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In the demise of Thomas Cook (TCG) there was a degree of focus in the Press on the use on Non-GAAP metrics (“GAAP” being generally accepted accounting policies) and Ernst & Young’s role as auditor in auditing those measures. However, the Deadwood Press as usual missed the wider story.
The Financial Reporting Council has announced that it is to open an enquiry into the accounts of Thomas Cook (TCG) for the year ended 30 September 2018. Too little too late you say. Well perhaps, but what is at stake here is the poison at the heart of capitalism, the incestuous relationship between auditors and PLCs.
I wrote recently that, as a bear, one should not worry too much about big names appearing on the share register of a company of which one is short and have noticed that when a company is on the verge of failing, it is often the case that some bright spark decides to have a go and hoover up some equity…
Having sat on the fence for a while now, I have, somewhat belatedly, come off it and shorted a few Thomas Cook (TCG) at 13p. Last time I did this was in November 2011 when it was in a similar predicament but was bailed out by direct intervention from David Cameron, who effectively ordered the recently nationalised bankers not to pull the plug. Sadly, for shareholders this time round, I suspect that Theresa May has more on her plate right now than bailing out the company a second time...
I did warn my pal Andrew Monk, as he greedily filled his boots with Thomas Cook (TCG) shares and for a time he looked smart. Now the stock has collapsed to just 10p but that still values the company at c£150 million. The bad news for Monkey and Chris “three brains “ Bailey, a fellow bull, is that this is likely to be a zero.
As I write it is beautiful staycation weather outside which is wonderful news for many but potentially not so good for travel names such as Thomas Cook (TCG) which are focused almost exclusively on sending holidaymakers to foreign climes. Of course I have spoken about the company before - and my February call was looking downright shabby, even if there has been a touch of moving away from a Brexit cliff edge (the Halloween postponement) which has aided some of my other travel sector plays such as easyJet (EZJ) over the last week or two.
The tweet below is self explanatory. What on earth is Thomas Cook (TCG) thinking?
Travel operators TUI AG (TUI) and Thomas Cook Group (TCG) both featured in the top five most frequently tipped companies over the last seven days in a busy week for trading updates. Homebuilders Barratt Developments (BDEV) and RedRow (RDW) also received an influx of tips after both released interim results, while there was increased tip activity for GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Smith & Nephew (SN.).
I made a brave positive call on Thomas Cook (TCG) in late November after its share price shocker, noting that: 'The stock is cheap (less than 4 times EV/ebit) but clearly not without risk. Would I roll the dice here as a 2019 punt wrapped up in politics and climate realities? You know - rather than buying one of its holidays - just maybe I would given the range of assets'...
A number of trading updates caught the eye this week, but perhaps none more so than Greggs (GRG) and Thomas Cook (TCG). In terms of market reception, the two couldn’t be more different; while shares in Greggs soared, the price of Thomas Cook shares plummeted. In this week’s issue we cover current tipster and broker sentiment towards both UK firms.
The stock market can be a cruel mistress and whilst I am enjoying a celebratory sausage roll due to the strong trading update from Greggs (GRG), Thomas Cook (TCG) has disclosed more local difficulties...with a second profits warning in about two months…
I read in the Sunday press today that Club 18-30 is to close. Even during the mooted target age range, i had zero interest in going on one of its holidays and the only reason I am talking about it now is that the brand is amazingly currently owned by the staid old travel company Thomas Cook (TCG).
After my package holiday confessional contained within my last write-up on holiday company Thomas Cook (TCG) three months ago, I am keeping up my differentiated holiday strategy by heading off to west Wales during part of the upcoming half-term holiday break at the end of the month. Suffice to say west Wales does not figure in any of Thomas Cook's advertising...
Despite the multitude of cheesy ads on the TV begging us to book a holiday I use this regular slot for yet another confession: I have never been on a package holiday. To be honest, I doubt if I ever will...but fortunately the UK economy rolls on consumption preferences far different than my own. Which brings us to the recent comments by both Thomas Cook (TCG) and TUI (TUI), both big players in the travel market.
Hello Share Crushers. I’ve long held that travel operators are not an ideal choice for investment these days. This is based on the view that as people become more internet savvy, they see the economies of arranging their own holidays - thus eliminating the middle man. This makes it very hard to attain growth, and that’s what really drives share prices. And there are now other concerns on the horizon.
Bit of a Super Thursday in terms of the magnitude of results but the one that really caught my attention was Thomas Cook (TCG). 19%+ share price falls – at the time of writing - tend to do this. Of course the reason for this plunge off the diving board is the profits woopsie slipped in a few paragraphs into today’s first half update. And the reason? In a word: ‘Turkey’.
Recent months have proved to be intriguing as far as Thomas Cook (TCG) shares have been concerned on many levels, the technicals, the fundamentals and as far as market sentiment have been concerned.
Sadly Thomas Cook (TCG) did not as I had hoped serve up a profits warning today. Its shares are broadly unchanged at 122p but its trading statement is far from inspiring and the City knives are still out for PR obsessed CEO Harriet Green. She cannot afford to slip.
Andrew Monk heads up broker VSA Resources but in a former life was an airlines expert. He even set up one. It went tits up. But he knows how this industry operates and his views on THomas Cook (TCG) are clear. He noted this morning.
I have predicted it before but predict again – the imminent trading statement from Thomas Cook (TCG) will be a profits warning. Of that I am certain. My question is whether its self-important and image obsessed CEO Harriet Green gets a one way ticket out of the building the same day.
A former leading transport analyst who still retains a very high City profile has this morning launched a blistering attack on Harriet Green the self-publicity addicted CEO of Thomas Cook (TCG). Is this just sexism in the City or is this fair comment. Read on and judge for yourself. Our man writes:
Shares of Thomas Cook (TCG) have stood out in several key ways over the past year, and not only because this company effectively came back from the dead and would have annihilated a multitude of bear traders in the process.
Shares of Thomas Cook (TCG) have been and remain one of the charting phenomena of 2013 to date. They have soared from below 50p to 153p since January. There is more to come.
I offer no comment on this weekly feature it is a simple matter of observation. The two tables below show the most active discussions on the ADVFN and iii Bulletin Boards as of a Thursday morning.
The problem with buying into Thomas Cook (TCG) shares in the recent past is that despite the way that the recovery on the daily chart looked extremely appealing, the £1.6 billion debt pile was significantly more than the market capitalisation of the group.
At one stage in the recent past it did appear that tour operator Thomas Cook (TCG) may be heading for that Great Package Holiday in the sky, with the share price touching as low as 13p at worst.
Given that I knew the call on tour operator Thomas Cook (TCG) might be around for quite a while I rather gingerly suggested in my book written in November, Lessons From The Financial Markets For 2013 that above 25p the stock could be headed for 35p by the end of the first quarter of this year.
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