let’s see what the cat dragged in today, shall we? Some exciting results today, mostly of the positive kind.
FENR +3.9% Revenues and PBT down, but dividend increased by 7%, improving order levels in “conveyor solutions” (fancy conveyor belts, to you and me) in North America, pressure in Australia, strong trading elsewhere. Personally, I thought FENR offered a mediocre trading opportunity, but it is increasingly looking like my assessment was wrong.
VMED +0.0% 2013Q1 results out, and markets seem indifferent. Revenues up 4%, but big increases in operational and free cashflow. I mentioned VMED back in January as an interesting special situation opportunity. Too bad I didn’t put my money where my typewriter was, because shares have risen from 2413p to 3230p. Better luck next time.
BWNG +3.9% Market very much likes what the catalogue and home shopping company had to offer. I had mentioned BWNG in the past, and I know that there are some people who are interested in the shares, and have done exceptionally well out of them. Well done! I just wish I was one of them. It’s trading, and not talking, that counts! total revenues are up 6%, and operating progits up 3%. Within that, e-commerce sales are up 15%, and their USA sales are up 75%. “We are pleased to announce significant progress in the business. Online sales have maintained their strong upward momentum, our customer base has strengthened significantly and we have made good progress in the USA”. So, CEO alan White seems well chuffed with the results. Anecdotally, I bought a pair of shorts out of a catalogue from Premier Man about a week ago. The shareholder I know recommended that buying about 1500 pairs was an appropriate order quantity 😉 My verdict is this: Premier Man offer the right quality clothing at the right price. Make of that what you will.
BARC -1.4% as at writing, although they were up earlier. I really can’t be bothered ploughing through their RNS, so I’ll paraphrase from Motley Fool: 25% fall in Q1 results, largely due to restructuring costs. An interesting special situation, and on the balance of probabilities, I think it will outperform the market over 1 year, say. I really don’t want to stick my neck out, though.
CCC -13.6%Market is clearly unhappy with the performance here. Revenues are flat, and management seem to be giving an ambivalent outlook, with some good mixed in with the bad. “fundamental improvement in the business is being masked by the remaining three problem contracts in Germany and challenging market conditions in France”. Shares are trading at a PE of 14, and I’d say, at least on a superficial assessment, I don’t see a profit opportunity here. CCC is of nostalgic interest, as I had owned shares in them in the past. I sold out at 366p, the shares trade at 464p, so I left a lot of money on the table.
PIC +2.6% Market likes the results. Expects strong revenue growth, profitability in line with expectations, and “robust cash flow generation”. Revenues for 2013 are expected to be broadly in line with 2012 and operating margin are expected to be around 7.5%. That’s better than they’ve ever been in at least a decade. PIC also expects to be cash positive by year-end. That’s really good! Allan Leighton is CEO of Pace, and a former boss of Asda. He seems like a real no-nonsense guy. The CEO is Mike Pulli. They seem to be doing an excellent job of running Pace. PIC is one hell of a momentum share, beating the beating the market by 30% over 6 months, and 198% over 1 year. It’s PE rating is modest, and the paying down of debt is good news. Consequently, I expect PIC to be able to beat the market over the next 6 months, and I am thinking seriously about topping up.
RDW +1.8% There’s a lot of skepticism in the market about how much further housing can go, Redrow seems have pleased it. Sales have been encouraging, and they have increased the number of outlets. Average selling price of private reservations was up. “Given the healthier outlook for housing, the increase in outlets and the benefit of the Government’s ‘Help to Buy’ equity loan scheme, Redrow expects to show further good progress for the full year.”
SMDS +6.1% I’m pretty sure I invested in them many many moons ago. SMDS is a supplier of recycled packaging for consumer goods. How exciting. EPS is expected to be at the higher end of expectations, and the group is noticing some improving trends. “We are delighted with the substantial operating, financial and strategic progress made in the past year, in what has been a transformational period for the Group and our people. Looking ahead, whilst the European packaging market remains competitive, we expect to make further significant progress. Our Packaging businesses continue to grow as we leverage our enlarged and strengthened geographic footprint and further develop our commercial proposition, particularly with our largest pan-European customers. We look forward to delivering further substantial progress in the coming year.”
SPD +1.7% Sports Direct International sells sports and leisure clothing. Group total sales in the nine weeks ending 31 March were up 14%, and gross was up 23%. Crikey.
TAST +12.4% Jeez, look at that badboy fly. Two weeks ago I prompted readers to check out TAST, and I’m glad I did. I should have been more explicit and said “shucks, just go buy the shares”. I noted that there was a lack of investor interest. This is a point well worth taking on board. TAST is a small illiquid growth company. I’ve seen a few of these kinds of setups before. They trade sideways for months, and suddenly, bam, they put on an enormous growth spurt. The trick is not to be impatient and get discouraged by the fact that they’re not going anywhere. You have to trust your analysis. I do like owning these kind of shares, because I find I am more willing to hold them if they go nowhere but I have a conviction that they’re good. I don’t like buying junk that goes nowhere. Anyway, the prelims are excellent. Revenues up 33%, PTP £1.6m (2011 £-1.1m), “further new units in pipeline and well positioned and financed to continue expansion”. Excellent. These guys seem to really know what they’re doing, and I think TAST will make a great long-term holding.
THT +5.6% “the Board is now confident that pre-exceptional profit before tax for the full year to June 29 2013 will be substantially ahead of the current market expectation with the potential for further improvement in the final quarter.” In his small cap report over on Stockopedia, Paul Scott was prompted to say “I might have to eat my hat over Thorntons”. My response is: Paul, try the chocolates instead, they’re much nicer.
ABM +7.9% Looks like it is having a rebound from the lows. Might be an opportunity for a short-term trade on the long side there. I wont be trying, though.
CUP -2.2% Still going down, I see. Shall be interesting to see if there’s a short-term collapse below 60p, although I’m now less cocky in thinking that will happen. The situation is still a mess though. I wont be buying – but never say never.
ZZZ -3.9% Still going down. What a shameful mess.
That’s it for today. I’m well chuffed. Happy investing, all.