I attended the afternoon of the UK Investor Show held at the ExCel centre in London's docklands today. As a fellow bottom-up stock picker, the most interesting speaker at these events, for me is Mark Slater. He has an excellent track record of finding good GARP (growth at reasonable price) companies, and his various investment funds usually perform well. So he's rightfully a well-respected member of the investing community, as are the team he works with.

His speeches are always full of useful insights into the markets generally, as well as giving listeners some good stock ideas. I hadn't intended writing up a report on his speech today, but seeing as I took pretty thorough notes, thought it would be useful to share them here with you. Anything I missed, please feel free to add in the comments section below, as always this article is intended to be the starting point for a discussion.

There is more detail about Slater's background & investing approach in an article written here in 2011 by Ed Croft, which is still relevant, therefore if you have time I would strongly recommend reading that article first & then coming back to this one, which will save me duplicating background material. Also note that some of the shares mentioned this year by Slater are the same as in 2011, so useful to see what Slater said about them two years ago, and compare with now. He is clearly a long term buy & hold investor, an approach which I like.

 

Recap on his existing holdings

Slater's speech started with him running through and updating the audience on shares that he mentioned at last year's Master Investor conference. The format for this article is that I will show in bullet points Slater's comments on each company, then below it will show my remarks & brief analysis of each company too.

 

Dialight (LON:DIA)

1250p per share - market cap £402m

  • Up 18% in last 12 months
  • High PER of 22 (as an aside Slater said that he always works on forward PER, which makes most sense - i.e. share price relative to the current year's forecast earnings, not historic earnings)
  • Operates in the LED lighting space, and is clear market leader, especially in hazardous areas.
  • Highly efficient products, use a lot less energy & heat,…

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