Ed recently introduced the Stockopedia Strategy Map, showing that there are many ways to invest successfully using the Stockopedia tools. In this week’s article, he discussed the concept of deep value investing, a strategy close to my heart. So as a follow-up, I’m going to look at a deep value stock from Benjamin Graham’s NCAV Bargain Screen: N Brown (LON:BWNG)


  • N Brown is an online clothing retailer specialising in clothing sales in a wide variety of sizes via the brands JD Williams, Simply Be and Jacamo. They also have a small homeware brand called Home Essentials.
  • The company trades at a substantial discount to tangible book value, with a P/TBV of just 0.38, after adjusting for post-balance sheet events.
  • The majority of these assets are represented by a £492m customer receivable book. Even after netting off provisions for doubtful debts and the debt secured against these receivables, they exceed the current market cap by some margin.
  • These assets are not particularly productive at the moment, though. Despite much earnings over the last few years, earnings are forecast to be just 1.7p for 2023, putting them on a forward P/E of 16. Their most recent ROCE I just 4%.
  • A court case with their finance provider over who was responsible for the costs of PPI misselling has hung over the company for some time but is now settled, with the company paying £49.5m to the insurer.
  • Frasers, the highly acquisitive retail group led by Mike Ashley, bought a stake recently, leading to speculation that N Brown (LON:BWNG) will be their next target.
  • The Alliance family own a controlling shareholding and was buying recently too. Presumably to avoid losing the company to an opportunistic bid.
  • The share price has dropped back down since this buying, perhaps due to read-across from poor trading of other online clothes retailers such as Boohoo (LON:BOO) and ASOS (LON:ASC) . So this could provide a good entry point for investors that believe these assets can be made productive again, either by the current management or in the hands of Mr Ashley.


N Brown (LON:BWNG) is a direct-to-customer clothing retailer. Today this means that the company sells online. However, its oldest brand, JD Williams, was founded in 1859 when James David Williams operated three mobile shops. In 1882 he began to send clothes via the…

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