Good morning!

A couple of companies in my portfolio reported today, and we have plenty of other stories to discuss.

Today's list:




Trade update - I now own some long-term, deep out-of-the-money put options in Tesla. The effect of this trade is that I am betting Tesla's equity turns out to be worth nothing by 2021.

This probably won't happen, and the options will probably expire worthless, so I will lose all of the money I've invested in them. Just have to put my feet up and wait until 2021 to find out!




H & T (LON:HAT)

  • Share price: 294.9p (+3.5%)
  • No. of shares: 37.7 million
  • Market cap: £111 million

Preliminary Results

(At the time of publication, I have a long position in HAT).

This share has been in my portfolio since 2013. At this stage, perhaps it's fair to say that I'm a veteran H&T shareholder?

More good results for 2018:

  • pledge book up by 9.5% to £52 million, a fresh high
  • personal loan book up by 38% to £20.5 million
  • personal loan revenue after impairments up 80% to £7 million

The personal loan segment has been the biggest driver of growth, but nearly all operating segments showed encouraging progress. For example, revenue from foreign currency services grew by 24% (from a low base).

The company remains wonderfully disciplined as the number of stores increased by only one during the year, to 182.

H&T has resisted the urge to expand unprofitably, instead fine-tuning the profibability of its existing estate. Indeed, it has a slightly bigger store portfolio (c. 190) if we scroll back to 2015.

It says that it now has access to a "broader customer base", after improving its online channels with respect to both jewellery retailing and pawnbroking.

Traditionally, a pawnbroking customer was an older woman with dependants who had family jewellery items she could pawn to get through a temporary cash flow difficulty.

As the business has moved online, it's easy to imagine a younger audience that is more balanced between men and…

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