Company News

Gooch & Housego and Sectors to Avoid

Today Gooch & Housego (GHH), a photonic components manufacturer, held its Annual General Meeting in Ilminster, Somerset. I would have attended as a shareholder except the time of 11.00 am would have meant a very early start. As it was, the trading update issued in the morning prompted me to sell my holding anyway. The key negative in the announcement was this: “Looking forward, we believe timing and mix will result in a FY 2019 group trading performance showing low single digit ...

Plus500: Buybacks, Fat Cat Pay and Profits Warning

Superstar share Plus500 has plummeted back to Earth. This super stock rose from a price of £3.14 5 years ago (14 Feb 2014) to a high of £20.76 and following a profits warning has dropped to £10.88 today 13 Feb 2019. Tom Winnifrith has commented on this company and the dangers of investing in companies where 80% of their customers lose money. I agree with him, this cannot be a recipe for long term success. But are the directors stupid or have they ...

£400 Million Legal Claim to be Launched Against Petrofac

Keystone Law have announced that they are about to launch a legal claim against Petrofac (PFC). This is what the announcement says: “Keystone Law is getting ready to launch a claim on behalf of institutional investors who have suffered significant losses on their Petrofac investments since at least 2010. The team, led by senior litigators George Lambrou, Matthew Reach and Robert Lawrie, has joined forces with litigation funder, Innsworth, to mount legal action against the oil services company. The claim is ...

RBS General Meeting Report

98.7% of shareholders voted for the proposal, with 1.3% against. A very strong majority. UKGI did not vote their shares. I watched the General Meeting on the webcast. Attendance looked pretty thin. Three people asked questions. Neil Mitchell questioned the prudence of using company funds to buy back shares when there was £15bn of GR legacy issues claims outstanding. He also questioned why there had to be so much haste (why not wait until the AGM and after the annual results were ...

Patisserie – and How to Avoid Such Disasters

The events at Patisserie (CAKE) have been well covered in both the national media and financial press so I won’t repeat them here. This article will, therefore, concentrate on...

Placings at Gordon Dadds and Blue Prism

There were two placings announced yesterday. The first was by legal firm Gordon Dadds (GOR). I held a very few shares in the company. This company had already annoyed...

RBS General Meeting: You Decide!

I have today published two posts on ShareSoc's blog, expressing different opinions on RBS's proposed resolution to buy back shares from HM Treasury. One from our chairman and another from senior ShareSoc member Roger Lawson. Firstly, the facts. You can find full details of the General Meeting and proposal here: https://investors.rbs.com/shareholder-centre/shareholder-meetings.aspx. If you are a shareholder you should study the circular available from that webpage before deciding how to vote. ShareSoc encourages its members to make their own minds up on matters such as ...

RBS Share Buy-Back

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is proposing to buy-back up to 4.99% of its shares from the stake held by the Government (by UKGI on its behalf). At present the Government holds 62% of the company stemming from the bailout in the banking crisis ten years ago. They have been trying to get shot of it ever since as no Tory government thinks it should be investing in banks. This latest proposal makes it clear that UKGI cannot easily sell ...

RBS General Meeting – Voting Considerations

RBS has called a General Meeting for 6th February to consider a Special Resolution giving the group the authority to make off-market purchases of up to 4.99% of the outstanding shares from HM Treasury. In effect this is an authority to effect a capital reduction, which will partially reduce the overhang of government held shares. The timing is pretty poor, coming just three months prior to the AGM and without the benefit of full year financial reports. But it seems to signal ...

Market Bouncing Up or Down – Sophos, Greggs, Apple and Fundsmith

After a dire market performance before Xmas, we seem to be back to the good times in the last 3 days. Is it time to get back into the market for those who moved into cash as the market fell down and down and down in the autumn? Rather early to generalise I suggest although I have been picking up some shares recently. One which I purchased a small holding in was Softcat (SCT). Yesterday it issued a trading update simply saying ...