I Read The News Today Oh Boy! 22-Aug-2017

Tuesday, Aug 22 2017 by

Morning all!

Cape (CIU)Interim Results Half Year To 2-Jul-17 – This is a company engaged in the provision of critical industrial services principally to the energy and natural resources sectors. This is an impressive half year update but quite irrelevant it seems - The takeover by Altrad (265p per share) seems to be a done deal so don’t see much point in adding anything else here.

Empresaria (EMR)Interim Results 6 Months To End June 2017 –  This is a company specialising in the provision of staffing and recruitment services. In this 6 month report there’s impressive Revenue growth of 50% CC - Which is sadly let down by a PBT increase of just 3% (CC). Having a quick look at the high level numbers, things look OK but I just find it hard to get excited about recruitment companies at the moment. Stockopedia classes this as a Speculative High Flyer. With decent high level numbers and a PER of 10 this could mean there’s potential here for some decent returns although it may be a bit of a roller coaster ride!

Hostelworld (HSW)Interim Results – A return to (modest) growth statement which in my opinion confirms that the PER of 16.8 is about right, if not a little generous.  I do have a couple of notes on this company. First of all, I don’t like the historic numbers, for example, Net profit; -£72.2m in 2014, +£81.2m in 2015, +£0.78m in 2016, +£18.1m estimated in 2017 (this update seems to confirm in-line). But, I just hate seeing this kind of fluctuation. Sure, there may be valid reasons for it but, to be honest, I would just prefer more consistency than this. The other thing is this, who uses Hostelworld? I am guessing it has an audience (that’s clear from the booking numbers) - Perhaps in the backpacker world, I accept that. However, with AirBnB and Booking.com out there too, how long before those backpackers become users of the alternatives? Without continuing advertising spend, how will Hostelworld attract the next generation when AirBnB and Booking.com are poised to dominate? OK, I know I may be wrong here, just my gut feel, I just don’t like the long term outlook for Hostelworld.

Inspired Energy (INSE)Results For The 6 Months Ended June 2017 – A great update - Revenue up 20%, PBT up 13%, Interim Dividend up 23% and a really strong order book. I just really like the look of this company which provides energy purchasing and energy consultancy services to corporate, and small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) energy users.  Nice consistent annual increases in Revenue, Profit and EPS – And 2017/2018 forecasts look rather good too. ROCE of almost 20% and a nicely covered modest Dividend of around 2%.  Small debt of about 10% of Mkt Cap, completely acceptable with a ROCE of 20%. With recent Broker upgrades and a PER of 12.4 what’s not to like!  Looking at the chart would actually like to be in here around 16.5p with a technical Stop around 13.5p but all things considered – It’s a “High Flyer” and at 19.75p it still looks decent value. The Stock Rank is 84 and is, surprisingly, only held back by the low Value rating of 18. I can’t see the reason for this to be honest and will probably look to take a position here today - Assuming it doesn’t take off too much on the back of this update.

(NOTE - I have just opened an initial position here this morning)

Quantum Pharma (QP.)Unaudtied Results For The Half Year Ended July 2017– Revenue is up 13% and Debt has been reduced by 50% - And, it looks like this is now turning into a profit making Aim listed pharmaceutical (going by EBITDA). Not one for me but it is probably more attractive now for those with more interest in this sector.

Quite fancy the look of Inspired Energy…


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Cape plc (Cape) is a holding company. The Company is engaged in the provision of critical industrial services principally to the energy and natural resources sectors. Cape provides a multi-disciplinary service offering, including the traditional services of access, insulation, coatings and mechanical, and a range of specialist services, including refractory linings, oil and gas storage tanks, heat exchanger replacement and refurbishment, and environmental services. The Company's segments include the United Kingdom, Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS); Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and Asia Pacific. Its access services include tensioned netting, mobile elevated work platforms, rope access and powered access. It serves various sectors, including oil and gas onshore, oil and gas offshore, power generation, minerals and mining, chemical, steel, marine, pharmaceutical, food industries and other sectors. more »

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Empresaria Group plc is a United Kingdom-based international specialist staffing company. The Company's principal activity is the provision of staffing and recruitment services. The Company is organized across three regions: UK, Continental Europe and Rest of the World and operates across seven key sectors. The Company targets a balanced and diversified spread of operations across its regions and sectors. The Company also targets professional and specialist job levels where its brands can offer value added services to clients. The Company has three main service lines, temporary recruitment, permanent recruitment and offshore recruitment services. The Company’s offshore recruitment services represents a range of different recruitment services and provides training services in South East Asia. The Company's brands include Alternattiva, Ball and Hoolahan, Become, FastTrack and Greycoat. It has operations in 21 countries. more »

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Hostelworld Group plc is an Ireland-based company, which provides hostel-focused online booking platform. The Company operates through over 20 different languages by connecting young travelers with hostels around the world through its brand Hostelworld and supporting brands Hostelbookers and Hostels.com. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides software and data processing services that facilitate hostel, hotel and other accommodation across the world, including ancillary online advertising revenue. The Company focuses on hostels, which maintains a global hostel database with over 13,000 hostels and approximately 22,000 other forms of budget accommodation available across the world. The Company builds a progressive internal training policy that includes ongoing skills training, personal development training plans and management development. The Company has over eight million reviews across approximately 33,000 properties in over 170 countries. more »

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  Is Cape fundamentally strong or weak? Find out More »

35 Posts on this Thread show/hide all

herbie47 22nd Aug 16 of 35

Provident Financial (LON:PFG) now down to 545p.

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ricky65 22nd Aug 17 of 35

In reply to janebolacha, post #14

Everyone picks a dud now and then but Woodford appears to be having a terrible run recently - I can think of Provident Financial (LON:PFG) Utilitywise (LON:UTW) £RM2 Allied Minds (LON:ALM) . Feel free to add others if I've missed them out.

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ls2g08 22nd Aug 18 of 35

just like to say thanks Matylda! I love the effort you are putting into this, it's great to have this early news service in smaller co's.

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herbie47 22nd Aug 19 of 35

In reply to ricky65, post #17

There was also the AA (LON:AA.) and AstraZeneca (LON:AZN).

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simoan 22nd Aug 20 of 35

In reply to janebolacha, post #14

And there are none so blind as Woodford followers!! I have never understood the attraction of his investment approach (it's a complete hotch-potch) which seems to lack discipline, or why he is/was promoted so heavily on The Motley Fool. Unless you believe you are the master of the universe what on earth makes a lifelong equity income investor believe they can spot early stage technology companies as he is trying to do with the Patient Capital Trust? Yes, he made some good calls 10 years ago being out of banks and heavily into tobacco at the time of the GFC but then what has he done since other than start up his own company with his name above the door?

I believe AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) is his current largest holding in his income portfolio. Well here's what Terry Smith thinks of it:


All the best, Si

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Graham Ford 22nd Aug 21 of 35

In reply to ricky65, post #17

To the Woodford holdings that haven't worked out so far you can also add Circassia, Northwest Biotherapeutics, Halosource. However, he is a major holder of Purplebricks, which has done extremely well so far. So I think you have to put it into the perspective of how are his funds doing overall. His record is well known.

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janebolacha 22nd Aug 22 of 35

In reply to herbie47, post #19

Really great day, he has the top three losers:

Price Gainers and Losers
# Epic Name Price Close Price Change (%)
1 PFG Provident Financial 541.00 1,745.00 -69.00
2 ALM Allied Minds 138.63 151.00 -8.19
3 AA. AA 176.25 185.50 -4.99


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jonthetourist 22nd Aug 23 of 35

In reply to ricky65, post #17

He's pumping a lot more money into Sphere Medical, which is de-listing. If you are so minded, you can currently invest on much better terms than Woodford, as holders stampede for the exit.


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Nick Ray 22nd Aug 24 of 35

At the rate Provident Financial (LON:PFG) is going down today, it's going to qualify for the SCVR soon.

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hayashi22 22nd Aug 25 of 35

Why does Woodford appear as the man from the Milk Tray adverts circa 1985-with a maniacal grin. Bizarre.

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herbie47 22nd Aug 26 of 35

In reply to Graham Ford, post #21

His Income fund has not done well at all in the last 2 years, well below the market. Equity Income is only up 0.91% in the last year, the year before up 11.11% compare that with Fundsmith which is up 17.53% and 41.43%.

Imperial Brands (LON:IMB) his 3rd largest holding is not doing well either. Provident Financial (LON:PFG) is his 4th largest holding so those figures above will no doubt fall tomorrow.

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simoan 22nd Aug 27 of 35

In reply to janebolacha, post #22

I notice Purplebricks (LON:PURP) and Burford Capital (LON:BUR) also down around 4%. I guess we all have days like this once in a while. If you've never had one, you've not been investing long enough :).

All the best, Si

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janebolacha 22nd Aug 28 of 35

In reply to simoan, post #27

Si, this is someone paid quite handsomely by people to invest their money for them,
on the basis that he has particular investing acumen and can thus generate superior returns.

So, no, sorry, consistent poor performance from a fund manager is not excused or excusable on the basis of it being a "day like this once in a while", especially so in the case of Provident Financial (LON:PFG) and also Allied Minds (LON:ALM) where the writing has been on the wall for ages, imo.

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vik2001 22nd Aug 29 of 35

Woodford needs to quit this guy is a disaster of a fund manager. His main skill seems to lie in loosing money for investors, such poor returns.. Lindsell Train and Fundsmith however are fine examples of a well managed fund.

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simoan 22nd Aug 30 of 35

In reply to janebolacha, post #28

Wow! Quite a rebuke, Jane. And a big red thumbs down. Did someone miss the smiley face? And I thought I was in complete agreement with you on Woodford... Sorry if you have misinterpreted my post as some excuse for his lamentable performance!

Perhaps I hit a nerve by mentioning two of his largest holdings that some round here hold are down?

All the best, Si

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Graham Ford 22nd Aug 31 of 35

In reply to herbie47, post #26

Herbie. That's what I'm saying; take his performance in the round. It is well known that his recent overall performance has not been on a par with his stellar rating.

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Firtashia 22nd Aug 32 of 35

Woodford previously held RM2, don't know if he still does. From 90p to 5p, yowch.

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ricky65 22nd Aug 33 of 35

In reply to herbie47, post #6

Filta Group (LON:FLTA) moved up eventually! +15.0p (11.1%). Very well played if you bought earlier in the day before the market cottoned on.

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herbie47 22nd Aug 34 of 35

In reply to ricky65, post #33

No I'm afraid not, I took my eye off it and missed out. Yes the market was slow to react, I don't think this share gets much coverage.

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ricky65 22nd Aug 35 of 35

In reply to herbie47, post #34

:( I wish I topped up some too.

Probably little coverage because it's only been listed since November 16. I like it as it's profitable and the growth looks good. Interesting to see the results on 7th September. Hopefully Paul/Graham will cover it.

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