Good morning, folks.

There is lots to catch up on today. We will be hearing from Paul on French Connection (LON:FCCN).

The list turned out to be:

Begbies Traynor (LON:BEG)

  • Share price: 70p (+1%)
  • No. of shares: 110 million
  • Market cap: £77 million

AGM Statement and Trading Update

A nice easy one to start with. Q1 trading at this insolvency practitioner is in line with expectations. It's investing for growth and benefiting from recent acquisitions while the underlying number of corporate insolvencies has picked up, providing a tailwind.

The long-awaited (for BEG shareholders) spike in insolvencies looks like it might be approaching us, and as such the share price remains within touching distance of a multi-year high at 76p.

Its counter-cyclical nature is probably its most interesting feature for some of its investors, who otherwise might not be too interested in a professional services consultancy.

More growth is on the cards both organically (hiring fee earners) and through acquisitions.

Good luck to those involved with this one.

Northamber (LON:NAR)

  • Share price: 29p (unch.)
  • No. of shares: 27 million
  • Market cap: £8 million

Final Results

Below our threshold and probably the most boring share on the LSE, I should probably ignore this one. But it has a special place in my heart, as it's a "deep value" investment I fruitlessly held for years.

This share taught me several things. One of the things it taught me was that distribution activities - acting as a middleman - don't offer much of a moat (except in very specific circumstances).

Northamber has struggled to generate much of a gross margin on its tech distribution activities for years, and whatever margin it has generated has been easily gobbled up by staff costs and other overheads.

It last generated a profit in 2010.

Reported NAV per share was 103p in 2005, and has been very gradually…

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