Is Purplebricks worth £1.1bn?

Tuesday, May 30 2017 by
13

Purplebricks Group (LON:PURP) has taken the stockmarket by storm having listed at 100p in December 2015 the share price is now over 400p. The company has 270.6m shares giving it a market value of £1.087bn.

The business model is as a hybrid estate agent with a "local property expert" combined with an online estate agency service. This is meant to provide "the best of both worlds" and differentiates the group from other online estate agents. This model means that the group prices its services above that of online-only agents but substantially below traditional estate agents. Home owners don't have to deal with home buyers directly and can obtain the advice of the local agent.

Purplebricks has run an extensive advertising campaign in the UK and built up market share ahead of online rivals. Looking around the UK and the Purplebricks for sale sign has become increasingly ubiquitous. The group has also moved into Australia and plans to expand in the United States.

In the six months ended October 2016 the group generated revenue of £18.7m with nearly all of this from the UK. At first glance the circa £1.2bn market value looks pretty punchy.

Long-term success is not a given with expansion in the US yet to be proven. In my view, Purplebricks is essentially a service company with it advertises client property on portals such as Rightmove in the UK.  In the long-term the group appears to have few means to generate high returns and see off the competition. Looking at the four competitive moats:

Intangibles - Yes Purplebricks has a strong brand but that is only due to an advertising campaign. A new entrant could simply advertise to get people to sign up. The group does have a first mover advantage. But we have seen countless examples where the first mover has fallen by the wayside.
Cost advantages - the main advantage is spreading the fixed admin cost and the cost of marketing. Marketing costs are a barrier to entry to, for example, in the price comparison sector.  It is perhaps the biggest barrier to entry in this area.
Switching costs -  Property sales are a one time transaction and as such there isn't a long-term relationship.
Network effects - This is probably the most important competitive moat and Purplebricks doesn't appear to benefit from it. It is the platforms that benefit from network effects.

Competitive dynamics - A property seller can easily use emoov, housesimple or any of the other cheaper online agents than Purplebricks. Alternative online platforms do mean conducting the viewings yourself but the costs are also lower than Purplebricks. However, with an online agent you pay whether or not you sell a property.  There is therefore an incentive to go with the lowest cost firm.

Looking in my area (N1) and I had to go to the third page of Rightmove to find a property advertising on Purplebricks. Are Purplebricks better than traditional estate agents?  With online agents like Purplebricks you pay a fixed fee even if you don't sell the property. I think this puts the seller in a weaker position with the buyer knowing they will be keen to sell i.e. otherwise they have paid a fee for nothing.   A local estate agent will only charge in the event of a sale and will be able to offer advice.

Purplebricks is suitable for part of the market but I think it will probably hit a limit at some point. People in a chain will value a successful sale more than they do paying an estate agent's fee. High value properties are also typically able to negotiate down the estate agent's fee.

With regard to US expansion and I find it hard to believe that a country as entrepreneurial as the US has left such a big gap in the market. It is notable that a number of Purplebricks directors sold their shares recently.

To justify the current market value the group would need to make net profit of £50m to £100m. In my view, the company is in the catch 22 position that many fast growth companies occupy.  If it is successful and sees rapid growth it will then see a step up in competition. With few barriers to entry returns will fall back and market share will most likely be lost.

The same catch 22 is in place with electric car maker Tesla.  If the electric vehicle does grow significantly then the group will see competition step up.  We shouldn't extrapolate Tesla's early success given that there aren't any meaningful competitive moats in electric vehicles.

Purplebricks is not an attractive risk/reward investment in my view. There are better investments out there. This is a stock afflicted with "internet" and "growth" hype.  The company will no doubt report significant growth going forward but competition is also likely to become more intense.  This will put pressure on both fees charged to sellers and the company's market share. 


Filed Under: Financials, Short Selling,

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Purplebricks Group plc is a United Kingdom-based company engaged in the business of estate agency. The Company operates through the division of providing services relating to the sale of properties. The Company uses technology in the process of selling, buying or letting of properties. The Company operates in the United Kingdom. more »

LSE Price
421.2p
Change
-0.8%
Mkt Cap (£m)
1,150
P/E (fwd)
n/a
Yield (fwd)
0.03



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63 Posts on this Thread show/hide all

ratioinvestor 19th Sep '17 44 of 63
4

I think Purplebricks will crash when its UK market share starts to weaken versus online competitors. This will probably happen soon. Not sure Australia and the US will be successful. I think in the US they will have bitten off much more than they can chew.

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paraic84 20th Sep '17 45 of 63

In reply to ratioinvestor, post #43

"However, the poor reviews for Purplebricks on allgents are corroborated by the Watchdog show and the BBC radio show covering the company."

No they're not. The Watchdog show was not a serious allegation. They alleged two main things. Firstly that Purplebricks (LON:PURP) was making exaggerated claims about the amount of money made (the methodology for the calculation couldn't quite be justified). The company has put those right and frankly customers can work out for themselves quite capably how much they can save. Secondly, Watchdog alleged the deferred payment option required vendors to enter into an agreement with Close Brothers which they weren't always aware of. But it's always been crystal clear on their website so the customers mustn't have properly bothered to understand. Furthermore, the deferred payment does not involve interest so a decent offering.

The overall point I am making is that complaints and poor reviews don't mean the company is failing. The whole estate agency industry is absolutely terrible in my view. Estate agents are among the least trusted professionals according to Ipsos MORI. Hence why I didn't think Watchdog would make any real difference. People use estate agents so infrequently that good customer service matters less than in industries where there is more regular interaction with customers (e.g. supermarkets). I don't see that Purplebricks (LON:PURP) are any worse than the rest of them.

Ryanair has a bad reputation but they are still an industry leader because they are cheap and convenient.

The bear case for Purplebricks (LON:PURP) for me rests on whether it is over-valued, not these other issues which are just distractions.

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Graham Ford 20th Sep '17 46 of 63
1

It seems to me that, given the nature of the estate agent trade, agents seek to big themselves up and do others down by a variety of means some of which are barely ethical. Have Purplebricks manipulated their Trustpilot ratings? Quite possibly. Have other agents posted fake reviews on allagents? Quite possibly.

When Purplebricks were starting out their local property experts were probably thinly spread and so not really local experts. Now they have scale their LPEs are probably on the whole more detailed in their expertise. So, the complaints about them not having local knowledge is probably out of date.

I'm a bit mystified by the complaint that LPEs are sales people. The people working in the high street agents are also sales people.

However, competition is building in online estate agents. I saw TV adverts for Yopa and Easyproperty just the other day. While Purplebricks has first mover advantage and a big marketing spend the competition will be chipping away at their lead, particularly while management attention is more on trying to get America up and running successfully.

http://hoa.org.uk/advice/guides-for-homeowners/i-am-selling/how-do-i-lower-my-estate-agent-fees-use-online-agents/

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ratioinvestor 20th Sep '17 47 of 63
2

paraic84 - Ok I'd agree to disagree. Watchdog did allege overzelous advertising and the company has had complaints upheld against it by the ASA. I don't really agree with your assessment. Many people do take the savings advertised at face value. I think you and I wouldn't but a lot of people do fall for marketing spin.

I agree that deferred payment is a red herring. However, a key thing from Watchdog is that this "hybrid" model that Purplebricks is promoting to justify their premium pricing is bogus. The local property experts were in reality sales people.

I agree that Watchdog might be partly anecdotal but it reinforced my view that TrustedPilot reviews have been manipulated by Purplebricks. This is further reinforced by the legal action the group kept on taking against Allagents.

Of course your point is literally true that poor feedback doesn't mean a company is failing. However, I think if the service offered is poor and doesn't justify the premium price than this is an issue. The reality is that Purplebricks has rallied in share price terms due to increased market share in the UK. If this started to reverse the stock would tank. I personally can't see why a rational person would use Purplebricks given the cheaper competition. Most people looking for services now would look for reviews. For Purplebricks now a google search throws up Watchdog, other BBC investigations and the legal action against Allagents.

From the relatively unbiased reviews on Allagents I think that your assertion is likely to be incorrect. Purplebricks do appear to be worse than other online agents. They have over marketed in the past, over promised, have premium pricing and the local property experts appear to be just glorified salespeople.

For me the bear case rests on Purplebricks losing market share in the UK. So these issues are relevant and in my view aren't just distractions. I wouldn't build a bear case on something just being overvalued as that is generally a dangerous strategy - at least in my view.

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paraic84 21st Sep '17 48 of 63

Someone on Twitter worked out that 28% of Purplebricks (LON:PURP) customers leave reviews on TrustPilot which seems quite high. Maybe suspiciously high? Or perhaps there is just a very high level of satisfaction. The thread also has useful information about their market share based on Rightmove (LON:RMV) data: https://twitter.com/DangerCapital/status/910499375281033216

It's good to debate. Purplebricks (LON:PURP) are providing an update to the market on the 29th so perhaps we'll have more to chew on then.

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dangersimpson 21st Sep '17 49 of 63
5

In reply to paraic84, post #48

I'm someone :-)

The 28% does seem high but not out of the realms of possibility so I'm not passing any judgement on that figure.

What I do find strange personally though is how much emphasis Purplebricks (LON:PURP) put on their trustpilot score in press announcements and RNS's. Particularly given that their current score of 9.5 doesn't appear that good compared to the best companies in other industries & was only 18th best for estate agents last time I checked. I personally think they would be better off not mentioning it. When they were small it gave investors some insight into performance. As a £1b+ company it starts to appear a bit amateurish in my personal opinion.

They also seem to have maybe scored a bit of a PR own goal with another popular review site and got their rating first suspended and then made inactive by threatening legal action rather than working with the site to remove fake reviews (if the statements made by the all agents site are in fact correct) :

https://www.allagents.co.uk/pu...

In my analysis of Purplebricks (LON:PURP) vs Rightmove (LON:RMV) data - I simply took the top 20 UK cities and compared the Purplebricks (LON:PURP) properties for sale excluding SSC on their website and those on rightmove.

59c3b620d49ddpurp.png

Of course the actual market share may vary from this for a number of reasons:

- areas they define as a particular city may not be exactly the same
- properties may cycle through the sites at different rates
- The top 20 cities in the UK only cover less than 25% of the overall UK population.

For this reason I think the interesting data will be to track these figures over time rather than rely on the current absolute figures since it may give some advance information on how well Purplebricks (LON:PURP) are growing their market share and if they are improving penetration in areas they appear to have lower market share like London, East Mids & North East.

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dangersimpson 21st Oct '17 50 of 63
5

This month's Purplebricks (LON:PURP) data:

59eb8579dd37epurp2.png

Similar when including SSTC:

59eb862902244purp5.png

The percentage of SSTC as a percentage of total for sale incl. SSTC is similar on Purplebricks (LON:PURP) to Rightmove (LON:RMV).

2 months is very limited data but on this measure it does look like Purplebricks (LON:PURP) have not grown any significant market share over the last month.

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dangersimpson 21st Nov '17 52 of 63
3

This month's Purplebricks (LON:PURP) data:

5a1417b9c212bPURP_Nov.GIF


(Belfast removed due to small sample data issues).

With trend:

5a1418692da9dPURP_trend_Nov.GIF

Seems backed up by google trends (although overall market will no be weakening due to seasonal effects):

5a1417ecd5cfdPURP_Trends.GIF


Limited data but seems potentially Purplebricks (LON:PURP) have gone ex-growth in their core UK market in the short term. Could be challenging for a company trading on 20x sales.

Weirdly the STTC on the Purplebricks (LON:PURP) website has had a big jump this month (could be data issue or my search incompetence but) website contains 95 less houses for sale but 1,726 more SSTC in top 20 cities. Means proportion of SSTC has gone from 39% to 53% on Purplebricks (LON:PURP) website but Rightmove (LON:RMV) stays constant at 38%. Maybe they have kept a longer SSTC history (lower completion rate or longer completion time?) or added 3rd party data?

Anyone have an answer to this mystery?

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paraic84 21st Nov '17 53 of 63

Thanks dangersimpson. Very useful data you collect there.

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paraic84 21st Nov '17 54 of 63

Dangersimpson - I have also been keeping half an eye on the number of properties for sale (excluding those sold) on the Purplebricks (LON:PURP) website for the UK:

3-Sep-2017: 16,187
21-Nov-2017: 16,071

That seems to suggest something similar to your conclusions even when keeping in mind your numbers suggest there are 2% fewer city properties for sale on Rightmove in November compared to September - i.e. growth has slowed/stopped at Purplebricks (LON:PURP) in the UK. That would be disappointing and may affect the high share price although, of course, what's happening in the US launch may be a bigger determinant of the share price over the next few months. Food for thought though.

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herbie47 21st Nov '17 55 of 63

In reply to paraic84, post #54

Yes seems to be stalling in UK, I have not noticed their adverts on TV recently, before they were all over the smaller channels, maybe that is having an effect. Maybe they are concentrating more on the US and Australian markets?

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dangersimpson 21st Nov '17 56 of 63

In reply to herbie47, post #55

Which is what you'd expect from a company with a weak moat. Strong growth when spending strongly on advertising, tailing off if the advertising reduced to try to improve margins.

Even if Aus & US are still showing strong growth the issue will be the read through from the UK if it indicates that growth in the industry is heavily reliant on ever increasing advertising spend.

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LongbeardRanger 21st Nov '17 57 of 63
1

In reply to dangersimpson, post #56

The main thing I don't like about Purplebricks' business (which makes it very different from the portal businesses such as Rightmove, Auto Trader, and Just Eat, all of which have terrific business economics) is that it continually has to compete and win new customers. It has no ongoing, durable customer relationships. That's just a basic factor in the estate agency business (possibly less so on the lettings side, which I don't think PURP has focussed on). If you constantly have to win new customers, that's just a relentless and unforgiving business to be in.

And unlike traditional agents, PURP doesn't have a visible local presence to help it win customers, so it will be dependent on national advertising and brand building to win business. (Of course the portals I referred to above do advertise a lot, to drive traffic to their portals and build and maintain brand awareness, but they have a much more stable client base and recurring revenue. So, advertising, for them, creates long term value rather than being required just to win the next quarter's business.)

However, I still see PURP as having some fairly significant long term effects, basically by introducing price competition into estate agency, which, obviously, is bad news for estate agents.

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paraic84 21st Nov '17 58 of 63
1

In reply to LongbeardRanger, post #57

"is that it continually has to compete and win new customers. It has no ongoing, durable customer relationships"

I think this is the nature of estate agency and one of the things that attracts me to Purplebricks (LON:PURP). Because estate agents constantly have to win new customers it is easier for Purplebricks (LON:PURP) to disrupt the incumbents than say it is for a company like Boohoo.Com (LON:BOO) which needs to win people over away from their loyalty to other brands (which Boohoo.Com (LON:BOO) has been very good at).

Traditional estates could be left with the fixed overheads of their own buildings and selling hard to shift properties of customers that don't think their property will sell easily through Purplebricks (LON:PURP).

That said, I am contemplating selling out for the short-term because the slowdown in numbers of properties being listed mentioned above concerns me and the tide seems to be turning against high growth & momentum shares at the moment.

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dangersimpson 21st Dec '17 59 of 63
3

Time for this month's Purplebricks (LON:PURP) update:

5a3c324383f48PURP_21-12-17.GIF5a3c325da0acePURP2_21-12-17.GIF

That the overall numbers are weak shouldn't be a surprise given the season but what is interesting is that Purplebricks (LON:PURP) market share (as measured in the top 20 UK cities) has had a big drop this month.

Either their business model is not as robust in weaker market conditions or they are facing increasing competition.

This is backed up by google trends data - again we have seasonality but the peak to trough drop is higher this year:

5a3c35f90b054PURP3_21-12-17.GIF


The produced their interim results since I posted last:

https://www.investegate.co.uk/...

They showed rapid top line growth but they are to 30 October which is before the drop off in market share and google trend data started to dip.

Overall I'm becoming increasing bearish on Purplebricks (LON:PURP) for the following reasons:

1. Reviews

My own research into the online review industry has led me to conclude a personal opinion that I would not use trustpilot to guide any of my purchasing decisions. Maybe others have done the same? I note that the allagents site has returned it's Purplebricks (LON:PURP) review page and it is less than flattering:

https://www.allagents.co.uk/pu...

It is also a strange decision for Purplebricks (LON:PURP) to add Feefo to their review platforms given that Feefo gets terrible reviews on trustpilot:

https://www.investegate.co.uk/...

https://www.trustpilot.com/review/feefo.com

Either trustpilot reviews are all accurate which means Feefo is terrible and Purplebricks (LON:PURP) is great. However if Purplebricks (LON:PURP) is correct when they state:

“Feefo is widely regarded as being transparent, independent and secure, and is trusted by consumers as a vocal advocate of honesty in the reviews industry.”

Then the trustpilot reviews may not be trusted and the view they represent about Purplebricks (LON:PURP) cannot be relied upon.

2. Other Revenue

Based on the base fee they charge and their overall revenue per instruction you see that Purplebricks (LON:PURP) actually generate somewhere between £200-300 extra per instruction from additional fees. Some of this will be viewings and EPC's but I expect the vast majority of this is referrals to their solicitor. That there is a £360 break fee for not using their solicitor shows the sort of value that can be earned here - I doubt they are paying Close Brothers anywhere near that amount to cover the interest costs on a 1 year £849 loan.  This could be considered bullish how good they are at generating other revenue from customers however I also think that this also opens them up to significant regulatory risk. In my opinion the estate agency regulators seem to be reluctant to address any industry concerns surround the business practices of the large fixed-fee agents. However since the referred solicitors are generally getting poor reviews online and are considered un-competitive in their fees by some users. Since their use is linked to loan conditions I could see a more effective regulator like the FCA getting involved if enough complaints are made. Without the extra fees Purplebricks (LON:PURP) UK would have made a loss so far not a profit.

3. Major shareholders

Neil Woodford has never been shy to use media or share purchases to shore up a flagging investment in his portfolio. See the media blitz following the fall in Provident Financial (LON:PFG) or the purchase of direct stakes in the subsidiaries of Allied Minds (LON:ALM) which he also holds at the company level.

https://woodfordfunds.com/words/blog/update-on-provident-financial/

https://www.investegate.co.uk/...

So it’s not entirely surprising that he recently added 3.4m shares to his Purplebricks (LON:PURP) holding.

https://www.investegate.co.uk/purplebricks-group--purp-/rns/holding-s--in-company/201711201551500152X/

What is surprising is his subsequent article declaring the stock market to be in bubble territory and the overvaluation of growth stocks vs value stocks:

https://www.ft.com/content/c6ef0f16-d51f-11e7-a303-9060cb1e5f44

While I have a certain sympathy to the view that there is irrational exuberance in today’s market it seems to me that Woodford has been one of the contributors to that exuberance by putting growth stocks like Purplebricks (LON:PURP) in his income fund and could well be one of the worst hit fund managers when markets turn.

I don’t bring this up purely for a bout of Woodford bashing but to note that with his current holding he can only buy another 4.5m shares before having to make a mandatory offer for the company. This means his ability to support the price further is reducing.

And it was after he reached the same sort of level of holding in Allied Minds (LON:ALM) and was unable to buy any significant amounts more that the share price started to accelerate downwards:

https://www.investegate.co.uk/allied-minds--alm-/rns/holding-s--in-company/201612071634302451R/

4. US Expansion

There wasn't much detail on the US expansion in the H1 results so we have to go by external indications. One shouldn't draw too much conclusions for google trends data butthe picture isn't exactly promising here:

5a3c4112002c9PURP4_21-12-17.GIF


5. UK Market share

As already shown there is a risk that this is weakening leaving a marginally profitable business. It will take a big advertising push to regain market share and this does seem to be planned in the New Year. However this will cost money in advertising  and eat into net margins. If they don't spend the money then they lose market share. This is what happens in an industry without a sustainable competitive advantage - long term all participants earn their cost of capital or less.

Given their net funds they are unlikely to go bust but the current market cap has a lot of downside if the worst case happens and you are left with ex-growth, marginally profitable UK & Aus businesses, failed US expansion, regulatory risk and the largest shareholder as a forced seller.

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paraic84 26th Dec '17 60 of 63

In reply to dangersimpson, post #59

Thanks again for these numbers dangersimpson. However, the slowdown you're spotting doesn't yet seem to be reflected in half year results although I imagine we won't get a full picture until the next set of results given your data shows a slowdown from September.

Have pulled out the figures for UK revenue in last three half years and H1 17/18 UK revenue looks quite good compared to the previous two halves, especially as I was under the (mis?)understanding that sales would be more H2 weighted around the start of the year and spring time. (H1 is end of April- end of October)

H1 16/17: 18.3m
H2 16/17: 24.9m (+36% on H1 16/17)
H1 17/18: 39.9m (+60% on H2 16/17)

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ratioinvestor 26th Dec '17 61 of 63
1

DangerSimpson - thanks for that. It was a very useful bit of research. My overall bearish thesis here is still in place. Whether or not Purplebricks is a well run business it is in a very competitive market. Some thoughts on your posts:

- Google Trends - presumably this is how much the name Purplebricks is searched for? What seems interesting is if you look for a five year trend for the UK. We are now nearly at the same level of searches as a year ago in the UK.
This might highlight that users are moving to cheaper online competitors in November and December:
https://trends.google.co.uk/trends/explore?date=today%205-y&geo=GB&q=purplebricks
- Australia/US - I'm not sure due to seasonality and their short time in existence if we can really draw any conclusions from the Google Search trends for Australia and the US.

Market Share - The fall in market share for Purplebricks you highlighted in December is obviously for the whole UK market and so includes offline and online. The drop from 3.75% to 3.65% isn't large but does tie in with the above data of falling internet searches for Purplebricks. Part of my bearish thesis is that Purplebricks would only take so much market share in the UK then hit a ceiling. I can't really see any reason why Purplebricks should see off cheaper competitors.

Valuation - the bottom line is that this company is generating about £100m in annual revenue (annualizing first half revenue) and is valued at £1.1bn. That might be fine if it had the prospect of becoming massively profitable. However, given the competitive nature of the space I can't see that happening. The other alternative is that Purplebricks sees incredible growth. However, the market share may have already peaked in the UK as your data shows. US and Australia are unproven and likely to be very competitive.

Woodford stake - I personally think Neil has lost the plot a bit. Without his support this stock it would of tanked. This is one of the few positions in his Patient Capital Trust that has performed well. Patient Capital has been a lousy investment to date in any event. I haven't looked but I am guessing the trust has a wind up provision.

Cashburn - Well they could use up cash fairly quickly if they ramp up advertising in the US and Australia. The crux though is whether they need another cash call to further their ambitions. In a year's time we could be down to £50m. I agree, though, that this isn't a slam dunk short given that they can survive for a while and the underlying business in the UK appears to be profitable.

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dangersimpson 3rd Jan 62 of 63
2

paraic84,

I think Purplebricks (LON:PURP) will have slightly different seasonality to other agents. H2 which is to 30th April should be stronger because peak houses will be marketed March April and Purplebricks (LON:PURP) get their fee up front. Whereas traditional agents will have peak income on chain completions later in the year.

The point is that if my (admittedly limited being only top 20 cities) analysis is correct that the slow down has not appeared in the results yet since these are to October and the slow down happened post reporting period.

Their own guidance for UK revenue is only +10% for H2 on H1 so this wouldn't seem to be great given the seasonal affects that should favour H2.

ratioinvestor,

I think the current strength of Purplebricks (LON:PURP) is related to Woodford buying. I note the statement that his third fund Woodford Income Focus has been buying:

https://woodfordfunds.com/words/insights/wiff-november-2017/

we have been able to free up a small part of the portfolio to opportunistically capture some long-term capital growth potential for the fund, in stocks which are misunderstood by the market and which are therefore profoundly undervalued. As such, we introduced three new positions to the portfolio during the month, in the form of Allied Minds, Prothena and Purplebricks.

The cynic may argue that this decision may have more to do with year end mark- to-market reporting of the other Woodford funds that have big holdings in these stocks and have been performing badly this year.

Long term it is business fundamentals that matter more and to me these are little competitive advantage, questionable behaviour regarding reviews, portal management & advertising, and high market & regulatory risk.

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dangersimpson 4th Jan 63 of 63
2

A small addendum.

According to holding RNS Woodford funds combined increased their holding in Purplebricks (LON:PURP) by1.27% in November 2017:

https://www.investegate.co.uk/purplebricks-group--purp-/rns/holding-s--in-company/201711201551500152X/

They could have added up to 0.69% without declaring but it seems unlikely that they would add up to the threshold and stop.

Based on the blog post:

https://woodfordfunds.com/words/insights/wiff-november-2017/

...the holdings of Allied Minds, Prothena & Purplebricks were new holdings to the Income Focus Fund in November 2017.

Trustnet puts the current AUM of the Income Focus Fund at £738m which means that this fund added 2.3% of the equity of Purplebricks (LON:PURP) in November 2017. So we have at least 0.3% of the Purplebricks (LON:PURP) equity and probably closer to 1% that was transferred between funds. Most probably form the Equity Income Fund that was facing redemptions.

So it would seem that the Income Focus fund maybe be bailing out it's bigger brother both indirectly by supporting Purplebricks (LON:PURP) share price and directly through taking some of it's holding.

In the same way the income focus fund probably added about 0.9% of the Prothena equity and given Woodford's 29.9% holding already it is most likely that all of this came from the other funds.

If I was a holder of the Income Focus fund I would be most worried about this development since it is the presence of companies like this in the Equity Income fund that has led to the under-performance and maybe a lot of the redemptions. If redemptions continue they will be stuck holding the same highly priced, non-income bearing, illiquid stocks that the rest of the funds hold.

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  • Apple (AAPL)

  • Shell (RDSA)

  • Twitter (TWTR)

  • Volkswagon AG (VOK)

  • McDonalds (MCD)

  • Vodafone (VOD)

  • Barratt Homes (BDEV)

  • Microsoft (MSFT)

  • Tesco (TSCO)
Save and show me my analysis