Good morning, it's Paul here.

Yesterday saw a sharp downturn in US markets. The S&P 500 is down 7.5% in the last week. The catalyst seems to have been an escalation of the US-China trade war, and China devaluing its currency. How this affects UK small caps? Who knows!

My view is that the avalanche of takeover bids, is the more interesting story, and a good reason to remain invested in UK shares.

Please see the header for the companies I intend writing about today. Plus of course I always read the subscriber comments below, and if anyone makes a good case for why a particular company's results/trading update looks interesting, then I follow up on those when time permits.

Estimated completion time today is about [edited, as VCP took me longer than expected]:  7pm-ish, and I'll sign off once there will be no more updates. Hopefully the above manages expectations, especially for newer subscribers who haven't quite got the hang of the erratic way that I work.



Jack Wills

The Telegraph reports that struggling fashion chain Jack Wills has gone into a pre-pack administration, and been bought out by guess who - yes, Mike Ashley of course! It's a small deal, at £12.75m.

Someone from Warwick Business School is quoted as making the very good point, that Sports Direct doesn't seem to have the skill set to manage all these different brands. On the other hand, Ashley has proven the doubters wrong in the past, so it will be interesting to see how Sports Direct's bizarre headlong expansion pans out.




Warpaint London (LON:W7L)

Share price: 56.5p (down c.27% today, at 11:59)
No. shares: 76.7m
Market cap: £43.3m

Trading update (profit warning)

Warpaint London plc (AIM: W7L), the specialist supplier of colour cosmetics and owner of the W7 and Technic brands, provides a trading update for the current financial year.  [Paul: year ending 31 Dec 2019]

A 27% drop in share price makes this look like a profit warning.

To bring me up to speed, am just re-reading my notes here on 21 May 2019, after the last trading update at the AGM. In summary, it reported "challenging" trading in the UK, better overseas sales, and concluded with "cautious optimism". Positives were mainly:  a reasonable PER, good dividend yield,…

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