Good morning! A former favourite of mine, Israeli niche software company (for the broadcast industry) Pilat Media Global (LON:PGB) has announced a recommended takeover bid at 95p per share, from an existing major shareholder (22.7%), Sintec Media. As it's recommended, and because of the large shareholders being in agreement, it's a done deal. It's a good deal too, at a 28.8% premium to last night's closing price.

Readers here will be familiar with this share, as I mentioned it a lot last year, and first flagged it up as "remarkably good value" at 37p on 16 Apr 2013. So a nice success to chalk up there, although personally I sold too early, as usual, but was more than happy to bank a gain of almost 100%, and recycle the money into something else (things which have also gone up since, so there is no net loss from selling early, providing you put the money into something good).

There are quite a lot of trading updates today, so it's going to take me until lunch time to plough through them all, so please keep updating this report in your browser throughout the morning - I publish updates about 30-40 minutes apart typically.

Thorntons (LON:THT) has issued its Q2 trading update, covering the crucial Christmas period. It's looks reasonably good, with LFL retail sales up 3.5%, and the important FMCG division growing sales by an impressive 17.1%. The most important measure of course is profitability, and they confirm that,

Our current outlook for the financial year remains in line with market expectations.

Looking at valuation, broker consensus forecast (which they have just confirmed they are in line with) is for 8.0p EPS this year, so at 142p the shares are on a very warm rating of 17.8. When you take into account a very poor Balance Sheet with considerable net debt, and a pension deficit, this rating is even more unfathomable.

Bulls have bought into the turnaround here, which has been impressive - they have cut back the ailing retail estate, and strongly grown FMCG sales - i.e. selling to supermarkets, etc. - but bulls have also apparently ignored the considerable risk from a very weak Balance Sheet, and problem levels of debt. There is no dividend either, although a small dividend is expected…

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