Good morning! 

There's a comment below, "Should we consider shorting MKS?"

My answer (subject to the usual disclaimer: no advice) is a resounding yes!

It has many of the features of an attractive short:

  • legacy, disrupted (not disruptive) business model
  • shrinking revenues
  • not much evidence of any economic/competitive moat
  • low margin
  • capital intensive
  • financially geared (financial net debt £1.6 billion, plus lease liabilities)

Bar skimming the headlines, I haven't studied its results in detail today. But if I was looking for another short candidate, this stock would be my immediate focus. For now, my shorting energies are dedicated elsewhere.



Competition & Markets Authority

An update on a minor matter.

On September 17th, I wrote to the CMA and asked them to put more information in their RNS headlines, to help speed up my work and the work of everyone else who checks the RNS feed every day.

I was informed that the team responsible for scheduling RNS updates had been forwarded my message.

It turns out that they implemented my suggestion from September 19th:

5dc29462d4d1dCMA_20191106.PNG

Thank you, CMA!



So which small-caps am I going to look at today?

Provisional list:



Park (LON:PARK)

  • Share price: 52.18p (+2%)
  • No. of shares: 186 million
  • Market cap: £97 million

Appreciate Group PLC - Change of Company Name and TIDM

Please note that I have a long position in PARK (or "APP").

This might win the award for "silly RNS of the day".

I've not yet heard anybody on the message boards or elsewhere say anything positive about this name change. Therefore, the contrarian in me wants to defend it. But "Appreciate Group" is a bit of a strange one, isn't it?

Imagine if Berkshire Hathaway ($BRK) (disclosure: long) had changed its name to "Compounding PlC". Would it make me want to own it more - not at all! The name of the PLC doesn't matter to me at all.

This has been a difficult holding, and I have been tempted to give up on it, but the value and…

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