Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - Sacking Neil Woodford makes total sense, sacking Babcock's fat cat FD does not
Columbus Energy – Inniss-Trinity CO₂ pilot project update, potential catalysts see shares remain a buy
Annual Accounts of Limited Companies have to be lodged at Companies House wthin nine months of the reporting period end. Of course, the likes of BP and Shell manage to produce theirs within around four months and if massive organisations like those can do it in four months one might wonder why Neil Woodford’s cash-guzzling dog Industrial Heat – IH Holdings International Limited, to give it its proper title – can’t do it in nine months. You see, its FY18 accounts should have been in on 30 September, but Companies House has them marked as overdue.
I am indebted to Pierotlunaire for his post over the weekend on my piece Woodford Dog BenevolentAI: as predicted......but it is good news really! for the paperwork for Temasek’s investment into this cash-hungry dog has arrived at Companies House and as expected Temasek has take its pound of flesh.
The “good news” for Neil Woodford was that BenevolentAI had managed to attract an investment of $90 million from Temasek. The valuation of BenevolentAI was hit for six, dropping to around $1 billion (from $2 billion) but the other piece of good(ish) news for Neil was that this would drop his unquoted investments held in his Equity Income Fund, which was at the time well over its limit of 10% of the fund – partially because the dodgy Guernsey listings had been scrapped. But of course it also meant that book value of his investments in BenevolentAI had halved at the stroke of a pen.
Last week one of the highlights for me was the shadow of incompetence spreading at Neil's Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) as it tried to reassure the market with the appointment of Raymond Abbott to its board. What Susan Searle, the Chair of WPCT, would have hoped is that the appointment of Mr Abbott would be seen as a safe pair of hands. Naturally she will have done her homework, which is why the original RNS of Monday had to be corrected, after my prompt, as it mis-named one of Mr Abbot’s previous appointments and missed another off altogether. But is Mr Abbott a safe pair of hands or butterfingers?
The Daily Telegraph's lamentable Questor column has today, finally, as you can see below, advised folks to sell Neil Woodford's Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) at a loss of 60%. Talk about horses and stable doors! It gets worse.
Well that only took four days – well done Woodford Patient Capital (WPCT) and its Chair, Susan Searle. On Monday it announced the appointment of Mr Raymond Abbott as a new director – but got one of his former companies wrong, missed out another and has still neglected to mention that Foresight 4 VCT suffered a £30 million accounting error on his watch as chairman of the audit committee,,an error under FCA investigation, and a further £3 million accounting error after he was rewarded for his outstanding service and promoted to Chairman of the company.
On Monday Susan Searle, the Chair of Neil Woodford's Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) announced the appointment of Raymond Abbott to the board. This was part of a strategy of renewal as she tries desperately to restore market confidence in WPCT, whose shares are trading at around a discount of one third to its stated NAV, a NAV which has collapsed this year. I have already pointed to the £30 million accounting error at Foresight 4 VCT under Mr Abbott’s watch at chairman of its audit committee, the shambles at Climate Change Control (which WPCT reported as plc when it was a limited company, and we are still yet to see a correction) and a further accounting error of around £3 million at Foresight 4 after he was promoted for doing such a fine job as chairman of its audit committee to chairman of the board. You could not make it up. But it seems that WPCT has not only listed the wrong name of one if his companies, it has missed another off altogether!
Having mentioned two major blunders already, it seems that new appointment Raymond Abbott to the board of WPCT (whose previous directorships are yet to be corrected by WPCT) has another major blunder on his hands – and it is back at Foresight 4 VCT where, having presided over a £30 million blunder as chairman of the audit committee (and he a trained accountant) he was promoted to Chairman. Let us now turn to the FY18 accounts of Foresight 4……
Susan Searle, Chair of Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT), really does have some explaining to do as WPCT released its half-year numbers to the market this morning – reporting deadline day. Quite apart from the shocking performance of the fund under her watch, and the total mess it is in, we have been treated to an admission that the quoted NAVs released by the company have, quite simply, been wrong - a work of fiction.
Further to this morning’s bombshell over the appointment of Raymond Abbot to the board of Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT), it seems that the board of WPCT itself needs to issue a correction as it got one of his former companies wrong. Indeed, whilst it is at it, perhaps it would like to offer some explanation of his tenure at Climate Change Capital which appears to have ended in ignominy, for it appears that Foresight 4 was not the only shambles on his report card.
Oh dear, oh dear. Is Susan Searle, the Chair of Neil Woodford’s Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) thinks that the evolution of its board as announced this morning is going to reassure anyone she has another thing coming. Take the appointment as announced today of the very fine Mr Raymond Abbott…….
At Woodford Patient Capital (WPCT) we learn this morning of a triple valuation write-down which will cost 3.1p per share in terms of NAV. Cynical Bear wonders if two of them are Precision Biopsy (which has actually stopped operations) and SciFluor which Allied Minds (ALM) – in which Woodford has also invested – has stopped funding. The other may be Sphere Medical which went into administration. We are told:
Yet another Neil Woodford disaster has gone bust. Sphere Medical was once on AIM but with Woodford chucking in more cash (good money after bad) as it delisted because it saif it would prosper more as a private company this is another case where Nomates knew best....
The Daily Telegraph yesterday reported that Oxfordshire-based biotech Immunocore, of the Neil Woodford unquoted stable, has raised £60 million in a funding round due to complete before the end of this year as the company raises up to £100 million. Great news…….apart from one small detail.
Yes, folks, it’s that time of the month again when Neil Woodford updates us on his funds, and what is in them. The good news is that both unit trust (Equity Income and Income Focus) had net cash as at 31 August…….and Woodford Patient Capital (WPCT) didn’t.
The Sunday Times carries a scoop that Neil Woodford's play on revolutionising biotech, BenevolentAI - held in both WPCT and his Equity Income Fund - is being written down because of a fundraise. Of course, ShareProphets worked it out a few days ago when WPCT announced a writedown to an un-named stock but the Sunday Times has it confirmed.
Link Fund Solutions is, we are told, responsible for the valuation of Woodford Patient Capital’s (WPCT) portfolio of unlisted and other dogs, with the help of valuation firm IHS Markit. Since the gating of Neil Woodford’s Equity Income Fund (WEIF), Link has got its hatchet out several times and the official NAV per share of WPCT has dropped sharply from 89.61p as at the end of May to yesterday’s lowly figure (as at the close of play on Thursday) of just 72.85p. The last notified hacking was on 23 August (Industrial Heat) and saw 3.4p per share wiped away at the stroke of a pen. Last night at no-one-is-watching o’clock (6.20pm) another 4p disappeared from view. It is death by a thousand cuts.
Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) has today issued a shocking statement “Debt facility”. It shows that its banks ae now getting nervous and pulling all the strings. Boy, Neil Woodford must be glad that he has already sold most of his shares. The news also has grim implications for the Equity Income Fund.
Following my weekend comments when I suggested readers have beer and popcorn to hand as Rutherford Health (RUTH), the ex- Proton Partners (PPI), has called its AGM for tomorrow as investors are asked to approve the share issuance required to take Neil Woodford’s £45 million of other peoples’ committed money, today the CFO has resigned!
Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT), which is considering Neil Woodford’s future as manager, announced its NAV as at the close of play of Friday this morning (just) at 11.57am. We had been warned that Link was marking down the value of investee Industrial Heat by the equivalent of 3.4p per WPCT share. But it seems this was not the only bad news….
Neil Woodford investee Proton Partners, the joke listing on NEX which has seen just one trade since IPO in February, has changed its name to Rutherford Health (RUTH) and sees a general meeting this week which seeks shareholder authority it issue more confetti. Why does this matter? Well, there is the outstanding £45 million due from Neil Woodford – and we know that the board of WPCT (which is on Neil’s hook for the whole lot) is considering sacking him. With a hat-tip to Cynical Bear, I fancy this could be an entertaining week.
I said early yesterday morning that there was an awful lot of bad news still in the pipeline for Neil Woodford. And then his revolutionary cards outfit Idex of the Oslobors precinct reported. Needless to say the results are pretty awful and the tin will be rattling again very soon...
You couldn’t make it up: angel investor firm Seedrs has had its shares suspended pending a financing deal which it says is at an advanced stage, according to The Times. The company wants it made clear that the suspension is simply what happens on this lightly regulated market established by Seedrs when a refinancing is in progress. So nothing to worry about.
We had a good day, now we’ve had a bad one. But it makes little difference: redemptions continue regardless at Neil Woodford’s Income Focus Fund (WIFF). According to Morningstar, yesterday saw a fall in NAV per unit of 1.03% which should have dropped the total fund size from £284.9 million to £281.97 million. And why is WPCT's share price still collapsing?
NEX lobster-pot listed joke Proton Partners (PPI) has announced its intention to switch its registration to that of a plc and has called a general meeting to approve a number of changes which need to be made. But it looks to me as if Woodford Patient Capital (WPCT) is being lined up to take the rest of the shares in return for the rest of the £80 million - £45 million, following the £10 million and £25 million already ponied up – that Neil Woodford promised in order to get the listing away. That’s a problem for WPCT, which has today signalled that it may or may not (you can bet “will”) sack Neil Woodford. That’s a problem for Proton Partners and a big problem for Neil...
Two bits of news from Woodford Patient Capital Trust suggest that Neil Woodford is on his way out – or at least believes he is. Firstly, the Board at WPCT intends to tout third-party managers which may or may not result in a change of manager. But secondly, Neil has been dumping his own shares in WPCT – apparently to meet personal financial obligations, including a tax liability. Given that he has trousered tens of millions of pounds from Woodford Investment Management (WIM) over the last few years, that sounds like utter hogwash to me.
Call me a total pedant, but a question seems to arise over the transfer of shares in Atom Bank from Neil Woodford’s Equity Income Fund (WEIF) to Woodford Patient capital Trust (WPCT) as announced on 1 March 2019.
A stack of TR-1 RNSs yesterday afternoon detailed the transfer of stocks by Neil Woodford, who was sacked by the Omnis Income and Growth fund, to its new manager, Jupiter. Among them was one from Proton Partners (NEX:PPI), which Neil offered a funding commitment to in order to see its joke NEX-listing complete and now can claim an instant profit every time the company calls on him for more money. But there could be a fly in the ointment….
Lucian Miers warned over the weekend that investors should not be fooled by the discount to NAV apparently on offer at Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) and in fact the shares are a sell. I’ve been crunching a few numbers and it is scary stuff. Do the hard maths and you see why the stated 83p NAV is pure fiction and will be c40p before too long.
At 57.3p the shares in Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) trade at bang on a 30% discount to stated NAV. There has been an enormous amount written about the Woodford fiasco since it started to unfold but a couple of points are worth making...
Reading between the lines of today’s missive from fully-listed Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT), it looks as though a flock of chickens is coming in for the evening at Woodford Towers. They may be there for some time as the implications from today’s WPCT RNS is that it’s portfolio of cash-guzzling dogs is about to be hammered, despite the squirmings of the WPCT board.
I asked the question in bearcast - had Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) burst its overdraft limit? Nigel Somerville thought it had. The PR has got back and it has not. But it is darn close and the answer is actually even more worrying. Let me explain.
The May month-end numbers from Neil Woodford’s funds are out and the numbers at Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) are really horrible. Just as horrible is that since the end of May the NAV per share has dropped sharply from 89.61p to the current figure of 83.79p – a drop of 6.5% in just three weeks. Bearing in mind that most of WPCT is unlisted, that’s some going.
Having promised to raise funds in May, OsloBors-listed Thin Film (THIN) has finally got around to launching its tin-rattling exercise. But having been promising funding by the end of May (having admitted that it did not have sufficient funds for the year), the last we heard (on 31 May) was that it was in the process of finalizing details of the forthcoming equity issue to secure adequate financing which drew a cynical response from me. Well, the truth is out now…..
I see that the spin doctors for Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) told their poodles in the deadwood press (the FT) to run a fake news article suggesting that vultures were circling looking to bid for the company and its assets. No-one, not even the PR cocksuckers at the Financial Times, believes that for a minute and the shares have slumped again today to 59p, despite, or perhaps in part because of, the weediest of statements from WPCT.
As usual with the Woodford fiasco, the regulators step in after the damage has been done. The FCA will be all over it now but were conspicuous by their absence while the warning signs flashed. There is at least something that it could still do to protect the private investor from further damage (I am getting tired of warning people against taking a punt on Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) to avail themselves of the juicy 30% discount to the daily published NAV)…
Sorry Neil. It was an attack of commentator’s curse so it is all my fault that you were sacked after-hours yesterday by Openwork from your job managing the Omnis fund. Obviously it was nothing to do with you. The question now is can you avoid getting the tickety-tack today. With no more external funds to be sacked from, having lost your jobs with St James’ Place and Openwork….oh, and Quilter a few weeks back, you might be feeling a little more confident on that score today.
Susan Searle, the fragrant chairwoman of Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT), where I am a loyal owner of 10 shares, has yet to respond to my polite letter demanding she suspend the shares, fire Neil Woodford and undertake a strategic review. But events now force me to write again in light of Woodford’s incoherent video of earlier. That suggests WPCT now faces a full blown crisis. The letter follows:
As you may recall I invested £8 to become a loyal shareholder in the Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) and attended its AGM on May 16 to give Neil Woodford a right duffing up. Woodford misled that meeting and for that, as well as gross incompetence, he should be fired at once. I have written to our great leader, chair Susan Searle with calls for immediate action. The letter is below:
The deadwood press was fawning as a pack over Neil Woodford until relatively recently. For a long time myself and other other writers here, notably Cynical Bear and Nigel Somerville, were lone voices in the wilderness though our analysis was spot on. But in recent times Neil has lost most of his makes but some still stayed loyal.
It never rains when it pours, so the saying goes, and for Neil Woodford it must feel like an extended monsoon period at the moment. With his flagship equity income fund struggling against redemptions and poor stock-picks to leave it with two classes of accumulation unit now below the issue price (of five years ago, when everything else has gone up) now it is the turn of Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) to take a bow.
I commented a little over three weeks ago, after Woodford Norwegian Dog Thin Film (THIN) had released its FY18 results at eleven minutes past one in the morning (truly no-one-is-watching o’clock!), that the company had announced plans to raise funds by the end of May as it did not have sufficient funds for operations throughout the financial year 2019. In fact we knew a funding round was on the way since the end of February and here we are on the last day of May…….and no funding round yet.
So much for Woodford’s problems being the nasty press! Only this week, Neil Woodford was complaining bitterly about all these nasty hacks out to destroy his reputation at the Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) AGM which our very own Tom Winnifrith attended. But MorningStar is a different kettle of fish and its analyst has put up a new report on Woodford’s Equity Income Fund (EIF) which is, quite simply, devastating. In the light of the new report, I would suggest that even the most sycophantic IFA cannot recommend to its clients that they leave cash in this fund. Prepare for an even greater tsunami of redemptions.
The Woodford Patient Capital Trust AGM has opened by denying entrance to the press. Peter Smith, the venerable asset manager editor of the Financial Times has been sent off on his bicycle. The company has decreed that only registered shareholders may enter. Of course, Tom Winnifrith is a registered shareholder.
The £2 billion valuation of Benevolent AI flatters the NAV of Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT), whose AGM I shall be attending this morning, and has - on its own - earned Neil Woodford c£2 million pa in management fees as a result of the EIF Holding. We have covered this Theranos in waiting many times HERE. But what is the scientific view?
At 10.30 AM tomorrow I shall be in the City of Lost Causes for the AGM of Neil Woodford’s investment trust dog Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) where, as the loyal owner of 10 shares, I have a few questions for Britain’s most conceited fund manager.
Disruptive tech banking play Atom Bank has dealt Neil Woodford another headache to add to his migraine-inducing in-tray. ShareProphets reported HERE that major Spanish investor BBVA, which had taken a large stake in Atom Bank, had missed the deadline to take up its option to buy the bank out and now, according to Sky News, Atom plans to raise more cash – cash Neil Woodford hasn’t got.
For all the positive vibes surrounding Spain’s second largest lender, BBVA, perhaps landing a bid for Woodford unlisted banking startup dog Atom Bank, it seems that at least for now the deal is off the table: BBVA has missed the deadline to exercise its option. So no big payday for Neil Woodford’s beleaguered investors, then...
Neil Woodford is in the press again, this time thanks to Money Observer which quotes from his recent missive to investors where we are told that this is the best time to buy UK shares in three decades. This, from the man who needs to sell a boat-load of shares to keep going!
As investors settle down for the Good Friday and Easter bank holiday weekend, Neil Woodford has had a fair degree of coverage to assimilate. Articles in The Times and the FT point to Woodford’s sale of £42 million worth of NewRiver REIT (NRR) to his former junior at Invesco – something which ShareProphets readers have been aware of ten days now (it is good to see the dead wood press keeping up!) Meanwhile Citywire reports that the suspensions of Woodford’s stocks in Guernsey may be resolved this coming week although we are not told which way. And Hargreaves Lansdown appears to be standing by its man, still, as it covers the recent results from WPCT – something covered here some two weeks ago.
No doubt Neil Woodford will be delighted that his good friends at Crystal Amber think they can realise the equivalent of 123p a share from Allied Minds (ALM). No matter it is a loss, it will be cash in the bank – much needed – IF Crystal gets control and IF the assets are worth what they think and IF they manage to sell them. Meanwhile, dear old Neil – having yet again spunked more other people’s money on Kier (KIE) which promptly fell to a new low - is now faced with a cash-call from Autolus (Nasdaq: AUTL). What will he do?
Our good friends over at Citywire have again come up with bad news for Neil Woodford, in revealing that investors in his Equity Income Fund (EIF) reacted badly to last month’s sequence of dismal news by cashing out to the tune of £160 million. Having started March with £4.7 billion, EIF slumped to £4.4 billion last month which suggests that redemptions are not the only problem for Woodford.
This morning saw Woodford Patient Capital (WPCT) release its annual results for 2018. The key points seem impressive: an increase in NAV per share from 91.33p to 97.61p, more disruption tomorrow (along with the disruptive jam) and running costs are just 0.2% (only because the management bonus is triggered at 10% per year and so far NAV has declined). But they say follow the money ….. what about the cash?
Citywire yesterday published an article which stated that Neil Woodford has listed four previously unlisted investments held by Woodford Equity Income Fund on the International Stock Exchange in….er….Guernsey. Surely even Guernsey’s own residents would agree that this is not exactly the London Stock Exchange! But the odd thing is that Woodford himself seems to have been a tad reticent on the matter – I don’t see any headline proclaiming great success in gaining a listing in Guernsey from Neil Woodford! Why might that be? And that appears to be the nub of the issue.
I still see the occasional after-hours RNS which, were I a shareholder in the company concerned, would make my blood boil. Yesterday a release from AIM-listed Woodford Dog Netscientific (NSCI) at 4.42pm on a Friday evening ticked all the boxes.
Apologies for missing it on Friday, but it turns out that there was yet another disaster for Neil Woodford on Friday as its Norwegian play revolutionising the world of chip and PIN, Thin Film (OB:THIN), announced a strategic update and corporate restructuring after hours. Uh-Oh……a strategic review! No wonder he was in such a bad mood as he lashed out at critics offering false analysis and fake news.
I see that Neil Woodford has had an interview published in the FT in which he lambasts critics determined to destroy his reputation, misinformation, lazy commentary, fake news, fake analysis which “pisses me off” and vents his frustration at the poor investment decisions of investors selling up.
I couldn’t resist coming out of retirement today as I note that Benevolent AI published its group accounts today and my thoughts in the first two parts of this series back in May last year (HERE and HERE) have proven to be pretty much on the mark. This company, and in particular the $2 billion valuation, is an absolute spoof and Woodford is totally complicit in that - and making a fortune as a result. A good old-fashioned birching is too good for him.
Amid all the hoo-haa over Neil Woodford’s transfer of unlisted dogs from his equity income fund (EIF) in return for Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) paper, it seems he has been again pressing the sell button. Of particular interest is the sale of 1.5 million shares in Provident Financial (PFG), shares over which only a few days earlier he had offered a letter of intent to accept the all-paper offer from Non-Standard Finance (NSF). What a spiv!!...
It is almost possible to feel sorry for Neil Woodford. Al three of his funds are overdrawn, performance has been dire and those nasty people at ShareProphets keep on poking fun at Britain’s most successful fund manager. And to cap it all it looks as though the FCA has been on his back too. And today dear old Neil has started a big swap of unquoted Woodford Dog paper for…..er….Woodford Dog paper in the form of WPCT.
morning the second of two Norwegian Neil Woodford dogs reported numbers to December. Thin Film (OB:THIN) announced more losses and SFA turnover in the wake of the abrupt departure of Richard Bernstein’s (of Crystal Amber) announced on Monday. Idex (OB: IDEX) managed more or less the same, although it raised $25 million recently so at least it has cash to burn.
Eight days ago Neil Woodford’s PR spinners told their gophers in the lacky corrupt deadwood press, aka Peter Evans and Sabah Meddings of the Sunday Times to write a big puff piece about how Neil Woodford’ backed Proton Partners was planning to raise £50 million and list on the NEX lobster pot. It has not taken long for that fake news to be exposed, as no investors other than Woodford himself have been prepared to back this IPO – something revealed in the prospectus out today.
Woodford Investment Management has published its latest monthly numbers to the end of January from its Equity Income, Income Focus and Patient Capital Trust. At first glance it does not look too bad, but a more detailed examination shows that debt remains a central issue, as does redemptions, and Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) seems on the edge of imploding.
The Sunday Times “reveals” ( i.e. is told by Neil Woodford’s PR spinners) that his Proton Partners , proton beam centre operator, is planning a £320 million IPO and hoping to raise £50 million on, o-f all places, the NEX Lobster pot. This is a spoof but the deadwood press ( step forward Peter Evans and Sabah Meddings) are happy to assist the great one.
I pointed to Invesco and Woodford being named top dogs in the link to the article in the Telegraph at the weekend, but having looked through the latest issue of Spot the Dog from Bestinvest the data and conclusions are truly awful for Neil Woodford.
An appertion came to me last night: it was the ghost of Cynical Bear, calculator in hand, telling me that the level of borrowing at WPCT has become a major problem for Neil-knows-best Woodford. And indeed it is: as at the end of December Gross Assets (ie before bank borrowings) stood at £969 million, according to Woodford. With net assets of 97.61p per share and 827 million shares that works out at net assets of £807 million and that means borrowing of a whopping £162 million, or 19.6% of NAV. Yikes!
A note from the celebrated Cynical Bear last night got me looking into one of the very first investments made by Neil Woodford for the Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) – that of AIM-listed Verseon (VSN). Dum dum-dy dum, dum dum-dy dum, you’ll see the Red Flags flying here……Surely this shows all that is wrong with Woodford!
Last night Woodford Investment Management released its latest update for the Woodford Equity Income Fund, to 31 December 2018. The fund had fallen to £4.98 billion as at 30 November 2018. At year end it had slipped again – to £4.67 billion. Oopsadaisie Neil, another £310 million gone!
I see that Neil Woodford is reported to be leading efforts to replace the top executives of fully-listed Kier Group (KIE), according to a report on Sky News. This is, of course, in the wake of a rights issue to pay off debt which fell flat (to put it mildly) and relied on the underwriters to be completed….and in the wake of Woodford stating on its website in September that we had a reassuring meeting with management today, which plans to substantially enhance the company’s cash generative capabilities… Overall, the company’s outlook remains very encouraging. Share price then – around £10….now it is just a fiver. Oops!...
The new KID, or Key Information Document, for Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) arrived in my inbox this morning. This is an FCA regulated document, and supposedly gives you an idea of the potential returns under various scenarios. It also tells us that it is categorised as number 4 on the risk indicator (up from 3 last time). So let’s see what we might make if we hold the fund for the minimum recommended term.
Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT)or his flagship Equity Income Fund? It is hard to know where to start for we have disastrous news from both today. How close are we to end game for Neil Woodford, a man happy to be described as Britain's Buffett.
In October 2016 Neil Woodford’s Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) spunked £12.281 million with an investment into unquoted cash guzzler Amo Pharma. Amo has belatedly filed its calendar 2017 accounts and it looks grim. Suffice to say Britain’s most conceited fund manager is the sole institutional backer.
We all know that markets have been a bit skittish recently, which will mean that investors will be looking to sell unit trust holdings. And we know that Neil Woodford has faced the double whammy of redemptions and his cash-hungry dogs which need feeding. And on Friday morning Kier group (KIE) announced a rights issue: it never rains….
And so having seen the announcement that Immunocore had signed a deal with deal with Genetech worth $100 million, having reported the good news for Neil Woodford who could breathe a sigh of relief that he could keep his wallet (full of other people’s money) I commented Still, I’m sure the $100 million will come in useful – might we now see publication of Immunocore’s FY17 results at Companies House? After all, it should have got its results in for FY17 by the end of September. One has to wonder whether the cash will be needed to get a Going Concern all-clear from the auditor
Privately held Immunocore, which forms part of the Neil Woodford estate, has announced some good news: it has signed a deal with Genetech, part of Roche Group, for the development of Immunocore’s IMC-C103C drug aimed at targeting the MAGE-A4 protein (Melanoma-Associated Antigen A4). The really good news is that Genetech is to hand over $100 million in upfront and near-term milestone payments, and upon establishing proof-of-concept there is an option to co-develop the treatment or license the treatment to Genetech for royalty and milestone payments. Needless to say, Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) rushed out a statement too...
Well, here we are again – another Woodford Unicorn has reported, this time Nowegian-listed Thin Film Electronics (OB:THIN) with its 2018 Q3 numbers, and yet another hungry mouth to feed needs feeding, with little in the way of revenue to offer any comfort. The report starts well, but….
The PR machine of Neil Woodford got its pliant servants at the Daily Mail and elsewhere in the corrupt deadwood press to make great play about how the Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) was about to go into the FTSE 250 Index so meaning that Index funds would have to buy the shares so the share price would go up. Uh Oh! Late last night came an announcement from the LSE:
We have news this morning of Q3 numbers from Norwegian biometrics play Idex (OSE:IDEX). No doubt Neil Woodford’s team will extoll the virtues of the progress being made here, but I can’t help myself: look at the cash position!
“UNICORN HUNTERS: The Company is invested in four companies valued at more than $1 billion – Purplebricks, Oxford Nanopore, Benevolent AI and Immunocore.”
Cynical went on: WPCT used to have many more unicorns in the portfolio, Prothena and Theravance Biopharma to mention two very recent ones. I like to imagine that Neil Woodford is literally hunting them down, investing in them and then shooting them dead from point-blank range. Well, I have news: ShareProphets can exclusively reveal Woodford’s Unicorn Graveyard….
Over the past two years one salient feature of the Neil Woodford car crash is that every couple of months the Daily Mail or Mail on Sunday, which were the biggest cheer-leaders for Nomates when he set up Woodford Investment Management, runs an article saying “it’s bad but will get better, average down.” The trouble is that the Mail thesis is based on one big lie. At the weekend it was veteran Personal Finance hack Jeff Prestridge who landed an exclusive interview, i.e a blow job for Neil.
Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) held, as at 30 September, 4.95% of its gross funds in unlisted healthcare stock Immumocore. I say gross funds because WPCT has taken on rather a lot of debt over the last while – presumably because Woodford ran out of cash and still had too many hungry mouths to feed. If the entire portfolio goes a load higher then of course being leveraged is a good thing. Unfortunately, it is a bad thing if the portfolio keeps of falling in value.
Slightly belated update on the end-September portfolio listings this month but the ‘good’ news is that I am no longer fighting this battle alone and a small, parochial rag called The Financial Times has started to pick up on the issues, although they don’t get all the story, natch!
Having noted that Neil Woodford has been dumping shares in our Big Short BCA Marketplace (BCA), I see that the sell-off appears to be rather more widespread. One wonders if Tom Winnifrith’s comments that after a market crash investors tend to sell up is coming true already, or is there another explanation?
Accounts for private companies such as Immunocore Limited are supposed to be filed at Companies House within nine months and thus, at October 11 2018 I wonder where the accounts for FY17 are for billion dollar unicorn Immunocore. I note on the Woodford Investment website that as at 31 August 2018 this investment accounted for 5.33% of WPCT and 0.75% of the Woodford Equity Income Fund (although I can’t see any income here!) And Woodford’s exposure here isn’t limited to just that, because the Dublin-based Malin Corporation (of which Woodford is the largest shareholder) is also on the shareholder register.
Well, maybe I am. Or maybe just misinformed, or I just don’t understand. I see that there has been a bit of bulletin board excitement over reports that the Share Centre is backing Woodford – in particular his Patient Capital Trust – “despite Brexit” but the logic seems to my simple mind a bit wayward.
Just when you don’t think that the goings-on at Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) can get any more surprising, an RNS comes out of nowhere to make everything right in the world, relating to the unloved holding Industrial Heat. It seems that Neil Woodford can bend the laws of physics after all!
Following my piece this morning on Woodford (HERE), I note that Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) published its interims at the rather odd time of 9.45am today which ruins my competition to some extent. Anyway, there is some good news in there that I am happy to report but it still begs a few questions that I am also happy to ask in my general nit-picking way.
With the end-August portfolio listings coming out yesterday, it is time to update the story and it is not looking any rosier. In fact, quite the reverse. I think matters may be coming to a head here and I reckon Woodford needs a lucky break for once and pretty damn quickly.
To emphasise the point about the contrasting investment strategies of Neil Woodford and Terry Smith that I covered earlier today, I thought it appropriate to cover the health-tech AI spoof, BenevolentAI, that has just filed its results for the year to 31 December 2017 at Companies House (HERE). I am still struggling to find any evidence of anything other than a reasonably good concept here.....and it’s meant to be worth $2 billion!
It is hard not to compare these two behemoths of the UK fund management industry. Neil Woodford has (still) a great long-term track record but the recent respective performances of their flagship funds are chalk and cheese and now Terry Smith is looking to encroach on Woodford’s territory further with a small company investment trust too.
I smiled at yesterday’s announcement from Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) summarising the “summer of milestones” achieved across the portfolio as I imagine that is just buttering up the audience before the bevy of bad news hits. From my point of view, September is going to be a hellish month for Mr Woodford so welcome to ‘I-Spy Woodford’s September Hell’
There is good news for Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) in the end-July portfolio listings that came out yesterday, ironically due to a bit of help from the Woodford’s flagship fund, the Equity Income Fund. More interestingly, I think I have finally worked out how the Equity Income Fund is getting round its 10% unquoted stock limits which makes shocking reading if correct.
Continuing my leisurely weekend stroll through the cash-guzzling listed stocks in Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT), I’ll look at his second Norwegian dog, Thin Film Electronics, as its half year results came out yesterday.
Neil Woodford doesn’t have many quoted stocks in Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) but I thought I’d look at three classic picks this weekend, two of which I’ve touched on before, the third being a brand new entrant. I’ll start by catching up with the two Norwegian quoted companies in the portfolio – first up, Idex.
I appreciate that the heading seems like a bold claim with such stiff competition but with Atom Bank putting out its results or the year to 31 March 2018 this week, I do think it is a serious contender.
Having looked at Woodford’s Equity Income Fund earlier, I will now turn to Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) which as ever, even though the goalposts keep moving, is up against its limits and with the portfolio remaining awash with cash guzzlers, I’m struggling to understand how Neil Woodford gets out of the mess.
With the end-June portfolio listings coming out yesterday, I thought I would update with a couple of pieces looking at each of the two major funds. First up, I’ll look at the flagship fund, the Equity Income Fund, where continuing redemptions necessitate exiting one of the better stocks completely leaving a greater proportion of dross behind.
I’ve touched on Immunocore a few times in passing as it one of the largest holdings in Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) as well as being the largest investment made by Dublin-listed Malin Corporation, of which Woodford is the largest shareholder, obvs! Well, it looks like it’s not a particularly happy ship and I wonder whether a (further) devaluation is required?
It’s undoubtedly been a good week for Neil Woodford, with the Autolus IPO getting off to a flying start and I also sense the Stobart tussle is moving in his direction too. Nevertheless, as I’m still in a grump about his shoddy debt non-disclosure last week, I thought I’d have a look through the Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) portfolio to see what else I could find as he’s always banging on about unicorns hiding in there somewhere.
Yesterday afternoon, Neil Woodford released his end-May portfolio updates and associated fund factsheets which highlighted the challenges facing Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) in the coming months as its debt position is now almost untenable, not that Woodford has disclosed as such.
As I’m always quick to criticise, I thought it only right to congratulate Mr Woodford when the rare pieces of good news turn up and Autolus’s news yesterday is undoubtedly good news although I’m still going to make a couple of observations re Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT).
I’ve always thought it odd when investment vehicles merely take stakes in other investment funds as one ends up with duplication of fees. There is usually an investment policy limit on such stakes, not that Mr Woodford appears to be taking the limit at Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) that seriously. Why would he - rules are for the great unwashed aren’t they?
I’ve been meaning to write about the outrageous risk profile assigned to Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) for a while as it is patent nonsense and dangerous. I wonder whether there could be a mis-selling claim waiting to happen here.
The first part of this mini-series highlighted oddities relating to the recent $2 billion valuation of Benevolent AI, Woodford’s largest unquoted holding. To complement that piece, I thought I would undertake a bottom-up analysis to understand whether it could be worth such a sum. All I found was more spoofery. It’s a bit of a long read but surely you’ve got nothing better to do on Bank Holiday Monday!
In my view, Woodford’s dealings with what is now his largest unquoted holding across his funds, Benevolent AI, is his kryptonite and will be his undoing and I’m doing a couple of articles outlining why I think the current $2 billion valuation is an absolute spoof and why I believe Neil Woodford is complicit in said spoofery.
Yesterday afternoon, Neil Woodford released his end-April portfolio updates so thought I’d provide a bit of commentary prior to a couple of headache inducing articles (for Neil) later on in the week. Not a huge amount of change; however, it’s good to see an open-ended fund getting stuck into the use of debt in such a cavalier way!
Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) recently came out with its disappointing 2017 results and thought I’d highlight a few amusing aspects to try to cheer up shareholders here and ask a few serious questions of the Chairman, Susan Searle.
There’s been a lot to comment on relating to Woodford Capital Patient Trust (WPCT) recently but with the March portfolio updates for all of Woodford’s funds finally being published on Monday, I thought I should get my updates out as Woodford appears to have been a bit preoccupied to do so with a minor biotech blip and the like.
Following on from my piece on Sunday in which I suspected that Woodford had covertly changed the Investment Policy for Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT), it was confirmed this morning in its full year results. This is an absolute disgrace and shareholders should get on to their lawyers.
Just as the tide seemed to be turning in favour of a couple of Woodford’s holdings, he suffered an absolute body blow this afternoon with his largest quoted holding, Prothena (NSDQ: PRTA), which comprised 9.12% of WPCT as at end-March, as it announced that it was discontinuing the development of its main drug and the share price collapsed as a result.
Following on from Tom’s excellent presentation at the UK Investor Show yesterday I thought it only right to continue in my questioning of the “star fund manager” especially as it looks to me as if the Investment Policy for Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) has been subtly changed (to the detriment of shareholders of course) but Woodford doesn’t seem to have told anyone!
I’ve been wondering for a while how Neil Woodford was going to deal with the impending crisis at his flagship Equity Income Fund in relation to the hard, unquoted stock limit of 10% and with all his Get Out of Jail cards used up. Filings at Companies House seem to indicate that he was left with one last option – giving his shares back to the company at nominal value!
Thanks for the few entries to the Woodford Easter Quiz. Although a couple of people got the odd one out and for the right reason, as I expected, only one person got it right and named all sixteen companies correctly so well done KayeSeraSera (again). A chocolate gift will be winging its way to you, probably in time for Christmas! Full results below.
It being a major religious festival, I thought it appropriate to serve up another Woodford-related quiz. Simple on the face of it, just tell me which of the sixteen graphs below is the odd one out and why - a full answer is required other than the obvious. A chocolate gift to anyone who can go one better than that and name all sixteen companies. To assist on one of them, the graph is pre-share consolidation earlier this year.
Further to my update piece last week, I’ve managed to take a closer look at the end-February portfolio of Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) and I just can’t make the numbers work. I can only assume that Woodford has breached his investment policy; let me explain.
Almost three years after launch, Woodford has achieved what would have seemed impossible at the launch of Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) back in April 2015 in that he has managed to compile a portfolio of 85 holdings without one obviously profitable company among them. Having sold the star of the portfolio in the month namely A J Bell, to keep the lights on and fund a few other future dogs, he’s now left with a whole array of cash-guzzling, largely illiquid dogs – what’s not to like.
Well it only took until 22 March for the end-February portfolios to be updated for the various Woodford funds but quite a lot to cover so it’s a two-parter this month. I’m going to start by looking at Woodford’s valiant efforts in keeping his flagship fund, the Equity Income Fund, afloat. It’s not an easy task dealing with continual redemptions and he has had to ditch an old favourite to do so.
I do hope that the FCA and the "Independent" directors at Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) look into this matter with some urgency as we appear to have evidence today, thanks to Oxford Nanopore, that Neil Woodford funds have been stating their NAV in an unnacceptably aggressive manner. And that is the most generous spin on what has gone on.
Thanks for all the entries – I’m pleased to be able to say “entries” this time - to my Woodford Cheltenham Festival (HERE). I’m calling it a day early as the result is clear. Read on for the winner and the choice of Cheltenham runners on which I am placing the winner’s free bet.
I do try to be balanced from time to time and despite all his troubles, there’s been a few green shoots for Neil Woodford in relation to Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) in recent weeks, most notably with a substantial round at Atom Bank…….although much more funding is still required.
As Neil Woodford is such a believer in transparency, he has pulled his monthly updates altogether so these monthly updates now take on a greater importance to provide much needed information to the long-suffering investors in the three funds. Can’t imagine why Woodford stopped them?
Loyal readers will know that I, like Mr Woodford, love a quiz and with my favourite week of the year fast approaching, I thought I’d run a (simpler) quiz with a Cheltenham-related prize. There’s only two questions, so I’m hoping for more than one entrant this time!
I would urge anyone interested in these Woodford stock stories to read the sister Norwegian piece relating to Thin Film Electronics first as the similarities are astounding but it is worth covering Idex in its full glory. Yet another horror show.
UPDATED: Over the weekend I revealed a potential nuclear landmine that could well blow up the Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT).The bad news for the asleep at the wheel nmot so independent NEDS at the Trust is that I have found two more landmines which have been averted but are there more?
At 31 December 2017, Ombu Group represented c2.02% of the Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) portfolio being two separate investments of 2.01 % + 0.01%. The principal activity of Ombu Group, according to its accounts, is providing capital and management support to fast growing companies in the fields of industrial technology, energy technology and water technology.
After much digging and talking to those in the know I have managed to piece together how Neil Woodford and his team assess potential investments and have actually managed to access a transcript of a recent investment meeting that makes very “interesting” reading!
CityAM announced earlier this week that Woodford’s Equity Income Fund had lost a billion quid in funds since the start of the year down to £7.2 billion. This has huge consequences for all his funds and I’m not sure he has enough arms to suppress all the troublesome blind burrowing mammals raising their heads above ground. For the avoidance of doubt, I am referring to metaphorical moles at this point rather than Woodford’s investment diligence team. Let me explain.
You will have read our detailed coverage of Neil Woodford's woes and especially those of his uber dog listed investment company Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT). Our sell advice has saved our readers thousands of pounds. But we believe in balance and so below is the advice of The Times Tempus column which is to buy. It is poorly researched - compare its coverage of Atom Bank with ours HERE) for instance and reads as if it was dictated by a PR person as is so often the case with the stinking carcass that is the deadwood press. Here goes...
One wonders what Neil Woodford has been doing in the face of Cynical Bear’s onslaught against his funds. Reading Cynical’s pieces, it is clear that the Woodford house was edging ever closer to disaster. Now it seems that the effluent is indeed in collision with the air conditioning: we’ve had disasters at Purplebricks (PURP) and Capita (CPI), and there’s a stockmarket correction (at least we hope that’s all it is) underway. Oh, and we have numbers from the AA on Thursday – hardly the ideal time to take a hatchet to its dividend! So what has Mr Woodford been up to? Well, why change a winning formula!
I’m not normally one for emotive comment but my “Big Short” thesis at Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) is playing out almost exactly as I anticipated, albeit more quickly than I imagined, and it is an absolute scandal, make no mistake. All shareholders should be seeking redress and recompense immediately. Let me explain.
As we await today's NAV from, deep in the merde, Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) as well as possible confirmation its unquoted holdings have surged through the 80% limit as well as potentially news on how close hitis to breaching the bank limit of 20% gearing, it is worth reminding ourselves of one reason why it is in this mess - its high risk approach to leverage.
As predicted here at the weekend Nasdaq listed Irish biotech Prothena (US:PRTA) is suffering a bloodbath today following the shock after hours resignation of its CMO on Friday. Shares in Purplebricks (PURP) are also crashing and that leaves the Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) in serious trouble - has it breached its banking limits yet?
Pointed in its direction by Robert Dwek in the comments on my last Woodford piece, I thought I would write an article on the hugely capital intensive Woodford portfolio holding, Atom Bank, a start-up bank. A bit of a long read but I found it quite intellectually interesting looking at the challenges facing a start-up bank and it also throws up one of the first major funding issues for Woodford caused by the predicament he has recently got himself into.
Thought I may as well stick to a theme today and look at another Woodford investment which, surprise, surprise, undertook a placing on Friday, Dublin-listed, Malin Corp. This is yet another fund that invests in the same sort of early-stage biotech plays as Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT). I will touch on why it looks overvalued to me and leave you with a piece of analysis to highlight the odd incestuous world of these biotech investors not that I’m making any accusations of course.
Hapless Neil Woodford has poured out his heart to the poodle press, Citywire, bleating about how wicked bears Kerrisdale have been beastly about one of the largest - and most obviously overvalued - of the pack of dog investments in his Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT). The bears have bitten back!
I don’t apologise for banging this drum a bit more in the context of Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) as the transactions relating to Benevolent AI just look so wrong and WPCT shareholders should be fuming and raising hell. I also have a few more facts to share and two additional interesting pieces of information – one new, one old.
As I anticipated in my RM2 International (RM2) piece yesterday, the December monthly updates finally came out yesterday afternoon and I thought it appropriate to provide monthly updates on The Big Short in conjunction with those each month so here goes. Quick summary: it’s not getting any easier for Woodford.
I love Warren Buffett’s quote that you only find out who has been swimming naked when the tide goes out and after Woodford’s annus horribilis in 2017, it certainly seems to be easier and easier to find examples of his commando-style investing (thanks also to the pointer from ‘alcira16247’). Next witness for the prosecution, M’Lud, is Industrial Heat, a business that is trying to invent a “cold fusion” machine, an area of physics that most sane scientists appear to think is something out of a science-fiction novel. Not Woodford though.
I wouldn’t normally cover stocks listed on the Oslo exchange but Thin Film Electronics was mentioned in the comments of a recent Woodford piece and I also noted it was the Share Punt of the Week in the Daily Mail on Friday, so if it is good enough for them to recommend a Woodford-backed cash guzzler to its brain dead readers, it is appropriate for me to provide another side to that story, especially as the cash burn here is off the scale.
I’ve been smiling this week at the comments on Woodford’s website as the moderators are desperately sticking to the party line regardless of what is happening in reality or what Woodford himself is briefing to investors privately. Let me explain in the context of his Income Focus Fund.
I gather that Neil Woodford's office has been busy dealing with questions relating to our most excellent series of articles and podcasts over Christmas. I have been made aware of its responses which are detailed but still leave me feeling incredibly unsettled on two major factors.
I alluded to the swapping of the Benevolent AI stock between the two Woodford funds in my early chapters of The Big Short looking at Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) but there are so many odd aspects to the saga going back a few years that it merits an Appendix to itself as it raises a number of serious additional questions for the Board in my view.
I made reference in my concluding part of “The Big Short” on Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) about a potential Appendix or two to deal with some of the detail, so here’s the first providing more information on the WPCT Board Directors which, as Tom has pointed out during his Christmas Eve Bearcast, are not particularly independent at all and there is a significant conflict of interest issue.
Well, it didn’t get quite the response I was hoping for but it did get one excellent response from Kayserasera who was pretty much spot on with his answers and wins the charity donation and bubbles – congrats! The answers are below.
I’m going to draw together my analysis on Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) in one piece now so that if you’ve actually been enjoying Christmas rather than reading Shareprophets, you can start here and work backwards. I will also add a few words of caution that I picked up from the book “The Big Short” itself.
Er….hi, just me again! This Chapter of “The Big Short” looking at Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) wasn’t in the original draft manuscript sent to my editor but as something truly astounding was pointed out to me in the comments of my piece yesterday, I thought I’d better add to the opus. Hat tip to Robert Dwek for spotting it.
Having looked at the unquoted risk and the level of debt and connected liquidity issues within the Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT), it is time to look at the tricky topic of valuation policy as it looks to me as if Woodford is taking a particularly aggressive approach, albeit a flexible one, to the valuation of the unquoted stocks (almost all the fund!) that casts further doubts on the underlying NAV.
Continuing my festive series on The Big Short, Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT), having highlighted yesterday the huge unquoted risk within the portfolio and having to clean up after its big brother, the Equity Income Fund, I wanted to turn next to concerns I have over its debt levels which leads on to liquidity issues.
I started my festive series on The Big Short, namely Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) earlier by providing some wider context about some of the challenges Woodford faces particularly with his flagship fund, the Equity Income Fund, but let’s get into the details of WPCT itself. I’ll start with the ever increasing size of its unquoted portfolio and what appears to me to be a massive conflict of interest.
My Christmas Quiz may have been too clever by half (one entry so far at the time of writing!) but I found it helpful in any event as the research I undertook made me realise that there is massive short potential across the biotech echo chamber participants with Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) being the best example for a couple of specific reasons. Accordingly, I’m doing a few pieces over the festive period outlining my analysis and raising some serious questions along the way for Woodford to answer. To start though one must provide some wider Woodford context particularly in relation to his flagship fund – the Equity Income Fund.
First things first, I recommend that you should all have a go at the proper Woodford Christmas Quiz because, regardless of his investment performance this year, he can pen a good quiz (and there’s prizes too). Once you’ve done that have a crack at my alternative version celebrating his investment year.
US bear raider Kerrisdale has launched a savage attack on the largest holding in the Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) the closed end fund managed by Nomates. The nature of the WPCT means that if Kerrisdale is even half right, Nomates is in big trouble.
If you want me to analyse a stock for you just drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org - Today I look at Real Good Food (RGD), Tungsten Corporation (TUNG), Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT).
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