Results

Staffline – update & shares resume trading, accusations deliberately timed to cause maximum disruption?

Published 7 days ago

On 30th January, after at first only announcing “Delay to publication of results… the company will provide a further update as soon as possible”, shares in Staffline (STAF) were eventually suspended (3:50pm) and it was updated (6:14pm) including that “concerns were brought to the attention of the board relating to invoicing and payroll practices… shareholders will be updated in due course”. Today a “Group Update and Restoration of Trading” – and the shares currently more than 25% higher, at around 840p, capitalising the company at £235 million…

FFI Holdings – having listed little more than 20 months ago... not again surely!…

Published 15 days ago

In June 2017, at 150p per share, “FFI Holdings (FFI), the world leader in the provision of completion contracts to the entertainment industry for films, television, mini-series and streaming products, is pleased to announce… admission of its ordinary shares to trading on AIM” and in September of that year CEO Steven Ransohoff was emphasising “following our successful IPO, FFI has been working diligently on improving costs associated with our Completion Contract business. To that end, I am excited to announce the formation of our captive insurer, FFI Insurance, together with our long-time partner, MS Amlin”. But since…

Hotel Chocolat – “pleased to report continued progress”… but sufficient for the valuation?

Published 21 days ago

Angus Thirlwell, co-founder and CEO of “premium British chocolatier and omni-channel retailer”, Hotel Chocolat (HOTC) is “pleased to report continued progress for the Hotel Chocolat brand during the 26 weeks to 30 December 2018” – and the shares have responded currently approaching 3% higher to 315p. How do the results and outlook compare to a present more than £355 million market cap?...

Footasylum – shares sprint ahead on JD Sports move… but what about trading tripping-up badly?

Published 28 days ago

An “Acquisition of stake by JD Sports Fashion Plc” (JD.) – and a 90% increase in the share price of Footasylum (FOOT) yesterday, to 55.2p. That though still compares to a 164p AIM IPO in just November 2017 – so there value here?...

Plus500 – share buyback & shareholder moves. A 1760p price target… or not?

Published 32 days ago

Following the same yesterday, both a “Transaction in Own Shares” and “Holding(s) in Company” announcement from Plus500 (PLUS) already today. The shares have though currently responded further lower, below 1000p…

Hotel Chocolat – argues “another strong Christmas”, but how’s the outlook v. the valuation?

Published 55 days ago

“Premium British chocolatier and omni-channel retailer”, Hotel Chocolat (HOTC) has updated on the 13 weeks ended 30th December including “this was another strong Christmas for Hotel Chocolat” and adding “trading since December continues to be in line with management's expectations”. What are expectations though?, and how do they compare to the valuation? – the shares currently circa 5% higher on the day, above 280p – capitalising the company at approaching £320 million…

Topps Tiles – trading update, consumer confidence & spending caution?

Published 69 days ago

A trading statement from Topps Tiles (TPT) includes “our strategy of ‘out specialising the specialists’ continues to serve us well” and “we continue to make good progress with our plans for commercial and our strategy of ‘disrupt and construct’ is proving successful”. However, a sub 65p share price compares to more than 90p in early 2018…

Footasylum – trading statement, continuing to trip-up badly

Published 70 days ago

In September, previously writing on Footasylum (FOOT) it was our warnings prove sage as now tripping up badly. Today a “Trading Statement”

Hotel Chocolat – opens in Japan, growth profile “very interesting indeed”?

Published 112 days ago

Hotel Chocolat (HOTC) has announced the opening of the first Hotel Chocolat store in Japan, emphasising a “hugely encouraging” reaction – this following house broker Liberum having noted on September-announced results “management has developed Hotel Chocolat into the leading UK premium chocolate brand and is now expanding that strategy into new international markets. The combined market size of the USA, Japan and Scandinavia is some 4.6x that of the UK and with sensible plans in place, the next stage of Hotel Chocolat’s growth profile looks very interesting indeed”

Plus500 – argues “a good position for 2019”. How good?

Published 118 days ago

Contracts for Differences online trading platform company Plus500 (PLUS) “is pleased to announce… the board believes that the group's results for the financial year ended 31 December 2018 will be ahead of previous market expectations” - and the shares have responded currently more than 11% higher, above 1400p. That though also still compares with more than 2000p reached in August…

RPS Group – Q3 trading update sees shares slump. Justified?

Published 145 days ago

Half-year results on 2nd August from RPS Group (RPS) saw CEO John Douglas emphasising “we have made good progress in respect of our strategic priorities including the re-organisation of the business that will provide a solid platform for growth”. Today the company reports third quarter adjusted profit below expectations and a warning that profit will be further impacted by “necessary investment in the business”. Uh oh…

Plus500 – emphasises “ahead of expectations”… but still a 14% quarterly revenue decline

Published 147 days ago

A trading update from “online service provider for trading Contracts for Differences”, Plus500 (PLUS) including “in the three months ended 30 September 2018, the company's revenue was $100.1 million, a decrease of 14% compared to the same period last year. This period included two months (August and September) of trading post the newly implemented ESMA regulations”. The shares have currently responded, er, more than 6% higher, back above 1300p!…

First Derivatives - are its reported earnings real? After 20 years is KPMG sure?

Published 152 days ago

A few days ago I showed hard evidence that the 2002 IPO of First Derivatives (FDP) was based on false earnings. That was dismissed by supporters as being so long ago that it did not matter. It does! But how about we move to the issue of whether reported earnings in the past three years are "real" or cooked up. I suggest it may well be the latter in which case the stock is going to tank at some stage, soon, when investors realise this. Let me explain...

Shenanigans at First Derivatives Don’t Look Good. Sell

Published 155 days ago

I doubt that there was the slightest sense of embarrassment at last week’s AIM awards (a ghastly sounding knees up for the world’s seediest stock market) when First Derivatives (FDP) picked up two gongs: Best Technology award for the company itself and Entrepreneur of the Year Award for its founder and CEO Brian Conlon. Presumably these awards were decided well before First’s price tanked amid some serious concerns being raised and the organisers, in true AIM style, were too gormless to think on their feet and give them out to a less dodgy enterprise.

Neill Ricketts walks on water but Versarien remains a sell for the brave (& First Derivatives)

Published 161 days ago

Neill Ricketts, CEO of Versarien (VRS), the graphene company which is currently the number one pin-up stock on AIM, can be forgiven for thinking that he can walk on water.

Sirius Minerals – announcement includes “significant steps forward for the business”… so why a share price slump?

Published 194 days ago

“Procurement and capital estimate update” announcement from Sirius Minerals (SXX) sees CEO Chris Fraser commencing comment by emphasising “the signing of the contracts for the remaining tunnel drives and the materials handling facility at Wilton are significant steps forward for the business with almost all procurement now complete”. However, the shares have responded currently circa 10% lower, to around 30p. How’s that capital estimate then?...

Footasylum – our warnings prove sage as now tripping up badly

Published 197 days ago

Footasylum (FOOT) IPO’d on AIM in November at 164p, with CEO Clare Nesbitt stating we “look forward to delivering the significant potential that we see for Footasylum as a quoted business” and “are delighted that our product-led, multi-channel expansion strategy has resonated so strongly with investors”. I though questioned on competition and disposable income challenges, and concluded that the valuation looked too rich. There then followed deviation from the IPO expectations and now a “Trading Statement” update…

Air Partner – “traded well over the first half”. Just how well?

Published 207 days ago

Air Partner (AIR) has updated including that it “traded well over the first half of the financial year” and “remains confident in the group's prospects for the full year and beyond”. Sounds encouraging…

GAME Digital – current revenue & margin challenges v. BELONG growth initiative?

Published 210 days ago

GAME Digital (GMD) has updated including “group revenue for the 52 weeks ended 28 July 2018 is expected to show a small decline at approximately £780 million (2017: £782.9 million)”. That compares to at the half-year stage “revenue of £517.4 million… an increase of 3.9%”. Hmmm…

Plus500 – emphasises “very successful first half”… so why are the shares materially lower?

Published 217 days ago

Plus500 (PLUS) has announced results for the first half of 2018, including emphasising “we have had a very successful first half with two major milestones; another record set of first half results including an exceptional first quarter performance and completion of our move up to the Main Market”. However, having recently exceeded 2000p, the shares have responded materially lower towards 1700p. Hmmm…

Volution – “in line with the board's expectations”… or not?

Published 221 days ago

Ventilation products group Volution (FAN) has updated on its year ended 31st July 2018, emphasising “revenue in the 12 month period was £206 million, an 11.3% increase (11.2% on a constant currency basis) compared with the prior year” and “our increasing market and geographical diversity, together with significant investment in new product innovation, gives us confidence for the year ahead”. Do the shares thus merit a higher price than the circa 200p they were also at as long ago as early 2016?...

Hotel Chocolat – Scandinavian development agreement, ‘recent share price weakness unwarranted’? Hmmm…

Published 235 days ago

Shares in Hotel Chocolat (HOTC) are currently more than 5% higher, heading towards 350p, on the back of the announcement of a “Scandinavian Development Agreement”. Further gains to come?...

Hotel Chocolat – profit expected to “be in line with market expectations”, but that enough for the valuation?

Published 243 days ago

Previously writing on Hotel Chocolat (HOTC) it was interims emphasise “another period of strong progress”… but progress enough for the valuation?. Now a trading update for the company’s year ended 1st July 2018…

Safestyle UK – having been “pleased” with a legal outcome in May, how’s trading?

Published 251 days ago

In May Safestyle UK (SFE) was “pleased” with an interim legal outcome and the shares bounced above 60p. However, I concluded there remains a raft of uncertainty meaning I wouldn’t want to own the shares - and continue to avoid. Today a trading update

Topps Tiles – ‘continue to make good progress with our core strategy’, so why continuing share price decline?

Published 256 days ago

Shares in Topps Tiles (TPT) are currently further lower following a recent Q3 trading update – despite it arguing it continues “to make good progress with our core strategy of ‘Out-Specialising the Specialists’ to extend our market leading position in the UK tile market”. Hmmm…

First Derivatives & scandal plagued KPMG Belfast – this is all too cosy: Sell

Published 264 days ago

I am the last person to berate the fine folks from my family’s ancestral homelands  of the Kingdom of Ulster or indeed the modern day province. SUFTUM is what I say as I wake up every morning to retweet - with my own comments - @onthisdayPira . But some communities are just perhaps just too tightly knit, too cosy. I refer to the accounting arrangements of First Derivatives (FDP).

SThree – half-year trading update, 33% total return potential?

Published 277 days ago

Writing previously on specialist staffing company SThree (STHR) in March, I questioned Q1 update has its attractions… but attractive enough?.There’s now a Half Year Trading Update

Time Out Group – Woodford dog argues “continues to trade well”. Really?!

Published 284 days ago

Media and entertainment group Time Out (TMO) has updated including “the group continues to trade well” and “we remain confident in meeting our strategic and financial goals for the year”. The shares have responded currently approaching 4% higher, to 83p, but why (other than natch, with Woodford Investment Management a significant shareholder), are they still down from a 150p June 2016 IPO and above 130p at the commencement of this year then?...

Topps Tiles – after Q1 “an encouraging start”, what about Q2?

Published 349 days ago

In January Topps Tiles (TPT) stated “an encouraging start to the new financial year with like-for-like sales in Q1 up by 3.4%”. Today a further Trading Update

SThree – Q1 update has its attractions… but attractive enough?

Published 368 days ago

Previously writing on specialist staffing company SThree (STHR) I concluded it may be relatively well placed, but macro concerns saw me cautious on the shares. Today a Q1 Trading Update

Hotel Chocolat – interims emphasise “another period of strong progress”… but progress enough for the valuation?

Published 391 days ago

Chocolatier and retailer, Hotel Chocolat (HOTC) has announced results for its half year ended 31st December 2017, including emphasising “another period of strong progress… with growth in both sales and profits” and “a strong differentiated brand which offers great products and customer service and that is priced as an affordable luxury, gives the board confidence in the group's continued progress”. So why have the shares responded lower, towards 300p?...

Footasylum – what growth to expect following recent AIM listing?

Published 397 days ago

I reviewed Footasylum (FOOT) on its November AIM listing being followed with a director buy announcement, concluding cautiously with the shares then at 209.5p. They would go on to commence 2018 at more than 250p, but are currently back to just over 200p…

4imprint – “Trading Update”… but how is bottom-line performance against expectations?

Published 502 days ago

“Trading Update” announcement from 4imprint (FOUR) concludes “the board expects that full-year revenue will be in line with market consensus, and that underlying operating profit margin percentage will remain broadly constant”. What does this mean for bottom-line performance against expectations then?...

Hotel Chocolat – full-year results, is the share price recovery justified?

Published 535 days ago

In July, previously writing on Hotel Chocolat (HOTC) I noted trading update omissions and retained previous caution with the shares higher at circa 335p. They would fall towards 250p, but have recovered to a current 306.5p on the back of the results announcement for a 53 week period to 2nd July 2017…

Time Out – after a ‘trading update’ with nothing below the revenue line, “pleased to announce” interims. It shouldn’t be…

Published 538 days ago

I previously wrote on Time Out Group (TMO) following a “trading update” for the first half of 2017 – noting that below the revenue line there wasn’t any detail provided, perhaps something to do with a house broker forecast for a full-year adjusted pre-tax loss of £19.5 million? The company is now “pleased to announce its unaudited half year results for the six months ended 30 June 2017”

Time Out Group – argues “well positioned”, so why are the shares muted?

Published 601 days ago

Time Out (TMO) has updated on the first half of 2017, arguing “we are well positioned to drive further growth, transactional traffic and monetisation of our unique content”. The shares though, at 138p, remain below the 150p June of last year AIM listing price…

SThree – trading update argues “solid base”, but what about the macro picture?

Published 641 days ago

Shares in staffing business SThree (STHR) are currently trading higher, above 300p, on the back of a half-year trading update. However, they are still lower than the more than 330p reach earlier this year, so what’s the current story here?...

Sirius Minerals - Phase 1 £850m financing announced: buy, sell, or hold?

Published 867 days ago

Congratulations to Sirius Minerals (SXX) which looks to be almost there on securing the finance to build out phase one of its potash mine in North Yorkshire. A few things are up in the air so should you, at 32.875p, buy sell or hold?

Sirius Minerals shares to more than double!

Published 1047 days ago

Okay the research note claiming that shares in Sirius Minerals (SXX) will zoom from 18p to 40p is made by its own house broker Liberum. On that basis it is - like all house broker buy notes - to be taken with many pinches of salt. But just to annoy my pal Lucian Miers who is short and to show we are happy to offer a variety of views. To be clear, I personally have no view.

Stelios says Fastjet profit forecasts fantasy, says cash crisis looming as he calls EGM

Published 1113 days ago

Oh dear. Baby Bear called this one to 0p at Gold & Bears HERE since when shares in Fastjet (FJET) have soared but now the chickens are coming home to roost with Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou warning that the company has misled investors and is facing a cash crunch.

F40 Origo Partners – is it bag of crisps time? 0p ahoy?

Published 1138 days ago

This surely is terrible news for shareholders in ShareProphets AIM-China Filthy Forty play Origo Partners (OPP): an RNS shortly before close of play yesterday saw the announcement of the results of a series of meetings which had been called to consider the restructuring of a series of debts (or, rather, convertible zero dividend preference shares). The holders of the zeros voted it through but, oh dear, those pesky ordinary shareholders did not. The result: Origo could be toast.

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