These are the most-read articles and most listened-to Bearcasts of the week. The most read non-Tom non Darren story is Takeovers and the (boring) worlds of BT Group and Vodafone by Chris Bailey at Number 8 or Number 14 if you include Bearcasts.
As I noted here a couple of months ago, BT Group (BT.A) is not an expensive share; it is just you will make better returns from other FTSE names (let alone elsewhere in the global markets). That’s why, on a good day - that is to say, above a 200 pence share price - I will be selling my stock, after more than doubling my shareholding back in 2020. And now, I read more hopes about sector deals…
By my reckoning the last Thursday of July is the busiest for global stock market obsessives like me…hence why it has taken me until first thing Friday to write about some larger cap UK market highlights from the day before. First up is ‘Europe’s leading distributor of floorcoverings’, Headlam (HEAD).
I have been really impressed by Hotel Chocolat (HOTC) as a (very) occasional consumer, but never (to date) as an investor. A couple of months ago I observed that I was waiting for a 300p or below share price, a level we have not seen for around a year. Yesterday early evening PrimaryBid offered an opportunity to participate in a money-raising for the group. You can guess what I said at a 355p share price (equivalent to a then discount of 2.74%) offer.
I start with Joshua’s Advent calendar and ask you to guess a question about the Bible knowledge of the under 30s. Then it is on to Vodafone (VOD), DeepVerge (DVRG), Sosandar (SOS) and Caspian Sunrise (CASP).
It is not just Warren Buffett who comes up with great pithy comments on what is going wrong economically. The quoted line comes from @deanthespleen on Twitter and nicely sums up the economic brick wall the UK faces.
Vodafone (VOD) back in the day used to be the largest company in the FTSE 100 as various markets analysts anticipated a world where we all became obsessed with our mobile phones. Today Vodafone remains a member of the larger cap index but it has got to the stage of its development that the most exciting corporate shift it can do is look to spin-off its mobile towers business…
And so we are indeed heading back into lockdown. I’ll leave aside the merits or otherwise of that, but would urge readers to take a look at THIS and consider a polite, brief but acid note to your MP pointing out that their own job prospects may be in question if they do not challenge Bonkers Boris, as suggested by Peter Hitchens if you think fit. The question now, for investors, is what to do.
Don’t laugh – here is an update on my Dividend Munchers which are..…er…..not paying much in the way of dividends. Oh, and the share prices have fallen back sharply too – so much for beating the bank with my investments in Vodafone (VOD), BT (BT.A), Centrica (CNA), Centamin (CEY) and ITV (ITV)…
Back in May here, I concluded about BT Group (BT) following another big dividend payment going to the sword that ‘there is much more to do but gobbling down a reality pill may feel painful on day one but maybe not so much on day 100 or day 1000’. In other words…they have a long turnaround ahead of them.
I haven’t written about my little portfolio of dividend muncher stocks for quite some time – 117 days to be precise. At the last count, on 13 April – in the wake of the Covid-crash – my supposedly big dividend payers which were supposed to beat the bank were underwater on a total return basis, including some top-slices, by 9%. So much for beating the bank! So how are things looking now?
I learnt something new this weekend: AstraZeneca (AZN) is the biggest company on the UK market in terms of capitalisation, having doubled it in the last three-and-a-half years or so. So well done to it, especially as a number of years back - in its shoes - I would have bitten off the corporate approach made by Pfizer and sold the company.
For reasons relating to some broader interests of mine, Tuesday morning is always a busy time. So whilst I always enjoy a heavy regulatory news schedule, this morning's could have been timed better. Anyhow...
It is a big question: where can you make money now? More to the point, with economic uncertainty the order of the day, perhaps not making money but just preserving capital as best you can should be the focus. Are shares going to go up? In general, I doubt it – at least for the time being. With interest rates at historic lows and therefore bond prices sky-high it is hard to see much progress there too. Perhaps we should all just move into cash? But central banks are printing, governments are borrowing so the threat of devaluing currencies makes that option unattractive too. What to do?
The gist of my article a few days ago on dividend behemoths Imperial Brands (IMB) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) was that if either name cut their dividend by half and the shares rose, this would be super bullish. I know that dividend cuts are naturally disliked by income-seeking investors but in a world where I see respected analysts are calculating that '35% of companies in the FTSE All-Share index have cut their dividend in the past 30 days...that’s an even faster pace than when Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008', you have to get with the backdrop.
It has been a grim few weeks for my little cohort of dividend munchers as the Coronavirus panic has spread. It is not just that the share prices have fallen very sharply: there have to questions over whether the big dividends will be scrapped, let alone chopped.
I had wondered how long the Boris Bounce would last in the wake of his general election triumph. Not long, it seems, as far as the markets are concerned: Christmas retail figures have shown that the UK economy is in the doldrums ahead of our much delayed exit from the EU and the speculation is that we will see Mark Carney deliver an interest rate cut at his last monetary policy meeting to return rates to the level they were at when he took office.
So Boris romped home in the General Election and the markets had a Boris Bounce. But how has my little portfolio of Dividend Munchers done?
It is forty-nine days since my last “monthly” update. Hmm – it seems that the calendar has run away without me. Nevertheless, here is my update as at the end of November so I guess I’m squeaking in a sort-of monthly update. My portfolio of dividend munchers – BT (BT.A), Vodafone (VOD), Centrica (CNA), Centamin (CEY) and ITV (ITV) has held up pretty well overall but please don’t treat the stocks as tips: the object was to beat bank interest because markets seem to me to be overvalued and bank interest and bonds offer so little income...
With a stack of high-yielders which the market might suggest were due to chop their dividends (which is why, on paper, the dividend yield is high) and so far two payouts having come under the guillotine, it is with some trepidation that I thought it was time to take a look at my mini-portfolio of dividend munchers’ stocks. I offer no recommendations here but my mini-portfolio of Vodafone (VOD), BT (BT.A), Centrica (CNA), ITV (ITV) and recent addition Centamin (CEY) is supposed to be beating bank interest but most have been notable for share price slippage over the past few months. I’d better take a deep breath…….
My mini dividend munchers portfolio is still ticking along, and an update is long overdue as we head into the summer holiday season - as I’ve not written about it for three months or so. The aim was to beat putting cash in the bank even though markets are feeling very toppy. After all, interest rates available are below the rate of official inflation figures and bonds yields are rubbish. So how am I doing?...
I like spin-offs as they are much more likely to be incorrectly priced than an average share will be. Sometimes this is because a newly spun-off business has a liberated management team who can really drive shareholder value and sensibly evolved strategic positioning. And sometimes it is because the remaining 'stub' business is underappreciated, as all eyes focus on the excitable new spin-off. This morning we effectively had spin-off related announcements from two corporate names I have individually written about before: Vodafone (VOD) and Mothercare (MTC)…
I quite like working on a Sunday as it gives me a chance to feel fully prepped when markets start moving about come Monday morning. However I am sure there was some spluttering over the cornflakes and coffee for anyone associated with Vodafone (VOD), BT Group (BT/A) and FirstGroup (FGP) given the various mentions all three corporate names garnered in the deadwood press. Looking at it dispassionately though from the perspective of shareholders, I think we can characterise the news out there as the equivalent of the good, the bad and the ugly.
I have been remiss in not updating on my little portfolio of FTSE-100 dividend munchers for a while: it is time to make amends. This was a small portfolio put together in the hope of beating bank interest, but from a point of view of being bearish on the market. It has been a bumpy ride, but at least I am still ahead of Neil Woodford!
Once again I am late with my monthly update. I could say that I was holding on for good news (or hiding the bad), but I can’t lay claim to anything as clever as that: my little portfolio of high-yielders has slipped again and there wasn’t any good news to wait for. However, there was a hint of a silver lining this week from ITV (ITV) as it released its results.
OK, I’m a bit late with this update and the last one wasn’t at all pretty as total returns weighed in at a depressing -1.4%. So much for being immune to a dodgy market! But the dividends are still rolling in and I’m still beating Neil Woodford….every cloud, and all that!
It has been a nasty month – and with New Year’s Eve still to come it could get nastier. So how is my little portfolio of high-dividend payers faring, and am I still doing better than cash in the bank (which is what I was, as a bear of almost everything, looking to achieve)?
My small portfolio of high dividend payers took a couple of interesting turns last month. On the plus side, Vodafone (VOD) put in quite a recovery to close at 168p – quite a rise from the low point of 143p just a couple of weeks back. On the downside, Centrica (CNA) dropped on a trading update which showed continued loss of customers and projected earnings below the level of the dividend. Hmmm.
I was really worried I had made a grave error is buying into Vodafone (VOD) for my mini Dividend Munchers’ portfolio. Of course, on the basis of having paid over 190p and the shares subsequently collapsing to well under 150p I clearly had – but fortunately had only piled up half of what I had wanted so by good fortune I escaped the worst. The question was then whether to pile in for more – so the market was wrong – or to accept I had made a mistake. This morning Vodafone offered up its interims.
Warning: This podcast contains references that vegans with a sense of humour bypass (i.e 99% of them) may find offensive. In this podcast I reflect on walking past a dark restaurant in a prime location yesterday. I consider Vodafone (VOD) and the security of its dividend. Finally I ponder whether I am being far too harsh on a company ramped in a sordid manner by Justin the Clown and the Sith Lord Zak Mir and run by a total knobhead, that is to say Amur Minerals (AMC)
We’ve made November and the world didn’t end on the stock markets after all. Phew. Having noted that three of my four picks had been pretty resilient during the market squall of October, we have now seen a bit of a recovery across the markets (not that I think it will last). So how’s the performance?
Fully listed BT (BT.A) is the largest holding in my small collection of dividend munchers by value, although for the purposes of the portfolio it is marked as one unit, along with Centrica (CNA) and ITV (ITV). Vodafone, the fourth member, is half a unit – thank goodness! Yesterday’s interims went down very well with the market, which marked the shares up to around 267p at the peak, and closed at around 260. The shares haven’t been this high since last January and you have to go back to last October before you see an extended period of higher prices than that.
Vodafone (VOD) has had a very weak year so far and the share price has been dropping steadily, but I believe that it can still turn things around longer term.
It is a while since I updated on my small portfolio of high-yielders from the FTSE100. The idea of the portfolio – perhaps somewhat contrary to expectations – is that I am bearish, but am struggling to find somewhere to park my cash. Bond yields are low and prices high, but interest rates are rising so my simple mind sees capital losses there. You still can’t get any meaningful interest at the bank and property prices look set to (at best) stall. And to cap it all, I am nervous that the market might sell off. So I am investing here as a bear.
It was interesting to listen to yesterday’s Bearcast Special, with Tom Winnifrith joined by Lucian Miers and Brokerman Dan – the last of whom sounded like a jolly good cynic to me. He described AIM as “all puff” and asked which company could go to zero he said any AIM company. Of course, I think there are a few exceptions but in general the cynic in me enjoyed hearing what he had to say. Perhaps that is partly why I’ve been looking to put a dividend muncher’s list together, as well as having some stocks I can invest my cash in to generate a return even if the general market keels over.
I enjoyed Nigel's update article on his mini 'dividend munchers' ideas portfolio earlier today. I would completely concur with the Vodafone (VOD) call and came to a similar conclusion myself a few weeks back (see here).
My little portfolio of big dividend payers seems to be doing quite nicely. Hurrah! It seems that all three are up, and the first tasty dividend has arrived. But I want to trim some holdings and buy a new share.
Not too much in today's larger cap corporate earnings to get excited about. Suffice to say comments from the housebuilder Berkeley Group (BKG) were suitably patchy, with chat from the company that profits would be down a third next year. I stick with my recent cautious views towards the sector. My thoughts therefore turn towards other areas of the market.
Warren Buffett always tells us that his intended investment holding period is forever, that he buys stocks he would be happy to hold if the market closed down for five years. I guess, then, if you’re Warren Buffett then the market travails of the last few days won’t bother you. If you’re not Mr Buffett I offer a few thoughts.
If I mention the names Vodafone (VOD), Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) and Unilever (ULVR) to you, what is your first reaction? Stalwarts of the FTSE-100? Dividend-heavy behemoths that will never let you down? Holdings in my company pension fund? You could also add three names that reported earlier today and collectively add up to a very decent chunk of the UK's leading index.
Hello Share Totters. Every time I type Vodafone (VOD) my computer turns it into Voodo, which seems a bit unfair. Vodafone is not cursed and, in fact, is doing a bit better than the market expected.
Near the top of the FTSE-100 leaderboard today is the telecoms behemoth Vodafone (VOD), which proudly said earlier today that it had enjoyed a ‘good year, gaining share’. Of course the headline profit numbers were full of the negative impact of a non-cash impairment of €5 billion relating to its Indian business. But don’t worry about this! ‘Organic adjusted EBITDA growth of 4%-8%’ is expected and, with €5 billion of free cash flow and a 2% hike in the dividend, the yield munchers will be bought off. Right here, right now though, I would sell Vodafone shares.
Hello Share Poppers. I am doing rather well financially at the mo. And it’s my guess you are, too. So let’s stop moaning and try to enjoy life a bit more. I’ve pushed across some of the spare dough with my brokers into my current account as I intend to spend a little more on myself.
Hello Share Spaders. Recently, I opined on this superlative website that BT had been over-sold in the last 12 months and was possibly cruising for a new target of 500p a throw, rather than the present sad sub-400p share price. But I’m not so confident over its rival Vodafone (VOD).
Hello Share Twirlers. The broadband and phone company TalkTalk (TALK) is not a share I would buy at the moment. And that’s a pity because I think someone needs to break the dominance BT (BT.A) seems to have on the market. Strong competition has always kept fees for broadband from being extortionate, and we can’t afford a shrinking market.
Hello Share Shapers. A few years ago, I sold all my Vodafone (VOD) shares for a goodly profit. Rather a good job as it paid for 10 years of phone bills which used to be high in those days. The shares went into a damp patch after that, but over the last few years the share price has perked up, while its rival BT’s (BT.) share price is currently, to say the least, stodgy.
Hello Share Togglers. I’ve long sung the praises of BT (BT.A) on this splendiferous website. But I’m going off it just a bit. I’ll continue to hold the shares, as they have been a big success for me in the last three years. But they seem to be taking a bit of a rest in the upward march. As are most shares, to be fair. So now let’s switch a bit of my allegiance to a rival - and that’s Vodafone (VOD).
Shares in Outsourcery (OUT) the business created by Piers Linney, the Dragon's Den flop, are sliding today and the only question is when is the next bailout placing? Linney is - whatever BBC PR flunkies told us all - a serial business failure as you can see HERE. Outsourcery listed on AIM at 110p on May 24 2013. The shares are now 13.75p but remain a storming sell as the cash runs out.
Shares were up slightly after a disastrous start to the week. That initial poor show was due, as I explained earlier, to a bout of profit- taking in the US, after a few exceptionally good weeks for American traders.
Getting back to Vodafone,, the over riding impression is that of a stock which has been struggling to maintain positive momentum.
Allegedly the best things come in small packages…well not today if you are a Vodafone (VOD) shareholder. Below – in its entirety – is a regulatory news service update from the company that hit the wires at just after 7am today:
I read on the internet that ‘the Vodafone logo was designed in 1997 by Saatchi & Saatchi. The colour is red (Pantone 485)’. Well then yesterday there are Pantone 485 coloured faces amongst certain professional investors, as the FTSE-100 giant Vodafone (VOD) said in a regulatory statement today that it was ‘not in discussions with Liberty Global concerning a combination of the two companies’. At the time of writing this knocked a couple of percentage off Vodafone’s share price which now sits over five percent off its multi-year high of a week or two ago.
Yesterday's bull call of the day which came in the form of Vodafone (VOD), was apart from the technical highlights, also a possible bid target situation.
From the charting perspective that the recent history of Vodafone began with the sharp bear trap reversal from 180p that we saw in October. Since then we have seen this reversal underpinned by an unfilled gap to the upside through the 200 day moving average currently running at 218p.
Money doesn’t grow on trees, and the money to fund BT’s (BT.A) £12.5 billion takeover of EE has to be found from somewhere. So BT is potentially preparing a raft of measure to find the money. There is speculation that this includes a £2 billion rights issue. A further £3 billion could be raised in the bonds markets.
One of the big market mysteries of the last couple of months has now been solved. Why has the price of Avanti Communications (AVN) being going steadily upwards despite results that appear to confirm the worst fears of the bears? Why has the astute hedge fund Ennismore been reducing its short position? Why has Avanti uber bear Mathew Earl – The Dark Destroyer - gone strangely silent as the share price has ticked relentlessly North?
Having sold its mobile business some years ago, BT (BT.A) is in talks with Telefonica about the possibility of buying the O2 mobile business for strategic reasons; to enable it to enter the growing mobile, smart phone data transmission market. That makes sense given that BT has a gap in its service offering in mobile communications and given that it is also a strong internet service provider which needs to expand demand for its services.
I have demonstrated that Rob Terry and Quindell (QPP) have committed accounting fraud, Securities fraud and lied to investors on a serial basis. The shares are tanking because last week Terry said he was buying shares when he was in fact selling in size. The man is a conman and his company has from the start been one big con. If you still own shares just look at the character of the man. I take you back to 2011.
Vodafone’s (VOD) half year’s results to 30th September 2014, just published, are a satisfactory outcome in relation to my analysis last June, which pointed to the expectation of top line revenue growth, heavy capital spending and reduced profits meantime; obscuring the longer term rewards of that investment in terms of sales revenue and then eventually, probable earnings per share.
OK, so I am misleading you - in the title of this post, I ask the question "Why do punters love AIM so much?", when I know the answer. It is like lottery gambling, where you are hoping to strike it rich by unearthing a multi-bagger of an investment!
The administrators are in, 550 stores will not open today and 5,500 jobs are at risk – Phones 4U is going bust. And folks are talking a load of rubbish about what happened and blaming evil corporates for all sorts of matters, utterly unfairly.
Getting the truth out of Quindell (QPP) is like pulling Dragon’s Teeth. But here we go again on Skillwise Consulting, a newly formed company bought by Quindell owned Brand Extensions (run by Mark Ford) for £2.75 million on 1st September 2013. Remember the date.
Hello Share Smackers: You don't often get merger and take-over talk at this time of year. The big cheeses of companies are too busy taking their annual hols. It takes a lot to work to sort these things out. And before you make the big announcements, you have to have some complicated the press relations campaigns sorted out.
If you are a bull of Quindell (QPP) then that must largely be because you trust its founder, Mr 2+2 can = 5 Rob Terry. After all almost 40% of the revenue Quindell books this year will be accrued (i.e. not even invoiced but just based on what Rob Terry thinks will come in). He has bought businesses for massive prices from old friends based on what they might do (Himex and of course Brand Extension as exposed HERE yesterday). So you trust Rob Terry.
A week ago I published a review of the status of some of my tips I originally made a few months ago (here ). So how about some of the more recent names I have mentioned? I am happy to say that on balance I am, well ahead!
The Vodafone (VOD) share price has been heading south in recent times; like a lemming heading for a cliff edge. Looking at the chart there seems little to stop it plunging further. Is it telling us something above and beyond what the market seems to expect? Probably not! The Markit short selling market activity coverage has it on a “low” rating. But it is a veritable “falling knife” that investors - according to timeless market tradition - should never grasp. To quote the great Horace Rumpole, Heaven forefend that one should disobey that timeless rule! But nevertheless, there are good rational reasons saying that one should.
In part 1 of these articles I talked about the need to avoid index funds and the importance of stock picking focusing on growth or ‘proper returns to shareholders’. Now, in part 2, I focus on the second of these two investment themes.
While it may be wrong to go for the statistical approach on charting formations, particularly when they relate to stocks in the commodities space, it is usually the case that you can rely on gaps to the upside – through the 200 day moving average. This has just been delivered at Europa Oil & Gas (EOG), and when you add in the way that the was also off the floor of a rising trend channel from July last year based at 8p the buy signal is all the more compelling.