Placings and IPOs

Profit Warnings at XP Power and Ted Baker, plus Mercia Placing

A number of profit warnings this morning. The most interesting to me was at XP Power (XPP) although I do not hold it. It was interesting because as a former IT Manager it is a good example of how to screw up a business by poor IT management. In this case their problem is an implementation of a new SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. The announcement this morning says that some short-term disruption to shipments “will result in revenues and adjusted ...

PE Will Eat Itself

How private equity has devoured public markets and is now devouring itself One of the key causes of the Woodford implosion was the number of illiquid, unquoted holdings in his portfolio. The lack of a liquid market means that both valuing and transferring such holdings isn’t straightforward. Why then, should anyone invest in a fund that invests in private companies? Earlier this month, Scottish Mortgage Trust (SMT), one of the largest UK investment trusts, issued its half yearly report. Given the recent tribulations ...

Fevertree Fall, Trading Times and More on HBOS/Lloyds

Last week when I spoke at the Mello event I talked about my investment winners over the past few years. One of them was Fevertree (FEVR) but I was asked why I no longer held the shares. I gave a brief explanation at the time but there is good exposition of the issues by Phil Oakley in this week’s Investors Chronicle. Fevertree’s share price peaked at 3200p in May 2019 but it’s now about 1900p. It has declined so much in the ...

City of London IT, Equals Interims, Paypoint CEO, Downing One VCT and Parliamentary Pandemonium

Having been away on holiday in the North of England last week, this is a catch up on news that impacted my portfolio. I received the Annual Report for City of London Investment Trust (CTY) which is one of my most boring holdings. This is large cap equity growth/income trust managed for many years by Job Curtis and I have held since 2011 – it seems longer. Total return last year was 2.7% which beat most of the comparable indices. But a ...

Slack IPO, Web Privacy and Sell on Monday

The IPO of Slack in the USA has received a lot of media coverage. This is one of those technology stocks that is on what at first glance is a sky-high valuation. Slack provides workplace collaboration software and last year had revenues of $400 million, and lost $140 million. The market cap is now around $20 billion which means it is valued at about 50 times revenue. Those are the negative numbers. The positive aspect is that it roughly doubled revenue ...

Rights Issues/Open Offers. Should I take up M&S and Egdon?

I am quite keen on the potential of fracking in the UK and own some shares in Egdon. The USA has seen its economy transformed, as it moved very quickly to adopt this new technology and once again has become self sufficient in oil. Sadly (for me), the UK government has been slow to see the economic benefits of fracking and my investment in Egdon has languished. The company has just launched a £2m open offer to finance its next stages of ...

AB Dynamics Placing, and Metro Bank Troubles

AB Dynamics (ABDP) announced a placing to raise £50 million this morning. The money will be used to finance potential acquisitions, add production capacity and meet working capital requirements. This company provides vehicle testing systems and has been rapidly expanding recently. The share price has also been rising like a rocket in the last few weeks and on fundamentals the company is now very highly rated – prospective p/e for the current year is 47. So perhaps the company just saw ...

AJ Bell and FinnCap IPOs

Here are some comments on the IPOs of AJ Bell and FinnCap which are open to private investors ̶ the former to any of their clients who wish to put in £1,000 or more. The latter can be purchased from the PrimaryBid platform. Bearing in mind that I have previously said that you should never invest in IPOs (see my comment on Aston Martin which was certainly right as the shares are now down over 20% since IPO here: https://www.sharesoc.org/blog/company-news/the-market-dunedin-and-standard-life-smaller-companies-merger-and-aston-martin-ipo/ ), these ...

IPOs, Platforms, Growth Stocks and Shareholder Rights

I agreed with FT writer Neil Collins in a previous article when discussing the prospective IPO of Aston Martin (AML) – “never buy a share in an initial public offering” he suggested because those who are selling know more about the stock than you do. We were certainly right about that company because the share price is now 24% below the IPO price. Smithson Investment Trust (SSON) did rather better on its first day of trading on Friday, moving to a 2% premium. ...

Time to open an account with AJ Bell?

Please note that ShareSoc does not recommend particular platforms, but aims to keep members aware of their relative merits. The Daily Mail reports  today https://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/comment/article-6196807/JEFF-PRESTRIDGE-Investing-platform-sends-message-clear-Bell.html the good news that: "AJ Bell has decided that its customers should not be left out of the impending stock market party. Anyone who has an account with the platform when October 15 comes around will be eligible to apply for shares(minimum of £1,000). While AJ Bell is dwarfed by Hargreaves Lansdown – and probably always will be – the ...