NATIONAL GRID PLC (NG.)

NATIONAL GRID PLC (NG.)

Blog posts

Ventus VCT AGMs – A Disappointing Result, National Grid and Sports Direct

I have mentioned previously the attempt by a shareholder in the Ventus VCTs (VEN and VEN2) to start a revolution, i.e. replace all the directors and appoint new ones. See https://tinyurl.com/y6e5fafo . Nick Curtis was the leader of the revolt but at the AGMs on the 8th August the required resolutions were narrowly defeated with one exception. This was after the boards of these companies paid a proxy advisory service £38,000 to canvas shareholders, which of course shareholders will be paying ...

IC Share Tips, National Grid, Brexit and the Audit Market

This week’s Investors Chronicle edition (dated 28/12/2018) provides lots of food for thought. One of the most educational is their review of the share tips they published as “tips of the week” in 2018. Unlike some investment publications, who simply forget about their past tips that go nowhere, while lauding their hits, the IC is open about their performance. They issued 173 “BUY” tips and 24 “SELL” tips in the year. That is quite some achievement by itself as I rarely have ...

Running Out of Gas, and InvestorEase to Close

Media reports suggest that National Grid is running out of gas, and having to pay industrial users to stop consuming it. This is due to the exceptionally cold weather spell. But National Grid has also been running out of shareholders because of fears over possible nationalisation. The share price is down by 33% on its peak in 2016. As I have probably said before, the threat of nationalisation has undoubtedly spooked international investors who now dominate the holdings of UK public ...

National Grid, Johnston Press, Crown Place VCT, Lloyds Bank and LoopUp

I had a busy day yesterday, but let me first comment on the news today. National Grid (NG.) published their half year results this morning. They reported “Adjusted operating profit, excluding timing up 4%....” but statutory earnings per share were down by 12%. What exactly does “adjusted for timing” mean? I have no idea because the announcement does not explain it in any sensible way. For example, it says under “UK Timing”: “Revenues will be impacted by timing of recoveries including ...

National Grid and Electric Cars

National Grid (NG.) have published a paper entitled “Future Energy Scenarios” which spells out the impact of future trends in energy consumption, and by implication how it might affect their business. For example, the forecast demand for electric cars might add 30% to peak electric power demand, thus requiring the equivalent of five Hinkley Point C nuclear plants. Even if people only charge their electric cars in off-peak periods, the additional demand could be very substantial. If you live in London, you ...

It’s Getting More Difficult to Vote

It’s certainly getting more difficult to vote of late, and I am not talking about voting at General Elections but just for resolutions at the General Meetings of companies we own. This seems to be a particular problem with Capita Registrars. Here’s some examples: Whitbread: As a personal crest member, I am on the register and expect to be sent an annual report and proxy voting form (and at least the latter on paper). But no longer it seems. Whitbread ...

Expensive Dividends – National Grid and Electra Private Equity

National Grid (NG.) are returning some of the cash received from the sale of their stake in a gas distribution business to shareholders via a large special dividend. And some will be returned via market share buy-backs, the wisdom of which may be questionable. But the real concern for private investors is that dividends are taxed as income even though this is in essence a "return of capital". It is not being paid out of operating profits, but simply from the ...

National Grid Share Consolidation – Who Are They Fooling?

Shareholders in National Grid (NG.) will have received a notice of a General Meeting to approve a share consolidation (at least that's those of you on the register of the company, others in nominee accounts may be surprised later by the change in their holding). This proposal is linked to the return of cash to shareholders following the sale of the company's interest in a gas distribution business. There will be a large "special" dividend as a result - more on the ...

The Unacceptable Face of Capitalism – BHS and National Grid

The extraction by Sir Philip Green of £300m from BHS, which led to the business going into decline and leaving the company pension scheme under-funded before he sold it for a £1 to an unqualified chancer was strongly criticised by a select committee of the House of Commons yesterday. To quote from their report: "The tragedy is that those who have lost out are the ordinary employees and pensioners. This is the unacceptable face of capitalism". This echoes the comments of Ted ...

Brexit Hangover, You’re Not Laughing Now

The markets falling, England lost to Iceland in a football match, and there is gloom and despondency everywhere. Much of the country seems to be in a post-party hangover. It therefore seems a good time to review the situation and try to give some explanations for what has been happening. Firstly, you have probably guessed, as did my local M.P. without me telling him, that I voted for Brexit. Je ne regrette rien, as one of our partners that we intend to ...

National Grid AGM, Rensburg AIM VCT and Stocktrade

I attended the National Grid Annual General Meeting in Birmingham yesterday. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to ask a question as the organisation that I was representing as a proxy put my son's name on it rather than mine so I was only allowed in as a "guest". It was not a particularly exciting event this year. Not a single shareholder complained about the outrageously high pay of the executive directors. The Chairman was both dogmatic and condescending to the mainly ...

Who are the Election Winners and Losers?

Who are the General Election winners and losers? Well most investors have benefited because the market as a whole has risen today after the election results gave the Conservatives an unexpected victory. Specific sectors that benefited were house builders and utility companies. House builders were generally up at the time of writing this note, with Berkeley Group in particular up 10% - no doubt investors being relieved there would be no mansion tax affecting expensive properties in London.  Utility companies were ...

National Grid and the Problem of High Pay

I attended the Annual General Meeting of National Grid this week (on the 28th July). It was a typical FTSE-100 company AGM with questions on all kinds of matters, mainly from private shareholders of course. There is a full report on the meeting here, where many other AGM reports are supplied for members. I tackled the issue of high remuneration at this company and the change in the LTIP with a couple of questions, and I expected there to be many more ...

AGM Reports

National Grid (NG.) AGM Report 2016

National Grid Plc (NG.) held its Annual General Meeting at the ICC in Birmingham at 11.30 am on the 25th July. There were a few hundred shareholders present. There is a video recording of the meeting which you can obtain from this web page: http://investors.nationalgrid.com/shareholder-centre/agm/2016.aspx . Therefore I won't give a detailed report. Rather I will summarise the key points and make some comments. First some background: National Grid runs gas and electricity distribution networks in the UK, and similar regulated businesses ...

National Grid (NG.) AGM Report 2015 – The Lights Should Stay On

I attended the National Grid Annual General Meeting in Birmingham on the 21st July. Unfortunately I was not allowed to ask a question as the organisation that I was representing as a proxy put my son's name on it rather than mine so I was only allowed in as a "guest". It was not a particularly exciting event this year. Not a single shareholder complained about the outrageously high pay of the executive directors (£4.8 million for the CEO and £3.2 ...

National Grid (NG.) AGM 2014

I attended the Annual General Meeting of National Grid Plc on the 28th July, at the ICC in Birmingham. A few shareholders complained about the 11.30 start time (it transpired that they held it in the afternoon previously), but I can't say that it was of concern to me. However finding somewhere to park near the venue was not easy (poorly signposted) and road closures in central Birmingham did not help. I would estimate 200 to 300 shareholders attended, and they generally seemed happy ‐ I ...

NATIONAL GRID plc (NG.) AGM 2013

It was an afternoon meeting, at 2:00 pm at the ICC in Birmingham. The large conference hall was full of shareholders. This company has a revenue of £14.4 billion (£13.8 billion in 2012) from assets of £33.7 billion and reports profits of £3.75 billion (£3.54billion 2012). The dividend is 40.85 pence this year, up 4% on last year and giving a yield of 5.3% on yesterday’s price of 770p. It is a company with over a million shareholders of whom 274 ...