Good morning!

Agenda -

Paul's Section:

Equals (LON:EQLS) - finally! Guilt overcame me on Sunday, so I prepared some notes on this interesting growth company. Looks good to me, but I don't understand the sector.

Card Factory (LON:CARD) - is ditching its CFO, after 5 years service, which is bound to worry some investors. An in line with expectations trading update is buried in today's news. It's a potentially interesting turnaround, but the weak balance sheet still puts me off, despite a bank funding agreement that has greatly reduced the risk of an emergency placing. Could be good, we'll keep an eye on it.

Naked Wines (LON:WINE) [no section below] - another CFO leaving, "by mutual agreement", effective last Friday, so no transition period. Although the RNS strangely says there has been a "smooth transition" - I wonder if that just means, here are the passwords, bye!? This one sounds like a falling out, since it's happened with immediate effect. The old CFO (2015-2020) is resuming that role on an interim basis.  I've never been keen on this share, and think wine subscription services are not a good place to be right now. I was unimpressed with the FY 3/2022 results, reviewed here.

Graham's Section:

Judges Scientific (LON:JDG) (£467m) - today’s H1 update is in line with expectations. Order intake was up 4%, with very different trends seen in different geographies. Economic conditions remain “challenging”, and revenue growth is held back by supply chain/recruitment issues, and by staff needing to self-isolate. I provide some analysis of the £80m deal announced by Judges in May, the largest deal ever made by this highly successful buy-and-build operator.

Ebiquity (LON:EBQ) (£67m) (+10%) [no section below] - this media consultancy made over £20m of acquisitions in March, raising equity to do so. Today’s H1 trading update shows organic revenue growth of 10%, and total revenue for the six-month period of £37m. That’s half of the full-year revenue estimate shown on the Stock Report, but only includes three months of contribution from the acquired businesses.

Underlying operating profit in H1 has more than doubled compared to last year: margin improved due to “growth in higher margin digital products and improved operating efficiencies”. Net debt is £12.9m.

Historically, there have been huge discrepancies between underlying profits and actual profits (i.e. losses) at this company. Consultancies are…

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