Articles by: CHRIS BAILEY

EPIC BATS
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British American Tobacco – full year numbers, a total return Buy

As I write the shares of British American Tobacco (BATS) are down below a 3000p share price today, meaning year-to-date the cigarette and more name is down over 10%. And yet, back in the COVID-19 peak crisis and then investment excitement bounceback moments in 2021, the stock was back at 2500p. And we have not even discussed the over 7% dividend yield. What is going on at the multinational tobacco and other nicotine forms company?
  • By Chris Bailey
  • 2023-02-09 11:46:13
EPIC BDEV
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The obsession of the housing market and the reality for shareholders in Barratt Developments

As the CEO of Barratt Developments (BDEV) observed during the conference call earlier today, the company’s half year numbers showed a “very strong operational performance”. Compared to a year ago, total home completions rose by 6.9%, adjusted profits were up by 15.9%, return on capital employed was up to 29.6% and, whilst net cash fell just over 14%, it was still just shy of £970 million. Happy days then for a leading housebuilder with a market cap of just over £4.6 billion today? So why are the shares, which are up about 1% today as I write, down by more than 25% during the last year? Is it something to do with the “difficult housing market” also talked about?
  • By Chris Bailey
  • 2023-02-08 12:36:42
EPIC NUM
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Housebuilder chat is tomorrow, but today I talk about brokers (and specifically Numis)

I will talk more about the housebuilders tomorrow after the publication of an update from Barratt Developments (BDEV), whose shares I am not particularly surprised to see are up 11% so far this year but down 25% over the last twelve months. Meanwhile, I see the latest Halifax update is rambling on about that it is “expected that the squeeze on household incomes from the rising cost of living and higher interest rates would lead to a slower housing market, particularly compared to the rapid growth of recent years”. Hardly surprising…and today I want to talk about something different: current trading at the “independent institutional stockbroker and corporate advisor” Numis (NUM).
  • By Chris Bailey
  • 2023-02-07 10:09:37
EPIC
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I have no desire to buy either stock, but don’t worry about new shares at 3i Infrastructure or more buybacks at Shell

At the end of September last year, about the time when a 4,000-word comedy essay writer in yesterday’s Sunday press was the country’s PM, I wrote that for any investors who were too scared to invest in most shares, then “you can do a lot worse than 3i Infrastructure (3IN)HERE. These shares, like a bunch of other FTSE 350 names, are up since then but today I notice that its board “is pleased to announce a proposed placing of ordinary shares in the capital of the Company conducted under the existing non-pre-emptive authorities granted by shareholders at the Company's annual general meeting”. How exciting (not). And what about all those share buybacks that have been happening elsewhere in FTSE 350 names?

  • By Chris Bailey
  • 2023-02-06 09:46:58
EPIC GSK
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Why FTSE 100 stocks such as GSK and Vodafone are always worth thinking about (but only one of them is a buy today)

Many, many years ago, I remember somebody saying to me that investing in FTSE 100 stocks was pointless as “everything is priced in very efficiently”. What utter rubbish (as I told them at the time). Whilst the world of large cap stocks is covered by more analysts and mentioned more frequently by the press and financial TV, there are still plenty of opportunities to materially beat the index. And that is why today’s updates from both Vodafone (VOD) and (the previously named GlaxoSmithKline) GSK plc (GSK) are worth (at least) thinking about.
  • By Chris Bailey
  • 2023-02-01 12:10:54
EPIC WIX
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How is Wickes getting along?

I am not a regular at my local Wickes (WIX) store, but I do respect it as a business. Back in December 2021, I observed that “I think Travis Perkins (TPK) was smart to spin-off Wickes as last April was a pretty optimistic time for trade companies”. Thirteen months ago, I was talking about a share that had been shifted from c. 250 pence to about a two quid share price. However, today’s Wickes share price is only just over 150p.
  • By Chris Bailey
  • 2023-01-31 12:58:17
EPIC 888
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It is still too early to bet your investment money on 888 Holdings

All investors get plenty of stuff wrong, but the aim of the game is to get more stuff right. About nine months ago, I wrote about “888 Holdings plc (888), William Hill and mad deal excitement”. The former had a c. 250 pence share price at the time and today it is about a third of that level. Probably a good job that I concluded back then that “...I will generously call it one for the experts…and I am not one…Avoid”.

  • By Chris Bailey
  • 2023-01-30 10:30:55
EPIC EZJ
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Some rising excitements at easyJet (despite some continued losses)

You may have seen yesterday from Carnival plc (CCL) that apparently "Cunard has reported that in the first week of January it has booked more guests than any equivalent period in the last decade”. How wonderful for the top few percent…but what about the average traveller? And that brings us to the first quarter update published this morning from easyJet (EZJ).
  • By Chris Bailey
  • 2023-01-25 10:15:24
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