Good morning from Paul & Graham! Today's report is now finished.

An energy support package for business was announced yesterday, which I've yet to go through in detail. The crux of it seems to be substantial reductions in gas & electricity prices for businesses, coming directly off their bills, for 6 months from 1 Oct 2022. That's clearly going to help. There's also talk of Stamp Duty, and other tax reductions in the pipeline. No doubt we'll get more detail in due course, and I'll keep my eyes peeled for what companies start saying about these changes in their forthcoming outlook comments.

Agenda -

We're looking at today's newsfeed, but also want to cover (today or tomorrow) 2 backlog items in particular: 

Warpaint London (LON:W7L) - we've run out of time today, so this will have to be tomorrow.

Hostmore (LON:MORE) - oh dear, things are starting to look grim, I'm afraid. FY 12/2022 is now expected to be a (small) loss. Forecasts for a bounce in 2023 just don't look realistic to me, so I'm worried trading could deteriorate further, and the current -14% vs pre-pandemic revenue trend is worryingly weak. I'm now concerned about the high bank debt. Risk now looks high. Profuse apologies for how badly this has turned out, but the fundamentals have dramatically deteriorated this year.

Today's news -

Paul's Section:

Begbies Traynor (LON:BEG) - puts out an in line with expectations update for Q1 of FY 4/2023. Some interesting additional detail is provided.  With earnings likely to be buoyant due to increasing insolvencies/restructurings, and a PER of 14, this share continues to look a sensible place to hide.

Smiths News (LON:SNWS) - a surprisingly good update for FY 8/2022 - ahead of market expectations. Stunningly low valuation now, with the PER below 3, and the dividend yield of about 15%. It won't last forever probably, but the valuation currently looks compelling for value investors. I'm tempted to buy.

Aquis Exchange (LON:AQX) - interim figures from this junior stock exchange fail to impress. Although it does have a nice balance sheet, with plenty of cash. There could perhaps be strategic value in the business? Based on these numbers, I can't get anywhere close to the current market cap though. So I'm afraid it has to be a thumbs down from me, on valuation concerns.

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