If you are into corporate updates it is an interesting day today and loads to write about. Here is the exciting news: it is going to be like this for over the next couple of months. It has always been thus over the last twenty-five plus years I have been looking at the U.K. markets. I guess I should start with ASOS (ASC), which may have formally talked about a four month trading update to the end of December, but a second headline it gave, observing that the company ‘announces intended move to London Stock Exchange’s main market’, is kind of interesting too.
Hello Share Makers. Though I’m not sure why folks would regularly shop at Tesco (TSCO) when budget supermarkets can work out cheaper, I rather like the look of the shares. Over the last year, the company’s done rather well and I think the positive trend could continue. The supermarket was already ahead in online sales when the pandemic came along and so was in poll position to take advantage.
A week into January and I see that the weekend press has plenty of stories about the European Central Bank executive who ‘warns green energy push will drive inflation higher’, as well as the UK’s former vaccines minister who said it would be ‘helpful’ to cut the self-isolation period to five days. Otherwise there is the apparent hassle of the wealth of the top 1% is 230 times higher than the poorest 10%. Such analytical excitement (not).
I was impressed by a couple of corporate updates today. I wrote about Imperial Brands (IMB) most recently back in May, noting that despite never being a smoker I thought the stock was still a buy. It has hardly romped in recent months – including today – despite what seems to me a pretty good pre-close trading update.
Hello, Share Chasers. There may be glittering prizes around for some folks holding some shares. I refer to the craze among foreign private equity outfits for eyeing up British companies, some of which are household names. A reasonable stratagem then is to buy shares in likely targets. But what are the best bets?
It has been quite exciting this weekend reading about one of my favourite FTSE 100 plays, even if the index has naturally remained closed (even I am not enough of a saddo to need the markets to open on a Saturday or a Sunday). Last Friday I wrote about Tesco (TSCO) but I also mentioned that ‘if you do want to buy more of a UK food retailer then I would suggest reading my Morrison (MRW) piece from last month HERE‘. Well that looks pretty smart as a story broke yesterday that ‘buyout giant CD&R weighs £5.5 billion takeover of supermarket chain Morrisons’. That does not sound too shabby given its £4.3 billion market cap at Friday’s close.
Back in April I wished Tesco (TSCO) CEO “Newbie Ken” the best of luck over the next year or two ‘but I can understand why there are not a bunch of new shareholders buying hard and pushing the share price sharply up’. Since then the shares have stayed nor far either side of 230p. Is there any need to radically change view after today’s first quarter update?
I start with the frustrations of a visit to Tesco (TSCO) Wrexham. Piss poor customer service. Then I look at Manolete (MANO) where I smell more trouble ahead. Then I move onto bull market madness and how it will end in tears for my mother-in-law, Elon Musk, Tesla, Bitcoin, Jonathan Bixby, Mike Edwards, NFT Investments, Clarify Pharma, Argo Blockchain (ARB), Novum Securities and Uncle Tom Cobley and all.
Two FTSE 100 names of interest published an update this morning. First easyJet (EZJ) which noted that the group headline loss for the 6 months ending a couple of weeks ago is expected to be somewhere between £690-730 million. Naturally that is a lot of money but there were even worse losses feared by some analysts.
Results day at Tesco (TSCO) and a new chief executive leading the presentation of the numbers. Ken Murphy took over last week from ‘Tesco Dave’, David Lewis, the man who pulled the UK’s largest food retailer back from the brink of an accounting scandal and multiple missteps of direction. Apparently it is ‘Serving shoppers a little better every day’ and that it is able to say this is as ‘Tesco Dave’ did a pretty good job. Today’s update for the six months to the end of August noted that ‘over a million customers more loyal to Tesco…Net switching gains from Aldi for first time in over a decade…(and) Online capacity doubled in five weeks (as Covid-19 hit)’. This is far from shabby at all…
Well the day has almost arrived. Two-and-a-half years ago I wrote here that 'Bizarre news of the day among the larger cap stocks on Wednesday was undoubtedly the announcement that property behemoth Hammerson (HMSO) was buying shopping centre peer Intu (INTU) with a £3 billion+ all share (naturally) offer'. I called this deal 'madness' at the time and fortunately (for Hammerson) it walked away due to the clearly fast-deteriorating structural fundamentals around shopping centres. And now, around thirty months later, Intu notes 'insufficient' talks with creditors so far, so 'the Board is therefore considering the position...this is likely to involve the appointment of administrators'...
Hello, Share Tickers. Tesco (TSCO) has turned in some encouraging news but I still feel uneasy about my bunch of shares. The main reason is prosaic – I continue to be shocked at the difference in the bill size between Tesco and my supermarket of choice, Aldi. Why can’t the home-grown supermarkets compete with the prices at Aldi and Lidl? I sometimes see Tesco and Sainsbury (SBRY) to be rather short of customers whereas Aldi is often buzzing. The sturdier queues in my part of the world at least are noticeable...
Personal confession time: I have never had an online grocery delivery. I know this makes me some antediluvian technophobe but I historically have not really minded popping out to the shops as the physicality of it provides some good research insights. And there is nothing like snaffling a few of those 'yellow sticker' bargains. I am deep down a value investor after all. Lockdown excitements therefore have made me a bit less of a Tesco (TSCO) shopper over recent months. Nevertheless, I have remained loyal to the shares...
Hello, Share Crispers. With the markets closed it give me another chance to cheer up those who take part in our beautiful game. Though I expect you have higher hopes for your portfolio than you had two weeks ago. There’s light in the tunnel. The government health advisors tell us so. As I write, the Footsie is up 3.5% Here are some other reasons why our at least some of our shares could soon rise a lot more than that.
It looks like the cash that I did not realise until a few months ago I had, will finally arrive in my SIPP this week. so where will I invest it? I discuss my outlook for equities in general, what I shall avoid and then Optibiotix (OPTI). R4E (R4E), Imperial Brands (IMB), Centamin (CEY), Tesco (TSCO), BP (BP.), Shell (RDSB), Wishbone Gold (WSBN) Red Rock (RRR) and Fox Marble (FOX).
I look at news that Tesco (TSCO) is upping its dividend while getting a massive tax break from the taxpayer. This is wrong at every level. The Times tries to defend it, no doubt on orders from a powerful corporate PR machine, but this is simply a transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich and should not be allowed. I look at Nostra Terra Oil & Gas (NTOG) following up on my earlier piece with more questions for the board and Nomad, Strand Hanson, and another shocking revelation abiout the behaviour of CEO Matt Lofgran. Finally a few words on Concepta (CPT), my share tip of the year where I have averaged down in today's placing.
Full year results time at Tesco (TSCO). Normally it would all be about what it has achieved over the last fifty-two week period and whether things are getting slightly better or slightly worse, but you can guess the challenge of looking at the food retailer as its world rather changed at/around the balance sheet date of 29th February…
Hello, Share Bunnies. Previously, I've opined that supermarkets were among companies likely to see the biggest and fastest increase in share value once the crisis peaks. But one of them, in my humble opinion, might do better than the others. It’s already showing signs of benefitting most from all the extra buying. And it’s not just panic buying either, as people can no longer grab food in the street or visit pricey restaurants...
Hello, Share Crunchers. Several folks were filmed by BBC news last night trying to hold onto loads and loads of toilet rolls outside supermarkets which held special openings for the infirm and elderly. Why? Are silver shoppers confusing the virus with dysentery? This week I featured in this modest column the attraction of investing in Wm Morrison (MRW). It made a small profit increase even before the panic buying started. I argued that it should do even better now. I would like to extend that optimism to all four big British supermarkets...
I was a bit busy yesterday with some of my institutional contacts and did not have an opportunity to write any thoughts on the volatility. What is uppermost in my mind is - as I asked on Sunday - where we are in the seven stages of market psychology? Clearly yesterday we saw 'panic' and in some areas 'capitulation'. With the exception of one private investor I am acquainted with, I have yet to see widespread 'I am never coming back to the stock market' thoughts. Let me know if you are bumping into such people (or even thinking this yourself!) Two stories to play minor catch-up on…
Hello, Share Sorters. This aging punter first bought his Tesco (TSCO) shares after reading that Brits spent £1 pound in every £7 of their income in its stores. It is still the biggest retailer in the UK. Too big to fail, I thought. Wrong! Later, the shares fell like a mastodon from a New York skyscraper. I bought them at about 300p and they dropped to half that. But I never cut my losses because I thought that the company would get its act back on its feet one day...
Aside from the continued implosion at the correctly friendless Amigo Holdings (AMGO) which this morning has announced the departure (in 2020) of both the chair and the CEO...the most interesting of today's regulatory disclosures for me has to be Tesco (TSCO) noting that - following weekend press reports - it has 'commenced a review of the strategic options for its businesses in Thailand and Malaysia, including an evaluation of a possible sale of these businesses'…
Hello, Share Creepers. Tesco (TSCO) shares have bounded ahead this year. So I think I might sell my holding now. I was shopping in Morrison (MRW) yesterday - in which I also hold stock - and I found the shopping environment there rather better than my local Tesco branch...
Hello, Share Fans. I don't know why I hang onto my Tesco (TSCO) shares. Maybe it’s because I dumped my Sainsbury (SBRY) stock and want to keep some kind of toehold in British supermarkets. And Tesco seems to be faring well among its British rivals when it comes to holding off the tough foreign competition.
When I last wrote up a set of numbers from Tesco (TSCO), I concluded that '240/250p is a fairer price for Tesco today and I have seen nothing from its results or those from its sector peers to dissuade me from this'. The short view would be this remains fully on track and my core view on the shares remains positive. Today's edging up of the shares (as I write) deeper into the 230s pence zone reflects this and tells me still to be long of the stock...
I noted earlier in the month that Tesco (TSCO) was 'no longer on the ropes and is flexing its muscles'. I think the Sunday press story - which I see the company did not deny but did not offer further comment on - concerning 15,000 job cuts (c. 3% of its workforce) as it reconsiders the future of some fresh food counters and bakeries, is very consistent with this...
Another day, another bout of UK retail Christmas trading updates…
Hello, Share Smoochers. A day or two ago, I mentioned three ships in my personal share bag which could come sailing in on Christmas day. Or before. Now let me pick three of my babies which are not my favourites in the hectic Yule run-up…
Aside from a couple of brief comments on its new discount offering Jack's, the last time I wrote substantially on Tesco (TSCO) was six months ago - when I concluded that there was another leg in the share price to come, which duly resulted. But the wheels have come off the shares in the last couple of months. I still remain unconvinced by Jack's but in the wider scheme of things in the Tesco empire it is a rounding error. I think the real issue however is that Tesco is now no longer a recovery stock and - as we all know - it is easier to travel than arrive…
So how does it all look for Tesco (TSCO) and ITV (ITV) the morning after the night before? Back on Sunday I highlighted my concern about some upcoming strategy updates from these two FTSE-100 names. So what did they say during their investor updates yesterday...and what am I thinking now?
Sunday morning newspaper perusal highlighted two stories on names I loved up on these pages in months and years past. The first is ITV (ITV) which I have considered as a buy for a while now due to the combination of cheapish metrics and the value of its growing content business as detailed here.
Time for a food retail update. I was slightly surprised by the purchasing hookup between Tesco (TSCO) and the French-listed behemoth Carrefour which was announced on Monday. You all know how loved-up i have been with Tesco over the last little while and - reciprocating my passion - the shares have popped above 240p big technical resistance level in recent weeks as I had hoped (and mused upon here ). Anyhow, Monday's announcement is no sector ball-breaker but rather part of a search for marginal gains.
Well I called it. Back in January I told you that opportunity was better than the threats to the Tesco (TSCO) business model and I urged you to buy the stock, which is now trading at the 220p+ level I hoped for in my write-up.
Hello, Share Cats. For many years I’ve held shares in the Morrison (MRW) supermarket empire. I am still about 10% down on my choice. I also hold Tesco (TSCO) and Sainsbury (SBRY), but I save my highest hopes for Morrison. In fact, my Tesco and Sainsbury shares should have been sold years ago.
It was only yesterday on this site that I wrote: 'One of the hardest things for less experienced stock market participants to get their heads around is the expectations game. Numbers can be good (or bad) but if the teenage scribbler analyst, ‘professional’ fund managers and ‘the great unwashed’ in the form of other market participants broadly already think something, then confirmation of this event is not going to really change the share price needle. Of course as a consequence companies then start to try to become clever in managing expectations in order to 'beat' anticipated numbers...but that's for another time'. It is clear that Tesco (TSCO) either did not get the message or the animal spirits of those teenage scribbler analysts got the better of them…
Tesco (TSCO) shares are little changed today and progress or not over the next few weeks will be highly dependent on the infamous Christmas trading update of early January. I have no great tactical insights on this but I am hopeful it will be part of the strategic improvement and opportunity in the stock I noted a couple of months or so ago HERE. Certainly the share has shown a bit of form recently and this has been driven by improving sales metrics, hopes for the generation of enhanced margin and cashflows, lower debt...and the potential from the Booker (BOK) takeover. It is the latter which is in the news today.
Imagine the scene, if you will, on the trading desks of a professional investment house after Tesco (TSCO) just puckered up its interim results. Another quarter of like-for-like sales growth, free cash flow generation chivving down the debt burden, margin targets for later in the decade reiterated and - stone the crows! - the interim divvy is back. Fingers would be tapping away sending little messages to your favoured clients or internal portfolio managers. You can imagine what is written: “Tesco’s is back!”, one message might read. Another would undoubtedly exhort the reader to buy the stock.
Hello, Share Crackers. It happens nine times out of ten. A company announces much bigger profits in its half term results - and the share price crumbles. But no need for alarm, as the price usually recovers to strike north again within a few days. An enticing buying opportunity then? Which bring me to today’s tip.
Hello Share Peggers. The latest set of figures from Sainsbury (SBRY) show that sales in the last four months improved by 2.3%. Which is not too bad, considering the huge challenge from the competition these days.
Hello Share Grapplers. It seems that two of the most popular shares being bought and sold by we great band of punters at the mo are Lloyds Group (LLOY) and Tesco (TSCO). I looked at Lloyds yesterday, reckoning it has the making of a good buy because of slow, if unspectacular, progress revealed in its last quarterly figures. I’ll turn to another well-traded share, Tesco, today.
My father is being charmed and buttered up by the quacks at Warwick Hospital and I am off there shortly for a pre operation chat. Ahead of that I look at Tesco (TSCO) and its fines today - we really have got white collar crime all wrong in this country. Then I look at Genel (GENL), Tasty (TAST) which is really not very tasty at all, Advanced Oncotherapy (AVO) which is is utterly inedible and Sound Energy (SOU) where the issue is valuation. Surely the good news is in the price already?
I found out all about ‘Deferred Prosecution Agreements’ (DPAs) today as supermarket behemoth Tesco (TSCO) said it would spend £235 million to sort out 2014’s accounting scandal…and will not be prosecuted, naturally…
Hello Share Grinders. As I write this, I’m aware that wise Shareprophets commentator Wildrides will be sharpening his pencil to disagree. And I am not at all sure about supermarkets myself - though I still have shares in the big three home-grown ones. Looking at Morrison (MRW), Sainsbury (SBRY) and Tesco (TSCO), I think the last named is the most likely to bring us the most money from our owning the shares.
After being outed by Tom Winnifrith as a non-adherent to the Star Wars doctrine, I turn my thoughts to matters in our galaxy (not far away)…and the bevy of trading updates from supermarkets this week.
I start with the bust up over marmite and other matters between Tesco (TSCO) and Unilever (ULVR). Naturally the democracy denying liberal establishment bastards at the BBC blame Brexit for sterling's slide and this - I explained here why this was wrong. I explain what this battle is really about. I then look at DiamondCorp (DCP), Iofina (IOF), Goldstone Resources (GRL) and Magnolia Petroleum (MAGP). I end with a look at the AIM awards. I get really angry at this point and when the anarcho capitalist revolution arrives the 2,500 crony capitalists spending £750,000 of YOUR cash tonight merit a meeting with piano wire.
Hello Share Twiddlers. Tesco (TSCO) published its first-half figures this week and the shares rocketed by 12%. That pleased me as I still hold a load of its stock - though I wish I could get round to dumping it. You see, I’m not sure that the leap in share price was justified. Yes, revenues were up, but pre-tax profit was down (including a £200m foreign exchange loss).
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has today charged three individuals, Carl Rogberg, 49, Christopher Bush, 50, and John Scouler, 48, with one count of Fraud by Abuse of Position, contrary to section 1 and 4 of the Fraud Act 2006 and one count of False Accounting contrary to s17 Theft Act 1968. These are the first charges brought against folks at Tesco (TSCO) for cooking its books. The timescale is fascinating for those interested in the fate of Rob Terry and the other Quenron fraudsters...
So you think blue chip shares are safe? Hat tip to a Mr N Wray from London for the table below which proves that they are not.had you stuck £5,000 into all the stocks in the FTSE 100 10 years ago in 17 cases you would have lost money in absolute terms. The worst investment would be RBS (RBS) where your initial £5,000 would today be worth £191. Other household names such as Tesco (TSCO), Marks & Sparks (MKS) and Aviva (AV.) were just dogs. As the table below shows even supposedly safe blue chips carry risk.
My Tesco series continues as we take a quick look at the Q1 results issued on Thursday, and check the market share trends for signs of stabilisation.
Friday saw confirmation from Tesco (TSCO) of two divestments which were anticipated to be in the works. The first is a proposed sale for cash of £30 million, while the second is the intention to sell (price not yet given). The news signals continued efforts to manage the company’s debt pile and the scale of its ambitions. Let’s take a look.
Hello Share Pluckers. I really miss the Woolworths store in my high street. And though it put up the shutters quite a few years back now, I’ve noticed that a lot of Woolworths products still enhance my home.
Hello Share Squirters. About six years ago I bought some shares in Morrisons (MRW). And I immediately regretted it. And that was before all the hoo-ha about Lidl and Aldi taking the customers of the big British supermarkets.
Hello Share Spicers. There is no more important consideration in the grand old art of wheeling and dealing shares than the concept of correct timing. But it’s nigh impossible to pull it off perfectly. I cannot remember one occasion, among the many deals I do per week, that I have ever managed to buy at the very bottom or sell at the pinnacle of share value.
Hello Share Shunters. Well, I’m having a terrible week. My new bed from Tesco (TSCO) arrived with a vital part missing. Then the Internet connection to my new home in York failed to work. And then...oh, never mind let’s look at Tesco.
I want to draw your attention to the absurd affect that the trouble in China is having on British shares. One of the biggest fallers has been ITV (ITV). This company makes it money by advertising British companies, like Tesco (TSCO), Sainsbury (SBRY), WM Morrison (WMR) and loads of other very familiar products in the UK.
This morning, the FCA announced it had discontinued its investigation into Quindell (QPP) with “immediate effect”. Quindell’s shares have rallied slightly on the news to settle at 97p, last seen, but how significant is this move for the company’s embattled shareholders?
Hello Share Sloggers. There’s a lot to be said gang for only investing in Footsie giants. Or at least companies which are big, rock solid and constant cash earners.
It is perhaps just as well that my remit at Shareprophets is largely focused on the technical side, as it can be said for Tesco’s (TSCO) fundamentals that despite Dave”Drastic” Lewis attempts to turn this situation around, it is difficult to see a happy ending here.
It would be fair to say an interim results statement from Morrisons (MRW) that reiterated their profit range and debt reduction hopes for the current financial year was not a consensus view amongst the (to quote a Chancellor of the Exchequer of yesteryear) ‘teenage scribblers’ that populate the professional analytical ranks of the City’s investment firms. Still, sentiment towards the company feels as low as it was when I first wrote on the stock a couple of months ago. The shares are certainly still kicking around the 170s.
Last business day of the month. Last day of a departing CEO’s corporate reign. Last chance to ‘kitchen sink’ the corporate earnings guidance numbers in the UK’s largest food retailer? A share price back to the level of a decade ago and a 75% cut in the interim dividend does not make pretty headlines.
Hello Share Pickers: Aggreko (AGK) has been a great share for me. But that was a few years ago. When the share price started to decay after a long healthy bull run, I dumped 'em. There is no loyalty in this black heart. Your best share in the whole wide world should be dropped when things start to go wrong. And they nearly always do, eventually.
The news that Alan Stewart was to depart Marks & Spencer (MKS) as it Finance Director saw the next day’s M&S share price increase a little. In the case of Tesco (TSCO) the price was down 1%. Stewart has a tough job to do at Tesco but as one might imagine, logically - and from his new Tesco pay packet - that he is up to the job.
Two days ago I gave my opinion on Marks & Spencer (MKS) shares. Today its Finance Director announced that he is off to Tesco (TSCO). This is an understandable move for the man in question, Alan Stewart, and for Tesco where ‘every little helps’. Although, judging by Mr Stewart’s hefty salary increase to £750,000, plus a ‘golden hello’ worth a reported £1.73 million, his contribution is expected to be more than a little.
Gary Carp returns with a superb analysis of Tesco's future.
It wasn’t meant to be like this. When Philip Clarke took over as Tesco boss, no one anticipated the pace of structural shift in shopper behaviours that is destabilising retail. Tesco was the most convenient and ambitious UK retailer; it was and still is number one. So why does it feel so dire? The harsh reality is almost every reason underpinning Tesco's last twenty years of success has been turned upside down and inside out. It is hard to see any light at the end of Tesco's tunnel.
Last month, I gave my reasons why I thought Sainsbury’s equity was attractive at the then share price of 340p. I described the company as “impressive fundamental value in a sea of intense competition”. In essence, that was based on an estimated prospective dividend yield of 4.8%, backed by a strong balance sheet net asset value of an estimated 317p a share. The share price continued a slide down to about 326p before bouncing; last seen, Sainsbury shares were back up to 337p almost back to where we came in about a month ago.