !  Shares that were up in June were Avingtrans (LON:AVG), Getech (LON:GTC) & Idox (LON:IDOX).  dotDigital (LON:DOTD) was static, meaning the other seven shares dragged the portfolio down, the worst being Lo-Q (LON:LOQ), Coastal Energy Co (LON:CEO) and SOCO International (LON:SIA).

Dividends for Avingtrans (LON:AVG) and the rights issue for OPHR have been added in and accounted for from the appropriate months

More to follow on specific stocks and prospects.


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StrollingMolby 1st Oct '13 20 of 24

So, we're three-quarters of the way through the year (where did that go?) and I've finally got round to updating the 2013 portfolio picks data. So as of last night 30-Sep, the '12 for 2013' portfolio is up 13.7% including dividends and other returns of cash/capital. Against this the FTSE 100 is +9.6%, the AIM All-share is +12.2%, and out-stripping them all is the FTSE SmallCap which is +23% YTD.


So which of the dozen shares are performing and which are proving to be embarrassing picks...?


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StrollingMolby 2nd Nov '13 21 of 24

Well, October was a better month for the 2012 dozen (+4.5%), clawing back some ground on the Small Cap (3.8%) and also ahead of the other indices (FTSE 100 +4.2%, and AIM Allshare +1.9%).

Movers this month were dotDigital (LON:DOTD) (+18%) on the back of solid results and continued growth, and Avingtrans (LON:AVG) (+15.8%) on a continued rise from strong results in late-Septemebr and further Rolls Royce contract wins.  Entertainment One (LON:ETO) jumped 12.1% after obtainign a Main Market listing, a solid trading update and a 69% increase in its film and content library valuation to $650m.  My special situations pick in January, Bumi (LON:BUMI) , was the only material faller, down 11.8% on the long, drawn-out separation from the Indonesian families.

I've also had a go at recording the Growth and Value scores of the 12 shares per the Top Ten thread, and it looks like this:

BUMI is hidden entirely behind ETO as it bizarrely has virtually the same metrics (but a far smaller 31-Oct value...).  Value is on the x-axis, Growth on y-axis.

I didn't expect them all to be in the top-right quadrant given the speculative nature of some, but hadn't expected the likes of Lo-Q (LON:LOQ) and dotDigital (LON:DOTD) to be so far to the left.  I'll need to go away and read the methodology behind the ValueRank to better understand why DOTD has a Value score of 13 and LOQ of 8 (I've just noticed it has dropped overnight to 7...).  On a cursory review the fact LOQ has no dividend and a high price to earnings and PTBV doesn't help.  DOTD is to introduce a maiden dividend which should boost its Value metric.

Anyway, the bubble graphs based on Value and Growth scores is fascinating, so much so I'll go and repeat the exercise now for my personal Top Ten!


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StrollingMolby 1st Dec '13 22 of 24

In an extraordinary turn of events the '12 for 2013' has actually outperformed the indices by some margin, giving me hope that it may continue through December to see the indices overhauled in the final straight!

The twelve share portfolio rose by 5.4%, versus +2.4% for the AIM All-share, -0.7% for the FTSE Smallcap, and -1.2% for the FTSE100.

The main contributors in the month were Bumi (LON:BUMI), Genel Energy (LON:GENL), Getech (LON:GTC), dotDigital (LON:DOTD) and accesso Technology (LON:ACSO) which were all up around 10%. Idox (LON:IDOX) was the main drag on performance, down a similar amount, albeit on a much diminished value.

Fingers crossed we'll all have a barnstorming December!


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StrollingMolby 2nd Jan '14 23 of 24

Well, the 'lines are closed and the votes have been counted'! How did the stock selection fare over the course of 2013?

As we know, the year has been kind to hunters of growth shares, especially in the lower-cap reaches of the market. The government's decision to permit AIM shares into ISAs from August undoubtedly helped those shares perform to year-end, and to that end, the old adage, 'a rising tide floats all boats' springs to mind as the market rose strongly in the second half.


27.9% - '12 for 2013' portfolio

14.4% - FTSE 100

29.6% - FTSE Small Cap

20.3% - FTSE AIM All-share

So a pleasing performance by the dozen stocks selected, but when compared against an equivalent index (the Small Cap), it is slightly behind.  When running a similar exercise in the prior year (12-for-2012) the return of 30.6% comfortably outperformed the Small Cap's 24.4% return, so what went wrong this year?

Whilst six of the twelve stocks selected returned in excess of 37%, and two returned 100%, there are five stocks with negative returns which provided a real drag, so it's worth dwelling on those:

Coastal Energy Co (LON:CEO) (-14%) - It seems strange to start here as the company is subject to an agreed takeover, but the stock fell throughout the year before the opportune approach by CEPSA in November.  Static oil production (from memory) and drilling delays saw the company's rating fall away after 2012 when it couldn't do any wrong. I wouldn't profess to be any sort of expert in this sector so I need to be cautious in my selctions here in future.  Certainly ignoring good prior performance and focusing on the outlook should be at the front of my mind.

Asia Resource Minerals (LON:ARMS) (-16%) - Starting the year as Bumi Resources, this was my special situations pick, given the corporate governance issues that were identified in 2012, and were likely (in my mind) to be corrected in short order.  In reality, the separation from the Indonesian owners of the subsidiary companies took far longer than expected, saw the shares suspended, and a fraud probe commenced over assets sold to them prior to the reverse takeover by the newly created London-listed shell company.  Maybe I was a year early, as it seems these issues have been largely dealt with now.  In fact, the Board intends to return at least $400m of cash early in 2014 so the company should again be able to be assessed as a coal producer within close proximity to the end users in Asia...

I will focus on the three worst performing stocks (Idox (LON:IDOX), Eco City Vehicles (LON:ECV) & Ophir Energy (LON:OPHR) ) tomorrow - as I've some thoughts on my 2014 stocks to finalise!

Happy New Year!



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StrollingMolby 4th Jan '14 24 of 24

To continue where I left off midweek, these are the three worst performers in the dozen share portfolio selected for 2013:

Ophir Energy (LON:OPHR) (-20%) – This African oil & gas exploration co fell throughout the year from 505p to 328p, on the back of its results, a fundraising and rights issue, poor drilling results offshore Ghana, but despite what seemed good discoveries, appraisals and flow tests in East Africa early in the year (Jodari and Mzia-2).  Ophir did manage to farm out 20% of three of its Tanzanian blocks to Temasek subsidiary, Pavilion Energy, which helped to put a value on the remaining 80%, though the uncertainty on the tax to be levied by the Tanzanian authorities pulled the price back after an initial rise. 

As I mentioned, there was rights issue in the year, but as with my own holding I have accounted for receiving cash for the nil-paid rights (of £150 on the £1000 starting investment - incidentally the biggest cash receipt from any of the 12 companies).

The share price had previously doubled from £3 to £6 in 2012, and I suspect there was an element of froth in the price which has seen it decline all the way back.  During 2013 I should have been more attentive to the firm’s ability to continue funding its drilling programme - however, with the farm out, the cash raised for exploration on many fronts, and the assets already held, the risk/reward still looks pretty good to me here and I remain a holder. 

Eco City Vehicles (LON:ECV) (-25%) – This is the company that converts Mercedes Vito minivans into taxis by installing rear-wheel steering technology to help achieve the 15-foot turning circle (amongst other things) and selling them into the taxi industry.  Despite the major advantage of its only competitor (LTI, manufacturer of the iconic black cab) recalling hundreds of cabs to rectify steering column problems, and suspend sales of brand new vehicles until corrected, ECV still struggled to make inroads into the industry and grab sufficient market share to turn a profit.

From being bullish at the start of the year, I suppressed reservations in the back of my mind regarding it ever reaching profitability, but following the final results and subsequent AGM, I then sold out in August.  This is what I posted over on ADVFNat the time (no idea why I didn’t replicate it here – I shall try and follow Paul’s lead in future and a) post more often, and b) post any sell decisions on the stocks previously discussed, presumably because I’ve been bullish on them):

StrollingMolby 11 Aug'13 - 12:10 - 188 of 217

Thanks for posting figures, phowdo.  I too have been disappointed with the sales figure as this represents a missed opportunity to take advantage of LTI's problems late last year/early this.  As it is ECV will post another loss when the interims are announced, pending any news on success in diversifying into the light commercial vehicle market (though given the scarcity of news this is unlikely). 

ECV's financial position would appear perilous and another placing will be needed at some stage, diluting holders further.  Therefore, given this hasn't played out as I'd hoped I've sold my modest holding this week.  Hopefully the Interims will give some cause for optimism though, so I'll watch from the sidelines.

Conclusion: I under-researched this serial disappointer, and shouldn’t have invested in the first place.  Thankfully I only suffered an 8% loss for the 8 months I held it.

Idox (LON:IDOX) (-39%) – Again, this is another stock that had a superb end to 2012 and was quite possibly overpriced, or priced to perfection, so when disappointment first filtered through it fell sharply.

The Trading update issued in February on the day of the AGM read as a profits warning, though reports from the AGM suggested the directors dismissed this.  Subsequent profits warnings then followed in the May Trading Statement and the November year-end Trading Statement, in which it stated it will miss EBITDA guidance by up to 20%.  As the share price graph shows the stock has been hammered down from 54p to 32p, but I suspect it is now bottoming out (famous last words!) so I hold and wait for the upturn..

Soooo, what have I learnt this year?  There’s a large dollop of luck involved with selecting shares that go on to rise by a large percentage, whilst not being dragged back too much by the losers.  Even in a rising market it’s relatively easy to be seduced by those that decline in value, or indeed delist or go into liquidation, so I should be under no illusion that it can’t happen to my holdings/selections.

Over recent years and now into 2014 I’ve been transitioning away from the blue sky-type stocks with little or no revenue, towards solid firms with a long growing track record of revenues, profits and, importantly, dividends, as buying stocks with these traits limits the downside and demonstrates that there is substance there with a discipline to produce sufficient cash for shareholders.  So here’s hoping for a great 2014, and that the economy and markets don’t combine to drag us backwards.



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