easyJet: 'Desire for leisure travel continues to be important'

Published 8 days ago

easyJet (EZJ) shares have been under the cosh in recent weeks due to the rum mixture of consumer spending being under pressure and the inevitable Brexit uncertainty. I know the latter is a bit of a 'go to' for many corporate names, but for a company such as easyJet it actually matters if any new impediments occur to travel or restrictions on ownership. The latter has been a real hassle for the company because of a need to show majority control by European Union-centric investors in order to keep maximum corporate flexibility...

That Old Bing Crosby Song Still Applies Today - For Sassy Shell Shareholders

Published 10 days ago

Hello, Share Troopers. Are we still 'Going Well with Shell, Shell, Shell?' The words of the famous Bing Crosby TV advert of the 1950s still seem pertinent here. The oil jumbo Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA) & (RDSB) is my biggest holding, mainly for the high dividend. But I also have hopes for the share price, which, given the rise and rise of Brent Crude, seems too low to me...

Imperial Brands – what will make the shares go up?

Published 17 days ago

I have been a supporter of the shares of Imperial Brands (IMB) for a while now, including noting back in September last year that 'the shares should be in the £30s at the very least. I remain a non-user of their products...but a buyer of their shares'. Well that might be my aspiration...but reality has been somewhat shabby with the shares currently revisiting the sub 23 quid level for the second time in six months. So what is going on?

Minoan – subscription, open offer, directors’ debts for equity all at a big premium

Published 30 days ago

In many ways the announcement of more confetti from AIM-listed Minoan (MIN) is a big disappointment. After all, it has an asset worth many times its market capitalisation, several multiples of the enterprise value and is also carried on the books in the recent (audited) full-year results at heavy multiples of market cap and EV. And we are told that there are interested parties who want a piece of the action – so why not just sell it? Well, it is more complicated than that...

Atalaya remains a buy after recent updates

Published 38 days ago

If you want exposure to copper and are looking to invest in an earlier stage outfit that is already in production, then your choice of UK listed companies is actually fairly limited. The majority are either still at the exploration/development phase, or are large FTSE listed miners, and in many cases copper is just one of many metals that are being produced, with the odd exception...

Tesco – all eyes on Welwyn Garden City in June!

Published 45 days ago

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...

easyJet slides again but time to pull back on the share purchasing throttle?

Published 55 days ago

So another week of Brexit-related excitement awaits. I have almost given up trying to predict the next twists and turns but there is always a practical impact and we have seen this from easyJet (EZJ) this morning…

The market has vastly over-reacted to Centamin's results - it remains a long term buy for me

Published 87 days ago

The market has been slaughtering even the larger companies over any sort of disappointing results recently, but for me that further strengthens the argument to buy shares in Centamin (CEY).

Thomas Cook - not buying its holidays but still liking its shares

Published 108 days ago

I made a brave positive call on Thomas Cook (TCG) in late November after its share price shocker, noting that: 'The stock is cheap (less than 4 times EV/ebit) but clearly not without risk. Would I roll the dice here as a 2019 punt wrapped up in politics and climate realities? You know - rather than buying one of its holidays - just maybe I would given the range of assets'...

DS Smith - boxing up an attractive 2019 package for investors

Published 171 days ago

Regular readers will know I like a bit of geek chic in my investment choices and the surprising rise in importance of the packaging sector as both part of the structural rise of the e-commerce sector and as a way for fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) names to differentiate their offering in a competitive world, may have surprised a few people. It certainly has excited me over recent years and a year ago - as I noted here - DS Smith (SMDS) was riding high. The 2018 35%+ share price fall however is striking…

Turkish gold miner Ariana at 1.4p worth 2.82p – Panmure Gordon

Published 178 days ago

Panmure Gordon is house broker to AIM-listed Turkish gold miner Ariana Resources (AAU) and is therefore not impartial – so you can takes its latest musings on Ariana with a pinch of salt if you wish. However, with the shares at 1.4p Panmure has upped its price target from 2.75p to 2.82p in the wake of Ariana’s Q3 numbers. Naturally, with a boat-load of this stock myself (so I'm not impartial either) and a target of at least 2p, I think Panmure are complete geniuses...

Among all the scandals, political intrigue & nobbled confidence levels, three larger cap buy ideas

Published 185 days ago

One of those earnings days with lots going on...and among all the scandals, political intrigue and nobbled confidence levels, three larger cap buy ideas…

easyJet's correlation with the Brexit fear factor

Published 186 days ago

easyJet (EZJ) shares lost a bit of altitude yesterday and it was not really clear why, with profits growth of 41% aided by a revenue expansion of 17% and helped by the company pushing up ancillary seat revenue and continuing to push out an ongoing cost saving programme. Meanwhile income investors were well served with the ordinary dividend being pushed up 43%. The share is now yielding basically 5%. However, and despite dubbing itself the ‘best performing airline in Europe in 2018’, shares in the company fell back around 5% due seemingly to the ‘B’ word...

Burberry - moving further away from those chavtastic days

Published 199 days ago

At the height of the recent market volatility, I wrote a piece talking about some shares that I would buy. The first name I mentioned was Burberry (BRBY), reflecting my thought that it was an inherently strong brand with good exposure to the still growing luxury consumption theme in China. I am pleased to see that today's first half numbers reflect this…

Imperial Brands - fade the moral outrage & buy

Published 200 days ago

Time for another write-up on Imperial Brands (IMB)...and no doubt time for a bunch of criticism in the comments about how this is an uninvestable sector. Well I do not smoke, would not want my children to smoke/use tobacco-based products but - in a modern world of information and regulation/taxation - I respect the right of adults to do so and I remain perfectly comfortable in investing in the sector. Otherwise, where do you draw the investing line? Alcohol? Defence? Gambling? Clothing names who directly or indirectly use child labour and lots of water? Energy and mining names due to their use of the world's assets? You get the gist...

Ariana – more exploration results from Salinbas: still a buy

Published 220 days ago

AIM-listed Turkish gold miner Ariana (AAU) has this morning updated the market on exploration from Salinbas – part of the Hot Gold Corridor in Eastern Turkey. Having reaffirmed my view that this stock is a buy based on production news the other side of the country, it is pleasing to see share shares respond even if it is this morning’s news which did the trick, rather than my devilish analysis! The shares, having been 1.25p to buy, are now 1.45p to buy...

Ariana Resources – gold production hits a new high: BUY

Published 221 days ago

AIM-listed Turkish gold miner Ariana Resources (AAU) has again announced record gold production from its joint-venture Kiziltepe plant, part of the Red Rabbit project, during its third quarter this year. Production is up to 7,588 ounces of gold (plus 70,346 oz of silver) for Q3 to bring the total for the year so far to 19,625 oz – as against the guidance of 20,000 oz for the full year. Way to go! If they keep that up, the total for the year will be in excess of 27,000 oz – a classic case of underpromising and overdelivering.

Tesco - the good and bad news is that it is over the hump

Published 234 days ago

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…

Have I bogged up buying Kingfisher?

Published 248 days ago

We all know UK retail is in a tough spot but problems for Kingfisher (KGF) are ironically not in the UK, where today's half-year numbers were correctly discussed as a 'solid performance' benefiting from continued growth at Screwfix and the self-inflicting wounds at peers that aided B&Q. The trouble is a 15% fall in underlying pre-tax profit mainly due to a 30% fall in profitability in the group's second-largest market France…

Dunelm - the frilly curtains bounceback continues

Published 255 days ago

It is not new news that the retail backdrop is challenging but the last time I mentioned homewares and related company Dunelm (DNLM) I confirmed that despite my continued inability to buy anything from one of its emporiums, I was loving the shares up.

Emerging markets bear buy Ashmore?

Published 260 days ago

You probably read in the last day or so that the emerging markets have formally entered bear market territory, down 20% from the highs of late January. The reasons for this are inevitably multifarious but simplify down to the hassles of higher interest rates (led by the US) and a firmer dollar plus, of course, trade war fears. All of these have helped expose cracks in emerging market domestic policy - such as the unsustainable economic policies of Argentina and Turkey.

Breedon's cash flow love-up

Published 262 days ago

I see the housebuilders got another share price stuffing yesterday on fears that the Help to Buy policy (which I have lampooned on this website recently here) might come to an end. I see the updates today from Barratt Developments (BDEV) and Berkeley Group (BKG) have hardly reignited the shares despite all sorts of 'record results' comments from the former. Well when the average house price is around six times income (and a way higher multiple in London) then value there is not. However...

Minoan – Travel division sale news, reduced boardroom costs: it looks like it is all finally happening

Published 267 days ago

An update this morning from AIM-listed Minoan (MIN) regarding the sale of its travel and leisure division and reduced boardroom fees offers investors good hope that the sale is now, at long last, progressing. This is good news which I suspect will unlock the development of Minoan’s main asset – the Cavo Sidero project in Crete – and I am looking forward to the coming weeks with anticipation.

Arcontech - I quite like the look of this one

Published 268 days ago

A wise reader recently suggested to me that perhaps I could pause occasionally with the incessant cynical kicking of the dross at the bottom of AIM and/or Mr Woodford and spend a bit more time trying to highlight quality small cap stocks that people could put on their watch-lists. Well, I’ll take up the challenge and start with a decent looking stock that announced its full-year results last week, namely Arcontech (ARC).

Royal Mail gets time to buy?

Published 284 days ago

Who would have thought a stodgy stock like Royal Mail (RMG) would be such a trading counter? Over the last year alone it has moved between a sub four quid share price and pushing 630p a share...and when I look back over the last year it has been one of my top active selection larger cap names. I have not owned the name for a few months now but it has come back on my radar today as its regulator Ofcom has just slapped it with a £50 million fine.

Should my bromance with Randgold Resources continue?

Published 289 days ago

You always have to watch your biases in the world of investment. There are some shares or sectors that for personal, historical or other exogenous/endogenous reasons you just love or hate. Regular readers will know that Randgold Resources (RRS) has been one of my structural favourites for many a long year, with the stock one of my largest (and most successful) holdings during the final part of my institutional fund management career, contributing to outperformance and the like.

Quilter - spin-off opportunity?

Published 290 days ago

I loved up Old Mutual (OMU) as an African-influenced play a couple of UK Investor Shows ago, but what ultimately pushed the shares up was that it split the business into its constituent parts including the wealth management business Quilter (QLT) – which announced its inaugural independent results today.

Ibstock - not bricking it?!

Published 299 days ago

This may surprise a few people given my pessimism on the housing market and the housebuilding sector but I am not bricking it about the world of bricks. Now maybe it is because I am a sentimental old fool who lives near an area whose heritage is wrapped up in the world of bricks, but my simple observation is...

Friday I'm in love (with a higher BT Group share price)

Published 302 days ago

It has been a busy, busy week and sad sacks like me are going to be bent over a hot laptop during the weekend catching up with the multitude of earnings numbers published by corporate names around the world this week. Turning to London-based results specifically, some good news within the UK market today for the old stalwart BT Group (BT.A).

Goodwin – shares soar on results & dividend increase… but more to come?

Published 303 days ago

Mechanical and refractory engineering company Goodwin (GDWN) is “pleased to” report results for its year ended 30th April 2018 – and the shares have currently responded more than 23% higher, to 2300p, on the back of the announcement…

PZ Cussons - ignore fund manager fear and buy

Published 305 days ago

It is no huge surprise that today's set of numbers from PZ Cussons (PZC) are not the finest ever seen because it told us so forty days ago as I wrote up at the time HERE. Of course the actual publication of a set of full year numbers always provides further insights and information...but it is hard to sugar coat a 15% odd fall in profits, a nudging down of overall revenues, debt pushing out a bit and the c. 4% dividend yield only held.

Minoan – Hillside loan extension (again….)

Published 317 days ago

AIM-listed Greek resort hopeful Minoan (MIN) has announced yet another extension to its loan from Hillside. The terms are largely the same, but a further 1.7 million warrants at 6p are being issued, and the loan is now on demand, with a long-stop date of 31st August. This is in relation to the announcement last week that the sale of its travel and leisure business is on the way. With a long-stop date of 31st August, one might assume that at long last something is going to happen!

Ariana – cracking update from Kiziltepe: buy

Published 318 days ago

AIM-listed Turkish gold producer and explorer Ariana Resources (AAU) announced its second quarter production numbers from its JV Kiziltepe mine this morning, and the numbers blew me away. With an annual target of 20,000 oz of gold production, it achieved 7,171 oz – a 47% increase quarter on quarter.

Greene King - come on Ing-ger-land!

Published 332 days ago

The numbers from Greene King (GNK) today are pint glass half empty or half full as per your inclination. The good news is that the attractive 5%+ dividend yield is held and covered by cashflow generation. Additionally those wonderful attributes for a pub group - sunny weather and a World Cup - have helped out. As the company notes itself: 'positive momentum has continued into the new financial year, aided by good weather and popular sporting events'.

Biffa - still brass in muck

Published 347 days ago

As the old saying goes, 'where there's muck there's brass'. Rubbish and recycling company Biffa (BIFF) shareholders have had an alright ride since the company came back to the market in late 2016 but today's update contains the fascinating assertion that the company's CEO Ian Wakelin has 'advised the Board that he no longer wants to hold a full time executive role and that he therefore intends to leave the Company once the Board's succession plan has been implemented'.

Royal Bank of Scotland - UK government sells some shares at a loss. Good news.

Published 355 days ago

In pretty unsurprising news, overnight UK Government Investments - which manages the UK government's Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) stake - announced that it had sold a 7.7% stake at around a 3% discount to Monday's closing price. This sale raises around £2.6 billion and reduces the government's holding from just over 70% to a mere 62.4%. I like RBS stock here as I wrote just over a month ago. The metrics are improving and the times are changing...and part of that change is the government progressively becoming a smaller and smaller shareholder.

Ariana – results: Good work, keep it up

Published 356 days ago

AIM-listed Turkish gold miner Ariana (AAU) has posted its FY17 results. As promised, there are some details of the Kiziltepe joint venture, the results got a clean audit (as opposed to last year which raised the need for more funding) and Ariana has offered the clearest indication yet of an end to dilutive placings. Overall, it makes a pretty happy read.

FirstGroup - writedown losses, debt, CEO resignation. What is there not to like?!

Published 359 days ago

Something a little different today from all those worthy growth at a reasonable price type companies I normally ramble on about. Whisper it quietly, but I think that FirstGroup (FGP) is cheap here. I know that a transport company is never the most popular name - and I await the opprobrium from the TransPennine Express train and related users in the comments section - but hear me out, after all, got to be greedy when others are fearful and all that.

Ariana – Tavsan resource update

Published 411 days ago

AIM-listed Ariana Resources (AAU) has offered an update on its gold resource at Tavsan, part of the Red Rabbit joint venture in Turkey which also includes the already producing Kiziltepe mine. There is plenty of good news.

Bowleven – Crown Ocean still upping stake

Published 436 days ago

My second tip of the year, AIM-listed Bowleven (BLVN), announced on Tuesday that major shareholder Crown Ocean has once again been upping its stake – it now holds 29.03% of the equity. I took the cue and did the same (though not 29%!). Crown Ocean is, of course, the shareholder which rocked the boat last year and forced out the old board by calling two EGMs and supported the new fellas as they proposed to turn the company into a holding company with rather lower costs.

RBS makes a profit...and the shares go down! Why?

Published 457 days ago

Picking shares should be easy, right? Find a company where both profits and cash flow generation are improving plus where investor sentiment is shot to bits and the Gods of both fundamental analysis and investor psychology should be on your side.

ConvaTec - let's talk colostomy bags

Published 465 days ago

We should not laugh about colostomy bags as there is a reasonable chance of being hooked up to one at some point. Good news then that medical products company ConvaTec (CTEC) notes that at its 'R&D centre in North Wales, scientists and technicians show off a better lubricated catheter; a tighter sealant for an “ostomy” bag used to collect colostomy waste; and an agent that, when applied to an infected wound, changes colour according to the severity of infection to allow more rapid treatment'.

BT Group - what price no growth, a 6% dividend and unchanged forecasts?

Published 478 days ago

I had a bit of a rant yesterday about three FTSE-100 behemoths that were dividend-heavy but consensus buys and not offering - in my opinion - value. I don't think BT Group (BT.A) is in this grouping however despite being dividend-heavy and suffering a falling share price today because basically it is very out-of-favour.

Big Sofa - a strong buy; the alternative view to Cynical Bear from HotStockRockets

Published 478 days ago

Cynical bear offers up the bear case HERE. here is the bull case. Sensible investors want to hear both sides of the story. BB Morons only want to read folks with whom they agree. This website is committed to free speech and is not targeting Versarien (VRS) owning morons, who want to hear only one side of the argument, as customers. Back to Big Sofa...

Berkeley Energia – tip of the year update

Published 485 days ago

Shares in my first tip of the year for 2018, Berkeley Energia (BKY) remained around the 57p offer price until starting to drift last week and continuing this. The company has updated with a quarterly report…

Frontier Smart Technologies: 100%+ gain and 200p target hit earlier than expected – what next?

Published 499 days ago

My buy tip from last May, Frontier Smart Technologies (FST), has reached my target price of 200p earlier than anticipated having had a strong start to the year from a share price perspective, so I thought I should update on my current thoughts.

Greene King - beer, fear and not dear

Published 539 days ago

I have not made any money on my Greene King (GNK) purchase of HERE a couple of months or so ago but I have not lost a fortune either and the super summary one-liner is that by the time next autumn rolls around, I think you have made good money on this one. I am relaxed because the interim results were not a shocker despite the 8% odd fall in operating profit and the use of the word 'challenging' in a semi-liberal fashion.

With the Big Couch Potato Share so Undervalued, a Big Hike Might Come Down Santa Claus Lane

Published 545 days ago

Hello, Share Pushers. Of all the shares which are undervalued at the mo, ITV (ITV) must be among the leaders. I’m not the only one who thinks so. JP Morgan also describes ITV stock as ‘undervalued’. The market often gets things wrong, of course, but it’s hard to see why ITV is not attracting as many investors as it might be.

Imperial Brands - I don't use the products but hello cash machine

Published 564 days ago

The last time I wrote about Imperial Brands (IMB) HERE, there were a few overly excitable comments made. As noted last time, I have never smoked but have no moral hang-up to investing in the sector. If you do...then I guess you have stopped reading or I look forward to your comments. Anyhow, since my original piece the stock is slightly down but only by a percent or two and full year preliminary numbers highlight an improving second half of the year showing a touch of revenue and EPS growth.

Is Whitbread roasted or worth a punt?

Published 579 days ago

Whitbread (WTB) has had an up-and-down year since my last update on the stock - HERE. The Costa and Premier Inn operator unsurprisingly has been impacted by the changes in perception towards the strength (or not) of the UK consumer and this has pushed the shares between a £36 and £42 range this year. Today's interim results have again pushed the shares towards the lower end of this range despite the company reiterating its hopes for the full year.

Norcros - still a buy following encouraging trading update

Published 579 days ago

Bathroom and kitchen products manufacturer and supplier under the Triton Showers, Vado, Croydex, Abode, Norcros Adhesives, Johnson Tiles, Tile Africa and TAL brands, Norcros plc (NXR) has recently updated encouragingly on trading, yet the shares have thus far responded quite modestly – and only returning them to the 180p at which they commenced this year.

Imperial Brands - time to light up...

Published 605 days ago

I have never smoked and have no plans ever to but I am enough of a libertarian to take the view that if individuals want to light up after knowing everything that medical science has discovered about tobacco over the last couple of generations then that is their business. And so I do periodically invest in the tobacco sector.


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