I Read The News Today Oh Boy! 24-Aug-2017

Thursday, Aug 24 2017 by

Morning all! 

Camellia (CAM) – Was expecting an update today but could find none, here are some quick notes I made – This is a company engaged in agriculture, banking and financial services, engineering, food service and investment. It’s a company that makes a profit, then doesn’t, a company with a low ROCE, a tiny Dividend and one that has gone nowhere in 5 years (check the chart - Always worth a look at the 1 year and 5 year chart in my view). I have no interest in companies like this until I read an update that might make a difference, something that might get it out of that 5 year rut.

CPPGroup (CPP)Half Year Report To End June 2017 – This company is engaged in the provision of assistance products such as Card Rescue, Card Protection, Identity Safe, Phonesafe and Travel Assistance. The Annual figures are really hit and miss, mainly miss, for me. Falling Revenues, Loss/Profit/Breakeven (2014 – 2016), sporadic ROCE. It does have cash and this report mentions that this is “the first period of growth in over five years”. Stockopedia doesn't like it much (with a Stock Rank of 35) and neither do I - Could be more interesting if the next report is a second period of growth (one swallow does not make a summer and all that!).

Macfarlane (MACF)Interim Results For 6 Months To End June 2017 – This company which is engaged in the designing, manufacturing and distribution of packaging products has been on my radar all year to be honest. Always quite fancied It around the 60p mark with a, say, 50p Stop. There’s quite a lot to like, rising Revenues, Profits, EPS, a ROCE of 15%, a decent well covered 3% Dividend. Any downside is that 20% of Mkt Cap Net Debt but the ROCE of 15% means that’s less scary to me.  Based on the fact it’s doubled in the past 5 years and it’s on a PER of 10 I wonder why I am not involved here from the 60p area (I've had my chances).  This update is actually as one would expect, a 10% rise in Revenue, 26% rise in PBT, a 9% increase in the Interim Dividend, EPS up 13.4% and Net Debt reduced by about 10% - I just reckon this is a decent long term (5 – 10 years) tuck-away and just gave myself a final "kick in the ass" on this one. It may be good value here still but for now it's on my "if/when there's a crash" watch list.

OptiBiotix Health (OPTI) – This was flagged (by Bloomberg I think) as due to post a trading update this morning but all I could find was this “Launch Of LPLDL At A Trade Show”. Anyway, this company is an Aim loss making biotech.  As you know by now, when I see this kind of thing on Stockpedia I usually just move on. I will stress again, I know I may miss some companies that become good with this approach but I also avoid a lot of crap – I wait for these companies to at least prove they can make a profit before taking part. On the plus side here the company has Net Debt, enough it seems to carry on for at least a couple of years (then it will go bust, fund raise, be bought out or perhaps will be profitable and investible).  Note, this share currently has a Stock Rank of 5 and also qualifies for the James Montier “Unholy Trinity” Short  Screen.

PV Crystalox Solar (PVCS)Interim Results For 6 Months To End June 2017 – I actually remember buying this in the last decade thinking I was onto the next big thing, Solar power. I quickly made a 50% (paper) return before getting out at break-even.  In this decade I then made a 20% (real) loss on a subsequent (It must be time for Solar power now / How low can it go) purchase. I have not, to date been tempted back in and this update doesn’t help either – A LFL reduction in Revenue (12.6m vs 34.7m Euro) and a loss (-5.4m Euro vs +4.7m Euro).  This is a stand out statement...599e79178844cCapture.PNG

I just feel this company is in a mess (I may be wrong but I don't mind) and if I wanted exposure in the Solar sector I would be looking elsewhere.

Sopheon (SPE)Results For The 6 Months To End June 2017 – A company engaged in the provision of software and services in the product lifecycle management (PLM) market. Annual Revenues up year on year, Profits and EPS too (since 2014) and projections look good too. Has a ROCE of 20%+ and Net Debt too (-10% of Mkt Cap). Those buying in in 2016 have done well, those buying in in 2017, not so well. On a PER of 12 this update (Revenue up 10% or so, PBT up 20%+) may see a re-rating.  This statement may also provide a tail wind...


Tempting to dip the toe in at these levels with a Technical Stop below this years low, 325p, although I expect some upside here this morning - Will keep an eye on it.

Sportech (SPO)Interim Results For The 6 Months To End June 2017 – This is a new one to me, this pool betting operator and technology supplier. I just have to hold my hands up here! This update is way over my head. From my simple mind, I believe it sold something, returned money to share holders, still has loads of cash (looks like this is also going back to share holders too) and makes a tiny profit. Is this something worth buying for that share holder return of cash – If so, what happens after that? Wouldn’t one just be investing to receive the cash and then see the share fall by the same amount the same day, hence no real return. I just can’t get much further here and prefer simpler stuff than this – Investing should not be complicated, actually it’s a good job it’s not or I would not be doing it!

Interesting today, for me, Macfarlane and Sopheon (both for sure on my "if/when there's a crash" watch list).


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Camellia Plc is engaged in agriculture, banking and financial services, engineering, food service and investment. The Company's segments include Agriculture, Engineering, Food Service, and Banking and Financial Services. The Agriculture and horticulture business includes tea, macadamia nut, pistachios and almonds, pineapples, avocados, citrus, livestock, forestry, rubber and wine. The Engineering and manufacturing business includes machining, metal fabrication, assembly, cutting, metal finishing services and other general engineering services. The principal geographical areas in which the Company operates include the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Malawi, North America and Bermuda, South Africa and South America. The Company's subsidiaries include Amgoorie India Limited, Duncan Brothers Limited, Kakuzi Limited, The Mazdehee Tea Company Limited, AJT Engineering Limited, British Metal Treatments Limited, Affish BV, DDY Nominees Limited and Affish Limited. more »

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CPPGroup Plc is engaged in the provision of assistance products. The Company operates through three segments: UK and Ireland; Europe and Latin America, which includes Spain, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Mexico, Portugal, France and Brazil, and Asia Pacific, which includes India, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia and Singapore. The Company operates assistance business in the United Kingdom and overseas within the financial services and telecommunications sectors. The Company operates a business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) business model providing services and retail, wholesale and packaged products to customers through Business Partners and direct to consumer. Its assistance products help to provide security. The Company's products include Card Rescue, Card Protection, Identity Safe, Phonesafe, Packaged Accounts and Travel Assistance. Card Rescue is a membership service that gives users around the clock assistance to cancel their lost or stolen cards and sort out replacements for user. more »

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Macfarlane Group PLC is a United Kingdom-based company, which is engaged in designing, manufacturing and distribution of packaging products. The Company's segments include Packaging Distribution, which is engaged in distribution of packaging materials and supply of storage and warehousing services in the United Kingdom, and Manufacturing Operations, which is engaged in designing, manufacturing and supplying of self-adhesive labels to a range of fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) customers in the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States. The Company's business operates approximately 18 Regional Distribution Centers (RDCs) supplying customers with a range of packaging materials and services. The Company's Macfarlane Packaging Distribution serves in various sectors, such as Internet retail, third party logistics (3PL) and aerospace. Its Macfarlane Labels serves in various sectors, such as health and beauty, food and household goods. more »

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  Is LON:CAM fundamentally strong or weak? Find out More »

9 Posts on this Thread show/hide all

Edmund Shing 24th Aug '17 1 of 9

On Sopheon (LON:SPE), I think you meant net cash? $11.5m of cash held as at the half-year, $6.6m net cash after subtraction of debt, or c. £5.2m. Represents not far off 20% of pre-opening market cap.

Blog: The Idle Investor
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matylda 24th Aug '17 2 of 9

In reply to post #211863

Sorry I am much simpler than that, I just use the figure from Stockopedia...

Net Debt -$4.25m

But, did notice it is $ not £ so have corrected from 15% to 10%.

Blog: Briefed Up
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runthejoules 24th Aug '17 3 of 9

I think now the attraction with Sportech (LON:SPO) is that it's primarily a US-based betting software and live venue company, having sold the Football Pools, yes those! And as such it is likely to be taken over by some big Vegas company. I have a small position after being alerted to it by th Naked Trader.

SPE - I hold a larger position, having failed to sell at recent highs and having added at recent lows. It's good to have a shopping list for a crash or black swan at these levels - I may de-risk a bit.

By the way, these updates are very useful Matylda thankyou, is there a set time they come out?

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matylda 24th Aug '17 4 of 9

In reply to post #211903

Thanks for the input and kind words - I do my best to hit the 08:00 open - It's a struggle some days but I am usually there or thereabouts.

Blog: Briefed Up
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Graham Ford 24th Aug '17 5 of 9

Playtech (LON:PTEC) are down over 4% at the time of writing on release of half year results.

30% revenue growth at constant currency. 10% excluding acquisitions. Adjusted EBITDA up 24% at constant currency.

" In line with guidance given at FY 2016 results"

"Taken all together, this proven platform for growth across the business has again delivered a strong performance and management remain confident of further strategic progress in the second half of 2017."

So results look pretty good but perhaps the market was expecting results that exceed expectations.

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dfs12 24th Aug '17 6 of 9

In reply to post #211878

Great to have these. Nice work. However I think Edmund was just meaning the word "debt" should be replaced by the word "cash". i.e.negative debt is cash.
If I was writing these at any time of day then there would be bucket loads of typos - so no criticism meant.

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matylda 24th Aug '17 7 of 9

In reply to post #211933

Got ya - No worries - have added a minus sign to that Net Debt reference. Thanks for taking the time for comment.

Blog: Briefed Up
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Ramridge 24th Aug '17 8 of 9

Re. Sopheon (LON:SPE) Yes, this share was on a tear last year and notched up some impressive gains. Eps growth was over 200% in 2016.
But I just get the feeling that it has been running out of steam since. Maybe no longer a growth share?
Today's figures give revenues growth 9% ; eps growth 9% and net profits up 12%.
According to stocko data, broker forecast is negative eps growth for 2017, although today's HY returns makes that a little harsh.

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Beginner 24th Aug '17 9 of 9

In reply to post #211908

Just to let you know Camellia (LON:CAM) report tomorrow.

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