Small Cap Value Report (13 Oct 2015) - NFC, FLYB, PHD, PTCM

Tuesday, Oct 13 2015 by

Good morning!

Next Fifteen Communications (LON:NFC)

Share price: 203p (up 2.3% today)
No. shares: 65.6m
Market cap: £133.2m

Interim results to 31 Jul 2015 - this is a group of marketing & PR agencies. I'm impressed with today's interim results, although it's important to remember that most of the top line growth has come from acquisitions - turnover being up 18.4% to £61.8m in H1, of which organic growth was 4.1%.

Three agencies were acquired during the period - "Encore, Incredibull and Animl acquired during period and performing to expectations". Who thinks up these names (and are they in the right job?!).

Net debt - has increased considerably, from £1.4m a year ago, to £8.9m at 31 Jul 2015, although that doesn't strike me as a problem, as it's only slightly more than 6 months EBITDA.

Operating profit margin - is good, and improved, at 11.7% of revenue, at £7.2m. Mind you, people businesses are coming under increasing pressure to give pay rises & bonuses to staff, so there may not be much scope to extend profit margins further, perhaps?

Outlook - the all-important forward-looking comments today sound positive, and reassure on full year expectations;

As stated earlier, the Group has made a good start to the financial year ending 31 January 2016. Current trading is encouraging with good activity levels across the Group and the benefit of recent acquisitions coming through. Despite increased investment, the Group is on track to meet expectations for the full year.

"Good start" is an odd description, considering they are almost three-quarters of the way through the financial year now!

Note that the financial year was moved from 31 July to 31 January, so there was an odd 18-month period to bring that about - hence why the prior year comparatives look unusual, with high turnover of £158.5m.

Balance sheet - overall I'd say this is a tad on the weak side, but given the good level of profitability and cashflow, I don't see this as a particular problem.

Although net debt of £8.9m looks reasonable, note that gross debt is a good bit higher, at £19.7m, partially offset by cash of £10.8m. Companies often scramble to collect in cash for the year end date, to minimise the net debt reported figure. So it's important to look at gross debt, of £19.7m in this case, which is probably the worst-case cash position, as…

Unlock this article instantly by logging into your account

Don’t have an account? Register for free and we’ll get out your way


As per our Terms of Use, Stockopedia is a financial news & data site, discussion forum and content aggregator. Our site should be used for educational & informational purposes only. We do not provide investment advice, recommendations or views as to whether an investment or strategy is suited to the investment needs of a specific individual. You should make your own decisions and seek independent professional advice before doing so. Remember: Shares can go down as well as up. Past performance is not a guide to future performance & investors may not get back the amount invested. ?>

Do you like this Post?
29 thumbs up
0 thumbs down
Share this post with friends

Next Fifteen Communications Group plc is engaged in the communications business. The Company consists of approximately 20 subsidiary agencies, spanning digital content, marketing, public relation (PR), consumer, technology, marketing software, market research, public affairs and policy communications. Of the Company’s businesses, five are independent communications brands, with three specializing in the technology sector (Bite, Text 100 and The OutCast Agency) and two in the consumer space (Lexis and M Booth). The Company’s three agencies focuses on digital (Beyond, bDA and Connections Media), a business to business (B2B) marketing agency (Twogether), a programmatic advertising technology business (Encore), a market research company (Morar), a digital content marketing agency (Story), a policy communications firm (Vrge), a creative agency (ODD London), a B2B technical marketing communications agency (Publitek) and an investor relations consultancy (The Blueshirt Group). more »

LSE Price
Mkt Cap (£m)
P/E (fwd)
Yield (fwd)

Flybe Group PLC is a United Kingdom-based company. The Company is a shell company.

LSE Price
Mkt Cap (£m)
P/E (fwd)
Yield (fwd)

PROACTIS Holdings PLC is a United Kingdom-based company, which is a Spend control and e-Procurement solution provider. The Company is engaged in the development and sale of business software, installation and related services. It offers a range of solutions, such as PROACTIS Source-to-Contract, PROACTIS Purchase-to-Pay and PROACTIS Supplier Network solutions. It offers managed services, such as procurement-related managed services, such as Sourcing and Content Management; Finance-related managed services, such as Invoice Data Capture and Accelerated Payment Facility, and information technology (IT)-related managed services, such as Application Hosting & Management. Its Solutions for Finance and Procurement include cloud, hosted or on-premise software applications. PROACTIS Spend Analysis offers company-wide data on users' laptop, tablet or mobile. Its PROACTIS Invoice Data Capture turns paper, fax and Portable Document Format (PDF) invoices into system-ready electronic records. more »

LSE Price
Mkt Cap (£m)
P/E (fwd)
Yield (fwd)

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

12 Comments on this Article show/hide all

Glaws2 13th Oct '15 1 of 12

Hi Paul - thanks (again) for your insight into the balance sheet. Can you explain what a 'contingent consideration' is - at £7.3m it has to be more than some wriggle room.


| Link | Share | 1 reply
RichM 13th Oct '15 2 of 12

Send for Ben Hobson immediately!

As always, a great write up. Hugely useful. Thank you.

| Link | Share | 1 reply
Paul Scott 13th Oct '15 3 of 12

In reply to post #108051

Hi Glaws2,

Contingent consideration relates to acquisitions, where there is an earn-out - i.e. the acquired company is set profit targets, and if achieved, then the vendors (often management) receive an additional payment.

It's a way to keep the vendors motivated, and striving to meet profit targets.

Companies need to accrue for what earn-out payments are likely to be paid. You can see adjustments going through the finance income & expense lines of the P&L.

Regards, Paul.

| Link | Share | 1 reply
Glaws2 13th Oct '15 4 of 12

In reply to post #108063

Thanks Paul

| Link | Share
Ben Hobson 13th Oct '15 5 of 12

In reply to post #108054

Ha - that's brilliant! Good grief, no pressure!

| Link | Share
BrianGeee 13th Oct '15 6 of 12

Paul, re Flybe, normally the load factor and revenue per seat are key, but with the current significant reduction in fuel prices, just increasing flights and seats is probably more important in the short term. Much of the fuel is hedged at substantially higher prices, so it appears to me that incremental business at lower fuel prices is what will drive profitability over the next year or so. That would include putting the E195s into service, which should have happened over a year ago, if they hadn't been so busy blaming prior management.

| Link | Share
rmillaree 13th Oct '15 7 of 12

Ref Flybe
One Issues with regard to Flybe is that this is a Golden period for Airlines like Flybe (just look at the Easyjet current profits compared to historical averages)

This would make me a little cautious about presuming the future will be more Orange as something may come along to spoil the Party - is is ceratainly much easier for things to suddenly go massively wrong(strikes/fuel price increased/fallouts with airports/planes one cant get rid of/terrorism etc etc etc) than for them to massively increase profits (as Easyjet have managed)

If they can't find a Golden Goose when Golden Geese are ten a penny how will they manage when everyone decides Golden Geese Should be eaten for XMAS and there are non left.

| Link | Share
Carcosa 13th Oct '15 8 of 12

Capacity outstripping supply
No demand for E195 models because the variant that they have is particularly uncompetitive

The risk outweighs the potential reward in my view

| Link | Share
Camtab 13th Oct '15 9 of 12

With regard to Proactis, my past experience is that where companies grow by acquisition they have been a poor investment, driven by CEO ego. I would rather look for the company that they want to buy.

| Link | Share
Mick Harkins 13th Oct '15 10 of 12

With regard to share based payments, my thinking is that companies exclude these amounts from the EPS calculation (whether they are a one-time event or a more regular occurrence) in order not to 'double-count' the cost, i.e., the number of shares issued as payment will already be included in the denominator of the EPS calculation.

Can anyone confirm if my thinking is correct as I confess I've not entirely convinced myself? ;-)

| Link | Share | 1 reply
CMWilliamson 13th Oct '15 11 of 12

In reply to post #108087

Warren Buffett seems to put his finger on it, as ever:

“If stock options aren’t a form of compensation, what are they? If compensation isn’t an expense, what is it? And, if expenses shouldn’t go into the calculation of earnings, where in the world do they go?"


| Link | Share
Chris Johnson 13th Oct '15 12 of 12

Hi Paul

Ref Flybe, how far ahead are they actually hedging fuel prices? We seem to have had a decent period of low oil prices, I would have thoughts that should be beginning to show through by now.


| Link | Share

Please subscribe to submit a comment

 Are LON:NFC's fundamentals sound as an investment? Find out More »

About Paul Scott

Paul Scott

I trained as an accountant with a Top 5 firm, but that was so boring that I spent too much time in the 1990s being a disco bunny, and busting moves on the dancefloor, and chilling out with mates back at either my house or theirs, and having a lot of fun!Then spent 8 years as FD for a ladieswear retail chain called "Pilot", leaving on great terms in 2002 - having been a key player in growing the business 10 fold. If the truth be told, I partied pretty hard at the weekends too, so bank reconciliations on Monday mornings were more luck than judgement!! But they were always correct.I got bored with that and decided to become a professional small caps investor in 2002. I made millions, but got too cocky, and lost the lot in 2008, due to excessive gearing. A miserable, wilderness period occurred from 2008-2012.Since then, the sun has begun to shine again! I am now utterly briliant again, and immerse myself in small caps, and am a walking encyclopedia on the subject. I love writing a daily report for on most weekday mornings, constantly researching daily results & trading updates for small caps. Cheese! more »


Stock Picking Tutorial Centre

Let’s get you setup so you get the most out of our service
Done, Let's add some stocks
Brilliant - You've created a folio! Now let's add some stocks to it.

  • 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