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ShareSoc Blog

This blog gives you the latest topical news plus some informal comments on them from ShareSoc’s directors and other contributors. These are the personal comments of the authors and not necessarily the considered views of ShareSoc. The writers may hold shares in the companies mentioned. You can add your own comments on the blog posts, but note that ShareSoc reserves the right to remove or edit comments where they are inappropriate or defamatory.

There is more news given in the News page of our web site and more analysis of news is provided in our monthly newsletter for members – see the Newsletters page.

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Intercede AGM and Tech Stock Valuations

Yesterday (18th September) I attended the Annual General Meeting of Intercede Group Plc (IGP) at their offices in Lutterworth. I have held a very few shares in this company since 2010 in the hope that it would be able to turn its identity software solution into a profitable and growing business. Although they have some great major account customers, revenue has been static at around £10 million for the last 5 years and in 2017/18 they reported substantial losses. It always ...

JD Wetherspoon Results and Directors Reappointed at Edge Performance VCT

JD Wetherspoon (JDW) published their results for the year on Friday (13/9/2019). The revenue figures were very positive with like-for-like sales up 6.8%, overall revenue up 7.4% and earnings...

An Update on SVS Securities

On 5th August the FCA announced that broker SVS Securities had entered Special Administration. Once again, as in the case of Beaufort Securities, this is a situation that will cause great concern and, at a minimum, some inconvenience, for SVS clients. Whilst a firm is in special administration, clients are not able to trade securities held on their behalf, or access money held on their behalf, including dividend payments. It is disappointing that it has taken until 12th September for clients to receive ...

Open Orphan, Operation Yellowhammer and a Bridge to Ireland

Last night I attended a ShareSoc company presentation seminar. One of the companies that presented was Open Orphan (ORPH) which used to be called Venn Life Sciences but changed name after a reverse takeover of Open Orphan and a change of CEO. The new focus is on orphan drugs which are those medications that are focused on rare diseases, i.e. those with relatively few patients and where historically there have been few treatments available and typically very little research. Big pharma ...

3i – Well Managed and Well Incentivised

The 8 times increase in the 3i share price in the past 10 years means that 3i is one of the largest holdings in my portfolio. So I thought I ought to read the annual report of this £11 billion market cap company. CEO Simon Borrows has accumulated £160 million of 3i shares and is therefore very well aligned with shareholders. His annual pay is around the £7 million mark, but most of this is performance based and paid in shares. He ...

Response to Market Study on Statutory Audit Services

Response to Initial Consultation on Recommendations by the Competition and Markets Authority Peter Parry and Cliff Weight have written a joint response on behalf of the UK Shareholders’ Association (UKSA) and the UK Individual Shareholders’ Society (ShareSoc). This has been submitted to the CMA. We made these key points: There are a few important and overarching issues which we believe need to be stated: Limitations of the CMA’s remit; the CMA was tasked with looking at the audit market and, in particular, considering ...

How Long Will You Live?

There was an interesting article recently published by Schroders on life expectancy. This can be quite critical to making investment decisions when you retire, if not before, or if you are living off your capital. It included the chart below which has been issued by the ONS. How male life expectancy changes over time. For example, a 60-year old man now has a 1 in 4 chance of living to 93 and a 1 in 10 chance of reaching 98. As you ...

Victoria AGM, Dunelm Results and Brexit Impacts

I attended the Annual General Meeting of Victoria (VCP) in central London yesterday. I have held a few shares in this producer of carpets and tiles since the revolution that installed Geoff Wilding as Executive Chairman a few years ago. He did a great job of turning the business around but the share price fell back sharply last October over concerns about the level of debt and a failed bond issue to replace bank debt which cost £7.3 million. As Mr ...

CentralNic, Photo-Me and Nationalisations

Firstly, lets talk about a couple of companies in which I hold no shares. CentralNic (CNIC) published interim results this morning. This company sells internet domain names and web services. It states that both revenues and adjusted EBITDA have tripled year on year. The share price has not moved at the time of writing. This company is surely operating in a growth sector but the company’s share price is less than it was 5 years ago. The company has been growing via ...

Northern Rock Shareholder Action Group

ShareSoc members may not be aware of the the UK Shareholders' Association campaign - Northern Rock Shareholder Action Group. Below is the latest news and a brief update from Dennis Grainger (Chairman of the UKSA Northern Rock Small Shareholder Action Group) – 28th July 2019. As can be well imagined this had been a very quiet year with seemingly everything being overtaken by Brexit. Your small (& ageing) committee of volunteers have nevertheless tried our very hardest to keep pursuing our just claim - on behalf ...
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