UK Investor Show 2013 - Mark Slater (Part 1: Holdings)

Monday, Apr 15 2013 by
UK Investor Show 2013  Mark Slater Part 1 Holdings

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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As per our Terms of Use, Stockopedia is a financial news & data site, discussion forum and content aggregator. Our site should be used for educational & informational purposes only. We do not provide investment advice, recommendations or views as to whether an investment or strategy is suited to the investment needs of a specific individual. You should make your own decisions and seek independent professional advice before doing so. Remember: Shares can go down as well as up. Past performance is not a guide to future performance & investors may not get back the amount invested. ?>

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Dialight plc is a holding company. The Company manufactures and sells lighting products in the industrial market. It operates through two segments: Lighting, and Signals and Components. Its Lighting segment develops, manufactures and supplies light emitting diode (LED) lighting solutions for hazardous and industrial applications, and includes anti-collision obstruction lighting. Its Signals and Components segment develops, manufactures and supplies status indication components for electronics original equipment manufacturers, together with industrial and automotive electronic components and LED signaling solutions for the traffic and signals markets. Its LED lighting solutions include Vigilant Industrial Solutions, DuroSite Industrial Solutions and StreetSense Infrastructure Solutions. Its LED signaling solutions include transportation signals, obstruction signals and SafeSite hazardous area signals. Its indication solutions include Circuit Board Indicators and Panel Mount Indicators. more »

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Oxford Instruments plc is a provider of technology tools and systems for industry and research. The Company operates through two segments: Nanotechnology Tools and Service. The Nanotechnology Tools segment offers technology products serving research customers in both the public and private sectors. The Service segment contains the Company's service, rental and refurbished asset sales business. Its NanoAnalysis business delivers solutions and services that enable materials characterization and sample manipulation at the nano scale. Its products are used on electron microscopes and ion-beam systems in academic institutions and industrial applications, including semi-conductors, renewable energy, mining, metallurgy and forensics. Its products include AZtecOne and X-Max Extreme detector, among others. more »

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

5 Comments on this Article show/hide all

Paul Scott 15th Apr '13 1 of 5

Apologies to readers - the formatting is going haywire, and sections of the report keep disappearing or corrupting.
So I'm going to wait until the website is working correctly before trying to iron out all the glitches that have appeared, which will be some time tomorrow (Monday)

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Paul Scott 15th Apr '13 2 of 5

In reply to post #72481

My section on Entertainment One (LON:ETO) has disappeared twice, which is really annoying! I will write it up again tomorrow, but just to flag up that Entertainment One was the stock that Slater talked most positively about, and does indeed look interesting.

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Fangorn 15th Apr '13 3 of 5

Great write up PP. I missed the first part of his talk, but was seated for the run through of his buy list.

Only two that really caught my eye were IRV(like yourself I'm on of those people that sold out way too soon,despite a 65% profit) and Glaxo(An old favourite) Cineworld was of potential interest but surely at some point there wil be a sizeable squeeze on such luxuries as popping to the cinema what with the continual squeeze on PDI.

Think J was trying to talk to you at Excel but you vanished as swiftly as you appeared :)

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Edward Croft 15th Apr '13 4 of 5

Paul - thanks for this excellent write up - and yes good to link to the write up I did a couple of years back for comparison.

The most interesting thing about Slater right now is that he's significantly underperformed over the last year while he's shown himself very capable of outperforming over 3 year time periods.  The fact that he's sticking to his guns and still committed to some of these big longer term holdings in spite of their relative underperformance is admirable, and may be a signal worth following closely.

What people should understand about Slater's style is that he tends to have a highly concentrated growth fund - with 60% in his top 10 holdings - whereas competitors are much more diversified.  I really do commend this approach as this is what paying high active fund management fees should be all about - finding alpha.  Paying 2%+ for a manager who is effectively a closet indexer is a joke.  Slater takes hefty fees but if he underperforms for long he'll soon lose assets so he has to make sure he's right.  According to trustnet -his biggest position is still Entertainment One (LON:ETO) - he has almost 10% of his fund in the stock.  Closely followed by Dialight (LON:DIA) , Hutchison China MediTech (LON:HCM) and NCC (LON:NCC) . 

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ericb 15th Apr '13 5 of 5

great write up Paul - thanks

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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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