Sunday Long Reads: Death of a Sherlock Holmes fanatic, Islamic State family, Monetising Nothing, Bad Electric Vehicles, Boat Accident
Hello, Share Pushers. I’ve not covered Kingfisher (KGF) before, if ever. But it’s hard to ignore that this company seems to have benefited from Covid - and could continue to do so once the virus has gone. It’s the stay-at-home DIY boom that has prompted its soaring sales. That and the fact that many of its 1800 stores have stayed open, in Blighty, anyway, because what they sell is deemed essential.
It has been a while since I either visited one of its B&Q stores or even talked about Kingfisher (KGF), but it has done rather well during the Covid-19 period.
A month or so ago, I noted that DIY retailer Kingfisher (KGF) was singing a song of recovery. Today it is singing a song of profit advance in the first half of the year compared to last year...
Results from Kingfisher (KGF) are effectively in two parts. The first is the set of full year numbers up to the end of January. There is not too much to say about those. The second is the thoughts of the company over the last few months which are naturally far more interesting...given its leading DIY retail positions via B&Q in the UK and Castorama in France plus the very strongly performing (over recent years) Screwfix brand...
Hello, Share Seekers. Though do-it-yourself retailer B&Q was allowed to stay open as a hardware dealer, it did close stores when the lockdown started. It’s now reopening them after a trial period, using the social distancing procedures that we’ve all become used to in supermarkets. The numbers going around will be capped, while plastic screens will be fitted to checkouts and two-metre floor markers will show the distance shoppers should keep from each other. Kingfisher (KGF), which owns the chain, is getting ahead of the game...
I am still playing a bit of catch up post a bout of international business travel but I see on Wednesday, the B&Q and Screwfix owner Kingfisher (KGF) puckered up a trading update. Now I have talked about the stock (positively) before, noting that despite its bizarre obsession with French CEOs, the company offered share appreciation potential 'if management sees the light and breaks the company up'. Judging by the realities expressed in the trading update, this remains the only sensible course of action for any shareholder value creation.
You all know that I think that Kingfisher (KGF) is cheap and actually, as noted here, a stock with takeover potential. It has also been a stock that has frustrated over the last year. As I noted back in July, the company de facto rejected my suggestion to break itself up and appointed a new CEO – as it happens another French national (who today's first half numbers confirmed will start next week)…
I really do not expect corporate players to be even minutely impacted by my witterings on their company but I kind of hoped that the press rumours I excitedly repeated on the potentially new Kingfisher (KGF) CEO a few weeks back would be close to the truth. Late last week however the company announced 'the appointment of Thierry Garnier as Chief Executive Officer'. Yes, it has appointed a French national again! And all this after the ultimately terribly lacklustre Veronique Laury.
I know that I have been (an incorrect) fanboy of Kingfisher (KGF) for the last year or so when the shares have hardly covered themselves in glory but I still see an opportunity prospectively here to make money. As I noted back in March 'look at the cash flow and hope that finally the Chairman (Andy Cosslett) is getting it. Ditching the CEO is just stage one', I read in today's deadwood press that 'the former head of Direct Line is in early talks with B&Q owner Kingfisher about taking over as chief executive'.
After a bunch of polarised press articles which focused on her gender and nationality just as much as her operational performance, the Kingfisher (KGF) CEO Veronique Laury is off - after reflecting that the next stage of her 'One Kingfisher' programme is apparently best handled by somebody else. Many would appraise that whilst the ideal of her 2015-launched corporate effort was initiated with the best intentions (focus ranges, simplification), it has been a dog's dinner of strategic application. Certainly the difficult economic backdrop for any company with big DIY brands such as B&Q and Castorama (in France) has not been exactly perfect...but for every challenging big picture economic aspect, there have been some positive aspects such as the Bunnings self-implosion in the UK or the continued positive structural development of the Screwfix brand...
Confession time: I did read something interesting in the business pages of a broadsheet (ha!) newspaper the other day. The offending article introduced to me the concept of 'DFY', which is not some deviant practice but rather stands for 'done for you'. Apparently the under 40s cannot do DIY, preferring to focus their non-office skills in avocado toast construction and optimising their right (or is it left?) swiping capabilities…
After almost freezing my nether regions off on my usual early doors Sunday bike ride, I settled in to read (online) a couple of the Sunday papers. For quite a few years now I have taken the view that many of the results/strategy preview stories are deeply provocative and excitable, and when the results and strategy statement actually occurs...a whole bunch of fear and angst is already priced in.
We all know UK retail is in a tough spot but problems for Kingfisher (KGF) are ironically not in the UK, where today's half-year numbers were correctly discussed as a 'solid performance' benefiting from continued growth at Screwfix and the self-inflicting wounds at peers that aided B&Q. The trouble is a 15% fall in underlying pre-tax profit mainly due to a 30% fall in profitability in the group's second-largest market France…
Another day...another retail stock. 'Tis the (reporting) season I guess. Today's offering is Kingfisher (KGF), which longer-term readers will know I have traded once before over the last year or so, buying sub 3 quid and moving out after a 10%+ gain plus some dividends. Well, as noted most recently here, the share has been kicking around the three quid level today and that interests me. So is my call to trade the DIY and related company again for a double digit plus target gain looking wise or not after today's Q1 update?
Back in early 2016 I said you wanted to wait for a 3 quid level to get excited about Kingfisher (KGF). If you did have a go at the owner of B&Q, Screwfix and in France Castorama then you are probably pretty chilled about the latest numbers because after plunging below that round number level during the summer, the shares are now heading pleasantly north of it.
Hello Share Tickers. Shares in Kingfisher (KGF) have taken a pounding since the end of May. But the current share price of 295p, down from 368p then, may be worth more in my opinion.
Hello share swaddledrs. Let’s have a look at a retailer known mostly for DIY - Kingfisher (KGF). It used to be the boss company for Woolworth and B&Q. At one time, it snaffled up Superdrug and Comet. It became known as Kingfisher in the late eighties.
A nice round 300 days ago (here) I unburdened myself on the B&Q, Screwfix and the more exotically named Castorama and Brico Depotowner Kingfisher (KGF) with the observation that:
If I said ‘Kingfisher plc’ (KGF) to you what would be your first response? Of course many of you are super smart and would immediately tell me that it owns B&Q, Screwfix and the more exotically named Castorama and Brico Depot, which collectively supply us with a range of DIY and home improvement materials across multiple geographies.
Hello Share Shufflers: There's been some interesting news about the government's house buying scheme. Apparently 28,000 families have been able to buy their own homes under the Right to Buy plan.
DIY retailer Kingfisher (KGF) disappointed investors yesterday after issuing a trading update. The company which owns B&Q said that while UK and Irish profits were strong, in France trading was weaker than anticipated.
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