Small Cap Value Report (Tue 16 Apr 2019) - JD., CARD, FLO, KNOS, TCM, DSCV

Tuesday, Apr 16 2019 by

Good morning subscribers! It's Paul here.

Many thanks to the silent majority, who gave yesterday's SCVR a robust seal of approval, reflecting my 6 hours' intense hard work, from 7am to 1pm, of a seasonally high 97 thumbs up! Thank you, it's much appreciated.

It really shouldn't matter, but like my friend who went to weight-watchers, being rewarded with a worthless gold star really pleased him, even though we laughed afterwards about how ridiculous it is.

Now that SCVRs are part of your subscriptions, I've realised that I should work harder & earlier, to hopefully find a format that everyone likes, or at least can cope with. Please bear with me, whilst I try out a few ideas.

Initial review of RNS

(please note I won't be updating this section. New sections will appear below, so nobody has to go back and re-read parts of the article)

JD Sports Fashion 

Strong results, from this rare bright spot in retailing. Far too big for me to review in detail here, at £5bn mkt cap.

  • A big acquisition (Finish Line, USA) has helped boost revenues to £4.7bn for 52 weeks to 2 Feb 2019
  • Adj EPS of 28.44p is up 13% on last year, and is 2.7% ahead of broker consensus forecast of 27.7p
  • Share price has gone ballistic since recent 318p low on 20 Dec 2018. It's up 67% since then, to 532p. Well done holders! PER is 18.7 - looks about right, given strong performance
  • Strong balance sheet, with £125.2m net cash

My view - what a lovely business! No current trading stats, as company (rightly) says these would be meaningless due to change in timing of Easter.

... However, we are pleased with the continued underlying positive performance of the Group and are excited by the major developments ahead.

That's it from me on JD today, I won't be adding any more detail below, as it's a large cap. I just wanted to have a quick look, for comparative purposes.

Flowtech Fluidpower (LON:FLO)

2 announcements (results, and separate trading update) today.

Company says its 2018 results are in line with expectations. Debt increased on acquisitions.

There's a short video results presentation, a nice touch.

Q1 update says in line with expectations overall. Smallest division is struggling, but larger ones doing OK.

I quite like this group, so will write…

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JD Sports Fashion Plc is a multichannel retailer of sports fashion and outdoor brands. The Company's segments are Sports Fashion and Outdoor. The Company's sports fashion brands include JD, Size?, Chausport, Sprinter,, Kooga, Kukri Sports, Source Lab, Scotts, Tessuti, Cloggs, JD Gyms and Nicholas Deakins. Its outdoor brands include Blacks, Millets, Tiso and Ultimate Outdoors. Chausport operates throughout France retailing international footwear brands, such as Nike, adidas and Le Coq Sportif together with brands specific to the local market, such as Redskins. Sprinter is a sports retailer in Spain selling footwear, apparel, accessories and equipment for a range of sports, as well as lifestyle casual wear and childrenswear. Kooga designs and sources rugby apparel and equipment. Cloggs is an online retailer of branded footwear. Blacks is a retailer of specialist outdoor apparel, footwear and equipment. It has over 900 stores across a range of retail fascias. more »

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Flowtech Fluidpower plc is a United Kingdom-based distributor of technical fluid power products. The Company operates through two divisions: Flowtechnology, which is geographically split into Flowtechnology UK (FTUK) and Flowtechnology Benelux (FTB), and Power Motion Control (PMC). FTUK and FTB focus on supplying distributors and resellers of industrial maintenance, repair and operation (MRO) products, primarily serving urgent orders rather than bulk offerings. The PMC division is engaged in the design and assembly of engineering components and hydraulic systems, which are managed by component supply along with a service and repair function. Its business is focused on its distribution offering in over three categories: Pneumatics (products that enable the use of gases to provide mechanical motion), Hydraulics (products that enable the use of fluids to provide mechanical motion) and Industrial (products and accessories that act as conduits for gases and liquids). more »

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Card Factory plc is a specialist retailer of greeting cards, dressings and gifts. The Company operates through two segments: Card Factory and Getting Personal. The Card Factory segment retails greeting cards, dressing and gifts in the United Kingdom through a network of stores. The Getting Personal segment is an online retailer of personalized cards and gifts. Its physical store network operates in three areas: single cards, non-card items and Christmas box cards. Its single cards include individual cards for everyday occasions, such as birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, thank you, get well soon, good luck, congratulations, sympathy and new baby cards, and seasonal occasions, such as Christmas, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Valentine's Day, Easter, thank you teacher, graduation and exam congratulations. Its non-card offerings include gift dressings, small gifts, party products and other non-card products. The Company operates through a chain of approximately 800 Card Factory stores. more »

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  Is LON:JD. fundamentally strong or weak? Find out More »

26 Comments on this Article show/hide all

BlueFrew 16th Apr 7 of 26

In reply to post #469691

Telit Communications (LON:TCM)

"However automotive supply chain business is notoriously low margin, so arguably the remaining tcm business should enjoy a higher PSR multiple than the one paid by TUS for automotive."

That is exactly the wrong way round. Margins in automotive are much more resilient than margins in the consumer space. I was still working on automotive products long after the components we supplied had long been replaced in all but extremely high end consumer products. A vehicle is a hostile place, particularly for electronics. The testing and approvals required mean that manufacturers don't scrabble around trying to find the cheapest nastiest product that they can from China to save a few cents. Not so when you are making tens or hundreds of millions of product for the consumer market.

On Telit Communications (LON:TCM) itself. The rump that is left after automotive has gone has more red flags fluttering than a Soviet military parade. No position, but might look again at it as a short nearer the next set of results.

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grb 16th Apr 8 of 26

Thumbs up for this formatting approach, Paul - for me it's much better than yesterday's, with both the early skim and the later detail, so it's a) much easier to see what's changed if refreshing through the day and b) easier to read if one is coming to the whole page at a later date.

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sharmvr 16th Apr 9 of 26

In reply to post #469776

In very simple terms, operating leases are treated same as finance leases under IFRS16.
The idea being two companies, one that owns it's assets and one that rents it's assets, capitalising operating leases will make them more comparable.

Impact more depreciation , more interest and more EBITDA. I expect the difference between asset and liability is the effective interest rate.
Depreciation + interest over the life of lease would in theory equal the present value of lease obligations

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johnsmith68 16th Apr 10 of 26

Hi Paul. Not sure if I missed it or if it's still in the works, but I'd love to catch your write up on £G4M if you get a chance at all. Many thanks.

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herbie47 16th Apr 11 of 26

In reply to post #469836

There was a report for G4M on 2nd April:

If you click on discuss on the sharereport page it will give the discussions on that share.

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sharmvr 16th Apr 12 of 26

Echo comments on the format - absolutely fantastic.

Great write up on Card Factory (LON:CARD) - it is a stunning business and while debt at > 2x Op Profit in a tough environment is off putting for an operationally geared business, the cash generation and margins are unbelievable.
In January, Christmas Cards on Sale for a £ are on sale for 25p - very low variable costs that would suggest, not to mention the impulse tat that they sell, often with kids screaming at their parents about some random sticker or toy.
Would be very interested to see how their franchising goes - 100k/year per store EBITDA I expect would attract franchisee interest and be cheaper to grow if they gain international traction.
Very tempting indeed and certainly got a few basket case retailers worthy of replacement!

Very simplistic idea but interesting what this is saying about market sentiment. 10 Jan - share price battered for saying EBITDA between 89-91m (albeit below expectations), 16 April up 7% for reporting EBITDA at 89m.

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QuaysideCapital 16th Apr 13 of 26

Paul, the new format is belting. Really easy to follow and gives good snapshot on your professional opinion early on in the day. I’d take comments from detractors with a pinch of salt - clearly there’s a majority here that likes what you’re doing.

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JDW72 16th Apr 14 of 26

Love the new format. A quick skim and then a measured review of the more interesting companies

Bang on.

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matylda 16th Apr 15 of 26

Hi Paul,

Hope all's well, looking forward to catching up at Mello London.

You mentioned...

"I recently read a very interesting shorting dossier on Premier Technical Services (LON:PTSG) (in which I have a small short position), which gave very interesting examples of how profit can be boosted within acquisitive groups"

Can I ask where you got it or read it, perhaps - Or, even put it into layman's terms?

I ask because, on the face of it, it looks reasonably attractive at these levels. On a quick review (of the high level financials) one could possibly even consider a purchase. Just generally interested as the more "red flags" we can beware of the better equipped we are.


Blog: Briefed Up
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spantick 16th Apr 16 of 26

Well done Paul for all your hard work! Beginning to feel glad I became a subscriber))

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Damian Cannon 16th Apr 17 of 26

Nice work Paul. The new format comes across very well - I like the idea of seeing a number of quick comments early on and then knowing that some of them are likely to be analysed in a lot more depth. Very nice.


Blog: Ambling Randomly
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Trident 16th Apr 18 of 26

Good write up on Card Factory (LON:CARD). Its been a bit unloved in recent times, because whilst it has delivered generally reasonable results (considering) it has had various issues such as minimum wage, buying supplies in dollars, etc all tainted its forward looking statements with a tinge of ex growth mange. That drained away the sentiment for the less patient.

This is one in my ISA holdings, which I try to make income generative through dividend selections, whilst on automatic DRIP arrangements, so when prices drop, there is a small amount of averaging down/up though admittedly mostly down at the moment.

I think the prospect of acting with more of a franchise model is quite exciting, as long as they haven't used up most of the best sites.

PayPoint (LON:PAY) is another one with a great dividend profile, cashflow, fantastic returns on capital etc. Its model has had a wobble in recent times, because of a shift in some of its offerings, but still maintains a healthy sustainable returns policy to its shareholders. Unusually, it is shifting to paying its dividend quarterly in the forseeable. They say this is to balance out the cash requirements of the business, but I suspect they know this may appeal to regular income seekers, and probably hope it will smooth out some of the bumps it experiences after going ex div. I look forward to seeing Paul or Graham's analysis of that when it next reports.

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Funderstruck 16th Apr 19 of 26

Paul; thanks for your reports whatever the format, i gain a great deal from them. Such that i am better able to analyse a companies financials & the business proposition; that aided me in buying £DJ . some time ago which i sold in Sept but got in again in early Jan thankfully. Also Card Factory (LON:CARD) , which i agree is a rather forgotten boring company....which actually produces the results. Thanks again.

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rmillaree 16th Apr 20 of 26

In reply to post #469906

Premier Technical Services (LON:PTSG)

and the dossier

Very intriguing indeed - anything like that must be worth a read if its generally available to the public - damn shame if its not :) i promise not to disclose to the public if i can have a copy cheers :)

i always think the annual report and particularly the related party transactions therein is a good starting point if you are interested in buying.

any related party transactions are to be viewed with suspicion and there is the usual candidates here

property owned and rented from by related parties - property sold to related parties.

Very Interestingly interest free loans of over 500k to 5 key personnel within the business (why?)

one obvious item that sticks out like a sore thumb is that the company had £1.6 mill of consultancy income (i wander how many staff were employed on that job that and what the margin was) during the year from a company that they then bought the following year.

Lots of sub companies that don't need auditing.

I am guessing if they have been acquiring along the way you probably end up with stuff like that as a remnant - but certainly i could see how its easy to create the smoke here - whether there is any fire or not i wouldn't have the foggiest.

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nquaile875 16th Apr 21 of 26

Great format Paul,

Love the quick overview followed by the deeper analysis. I see Card Factory (LON:CARD) jumped 10% today! Half-way to your 20% lower end uplift already!

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bobsandy12 16th Apr 22 of 26

Hi Paul, belatedly to say I really appreciate the new/enhanced approach and the time you and Graham put in. For me, keep it subscriber only as I can honk it is more than worth it compared with much of the free tripe/ hype that is written by others . Many thanks. As a holder of Card, I appreciated your analysis encouraging me to hold

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rmillaree 16th Apr 23 of 26

Premier Technical Services (LON:PTSG)
Just noticed this company was co founded by bob Morton - have a look at his history with the takeover panel and that might be enough to make one think that bargepole and this share is probably the safest option.

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Paul Scott 16th Apr 24 of 26

In reply to post #469841

Apologies, I've got a complete mental block on G4M. I've tried a couple of times to finish off my earlier review on it, but can't seem to get anywhere.

I might just park it for now, and look at it fresh on the next update.

Overall, I think management explained what had gone (slightly) wrong, and what they are doing to fix it. So to me, it looks cheap (I have a small long position currently). Clearly though, the market seems to have turned negative on its prospects for now.

I think the issue could be that it doesn't have much pricing power. Although the increase in own brand (higher margin) stuff is promising.

On balance I think there's a reasonable chance that G4M could have a resurgence of investor interest, at some point. No idea when though.

Regards, Paul.

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garbetklb 16th Apr 25 of 26

Hi Paul
Can I add to the chorus of approval re today's format - very appealing. And add my thanks for the education I'm receiving.

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HHR 7th May 26 of 26

In reply to post #469796

From £tcm's Finals RNS :- "as a result of the sale Telit will [be] focused on the industrial IoT and improvement [in] Group wide margins."

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 Are LON:JD.'s fundamentals sound as an investment? Find out More »

About Paul Scott

Paul Scott

I trained as an accountant with a Top 5 firm, but that was so boring that I spent too much time in the 1990s being a disco bunny, and busting moves on the dancefloor, and chilling out with mates back at either my house or theirs, and having a lot of fun!Then spent 8 years as FD for a ladieswear retail chain called "Pilot", leaving on great terms in 2002 - having been a key player in growing the business 10 fold. If the truth be told, I partied pretty hard at the weekends too, so bank reconciliations on Monday mornings were more luck than judgement!! But they were always correct.I got bored with that and decided to become a professional small caps investor in 2002. I made millions, but got too cocky, and lost the lot in 2008, due to excessive gearing. A miserable, wilderness period occurred from 2008-2012.Since then, the sun has begun to shine again! I am now utterly briliant again, and immerse myself in small caps, and am a walking encyclopedia on the subject. I love writing a daily report for on most weekday mornings, constantly researching daily results & trading updates for small caps. Cheese! more »


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