Hi, Jack here - Paul is delayed in London so I'm taking over until he gets back.

With lockdown easing, I finally caught the train back from York to Oxford myself at the weekend. As much as it pains me to say it, the weather is a bit better down south…

Some quick news to kick off. CMC Markets (LON:CMCX) has appointed Brendan Foxen as its new chief technical officer. Foxen was previously CTO of Contino, a digital transformation consultancy, where he helped grow the consultancy from 16 to 400 employees. CMC says the appointment will ‘will support the accelerated development of the many opportunities that are in the pipeline’, which sounds promising.

Of course, the group’s shares have been tremendously strong given recent market volatility - but given the above, maybe there is more growth to come?

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On 12.3x forecast earnings, that still looks like a modest valuation for a high quality, growing company. The question is if the company can replicate this year’s (probably) bumper results or if they will normalise in time towards a lower level.

Note that broker forecasts have nearly trebled for FY21 but FY22 estimates are anchored at around 16p.

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If you treat FY22 as a more ‘normal’ earnings level though that still puts shares on a forecast year 2 PE of just over 20x. So if there are good company-specific growth opportunities here, it could be worth a closer look.

Anyway, onto some results.


Global Ports Holding (LON:GPH)

Share price: 68.98p (-11%)

No. of shares: 62,826,963

Market cap: £48.75m

This is an absolute dive bomber of a share price chart. Global Ports Holding (LON:GPH) has been a bloodbath for shareholders unfortunately, and COVID has ruined recent trade.

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Shares are down 11% today as GPH has abandoned its pursuit of a premium listing. This was an explicit ambition mentioned in the group’s IPO documents, so it’s a blow that three years later this has not materialised.

The group says:

These decisions have been taken in order to strengthen the Company's ability and provide flexibility to respond to challenges created by ongoing Covid-19 disruption to the global travel sector and the economies in which…

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