Good morning!

I'm still up in London, but don't have any meetings this afternoon, so I'll keep updating this article throughout the afternoon. I've had a couple of days of meeting companies, and other investors, and very interesting it has been too.

There are hardly any companies in my universe reporting today, so that gives me an opportunity to have a moan about another topic - companies giving inadequate profit guidance to the market. 

Also note the comments section, where we discuss the ridiculous regulatory rules that block private investors from having access to broker research notes. This is madness, so we need to get writing to our MPs, to have this issue fixed.


Bonmarche Holdings (LON:BON)

Share price: 170p (down 9.6% today)
No. shares: 50.0m
Market cap: £85.0m

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

Trading update - this is a slightly disappointing trading update. LFL sales are only just positive, at +0.5% in Q4 (13 weeks ending 26 Mar 2016), and +1.0% for the year (52 weeks to 26 Mar 2016). That's unspectacular, but not bad.

Full year profit - this sounds a little disappointing;

The Board expects that the PBT for the year ended 26 March 2016 will be at the lower end of the guidance outlined in the trading update issued on 16 December 2015. The Group`s financial position remains sound.

So looking back to my report of 16 Dec 2015, the company guided for a range of £10.5m to £12.0m. Therefore we're probably looking at c.£10.5m full year outturn for PBT. This compares with £12.4m equivalent last year. So down, but not out!

Valuation - the share price peaked at about 315p in Nov 2015, and has now fallen 46% to 170p. That seems quite an extreme move, for what is really just a patch of moderate under-performance. So I'm leaning towards seeing this as more of a possible buying opportunity than a threat.

Outlook - the outgoing CEO might perhaps want to put a favourable sheen on her record, so it will be interesting to see how the new CEO sees things in a few month's time.

 "Post-Christmas, trading conditions have continued to be quite challenging, with the exception of January where we saw a higher than average demand for autumn/winter sale stock. Although helpful in clearing these ranges, the continued colder weather has been unhelpful…

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