Good morning!

When my clock/radio goes off each morning at 7am, and the iPad starts bleeping with RNSs, it's always entirely random which radio station comes on - this is because my sleepy fumbling to find the snooze button often dislodges the radio tuner. So I've gradually migrated, unintentionally, from Radio 4, through a local commercial station, to Radio 3 for a week or so, and now I think it's on Radio 2.

Anyway, Chris Evans was the chirpy voice who woke me up today. I have to say, Top Gear will never be the same without Clarkson (I can do without his two daft sidekicks though), but if anyone is going to make it work, Chris Evans will. He is annoying, but hilariously funny I think, and spontaneous, and most important of all, a fellow petrol-head.

I am angling for a job as a sidekick to Mr Evans on Top Gear, and have paraded my credentials on Twitter with a nightly competition to "Guess the Communist-era car" from pictures, although unfortunately readers have already discovered they can cheat using Google picture search. Right, onto the markets.


Norcros (LON:NXR)

Share price: 17.9p
No. shares: 597.2m
Market Cap: £106.9m

(at the time of writing, I hold a long position in this share)

Results for y/e 31 Mar 2015 - these are not the simplest of results to interpret, since there are a number of exceptional, and legacy issues. I'm mainly interested in the underlying trading performance of the business, so it's underlying diluted EPS of 2.1p which is the key figure for me. That makes the shares look strikingly cheap on a PER of 8.5. This is flat against last year on an underlying basis (and stripping out the benefit of deferred tax assets recognised last year).

It's also slightly ahead of broker expectations, according to a note from the main broker which has crossed my desk this morning. Forecast for the current year is left unchanged, at EPS of 2.0p, slightly down, so that's a PER of 9.0 for this year - still very cheap.

Balance sheet - overall this looks OK to me. The three key tests I look for are all passed;

  • Net tangible assets are positive, at £25.8m.
  • The current ratio is healthy, at 1.71.
  • Net debt is modest, at £14.2m (down from £26.9m, mainly due to proceeds from property disposals).

Note that the company still has significant freehold…

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