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Dunelm - am I at danger of buying some frilly curtains? (and more)

By Chris Bailey | Thursday 11 October 2018


Disclosure: I own shares in one or more of the stocks mentioned. 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.


Exciting general times in the market...and I am thinking about my assertion a month or two ago in my write-up on Dunelm (DNLM) that I would buy some frilly curtains from my local store if the shares pushed up to the six quid odd level I mused upon...

Well after a bit of a short squeeze first thing today post the publication of a positive trading statement (over 4% like-for-like growth and an important recovery rise in gross margins), I thought I may have to make good on that promise. The shares have calmed down a touch since but - despite the general angst out there - remain up on the day and in my portfolio.

Otherwise though, it is a grisly day for stocks that have reported. I called investing in recruitment company PageGroup (PAGE) 'bonkers' twice this year, most recently in July and it is intellectually pleasing to see the shares roll over materially recently. Peer Hays (HAS) reported today and did the usual recruitment sector dance of a modest UK market but good world ex-UK ones, record profits and related. Of course it is always where you are going that really matters and a shabby world of fewer job creations at the margin is clearly more worrisome. This is an economically geared sector where the assets walk out of the doors each evening, so I am not rushing, but I think the rating now to be exposed to the space would not be 'bonkers'. More like 'economically optimistic'.

I see that fund industry behemoth Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) is talking about an “industry-wide slowdown in net retail flows”. Well I am sure they will be just fine, although I still cannot get my head around the valuation. More volatile financial markets are typically not good for fund management industry firms to state the obvious, so you need to look for value or special situations. The spin-off of Quilter (QLT) out of Old Mutual was well-timed from the latter's perspective but for investors like you and me feels more intriguing now. I talked about the liberated and motivated management HERE and snaffling a few (more) shares makes sense to me, as a market cap of 2% of assets under management and administration is a bit low.


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