Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Woodford and another £10m down the Proton Partners pan - a new valuation scandal
Published 11 days ago
The past couple of years haven’t been great for FTSE100 stock Centrica (CNA), including the share price having halved during that time, but it could have recovery prospects from the current share price...
Published 13 days ago
All you can say about the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is that he is edging closer to power than even many of his supporters could ever have hoped for even in their wildest dreams. Of course we live in strange times and almost anything currently seems to be a potential policy runner...including a completely mad plan to renationalise a bunch of different industries.
Published 28 days ago
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!
Published 35 days ago
I am a patient investor and Centrica has had its fair share of problems. Some have been self-inflicted (losing customers), some imposed on it (the government price-cap) and some hark back to the previous regime and others are just a difficult market. As a shareholder, I’m sure the board will do what is necessary to get things back on track. Yet in the face of falling profits and the dividend under serious threat I see monster pay rises. That, in my view, is totally unacceptable.
Published 55 days ago
So news today that Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) is going all vertically integrated and looking to expand its nascent utility arm by renaming its 2017 purchase of First Utility as Shell Energy and offering new customers a discount on their fuel bills. As part of an ongoing slow shift away from classic fossil fuels, this approach has some merit to it...but it leads to one very obvious question: how is Shell going to make this business even mildly relevant to its business?
Published 77 days ago
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.
Published 87 days ago
I am often asked why I focus on larger cap shares when 'elephants cannot gallop' and 'surely all those brokers covering the stocks out there mean there is pretty efficient pricing'. Obviously the former is a more reasonable point than the latter, although judging by the way the shares of both Centrica (CNA) and Barclays (BARC) have moved around in recent months, there has been a decent amount of galloping too (mostly downhill to a lower share price)...
Published 100 days ago
Regular readers will know very well that I regard anyone who has a significant portfolio position in UK utility Scottish & Southern Electricity (SSE) as a hardcore dividend muncher with an effective stock market investor profile age of 85 years old…
Published 104 days ago
I do not remember the various price caps employed by Ted Heath's government in the early 1970s...but the history books tell me all I need to know as to their impact which was a mega policy failure and contributed to the election of a Labour government (of course it also led to the monetarist/free market revolution that ultimately led to the rise of Mrs T). Price caps distort markets and give incorrect incentives, a point made multiple times over the last year by the management of Centrica (CNA), concerning the introduction of energy price caps by Ofgem following agreement by the government...
Published 105 days ago
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!
Published 139 days ago
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)?
Published 146 days ago
Well I did say to get the popcorn out on Superdry (SDRY) and the excitements continue with weekend reports observing that Julian Dunkerton - the 18% shareholding co-founder of the 'faux-Japanese' clothing retailer - is preparing to launch a proxy battle against the board in an attempt to secure a return to the company…
Published 153 days ago
Just over a week until Christmas and no sign of an imminent end yet to sloppy RNS updates. The headlines are going to be taken by the profit woopsie from ASOS (ASC) after it too agreed with Mike Ashley's November retail omnishambles comments of a few days ago and pulled down its growth and margin hopes. Thematically, it is much more than a survivor due to its online focus but it goes to show that it’s not easy out there. Anyhow, for those of you tempted by Sunday's Next (NXT) related musings, the in-price available has got that bit naturally cuter... However it is Scottish & Southern (SSE) that I wanted to write about…
Published 169 days ago
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.
Published 181 days ago
I suppose we should all have seen it coming, and perhaps many of us did to some extent, but I have been left utterly bemused by the week’s events in Downing Street following the draft Brexit proposals which look to be anything but. I thought I should look at my mini-dividend munchers portfolio to consider whether there is anything one should do, but the political events seem to be worth addressing from my little corner too...
Published 196 days ago
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?
Published 198 days ago
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.
Published 217 days ago
Well what a last week with fear - for once in recent years - in ascendancy and lots of 'worst week since February' statistics being quoted. As Tom Winnifrith noted in a recent bearcast the big honking issue is debt around the world, although tactically you can throw in a supporting cast of world trade angst, a bit of inflation bubbling up and a firm US dollar.
Published 218 days ago
Well that was a depressing week. Markets were crashing all around the world and the FTSE100 dipped below 7,000 for the first time since March, having lost around 500 points this month. Suddenly interest rates are going up, the Euro seems a tad wobbly in the face of Italian budget challenges and we’re all going to hell in a handcart.
Published 224 days ago
Well, here we are a month on from my last update and there has been a bit of excitement in my small portfolio of FTSE100 high-yielders which I hope will ride out any market storms ahead. I say excitement – but nothing has changed: ITV made noises about bidding for Endemol and then announced that it wasn’t going to after all. The shares went down, and then recovered on the two bits of news, so I guess the management got the message!
Published 252 days ago
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.
Published 255 days ago
Time to talk about three badboys who are reporting today. I say 'badboys', but there is only one stock I would not touch out of the three...but more on that in a few paragraphs time...
Published 292 days ago
There is nothing like a bunch of regulatory news statements in the morning to get your blood pumping...although I guess a profit warning or so is never good for the heart...or the bank balance. Anyhow the cardiac and fiscal resuscitation units were on standby earlier as three names that have disappointed me at various times in recent months updated the market.
Published 294 days ago
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.
Published 315 days ago
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.
Published 364 days ago
It is just over a month since I updated on my trawl to find big dividends which might be safe in a market environment where I don’t see much upside and plenty downside. Having originally settled on BT (BT.A) at about 225p on a yield of just shy of 7%, I added ITV (ITV) at the last count, paying 143.7p. That puts its dividend at 5.4%, although it went ex-dividend before I bought. Meanwhile I finally succumbed to the attractions (as I saw them) of Centrica (CNA), paying 142.95p ahead if its final dividend. How are things looking?
Published 397 days ago
Hello, Share Scoopers. An outfit I was once extremely loyal to, perhaps too much so, is Centrica (CNA), better known to most of us as British Gas. No longer. And if I still had the shares, they would be on my likely-to-sell-soon list.
Published 399 days ago
I’ve been wandering through my list of tasty-looking dividend plays identified HERE for further additions to my dividend muncher’s list. The first was BT (BT.A) which I bought at 225p and has since risen nicely to 241.5p. We’ll see how this plays out when its results are released early next month, but so far, so good. My second choice was Centrica (CAN), but I haven’t taken the plunge there yet. Working down my list of high yields, it has been too easy to rule out most of them but I alighted on ITV (ITV) and I wonder if now may prove a good time to climb on board.
Published 412 days ago
I commented in the aftermath of the big sell off (which was just a correction at the time) that a good many companies had interesting yields. I subsequently bought a bit of BT (BT.A) at around 225p as I suspect at the next results I’ll be bagging a yield of 7% or a little more. Now I want to look for another nice payout: what will it be?
Published 443 days ago
Hello Share Shiverers. At the risk of over-simplifying matters, it’s time to winkle out companies who’ll benefit from the icy weather. Some of the choices are obvious, but that’s no reason not to remind you of a few opportunities. And you’ll be surprised how very temporary events - like the current cold snap - can influence share prices. Though the effect is usually confined to a week at the most.
Published 545 days ago
It is going to be a week filled with economic rhetoric - as every UK Government Budget epoch tends to be. As an aside - and something to remember for this Wednesday - the way to spot a better than average budget is if it is generally slammed in the press the day after. Someone told me this rule too many years ago to recall and I have to say it has been pretty accurate since. Anyhow, back to stocks and specifically another bout of economic common sense from Centrica (CNA) today on the issues of why price caps do not work.
Published 557 days ago
The most boring company in the FTSE-100 by far is in my opinion SSE plc (SSE, Scottish & Southern Energy). Admittedly utility companies are not meant to be sexy but SSE with its lack of growth and grinding up dividend payment (which encompasses pretty much all of its free cash flow) is the ultimate tortoise. Don't worry I know the hare and tortoise fable and my own investment style is hardly rabid but shoot me now if I make this one a top ten portfolio position at any time before the age of 85. However...
Published 577 days ago
Hello, Share Hearties. No mistake about it, Centrica (CNA) is a well-run company and a huge entity. Its market cap is £9.6 billion. But as we know, the expression ‘Too big to fail’ does not always work. Many of us will have lost money on British giants that went pear-shaped, like BT, British Energy, Northern Rock, RBS etc. And Centrica does not seem to me a rosy share to hold or buy at the moment.
Published 591 days ago
After the omnishables that was Theresa May’s big cough-rence speech, mumblings from the Brexit transition Queen about the need for a price cap on the easy targets of the electricity and gas utilities spanked the shares of Centrica (CNA) and Scottish & Southern (SSE), with the former falling to a 14 year share price low. Whilst the latter bores me, the former does grab my attention as the current management team does have a sensible plan involving selling us energy efficiency related technology and services to complement our core gas and electricity bills.
Published 737 days ago
Hello Share Squishers. It seems fairly obvious that gas and electricity supply companies may well see slimmer share prices after all this general election talk about capping energy bills. But so far, the market has not cropped shares by very much.
Published 957 days ago
Hello Share Screamers. It's quite a few years back now that I made a juicy packet out of my Centrica (CNA) shares, first bought in a government share-buy scheme. Seems centuries since we had those tempting offers, doesn’t it? Ever since I sold those shares, I can report that they have not done particularly well. The big problem with Centrica (CNA), which trades as British Gas, is the growing competition.
Published 1181 days ago
Hello Share Riders. As a long, but mild, winter gets set to change into Spring, I am going cold on Centrica (CNA). Time was when I was a great supporter. Much good did it do me. I made a lot of cash in my early years with them, but then the share price more or less flattened out.
Published 1271 days ago
Hello Share Trundlers. The big Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA) and BG (BG.) merger has been the elephant in the room at many a big discussion on current share trading.
Published 1276 days ago
Hello Share Trundlers. The big Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA) and BG (BG.) merger has been the elephant in the room at many a big discussion on current share trading. It was nearly a year ago, or seems like it, that Shell said it wanted to take over BG. (We are not talking about British Gas here, which is really Centrica (CNA). Confused? You will be.)
Published 1735 days ago
I last covered Centrica (CNA) in early February. I suggested it was a buy at 311p. This proved to be a profitable trade more quickly than I anticipated. Now that the share price is recovering from its latest drop, I have a slightly alternative indicator for going long; the explosion of berries growing in trees!