Small Cap Value Report (4 Jun 2015) - PRES, SSY, VNET, VP.

Thursday, Jun 04 2015 by

Good morning!

A close shave for me this morning, with two profit warnings, but luckily I managed to dodge both of them (having ditched both shares from my portfolio a few weeks ago). Although the challenge for today is to resist the temptation to catch the falling knives, as that is usually (but not always) a mistake.

Pressure Technologies (LON:PRES)

Share price: 191p (down 29% today)
No. shares: 14.4m
Market Cap: £27.5m

Profit warning - I am not surprised that this engineering group, which is heavily reliant on the oil & gas sector, has put out another profit warning. Indeed worrying about this prospect was what drove me to sell out on the last bounce up 2-3 weeks ago. With constant bad news from the sector, it was difficult to imagine how this company would be immune.

The trouble is, that there are a lot of trend-following market participants at the moment, who look for favourable chart patterns, buy shares which exhibit them, so their buying results in a share rising, which itself pulls in more momentum buyers. This is problematic, because (especially in small caps), the chart patterns can often be completely divorced from the fundamentals of the company, as has been the case here.

Anyway, PRES notes a further deterioration in market conditions, and the upshot is a significant profit warning for both this year (ending 27 Sep 2015) and next year:


Outlook - it's difficult to draw any conclusions from this, other than feeling generally soothed if one is a long-term holder, that things should improve at some unknown point in the future:


Valuation - this is almost impossible, due to inadequate information. EPS forecasts for this year have already come down from about 50p to 31.2p. That's now gone out of the window as well. It sounds like the company will at least remain profitable, but with business slowing down, next year could see a further deterioration (as the early part of this year was positive, but probably won't be next year).

There are no indications on a possible range of profit outcomes for this year (why not? Surely the company could have said we expect profit to be between £x and £y, which is best practice when issuing a profit warning, and at least demonstrates that management have control over…

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Pressure Technologies plc is a holding company. The Company's Cylinders segment is engaged in the design, manufacture and reconditioning of seamless high pressure gas cylinders, and consists of Chesterfield Special Cylinders Limited. Its Precision Machined Components segment is engaged in the manufacture of specialized, precision-engineered valve wear parts used in the oil and gas industries, and includes Al-Met Limited and Roota Engineering Limited. Its Engineered Products segment is engaged in the manufacture of precision-engineered products, air operated high pressure hydraulic pumps, gas boosters, power packs, hydraulic control panels and test rigs, and consists of Hydratron Limited and Hydratron Inc. more »

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SCISYS group PLC is a United Kingdom-based company, which is engaged in developing information technology (IT) services. The Company develops application solutions and products, and provides supporting services. The Company provides IT services to corporations and public sector organizations through four divisions: Space; Enterprise Solutions & Defence (ESD); Media & Broadcast (M&B) and ANNOVA Systems. The Space division provides various aspects of a space system, from fundamental research and onboard software solutions, to supplying ground segment infrastructure and services. The ESD division provides software solutions across various markets, including defense, security, marine, public sector and commercial. The M&B division is a supplier of digital radio production, archiving, asset-management and playout solutions. The Annova systems develops a portal for ARDAktuell based on the ground-breaking, product OpenMedia Newsboard. more »

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Vianet Group plc is a provider of real time monitoring systems, data management services, and actionable insights for the leisure and vending sectors. The Company's segments include Leisure Services, which includes design, product development, sale and rental of fluid monitoring equipment, data management and related services; Vending, which includes design product development, sale and rental of machine monitoring equipment, data management and related services; Technology, which includes the provision of data management and technology related services, and Fuel Solutions, which includes wet stock analysis and related services. Its Leisure division consists of the core beer monitoring business (including the United States), and gaming machine monitoring. Its subsidiaries include Brulines Trustee Company Limited, Vianet Americas Inc and Vianet Limited. more »

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

33 Comments on this Article show/hide all

AlanJenkins2 4th Jun '15 14 of 33

I used to hold shares in an Australian engineering company called Forge Group.I still own the shares,but the company went bust due to the onerous cost of fulfilling a contract it should never have made.This has made me extremely wary of bad contracts.I sold my shares in Scysys this morning.

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herbie47 4th Jun '15 15 of 33

In reply to post #100408

Sorry its the StockRank I thought people were familiar with it on here as I've seen a many times.

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Splode 4th Jun '15 16 of 33

In reply to post #100395

Ed called a high Q&V&M stock a "Super Stock" (good, cheap, improving) and a high Q&V but low M stock a "Contrarian" (classic value). But after a major profit warning Q presumably drops and so, depending on what happens to V, the stock could become either a "Value Trap" or "Sucker Stock".

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Damian Cannon 4th Jun '15 17 of 33

In reply to post #100402

Hi Paul,

Actually I think that you've hit the nail on the head with regard to broker forecasts and a change in direction/momentum here. If a clear reversal occurs in the forecasts (which seems unlikely without a good reason) then this plus a big drop in Stock Rank does start to sound like a clear warning.

I take your point about not merely reacting to share price changes and I must admit that I felt a bit reluctant to post my thoughts above for this reason - I don't want to be trading for no reason or just in response to market noise. But the broker forecast suggestion makes me feel a lot happier with this idea of when to sell.

Cheers, Damian

Blog: Ambling Randomly
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Damian Cannon 4th Jun '15 18 of 33

In reply to post #100404

Yes it is difficult herbie47. I think that taking the broker forecast momentum into account, as Paul mentions, may well help here. OTOH both Vislink (LON:VLK) and Staffline (LON:STAF) saw the forecasts being pegged back before then recovering so what do I know!

Cheers, Damian

Blog: Ambling Randomly
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Camtab 4th Jun '15 19 of 33

PRES has been an interesting investment so far(?!?*) I picked some up at 2.50 and in hind sight should have offloaded at £3.30. BUT found myself asking this morning if this is a share that I would want to buy back in to. So to be the devil's advocate...... I have to say i used 20p as my eps estimate. Looking forward this would have them on around 9.5 times at £1.90. The share price has come down from £7.50 in only a year, which as Paul previously said seemed quite a hit before the last profits warning. There is a lot of bad news in this share price. Given it may move lower in the short term, but recognising a respected management team, reasonably solid balance sheet and interesting market. Given we may have to increase defence spending thank you Mr Putin. Also the environmental business is potentially very interesting. Difficult to put numbers on what it is currently worth as management guidance is poor but I would wager (note the word) that should the general market fall this share will out perform. If the market maintains its current madness it will under perform in the short term. But with general news in the economy continuing to improve and the with investment increasing following the last General election at some point I expect there to be a rebound in the profits. A few phone calls can make a lot of difference in this sector. I averaged down at £1.89. Good luck to all, whether bull or bear.

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herbie47 4th Jun '15 20 of 33

In reply to post #100432

Yes its not clear cut as usual. Often I have found dips in sp to be good buying opportunities, such as (LON:AHT), (LON:STAF), (LON: SOLI) If I had seen (LON:SSY) below 50p this morning I probably would have bought some, many shares over reactive to profit warnings.

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janebolacha 4th Jun '15 21 of 33

In reply to post #100443

Today's commissioned commentary from Investor's Champion which presumably reflects Pressure Technologies (LON:PRES) management views, gives revised EPS forecasts for FY15 and FY16 some way below 20p:

"House Broker (Charles Stanley) estimates for the year ending September 2015 were previously for Group sales of £65.3m, normalised profit before tax of £5.8m and normalised earnings per share of 31.19p. For 2016 estimates were for sales of £73.0m, normalised profit before tax of 8.4m and normalised earnings per share of 45.62p.
These have now been dramatically cut, with 2015 normalised pre-tax profit now forecast at £2.7m on revenues of £57.8m and normalised eps at 14.36p. Estimates for 2016 are now for pre-tax profit of £3.2m on sales of £59.8m and eps of 17.38p. It’s fairly pointless looking any further out given the general uncertainty in the market.
The dividend is also likely to be cut with house broker forecasts now for a dividend of 8.4p in 2015 and 2016, representing a yield of just over 4% at the current share price.
The Group will also incur exceptional costs in 2015 specifically the £1.4m provision relating to KGTM and other costs relating to the recent acquisitions and reorganisation of the Group."

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Damian Cannon 4th Jun '15 22 of 33

In reply to post #100446

It's funny that you should say that herbie47 as I've tended to find that the share price drops, on a profit warning, tend to under-react compared to the long-term result - with each subsequent profit warning leading to a further leg down in price.

Then again I must just be invested in the wrong shares! Tricky business this investing lark.

Blog: Ambling Randomly
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herbie47 4th Jun '15 23 of 33

In reply to post #100450

Its funny you say that I have just seen your ZYT article. Yes maybe long term but like SSY today sp went down to 38p now its 56p.

How do you do the share name so it comes up blue with the link to the Stockopedia page?

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Damian Cannon 4th Jun '15 24 of 33

In reply to post #100455

Ha ha! Touche! Also the trick is to put a '£' sign before the ticker: Zytronic (LON:ZYT).

Blog: Ambling Randomly
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herbie47 4th Jun '15 25 of 33

In reply to post #100456

I see, thanks.

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jraitt 4th Jun '15 26 of 33

AVO - Advanced Oncology
Confident Director bet announced today
"The Company announces that Michael Sinclair, Executive Chairman of the Company, had yesterday purchased an option over 30 million ordinary shares of 1 penny each in the Company ("Ordinary Shares") from Brahma AG at a cost of GBP300,000 ("Option"). The Option vests immediately, expires two years from today's date and has an exercise price of 10p per Ordinary Share".

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Camtab 4th Jun '15 27 of 33

In reply to post #100449

Thank you Jane. Given the numbers you quote I take your point. How do you manage to access this information?

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Camtab 4th Jun '15 29 of 33

In reply to post #100467

Good site and very useful thank you Jane.

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sjones33449 4th Jun '15 30 of 33

In reply to post #100402

Paul you are quite quite remarkable the amount of work is breath taking ! Thanks so much for your honesty with Plus 500 I still hold a position with them and will lose whichever way it goes but thanks to your appraisal I know where I went wrong, as always any share that one buys carries a risk for the anticipated reward ! There is however a silver lining thanks to people like yourself and Ed who admit to their mistakes we as investors learn from our mistakes ,so thanks again I shall not look at overseas companies on the AIM again.
Regards Steve

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Mark Carter 4th Jun '15 31 of 33

Are foreign companies still being floated on AIM, or is that pretty much now a dead idea?

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Paul Scott 4th Jun '15 32 of 33

In reply to post #100486


There are still some foreign companies floated on AIM from time to time, amazingly.
Often they raise very little cash, but get the listing, advisers start promoting the share to gullible punters in the secondary market, thus creating the opportunity for insiders to sell.

So vigilance is still very much needed.

I only hold one overseas company that is listed on AIM, namely Somero Enterprises Inc (LON:SOM) as it has a 9-year track record over here, pays divis, and has clean accounts. Also it's American, which is a lot better than say a Chinese or Indian company, in terms of corporate governance.

Regards, Paul.

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StrollingMolby 6th Jun '15 33 of 33

In reply to post #100486

Indeed, many companies including those from overseas come to tap AIM investors in an initial fundraising. Here's the latest list from the LSE:

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 Are LON:PRES'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 »


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