Company News

Trouble Brewing at Hargreave Hale AIM VCT?

The views expressed in this article are those of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. I have been a shareholder in Hargreave Hale AIM VCT (HHV) for quite some time and have been happy with the tax free dividend stream they have sent me over the years. As usual, I recently received the AGM proxy form for the 3rd February AGM and was reviewing the annual report when something caught my attention. An investee company called Honest Brew (HB), which ...

Paul Myners Obituary and BHP Unification Meetings

The views expressed in this article are those of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. Lord Myners has died at the age of 73. He had a big hand in the rescue of the banks in the financial crisis of 2008 as a Treasury Minister in the Labour Government after becoming the socialists’ favourite capitalist. He was also responsible for the Myners Report into institutional investment which had some influence on corporate governance and institutional stewardship in the UK. I met ...

Cladding Rectification – Persimmon et al.

The views expressed in this article represent those of the author, not necessarily those of ShareSoc. My first big investment mistake of the year came to light yesterday. In October last year I started to buy a holding in Persimmon (PSN). The outlook for the housing market seemed bright and the company was trading on a prospective p/e of 11 with a yield of 8.6%. Revenue and earnings growth were forecast for the next couple of years. But Michael Gove yesterday put a ...

New Year Forecasts and Internet Retailers

The views expressed in this article are those of its author, not necessarily those of ShareSoc. It’s that time of year when share tipsters start to issue their bets for the New Year. But the collapse of on-line grocer Farmdrop and recent profit warning from Boohoo (BOO) prompts me to think that one thing I will be avoiding next year is on-line retailers apart possibly from the gorillas already in that space. Unlisted Farmdrop went out of business a few days ago so ...

BHP Unification

The views expressed in this article represent those of the author, not necessarily those of ShareSoc. As a small shareholder in BHP Group (BHP) I have just received a heavyweight document (285 pages) explaining the proposed unification of the company. This proposal is to remove the dual listed structure of the Australian and UK companies and the complex corporate structure associated with that. For UK shareholders of BHP Group Plc this will mean, if it is voted through, that you will have your ...

Electric Vehicles, Pod Point IPO and Bulb Rescue Cost

If the Government has its way, we’ll all be driving electric cars (EVs) soon. One of the concerns of drivers though is they might run out of battery power so the provision of chargers is of key importance in driving acceptance of electric cars. There is clearly a big potential market for chargers, not just in homes but also in public places, at office car parks, supermarkets and other venues. One of the providers of chargers is Pod Point Group (PODP) who ...

Bulb Collapse, Telecom Plus Results and FCA Globo Action

Yesterday energy supplier Bulb collapsed and was put into Special Administration. Bulb has 1.7 million customers and is the largest of 20 alternative energy suppliers to go bust recently. Most of their customers have been taken on by other suppliers but apparently nobody was willing to take on Bulb’s so effectively the company has been nationalised. These companies have all been hit by the rapid rise in gas prices while the price cap imposed by Ofgem meant they could not raise their ...

The Death of Coal Mining and the Nuclear Alternative

The views expressed in this article are those of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. Boris Johnson has said that the Glasgow climate deal is a "game-changing agreement" which sounds "the death knell for coal power". Let us hope so. My father worked down a pit in Nottinghamshire in his early life and was all for replacing coal power stations by nuclear power. Coal mining is not just a great creator of pollution but is also positively dangerous for the ...

Alliance Trust Resets Dividend

An announcement this morning from Alliance Trust (ATST) says that the board has concluded that an increased dividend “will benefit existing shareholders and enhance the attractiveness of the Company’s shares”. They expect the overall annual dividend to increase by 32.5% over the 2020 dividend. The proposed increase will be well covered by distributable reserves and income it is suggested although no doubt some of the extra dividend cost will come from capital. ATST had a reported yield of 1.43% last year according ...

BHP – Company Information and Vote Guidance 2021

by Cliff Weight, Director, ShareSoc. These are my personal views and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. I own shares in BHP and have recently bought some more.  With sales of c.£50bn, their EV (Enterprise Value = market cap plus debt) of £100 bn is 2 times turnover and this looks much more reasonable than the Diageo shares I recently reviewed and sold. The BHP p/e (forecast) ratio is a very modest 7. For over 15 years BHP have met annually with shareholders ...