My advice to Centrica and BT: have a plan if you are going to cut the dividend

Published 15 days ago

Investment can be a kind of introspective business and it struck me yesterday that it was kind of interesting that when i wrote up my latest musings on Marks & Spencer (MKS) the other day, I did not even mention the dividend cut.  It was not as if I did not know about it but in an article where I probably squeezed in too many corporate names, it did not feel that relevant versus the Ocado related money raising, continued roll-out of the new strategy and the reiteration of numbers.  I found it interesting too that you had to delve quite deep into the deadwood press articles of the next day to spot this aspect of the update too.  

RNS potpourri - M&S and Ocado, GVC, ITV, Taylor Wimpey...and badboy Metro Bank

Published 19 days ago

There are some thin news days...and there are some busy ones. Today is one of the let us dive in…

Tesco is talking sense on fresh food counters

Published 49 days ago

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...

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - a hot tip from Brokerman Dan

Published 66 days ago

In this podcast I thinkI agree with Dan's tip. I then look at Independent Oil & Gas in light of Jim Armitage's article in the Evening Standard which takes this scandal forward some more. I cover ramp dog Chesterfield (CHF), Marks & Spencer (MKS), Gear4Music (G4M), Halfords (HFD), Starcom (STAR), UK Oil & Gas (UKOG), Angus Energy (ANGS) and the zero scenario, and Carclo (CAR). Tomorrow I may have better things to do than a bearcast as is the case every January 12. Or maybe not!

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: defending my friend Luke Johnson as the deadwood press prepares another attack

Published 67 days ago

In today's podcast I look at Brighton Pier (PIER) in some detail and am almost tempted to make a small speculative punt on my pal Luke Johnson. I look at Debenhams (DEB) and Marks & Spencer (MKS) and at Imaginatik (IMTK). Finally I have a few questions ( again) about Wey Education (WEY). Oh. There is also a sexist joke in there and if you are offended I really don't give a damn.

Another retail fest: Tesco grinds it out, M&S hopes, Halfords has another shocker...

Published 67 days ago

Another day, another bout of UK retail Christmas trading updates…

M&S, Smith & Nephew and PR puffery press articles

Published 71 days ago

I noted two different hope cycles in the weekend press commentary.  The first is a short term one based on the plethora of retail sector numbers that will be published over the next week or two. The headline that caught my attention was 'M&S’s (MKS) lifeline from last-minute spending spree' which seemed to be a straight extrapolation from the Next (NXT) numbers, which I wrote up last week.

Top shorted London-listed shares at the start of 2019

Published 73 days ago

We review the performance of the top shorted London-listed shares as at the start of each year. For 2018 that review is HERE and, from the FCA's spreadsheet of short positions required to be disclosed to it, we now have the top shorted London-listed shares at the start of 2019 (those in bold remain from 2018)...

REVIEWED: Performance of start of 2018 top shorted London-listed shares

Published 75 days ago

Early each year, we note the top shorted London-listed shares as at the start of the year. How did 2018's perform?...

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: RM2, I almost feel sorry for Neil Woodford

Published 112 days ago

Okay, he is a conceited, overpaid, arrogant mother so I don't really feel sorry for him but I explain his appalling problem at doomed RM2 (RM2). I also look at Inspirit (INSP), Sabien (SNT) and Tomco (TOM) all three of which should be taken out and shot as their sole purpose on the AIM Casino is as a funder for the coke and hookers used by crony capitalists in the City. I explain a flaw (or two) in Malcolm's thesis today as I look at three retailers in trouble: Marks & Spencer (MKS), Debenhams (DEB) and Mothercare (MTC).

The Most Frequently Tipped Companies by Professional Tipsters in November

Published 121 days ago

What blue chips do the "professional" share tipsters like and should we care?

What ITV and M&S said next...

Published 131 days ago

So after all that midterm election excitement (the pollsters got it broadly correct for once), time to consider today's large cap highlights. Two names stand out for me: ITV (ITV) and Marks & Spencer (MKS)…

Marks & Spencer - 'interesting things are starting to happen'. Really?

Published 299 days ago

What to make of events at Marks & Spencer (MKS) over the last 24 hours? I last wrote on the embattled retailer back in July last year, concluding back then that:

Q1 performance update: start of 2018 top shorted London-listed shares

Published 347 days ago

Early this year we showed the ten top shorted London-listed shares at the start of 2018. After the first quarter, how's performance?...

Top shorted London-listed shares at the start of 2018

Published 437 days ago

We review the performance of the top shorted London-listed shares as at the start of each year. For 2017 that review is HERE and, from the FCA's spreadsheet of short positions required to be disclosed to it, we now have the ten top shorted London-listed shares at the start of 2018...

Autumn 2017 update: Top shorted London-listed shares

Published 489 days ago

From the FCA's spreadsheet of short positions required to be disclosed to it, we previously updated the top shorted London-listed shares HERE. The following is our Autumn update...

On You Marks? Ready to Spark? Perhaps Not if you Heed a German Bank

Published 524 days ago

Hello, Share Puzzlers. What do you think might be the results of Marks & Spencer (MKS) for the second quarter of its year? If you are a long-time holder, you will not be very excited. I first bought this share at least 20 years ago. It was 300p a throw, quite a lot of money, then. Yet despite a huge devaluation of the pound and inflation the share is still only 349p today.

Late summer 2017 update: Top shorted London-listed shares

Published 564 days ago

From the FCA's spreadsheet of short positions required to be disclosed to it, we previously updated the top shorted London-listed shares HERE. Post Tom Winnifrith offering his top four short-able shorts in London and approaching the final third of 2017, the following updates...

Post half-year 2017 update: Top shorted London-listed shares

Published 612 days ago

From the FCA's spreadsheet of short positions required to be disclosed to it, we previously updated at Easter the top shorted London-listed shares HERE. The following updates, showing those with a current reported short position of +7% (those in bold new entrants post the Easter update)...

Marks And Spencer: the management better hope Margins Are Sustainable

Published 615 days ago

The macro news today showed a glimmer of hope for retailers with the UK British Retail Consortium (BRC) data showing a 1.2% rise in June like-for-like retail sales compared to a year ago.  All hail the hot weather and the Eid celebrations which apparently - according to the experts - helped out.  

Easter 2017 update: Top shorted London-listed shares

Published 702 days ago

From the FCA's spreadsheet of short positions required to be disclosed to it, at the start of the year we showed the ten top shorted London-listed shares HERE. The following updates, showing those with a current reported short position of +7%...

Marks and Sparks' Flat Share Price Belies a Tasty Dividend

Published 1019 days ago

Hello Share Tasters. As far as I can see the share price at Marks and Sparks (MKS) has not moved very much in the last 10 years. There have been some alarming peaks and troughs along the way. But its the overall flatness of the share price that’s the main reason why I sold all my stock some time ago - and won’t be returning. However, I can see the advantage of being on board for all those share shifters who relish tasty dividends. And with the general performance of most shares at the moment, who can blame them?

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - Dealing with the PLC Bullshitters like Lorne from FastForward

Published 1027 days ago

More stilly tweets from free speech deniers Paul Scott prompt a further defence of an unmuzzled press. I deal with Paul's bizarre conversion to totalitarianism and Cyan in a seperate podcast here. Lorne Ebony of FastForward (FFWD) asks you to accept that black is white. It isn't and his shares are a sell. I look at Gable (GAH) where a free press that warned you all is vindicated. Maybe some folks think I should not have let you know? I cover Marks & Spencer (MKS) and its problems before dealing with grossly overvalued Nyota (NYO) and its boardroom coup.

All That Super Yuletide Nosh Could Make Marks and Sparks a Tasty Punterooni.

Published 1187 days ago

Hello Share Shufflers. I've been a bit wary of Marks and Sparks (MKS) on this scintillating website before now. But I'm beginning to change my mind. I still find its clothing range a bit bland. Though I'm, not a fashion expert, and maybe what I see as a bit bland is really exciting new fashion.

Tesco: the super tanker starts to turn

Published 1258 days ago

Which of the following do you believe is more important as a guide to Tesco’s (TSCO) corporate well-being?

Marks Profits Sparkle, But Are They Still Worth a Punt?

Published 1397 days ago

I got rid of my Marks and Spencer (MKS) shares a few years ago now. They were among my slowest moving stocks of all time.

Marks and Sparks May Not Spark This Time, Either.

Published 1448 days ago

Hello Share Mates: I only rarely consider punishing a share on this glittering website, but even I, occasionally, succumb to a negative frame of mind.

Some Super Shares to Choose in the Election Countdown.

Published 1511 days ago

Hello Share Scramblers. The general election is creeping up on us like a fog around Dracula's castle. As a result we can expect some turbulent days for the old share prices.

Marks & Spencer– after the Christmas period, where now?

Published 1530 days ago

When I had a look at the prospects for Marks & Spencer (MKS) last July - when the shares were trading at around 423p - I came to the conclusion that its shares could move well ahead, citing my subjective estimate of a possible potential extra one pound a share.

Sell Your Shares in the Rag Trade – It's Likely to Wear Out.

Published 1530 days ago

Hello Share Shakers. Up-to-the minute research suggests that developing most cancers is a matter of bad luck, rather than lifestyle or diet.

Christmas Shopping – what can we learn from the High Street this year?

Published 1547 days ago

Many, many years ago Granny Deputy Sheriff used to do very well on the stock market. Legend has it that she did particularly well out of biscuits and helicopters. She tended to make investment decisions not on the usual measures of P/E or EBIT or EBITDA – let alone the fundamantal analysis of company accounts. No, this was an investment style all of her own (at the time): it was based on life experience. It rather chimes with one of the themes of Peter Lynch’s ‘One Up On Wall Street’.

Marks and Sparks Soar by 9% - But I'm Not Buying 'Em Back.

Published 1593 days ago

Hello Share Twiddlers. Marks and Sparks (MKS) is a traditional British share I bagged almost the first day I started trading shares. And that was at the time of the Big Bang in 1987.

Marks & Spencer interims – time to buy?

Published 1594 days ago

Christmas has come early at Marks & Spencer (MKS) – or almost: “Joy to the world” and “God rest ye merry gentlemen.” As a long term bull of the long awaited Marks & Spencer recovery these figures are an unsurprising pleasure and the shares have rallied to 439p. The market has for long taken progress on the food side as a given; a section of the business that can look after itself. And so it proved once again food sales up 3.6% in the first half and a quarter of one percentage improvement in gross margins on food sales. 

Short positions table - to 16/10/2014

Published 1613 days ago

Following some positive feedback on the previous short positions table published on this website, the following shows shorts with a ‘position date’ in the current month which have been disclosed, as required, to the FCA. Investors holding these shares may thus want to check the current fundamentals. Companies in bold feature in the table more than once.

Tesco at 279p ‘cum’ a new finance director: a buy?

Published 1710 days ago

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.

Marks and Spencer at 426p ‘ex’ a finance director. What does it mean?

Published 1711 days ago

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. 

Marks & Spencer – 20% upside in share price at 445p

Published 1757 days ago

Researcher Edison has published a non-commissioned report on retail giant Marks & Spencer (MKS) arguing that a recovery story is emerging. The report suggests this will be “evolution not revolution” – i.e. not rapid but suggests that the shares are undervalued at a 445p share price.

Buy Marks & Spencer: Gap Fill Failure Buy Signal Targets 440p

Published 2158 days ago

I am surprised that I have not been approached by private equity groups to launch a takeover of M&S at say no more than 600p a share to split up Middle England’s favourite retailer into a standalone grocer and a standalone fashion retailer. I am thinking a new Waitrose and a new Next (NXT). Presumably after this article on ShareProphets, Blackrock, CVC et al will be beating a path to my door.


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