Welcome the the Land Of Penny Dreadfuls, a land ruled by talking monkeys and where nothing is quite the way it seems.
HLO – Healthcare Locums – a small-cap stomach-churner of a company that provides temporary and permanent staff to the health and social care sectors.
A simple-enough sounding business, not without its fair share of intrigue, including a share suspension, accounting irregularities, related-party contracts negotiated at, shall we say, less than arm’s length, and the infamous Kate Bleasdale. Kate is a former nurse who has brought a £12m sex discrimination case against HLO (link). It’s not the first time she’s sued for sex discrimination, which seems to me to be a sickening indictment of Kate. She is no longer a director of HLO, but that doesn’t make the company any more investable.
The number of shares in issue has skyrocketed from 105m at 2010/06, to 848m currently. In the finals released 02-Apr-2012 it managed to only generate 0.6m in operating cash flow on revenues of 227m. Net cashflow (before capex) was negative, it pays no dividends, and cannot cover interest. It has a z-score of 0.89. It has a market cap of £26m, and the same amount of net debt.
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