Good morning.

It's very quiet for results & trading statements today. Although we should have plenty to keep us busy with the better organised companies issuing their 30 June interim results at this time of year. As a former FD myself, I place a lot of importance on timeliness and accuracy of financial reporting - so there is no excuse at all (in my view) for late results. In this day & age, with near real-time accounting, the figures should be published within 4 weeks of the period end, and 6 weeks if that includes an audit. Anything more than that is sloppy, in my view. Sloppiness indicates a lack of strong financial controls, and that in turn means the FD probably doesn't really know what's going on at the coal face, and increases the likelihood of nasty surprises.

I'm not a fan of helicopter FDs, I like FDs that know the precise diameter of every nut & bolt, and can roll up their sleeves and run the payroll if the payroll manager is off sick. We're only dealing with small caps here remember.

Walker Greenbank (LON:WGB)

A trading update this morning sounds encouraging, although as with many companies note the significant impact of the strong pound;

The Board is pleased to report another successful trading period with sales performing particularly strongly in the UK, the Company's largest market.

Brand sales in the UK were up 10.0% in the six months to 31 July 2014, compared with the same period last year.  Overall, brand sales were up 5.3% in reportable currency in the first half with overseas brand sales down 1.2% in reportable currency but up 3.6% in constant currency.

The Company's manufacturing operations continued to perform well.

The Board remains confident in the outlook for the full year.

The shares are priced at 20 times current year estimates, which looks rather expensive. Although if you think they might beat forecasts, then that rating might not turn out to be so warm.


It's not a small cap, but I have to pass comment on this one. What on earth were people thinking of, chasing this share price up to £70? It's now down to £23, and it doesn't look cheap at all - the market cap is still about £2bn!

Looking at the net profit margin, it doesn't actually look a particularly…

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