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So Long Ashtead. Your Last Share Hike Led Me to Take Hefty Profits

By Malcolm Stacey | Tuesday 17 January 2017

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from ShareProphets). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Hello Share Movers. After a long and happy relationship, I’ve dumped all this family’s shares in the tool and plant hire company Ashtead (AHT). There are fair reasons, I feel. Though they are nothing to do with the company itself.

For this is one of those firms that you feel you can rely on. Costs are kept down, profits keep rising and markets are expanding. But my decision to sell is to do with the fact that the share has done so well, that I can’t see that the high share price will be maintained for much longer. One of my personal policies - and one I usually find hard to keep - is to sell a share after an amazing leap.

And the minute Donald Trump’s success was made known, Ashtead’s share leapt. This was because the president-elect had vowed to start new structural projects to boost the US’s employment figures.

Ashtead has big markets across the pond and it was reasoned that its building gear would be in higher demand, if the Trump dream was to be realised. 

So the share price, which had already seen big leaps in the last two years, rocketed like a monkey up a pole with bananas on top.

So for me this is profit-taking time. Though if the share falls again, I will be the first to get my purse out.

There is a secondary reason why I parted company with Ashtead and that is that I’m not sure construction will boom in the USA after all. Even if the man keeps his promises, he still has to steer his ideas through the American political system and there seems to be opposition growing against a few things he wants to do.

I am also a bit fearful of how the USA economy will do generally with Donald at the helm. He may want a trade agreement with Blighty, but he also seems not to be frightened of trade wars. That might not help British firms which do business across the Atlantic.

At the moment, the pound is low against the dollar, which helps Ashtead, but that might not continue if Mr Trump makes a mess of things. 

But the real reason I’m out of good old Ashtead is that big share jump. Never wrong to take a profit, I say.

Which is a well-known saying in the Punter’s Return.

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