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Real-Time news about Marlborough ST. (London Stock Exchange): 0 recent articles
|nilip: I'M AMAZED THE CHAIRMAN HIMSELF TRIED TO SELL ALL HIS HOLDING IN THE COMPANY !
"Chairman Huw Evans reportedly attempted to offload his 7.5 mln stg stake yesterday. A lack of demand saw the share price fall sharply, triggering a
Panmure Gordon reiterated its 'sell' advice and cut its target on
Marlborough to 25 pence from 31.|
|tony979: Surprisingly little activity on this board considering the recent progress in share price, hopefully as more become aware the price will start to tank.|
|pacman88: INVESTMENT RESEARCH
ROWAN DARTINGTON Marlborough Stirling
Cyclical recovery slower than expected
26 January 2004
Tel: 0117 933 0010
Activities: Software services for the financial sector
Current Price: 48p Recommend: BUY Mkt Cap: £109m
The latest in a long line of trading statements from Marlborough Stirling was, in the
short term at least, disappointing. Whilst the results for 2003 would be broadly in
line with market expectations (a little lower than our own in terms of projections),
the outlook statement with regard to 2004 was disappointing bearing in mind the
relative optimism expressed in the interims, when the company stated that enquiry
levels were starting to improve.
The contracted revenue figure for 2004, which currently stands around £70m, is
some £10m lower than at the same stage last year. This is primarily due to the large
amount of Sun Life of Canada (SLOC) work that was in the order book at the start of
2003 which as yet has not been replaced. MAS has announced that it is in exclusive
negotiations with customers concerning another £10m of work which should help its
forward visibility further. The most positive aspect of the trading statement was the
strong cashflow which should leave the Group with net cash of around £15m at the
Last year, the Group incurred over £2m of costs associated with reducing the over-heads
to an annual run rate of just below £100m. Having seen a more stable business
outlook, MAS has now decided that it is time to further invest in its Portal business,
particularly given the emerging demand for its straight through processing solutions.
As a consequence, the cost base will rise by some £2m as research and development
spend increases in this area. Following this and the slightly disappointing current
order book, we have reduced our forecast for the current year down from £12½m to
£8.4m, giving earnings per share of 3.3p.
We were somewhat surprised at the share price reaction on the announcement and
would, perhaps, have anticipated a slight weakening. Taking a long term view, this
still remains a highly operational geared company although it will almost certainly
need a pick up in the life and pensions business to occur first before it can reap the
benefits. With this in mind, perhaps a PER of 15 for the current year at the bottom of
the cycle is fair value and may, indeed, represent long term value as spending pat-terns
among the life companies start to improve during the current financial year|
|tony979: The trading statement at first glance looks good, company confident of increased turnover and announcing a reinstatement of dividend. I'm positive about these results and certainly shouldn't do the share price any harm, no nasty surprises.|
|tony979: PacMan- Sure, its just that all was quiet on the MAS thread so why not start another since noones posting on the other one anyway.
You beat me to it with the trading statement. Looks good, reinstating dividend new contracts, increased turnover. Expects £10m contract soon also.
Shouldn't do the share price any harm at least|
|tony979: Check this .
Statement due in the morning ffrom MAS about recent trading.
Recent share price rising well ahead of announcements.
'Marlborough Stirling PLC is teaming up with Prudential PLC
and its internet bank Egg PLC to provide an expanded service for retail
investment and personal finance professionals.
The IT firm is working on integrating Exweb platform used by Independent
Financial Advisers (IFAs), with the pair's Fundsdirect operation.'
'As discussed at the time of publication of the group's 2003 interim results in
September 2003, Marlborough Stirling plans to provide an update on trading in
respect of the year ended 31st December 2003 as well as the outlook for 2004 on
Thursday 22nd January 2004.'
'A key milestone has recently been achieved with the successful completion of the
migration of SLFoC's 800,000 live policies to Marlborough Stirling's Lamda
platform. Together with the associated re-engineering of SLFoC's business
processes this has resulted in a 60% saving in their operating costs compared to
2000 while at the same time delivering improvements in customer service levels.
With overall costs now less than 0.6% of funds under management this provides a
clear benchmark for the efficiencies that can be achieved through combined
technology and process re-engineering.'
'Agreements have been signed with Scottish Equitable, AXA, Friends Provident,
Norwich Union, Standard Life to participate in the initiative. These providers
have signed medium term contracts for a combined value of #10-15m that relate to
the provision of future quotes and electronic new business transactions.'
'Twelve major IFA firms are also involved in the initiative, including Bradford &
Bingley, Inter-Alliance and Woolwich IFA Services. This will ensure the services
are tailored to add maximum value to the intermediaries' businesses.'
'The new version of the Exchange's portal will be branded Exweb Gold and be
available to IFA's at an increased subscription level.
The project involves an investment in 2003 of over #3m and a similar amount in
2004. Additional revenues will start to accrue in 2004.'
Regarding 2004, our visibility, in terms of contracted and recurring turnover,
is over #60m. At this stage, we are working towards a return to growth in
turnover and earnings in 2004 and we will provide firmer guidance on the
prospects for next year in the new year.'
Hopefully these noises coming out of MAS point towards something positive.|
|pacman88: Software player lifted by shrewd buying and deal rumours.
9 October 2003
(c) 2003 Citywire.co.uk. All Rights Reserved.
SEDOL code for assoc. funds..: 7272
FT MX code for assoc. funds..: HIUKSC
S & P code for assoc. stock..: GBX/SEAQ/MASMAS
There has been some recent shrewd buying in financial services software player Marlborough Stirling which, coupled with rumours of a large deal in the offing, makes the company worth a second look.
The shrewd team at Aberforth UK Smaller Companies bought shares on three occasions last month to take the fund's holding to 1.795 million shares or 0.8% of the company. The purchases followed the group's interim results announcement, and seem to have been enough to push the share price up from 41p to 51.5p, although it has subsequently fallen back again to 44.5p, valuing the company at £100.45 million.
Marlborough (MAS) has transformed itself over the past few years from being a software provider to the life and pensions sector only, to now servicing the mortgage and banking sectors and running the FS Exchange for independent financial advisers (IFAs).
The company also provides outsourcing to large financial institutions, and last year started its £125 million contract with Sun Life Financial of Canada to run the ongoing but now closed insurance book.
Citywire has heard that the company may be about to announce a second major outsourcing deal, thought to be worth around £70 million and with insurance group Royal Liver. However the company said it does not comment on market rumour and we have been unable to confirm the story.
George O'Connor, technology analyst at Arbuthnot, told Citywire Marlborough would that almost certainly be bidding for such outsourcing deals, but he was sceptical as to whether this was yet the time for companies to be committing large sums of money up front to ultimately save them money.
He said the Sun Life deal seems to be offering 'great returns,' but cautioned that it takes a long time to tie down a big deal of this nature, and certainly the market does not yet appear to have priced in another major contract.
Marlborough is also currently without a chief executive, having parted company with Graeme Coxell in March. Founder and chairman Huw Evans is currently acting chief exec and the company is looking for a replacement for Coxell.
Interim figures out last month were better than expected. Arbuthnot had been looking for break-even at the half year, but Marlborough turned in profits of £2.5 million, which O'Connor said gave 'good coverage' for his full year forecast of £9.3 million.
O'Connor was still a bit disappointed by sales, which were down to £56 million from £60 million and reflect the difficult environment for software licence sales.
The shares are currently trading on a price/earnings ratio of 15 times, which is a discount to the sector average of around 20-21. On an enterprise value to earnings ratio of 6.4 it is also below the average of around 8.
So with or without a big contract, the company still looks pretty cheap. But it does have several challenges. New management will need to prove itself, the company needs an upturn in the financial sector to encourage companies to buy its software and it could certainly do with another outsourcing deal to put it on the map as serious contender to the likes of Capita, LogicaCMG and Xansa.
In Marlborough's favour, there is an increasing move by large companies toward outsourcing, and it would not be inconceivable for Marlborough to have a large deal in the wings.
There could be no substance in this rumour, in which case the shares are unlikely to do much in the short term. But if you fancy a punt on a software recovery stock, Marlborough looks reasonably good value.|
|potentials: interims due tomorrow 02/09/03 - wonder what direction share price will go?|
|considerthisnow: Thanks Red Square - great article.
I'm still not sure I fully understand - surely the point of employee options is that they only incur a liability if the share price is above the exercise value? If the share price goes down, surely the liabilities of this fund should reduce proportionally - why should this mean a milti-million £ claim on the distributable reserves?|
|red square: 5.2.03 from Birmingham Post Business Section by Richard Tyler
Marlborough Stirling's large dividend spanner
Shareholders in software and services supplier Marlborough Stirling have an interesting month ahead of them
The Cheltenham-based company which listed on the stock exchange in 2001 at 140p has found itself in the unique position of having to wait and see what the market believes its shares are worth before deciding whether it can pay a dividend.
Usually the way things work is that the company sets the dividend and the market works out what sort of capital growth it thinks it can get from holding the shares and values the stock accordingly.
But Malborough Stirling has put a spanner in the works of this usually reliable mechanism. When the company decided to come to the market it decided to make sure institutional investors could clearly see their exposure to the potential dilution in their holdings from the company's large employee share option scheme.
If it chooses to set up a trust fund to which it issued 35 million shares - roughly 15% of the total float - to pay for the options when they were exercised.
This means no new shares would need to be issued for the legacy option schemes and so new investors holdings would not be diluted.
Unfortunately the value of this fund follows the group's market price and its assets and liabilities have to be consolidated onto Malborough Stirling's balance sheet.
The share options were issued at an average price of between 60p and 70p and when last year the company's share price fell below this average - yesterday they stood at 28p - Marlborough Stirling had to begin providing for the fall in the carrying value of the asset. At the end of last financial year Marlborough Stirling provided just £100,000 against this liability.
But by the end of the calender year, this liability had risen to £9 million and if the share price is around 26p when the company issues its full year results on March 4 the provision is set to be £11 million. This provision does not effect the company's net cash position, which is expected to be at least £8.5 million. But it does effect Marlborough Stirling's ability to pay a dividend.
The provision comes out of the companies distributable reserve and its executive are keeping their options open until the last minute to decide whether they have enough reserves left to pay a dividend this year.
Corporate development director Andrew Efiong says the directors would be keen to pay out a 1p per share dividend - to reflect the company's profitability and cash resources - if the share price was at least maintained at around 26p. But if it falls significantly further there is no chance.
With the shares potentially yielding a 3.5% income, on yesterday's price, investors could back the stock with the resulting price increase helping to guarantee the dividend is paid.
But given Britannic's recent pounding by hedge funds - who sold shares in the company they did not own on the bet the shares would fall in value and they could buy them back at a profit - you wonder whether they have noticed the self-feeding situation faced by Marlborough Stirling|
Marlborough ST. share price data is direct from the London Stock Exchange