Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
Upstream LSE:UPS London Ordinary Share KYG7393S1012 ORD 0.25P (DI)
  Price Change % Change Share Price Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  +0.00p +0.00% 1.625p 0.00p 0.00p - - - 0 06:30:09
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
6.3 0.4 21.9 0.1 2.23

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09/1/2018
23:29
master rsi: Top share tips for value investors in 2018 By Kyle Caldwell | Tue, 9th January Most of the past decade has been a miserable time to be a value investor. These investors follow the school of thought that says one way to gain an edge over the wider stockmarket is to hold a selection of shares that are trading at a significant discount to their intrinsic value. Loose monetary policy, in the form of ultra low interest rates and quantitative easing (QE), has been blamed for putting value investing in the shade. The theory is that QE has led to a rising market tide that has lifted all assets, which in turn has made life more difficult for investors who follow an investment discipline based on hunting for shares that have been mispriced by the market. According to some, buoyant markets have made it difficult to source value at a sensible price. Cheap stocks are often cheap for a reason, argues Gabrielle Boyle, manager of the Trojan Global Equity fund, so investors need to assess whether the potential payoff is worthwhile. "The meaning of the word "value" is in the eye of the beholder to an extent, but it is evident that eight years into a bull market for equities, there is a shortage of good-value opportunities out there," says Boyle. Indeed, various stockmarkets, including the US S&P 500 index and UK's FTSE 100 (UKX), have achieved record highs in 2017. Overall, though, looking at both these markets as a whole using conventional valuation measures such as the price/earnings (PE) ratio, the UK looks the more appealing - particularly on drilling further down into the numbers. The big winners of recent times have been the international earners, largely thanks to the pound's slide in 2016 following the Brexit vote. The big losers, on the other hand, have been UK consumer-facing stocks, which have been hit by Brexit uncertainty and seen their prices nosedive. According to fund manager Investec's value team, some domestic stocks - the likes of Next (NXT), Tesco (TSCO) and WM Morrison (MRW) - are pricing in a recession. A number of other value-oriented fund managers are also favouring domestic names, including Invesco Perpetual's Mark Barnett and Jupiter's Steve Davies. Barnett and Davies are mindful that the UK economy faces some big challenges over coming years as the Brexit negotiations rumble on. But despite all the uncertainty, both investors share the belief that domestic stocks have been unjustifiably penalised. LOW PE .. https://tinyurl.com/ydcwawoc Barnett says: "The market believes the UK economy is going to run out of steam, which is why there continues to be this polarisation between domestically focused stocks and international names. I think these fears are misplaced and that the underlying UK economy is in better condition than the market believes, so I am a happier buyer of domestic stocks that are offering depressed valuations." According to Davies, the fact that there is "no less popular area anywhere in the investment universe at present than UK domestic stocks" should naturally appeal to contrarian investors. He says: "Stockpicking will be vital, as a number of domestic companies are facing structural challenges as well as cyclical ones, be it from lowcost discounters in the case of food retailers, or new online competition in a host of other sectors. However, several well-placed businesses have seen their share prices dragged down by the apathy towards the UK." Look for resilence. Look for resilience In the current economic climate, a company's resilience in the face of economic headwinds is key, according to Davies. He picks out four cheap shares with this attribute: WHSmith (SMWH), Howden Joinery (HWDN), Taylor Wimpey (TW.) and ITV (ITV). Investors fishing for bargains should look out for certain quantitative factors in order to reduce the risk of them picking a poor value investment. Phil Oakley, at SharePad, an online data service for private investors, has filtered the FTSE All-Share index (ASX) using the following criteria: a forecast PE ratio of 10 or less, growing profits and no imminent danger of bankruptcy (as measured by having a fixed charge cover ratio of 1.5 times or more). "This [latter] ratio measures how many times a company's trading profits can cover interests on debts and other fixed liabilities such as rents on buildings or equipment," explains Oakley. A final filter excludes cyclical companies, whose fortunes hinge heavily on the performance of the wider economy. "Shares are generally cheap for a good reason. This is usually because investors are worried about some aspect of the business behind the shares, such as increasing competition or a weak financial position," adds Oakley. "But the market can sometimes overreact and be too pessimistic about the outlook for a company and its shares. These are the kind of situations value investors seek out with the aim of bagging themselves a bargain. They are betting that the company will recover from its difficulties and find favour again." Barnett selects Next (NXT), which offers a total dividend yield (including special dividends) of 8%, as the standout bargain share in the UK market. He says: "The dividend is backed by strong cash flows, and my view is that the market is overly pessimistic about the threat of Amazon (AMZN) and other online retailers, particularly when Next itself has been responding in upgrading its digital offering." The other main standout sector where bargains look plentiful is banks, which have finally set their houses in order a decade on from the financial crisis. Like other investors, Scott McKenzie, who runs the TB Saracen UK Income and TB Saracen UK Growth funds, has been boosting exposure to the sector through holdings in Lloyds (LLOY) and Close Brothers (CBG). He says: "Banks have been left behind and remain unloved, despite the fact that from an income perspective they have become more attractive. There's also the prospect of more interest rate rises, and with them a rise in bond yields, which will be a positive for banks." A closely related sector attracting McKenzie's attention, but less talked about as a bargain, is life insurers. He says: "In 2017 the sector did not really do much from a share price perspective, and I put this down to a lack of investor interest because insurers are pretty dull businesses." McKenzie holds Aviva (AV.) and Phoenix Life (PHNX). When looking at the market as a whole, "there are plenty of good-value income opportunities", he adds, flagging up the 28 FTSE 100 shares that currently offer yields of 4%; "but in terms of growth names, it is much harder to find businesses trading on sensible valuations." Elsewhere, miners and oil companies are still catching the eyes of some contrarian investors, even though shares have enjoyed a good run over the past 18 months or so. Other investors, however, are steering clear on the grounds that the fortunes of these companies are at the mercy of the performance of the underlying commodities they produce. That can be subject to political influences, in the case of oil, and global economic growth, as is the case for mining stocks. Take your pick This polarisation underlines the highly subjective nature of value investing; indeed, one investor may deem a stock to be oversold for the same reason that another chooses to steer well clear of it. Value investing is not a strategy for the fainthearted. Experienced investors can testify that the stockmarket rarely provides free lunches. Nonetheless, stocks can be oversold and mispriced, which offers investors opportunities to get in on the ground floor and benefit from a subsequent recovery.
28/12/2017
23:28
master rsi: IQE 144.50p +3.75p Five brokers covering this stock have all retained or reiterated their BUY stance, with share price targets 15% to 35% higher. -------------------------- IQE plc 38.3% Potential Upside Indicated by Citigroup Posted by: Amilia Stone 21st December 2017 IQE plc with EPIC/TICKER (LON:IQE) has had its stock rating noted as ‘Retains’; with the recommendation being set at ‘BUY’ today by analysts at Citigroup. IQE plc are listed in the Technology sector within AIM. Citigroup have set their target price at 195 GBX on its stock. This now indicates the analyst believes there is a possible upside of 38.3% from today’s opening price of 141 GBX. Over the last 30 and 90 trading days the company share price has decreased 35.75 points and increased 7.5 points respectively. The 1 year high for the share price is 181.5 GBX while the 52 week low is 37.07 GBX. IQE plc has a 50 day moving average of 159.06 GBX and a 200 Day Moving Average share price is recorded at 111.67. There are currently 755,647,266 shares in issue with the average daily volume traded being 9,996,296. Market capitalisation for LON:IQE is £1,056,017,054 GBP.
27/12/2017
22:20
master rsi: These UK stocks are among the best in Europe / Graeme Evans | 27th December 2017 With heavyweight stocks including BP (BP.), Glencore (GLEN), AstraZeneca (AZN) and Vodafone (VOD), the latest European Top Picks list from Barclays certainly packs a punch. But the 23-strong line up isn't just about the big boys. There's plenty of other talking points, from the inclusion of newly-merged Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) to the forecast of more share price records for Sunbelt owner Ashtead (AHT). Prudential (PRU) is another interesting inclusion, given that the equity research team at Barclays are in the camp backing shares to finally break £20. Across the 23 stocks and based on mid-December prices, there's an average upside potential to the Barclays target price of 17.5%, yielding 3% and trading on an average 2018 price/earnings (PE) multiple. The average price target of the top picks is 8% above the City's consensus. Overall, the list is heavily focused on the industrials sector with eight stocks, including CRH (CRH), Crest Nicholson (CRST) and Ferguson (FERG), formerly Wolseley. There's also a new entry from The Gym Group (GYM), which replaces WH Smith (SMWH) as the top pick within the UK mid and small cap leisure and consumer sector. The low-cost gym operator has succeeded in disrupting the market with its flexible offer where consumers can join online with no ongoing contract. With Barclays less keen on using PE in the case of The Gym Group, the 14% upside in the target price to 250p is based on 10 times enterprise value (EV). At the other end of the corporate scale, Vodafone has the support of Barclays against those who question the sustainability of its projected 6% dividend yield. Barclays also presents counter arguments to concerns about Vodafone's ability to monetize data and to deal with the competitive and strategic risks posed by convergence. The bank's analysts said: "We see this as a rear-view mirror way of looking at Vodafone, with shares stuck in a 200p-230p trading range. "With an EBITDA compound annual growth rate of 4% to 5% in the next three years and positive revenue/cost momentum, we believe the arguments are far less relevant." Barclays has only recently added Vodafone to its list, with estimates from the bank showing the mobile phone company trading on a 21 PE based on 2019 forecast earnings. It has a price target of 280p, ranging from 190p to 300p. Prudential is the top pick in European insurance as Barclays believes that the multiple of 12.1 FY2018 earnings discounts its expected annual growth rate of 8% over the next five years. The price target of 2,161p values the stock at 14 times 2018 earnings, although as the Asian business alone is worth 1,458p a share the upside valuation is 2,297p. Shares in Standard Life Aberdeen have struggled for momentum since the insurer's merger in the summer. That's reflected recent disappointment over outflows from higher margin GARS and emerging markets funds. But on the plus side, there's the potential for capital returns from sales of stakes in Indian joint ventures and the prospect that flows will start to improve. Barclays expects £150 million of synergies by 2019 and an operating margin of 43%, leading to the bank's valuation of 15.5 PE and a price target of 520p. Ashtead has been trading near record highs, but Barclays believes there's still more to come from the FTSE 100 (UKX)-listed equipment rental business. Ashtead's shares are trading on an EV multiple of 6.9, which Barclays says is appropriate for this stage in the cycle: "We continue to believe that a cyclical de-rating of the shares remains some way off." The bank has a target price of 2,263p, with modest growth in US non-residential construction expected to support continued market growth at Ashtead over the next few years. The target prices for the other UK-listed stocks are: Glencore (400p), BP (675p), AstraZeneca (6,300p), Crest Nicholson (662p), Ferguson (6,000p), Qinetiq (QQ.) (265p) and Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) (9,400p).
27/12/2017
09:12
master rsi: MARKET REPORT Market report: IWG takeover approach, Shell tax joy and Halosource warning The FTSE 100 advanced 16 points to 7,603 as trading resumed following the festive period. Serviced office provider IWG (IWG) has received an indicative takeover proposal from Brookfield Asset Management and Onex Corporation. The approach follows recent share price weakness caused by a profit warning in October which wiped a third off IWG's market value. IWG's shares jumped 25% to 250p on today's news. Oil producer Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) said it should benefit from US tax changes primarily due to the reduction in the US corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%. The changes are effective from 1 January 2018 and will impact the company's fourth quarter results. FTSE 100 miner Rio Tinto (RIO) said it has completed its $1.5bn share buyback programme announced in two stages during 2017. It will today start to buy back a further $1.925bn worth of shares, to be completed by the end of 2018. The $1.925bn figure represents the remaining portion of the $2.5bn share buyback programme announced on 21 September 2017, returning money from the sale of a coal business to shareholders. DFS Furniture (DFS) has paid £1.2m for eight store leases, assets and intellectual property of Multiyork Furniture, which is in administration. The group said it intended that six stores would be converted to trade as Sofa Workshop, and the other two as DFS. It has also acquired all intellectual property rights of Multiyork, including the Multiyork trademark, product designs, domain names and marketing databases. HaloSource (HALO) slumped 27% to 1p after warning that revenues would probably be at the low end of forecasts. An unexpected delay in receipt of glass pitchers from a supplier has temporarily prevented it from shipping product to one of its customers, JiuBan, prior to the end of December. HaloSource said this would have a material negative impact on its revenues for 2017 and it now anticipated that its total sales would be in the range of $2.6m to $3.0m and net loss for the year would be in the range of $5.0m to $5.5m. Shares in UK Oil & Gas Investments (UKOG) crashed by 22% to 3.08p after a disappointing update. It said the Basal KL3 test has been re-run following mechanical problems and that low reservoir productivity indicated the zone may not be economically viable. At 9:03am: (LON:HALO) HaloSource DI share price was -0.45p at 0.93p (LON:IWG) IWG Plc share price was +52.25p at 252.45p (LON:RDSB) Royal Dutch Shell share price was +23.25p at 2494.75p (LON:RIO) Rio Tinto PLC share price was +54.5p at 3801p (LON:UKOG) UK Oil Gas Investments Plc share price was -0.83p at 3.15p
26/12/2017
23:03
master rsi: Six share tips for 2018 / Lee Wild | Sun, 24th December 2017 Investors would typically be happy with share prices at a record high and positive returns from domestic stockmarkets. However, the UK's single-digit gains in 2017 were dwarfed by stellar returns in the US and the performance of alternative assets such as bitcoin, up over 1,000%. Brexit remains a cap on investment and economic growth, and sterling is up 9% versus the dollar, but there's not much wrong with UK equities. Yes, they're not cheap, but profits are growing and talk of overvaluation is a distraction. So how did our 2017 speculative tips fare? Software systems firm Scisys (SSY) was our top-performing growth tip of 2017, having returned 42% by mid-November. Markets liked the firm's strong results, big contract wins and €18 million (£13 million) of work on the German national satellite communications mission in October. Within a month of tipping Mysale (MYSL), the online shopping club's share price had risen by 38% following a knockout first-half update. That was a highlight, but there's still lots to like about the business. Global trends in technology were meant to drive growth at Software Quality Services (SQS), but results in March told a different story, amid a shift to shorter-term digital projects. The shares fell 18%, but, just as results began to improve, the company accepted an all-cash bid from German firm Assystem Technologies, valuing SQS at 825p. That’s 36% higher than our tip price this time last year! Our trio of speculative income stocks did what we picked them to do. Legal & General (LGEN) yielded 6.1% and returned a 12% capital gain. Galliford Try (GFRD) and Greene King (GNK) yielded 7.4% and 5% respectively, but their share prices fell. Speculative Growth Prudential (PRU) Share price 1,827p; PE ratio 12.1; dividend yield 2.8% Prudential (PRU) has outpaced its UK rivals over the past decade, while the head of its Asia division says it can double profits in the region over the next five to seven years. Chiefs in the UK and US also talk loudly about growth opportunities. Prudential is tipped to improve earnings at a 9% compound annual growth rate over the next five years and push up the annual dividend at the same rate. This is growth at a good price, given that the Asia division alone is valued at £14 a share and the whole business trades on just 12 times 2018 earnings. McBride (MCB) Share price 226p; PE ratio 12.4; dividend yield 2.6% Making own-brand products for supermarkets is challenging in an industry where margins are paper thin, but McBride's (MCB) three-phase strategy, "repair, prepare, grow", has enjoyed success. Phase one is done, two is on track and the growth plans are finalised. Its adjusted operating profit margin has improved to 5.9% and the firm could well beat its target of 7.5%. Doubling revenue from making customer branded products will make it easier. At a big discount to peers, McBride shares are cheap given forecasts for 15% annual profit growth out to 2020. DiscoverIE (DSCV) Shareprice 331p; PE ratio 13.9; dividend yield 3% Higher margins and a shift in focus to design and manufacturing inspired Acal to change its name to DiscoverIE Group (DSCV) – discover innovative electronics. But it's not a funky new name that will decide the electronics distributor's fate. Adjusted earnings grew by 24% in the first half, on organic sales up 9%; the firm has a record order book; and growth is underpinned by new project design wins. Look for a 20% increase in 2018 profit and double-digit growth thereafter. A big valuation discount, compared with peers, should narrow. Speculative Income Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) Share price 65.1p; PE ratio 9.0; dividend yield 6.7% There seems little doubt that Lloyds (LLOY) will continue to grow its dividend, although the scale of scepticism about the bank and the size of its potential payout make the lender a speculative income stock. It shouldn't be, however, considering that it has fixed its balance sheet and is in better shape than most of its rivals. Impressive profit growth over the past few years has bankrolled significant shareholder returns since the bank resumed payouts in 2015. With its sector-leading dividend, Lloyds can be expecting to return a third of its market cap to shareholders over the next four years. M&S(MKS) Share price 308p; PE ratio 11.2; dividend yield 6% Turnarounds and the executives hired to deliver them come and go with alarming regularity at M&S (MKS). None have had any lasting success and the City is dismissive of the retailer's chances of turning its business around, so M&S is a true contrarian play. However, new chairman Archie Norman has a great track record, and he has backed himself with hefty share purchases. A new five-year plan will grow volumes and simplify the business to reduce those of its peers, and are cheap given forecosts. The shares are cheap, and strong cash inflows should offset any pressure on the generous dividend. Galliford Try (GFRD) Share price 1,184p; PE ratio 6.3; dividend yield 8.5% Most housebuilder shares soared by at least 30% in 2017. Unfortunately, our pick, Galliford Try, didn't, largely because of cost overruns. But its problems appear to be over, so ditching Galliford now, after a 9% drop in its share price in 2017, would be a mistake. Galliford currently offers a well-covered sector-leading forward yield of more than 8%, and it is the cheapest housebuilder around. It is closing the gap to its rivals, and its chairman has just bought £75,000 of shares in the company.
19/12/2017
22:21
master rsi: Top mid-cap shares for 2018 - Graeme Evans | 19th December 2017 It's been quite a year for the FTSE 250 Index (MCX), with the basket of mid-cap companies now firmly established above 20,000 after a rise of more than 12% since January. Contrast this with the tepid performance of the FTSE 100 Index (UKX), up 6%, largely thanks to a pre-Christmas flourish in recent days. However, it's likely that life is about to get tougher for stocks in the FTSE 250 as this benchmark of UK performance comes up against Brexit-related headwinds. As UBS's Mid-Cap Magnifier note points out today, fading support from sterling and commodities will make finding second-tier winners ever more challenging. But, even though mid-caps now look more expensive relative to blue chips, UBS said it continues to see attractive opportunities. To demonstrate, it has just updated its UK mid-cap top picks based on ideas from across its research team. Looking into 2018, the broker has rejigged its First XI line-up through the addition of Crest Nicholson (CRST), Kaz Minerals (KAZ), Paragon (PAG) and National Express (NEX). The transport group wins a place because its operations in the United States, Spain and Morocco give the company a much more diversified portfolio than its UK-based peers. UBS believes that NatEx shares should trade at a premium to the sector, leading to a potential 10% upside in the price to 410p. Housebuilder Crest Nicholson is another favourite among FTSE 250 stocks, with UBS highlighting its sustainable dividend yield of 7% as among reasons for inclusion in its mid-cap list. Banking group Paragon also makes it into the First XI, partly because its yield of 3.3% is covered more than twice by earnings. Making way for the four new stocks are Bellway (BWY), Cairn Energy (CNE), Greggs (GRG) and Ladbrokes Coral (LCL). The bookmaker is ousted having surged on the back of its GVC Holdings merger, while Cairn is up more than 7% since October. Howden Joinery (HWDN) has performed well since the autumn, but retains its place on the list with the potential for a further 7% upside to 475p. Near-term demand for the kitchens supplier is uncertain, but UBS said the risks on volume weakness and rising costs are more than priced in with Howden. They said: "We see continued medium term upside potential from new depot openings, depot maturity, and price rises. Cash generation is strong and could result in further cash return in oncoming years." The other members of the UBS list are Ashmore (ASHM), Elementis (ELM), Rotork (ROR), Serco (SRP), SThree (STHR) and Vesuvius (VSVS). Serco has been the weakest performer since October, down 20%, on weakening sentiment around UK outsourcing. Rotork and Vesuvius are also included in UBS's European small caps Top 20, with the former benefiting from expectations that management will be able to return the flow control business to 25% margins within five years. Since inception in December 2016, the UBS mid-cap list is up 20%, compared with a rise of 13% for the FTSE 250. Technology, basic materials and insurance in particular have seen the strongest share price performances in the FTSE 250, with retail, telecoms, oil and gas and utilities seeing both the weakest earnings momentum and share price performance since the EU referendum vote. With UBS expecting the UK economy to deteriorate in 2018, the bank has opted for companies with strong market positions and a track record of delivering in difficult conditions. The uncertainties caused by Brexit mean that UBS thinks GDP will slow further in 2018 to 1.1%, before continuing at the same pace in 2019. They said: "While UK headlines do not appear that attractive we continue to see selective opportunities in UK mid caps. We also see a relative picture that has some specific attractions versus both the FTSE 100 and Europe."
10/12/2017
22:17
master rsi: MARKET REPORT The Oil Man: Malcolm Graham-Wood | 8th December 2017 Further signs of a bounce back from crude oil yesterday as markets thought that the immediate past of a shake out had been overdone, and so it should. Not much detailed news and recent shorter term sellers closed off their bear trades in case inventory numbers recover next week, which they might. Sound/Echo/Coro Wednesday night saw all of the Sound (SOU) family presenting and, for pretty much the first time, showing the across the board strategies indicating the direction and significant potential in their individual markets. Sound started with CEO James Parsons reinforcing the company's gas focussed, private investor centric strategy and with it the policy of developing its existing discoveries in Morocco. Combining those discoveries with further exploration drilling gives an exciting combination of risk and reward, monetising assets whilst at the same time giving some very decent upside. CFO JJ Traynor went down well with optimistic news that for every 1 TCF of gas in the portfolio the shares could add £1.50, news shareholders lapped up. Overall this presentation confirmed, if any was needed, that Sound is the more mature part of the family with discovered gas assets in two plays with significant upside. A very crowded room as usual were happy with what they heard. As for Echo (ECHO), Fiona MacAulay was slightly restricted with what she could say, as the shares are suspended and the authorities are understandably keen that no unpublished information shouldnt be revealed until the shares return to the market. Having said that, she was able to talk about the two deals that have been done in Bolivia and Argentina. Overall, the Echo strategy is to be a leader in a LATAM exploration led, gas focussed business, value driven and with potential for significant returns. FM also had a new board, well financed and supportive shareholders to rely on and happy with the ambitious growth strategy that she has put in place. Starting with Argentina, it is a much bigger play after all, the plans are clear, the asset is significant and an exploration led, but full cycle business capable of very significant upside. The financing of the deal was innovative and meant that, for a modest up front payment, the cash need to carry CGC and its aggressive work programme Echo will get more than its bang for its buck spent. I expect a lot of newsflow from Echo from the front line as well workovers, exploration and a great deal of seismic reprocessing should create the makings of a very proper E&P company with lots of upside. In Bolivia, where its initials bucks were spent, all is going well and the signs emerging from the reprocessing are initially pretty good although there is much to be done. Overall, I expect plenty of news on all fronts, with the shares returning to the market imminently. Investors will get a chance to participate in what looks like a very good play in an a gas rich region of a massive hydrocarbon geography. Finally, Sara Edmonson of Coro (CORO) spoke, although with even more regulatory restrictions it was by necessity somewhat cautious in content. I am sure over the next weeks and months shareholders will get a much more detailed idea of the direction and pace of the strategy, as Sara expands the portfolio in and away from its Italian base. Initially, that policy is to expand its daily production and expose the EBITDA potential, thereby exposing the de-risking of the developments and creating a value driven approach to the business. Coro will before long be re-admitted as a full cycle E&P company, with significant strategic potential and confident of further deals to be done and geographically away from Italy, but not conflicting with any of the family assets. Crafty investors may be able to work out which point of the compass the Coro management are pointing the telescope at in their hunt for value adding assets. Whether investors hold one or all three of the family, I'm sure that overall these stocks look like a package of high quality assets with short, medium and long term upside and with management that is committed to delivery and return in a significant manner… Zenith Energy I recently had the opportunity to visit Azerbaijan and see Zenith's (ZEN) assets in the country. As the company is going through an exciting period of change, I thought it would provide an opportunity to evaluate both the portfolio and its people. I will be putting out a fuller piece in the blog, hopefully on Monday, but had noticed a bit of share price weakness and, with incoming mail asking me if all was well, wanted at first to say that on the ground I was very impressed on both counts. With a significant portfolio of differing assets to drill or workover in the next year or so, and having established a very high quality team on the ground my initial prognosis is very promising. I will detail more very shortly, but holders should sleep easy in their beds. Zenith is a well run, asset rich play with significant upside. Empyrean Resources Empyrean (EME) has announced initial flow testing from its Dempsey 1-15 well, where the second deepest zone of gas shows is complete and flowed gas. The difficult bit to work out is how it will be flowed, as the company itself says this zone is interpreted to be a significant gas discovery with high pressures, but low permeability over the zone of perforations. In my view, this means it will be a frac job, but until I speak to the company I won't speculate.
15/11/2017
23:24
master rsi: Eight top shares that meet Jim Slater's investment rules - Stockopedia and Ben Hobson | 15th November 2017 Eight top shares that meet Jim Slater's investment rules For investors with an interest in small, speculative shares, this week's 40% price crash at angling supplies retailer Fishing Republic (FISH), will have come as a shock. It's a reminder of just how unpredictable small-cap growth companies can be. From a float price in June 2015 of 15p, Fishing Republic hit a high this year of 47p, but now it's back to just 22p. So how do you avoid that kind of investment rollercoaster? Understanding what went wrong In some ways Fishing Republic illustrates how early-stage roll-outs can catch the attention of investors. Ambitious expansion in new or niche markets can be a recipe for investment success. And in its interim results two months ago, there was no hint of a profit warning on the cards. But with the damage now done, Fishing Republic may recover quickly, but its share price could take much longer to win back confidence. The backdrop to this story has been a sustained run in the overall performance of the AIM All-Share - the market where Fishing Republic is quoted. Over the past year, the index has risen by 26%. For the large cap FTSE 350, the gain has been just 9%. But, of course, index valuations are only ever an average. Dig into the detail over any timeframe and you'll find big winners and losers. Fishing Republic had done well since its IPO, rising more than 160% before its collapse. But that rising price had stretched its valuation. It looked expensive against what it earned and what it owned. Its forecast price-to-earnings (PE) ratio was a high 37x. Balanced against its financial quality, that racy valuation looked vulnerable. Fishing Republic is a low margin business with below-average return on capital. In a good roll-out, these sorts of measures can improve over time because of economies of scale and better operational gearing. But in a small business, a setback that questions the credibility of the roll-out can have a serious impact on share price. It's not all bad for smaller growth companies Jim Slater, the late British investment legend, was attracted to firms like Fishing Republic, which could roll-out, or 'clone', their own activities. He saw retailers, restaurants and health clubs as cash cows that only had to refine and prove their formula once. But a key criteria in his investment rulebook was that he would never overpay for that growth - and that's an important lesson. Slater's strategy focused on earnings growth, profitability, strong cashflow, low debt and signs of share price strength. It also included what's known as the PEG, or the 'price-earnings growth' factor. The PEG measures whether the promise of growth comes at a reasonable price. It's calculated by dividing the forward price-to-earnings ratio of a share by the estimated future growth rate in earnings per share (EPS). Any share with a PEG over 1 would get short shrift from Slater. A score of 1 receives consideration and anything under 1 is worth a closer look. At Stockopedia we track this investment strategy, and one of the interesting features is how few companies actually pass these rules at the moment. It really suggests that growth has got expensive in the UK market, which puts investors at risk of the kind of serious collapses seen at Fishing Republic. Here are some of the companies that do currently pass the rules... Name Mkt Cap £m - Forecast PE Ratio - PEG Slater - ROCE % 1-Year Relative Price - Strength - Sector VP 347.3 9.9 0.3 13.2 +9.9 Industrials Alumasc 61.1 7.6 0.5 19.5 +6.3 Industrials Inspired Energy 112.4 12.1 0.5 16.8 +42.2 Industrials Elecosoft 33.7 16.0 0.6 15.6 +43.7 Technology Games Workshop 673.6 14.0 0.7 60.0 +242.6 Cyclicals iomart 376.6 18.0 0.7 16.8 +22.0 Technology Luceco 406 19.8 08 30.7 +48.0 Industrials IG Design 240.7 17.4 1.0 15.1 +42.6 Materials A number of these companies have long fitted the Slater 'mould'. Stocks like VP (VP.), Inspired Energy (INSE), Elecosoft (ELCO), iomart (IOM) and IG Design (IGR) have routinely passed the rules over the past year. There is no doubt that forecast PE ratios have increased, but these stocks continue to deliver strong earnings growth. So, their valuations haven't become detached from earnings. They also have the hallmarks of robust profitability and appeal in the market. Crucially, though, while these shares have generally performed well over 12 months, they've not generally seen the sort of explosive price gains that attract floods of investors and stretch valuations. Slater's take on the classic 'growth at a reasonable price' strategy usually picks up some of the most exciting companies in the market. But right now, the potentially vulnerable valuations of some growth stocks mean that this looks almost conservative in its approach. While the numbers of companies passing the rules might be lower than normal, those shares should be better protected from the kinds of dramatic price corrections we've seen elsewhere.
15/11/2017
22:42
master rsi: Could there really be 63% upside at Walker Greenbank? - Graeme Evans | 15th November 2017 - 14:45 Today's share price slump at upmarket wallpaper and fabrics maker Walker Greenbank (WGB) has been made all the more stunning by the speed at which its fortunes have turned. At the start of last month, the company behind brands including Sanderson and Harlequin, said its UK orders were growing ahead of last year and on an improving trend in the run-up to its key autumn selling period. Fast forward six weeks and Walker Greenbank warns that UK sales have weakened significantly against management expectations, with the company already more than half way through its normally seasonal strong point. Full-year profits are now expected to be 10% lower than forecasts, triggering a 27% slump in its share price to a four-year low of 150p. While no specific reasons were given for the sudden downturn, it's reasonable to assume that consumer discretionary spending stocks such as Walker Greenbank will be vulnerable in the current climate. Demand for wall coverings and fabrics is closely linked to moving house, which means a slowing top end of the property market is also bad news for the company. So where does today's warning leave this highly-regarded AIM stock, which has been listed on the stock market since 2003? WH Ireland analyst John Cummins believes the share price reaction is overdone and has retained his 'buy' recommendation on a 12-month view with a target price of 245p. With the shares currently at 150p, that implies potential upside of 63%. He said: "Whilst this morning's news is clearly disappointing and the consumer environment is likely to remain challenging for some time, we believe Walker Greenbank remains strategically well positioned in its markets." Cummins points to the estimated 40% of sales generated overseas, with Walker Greenbank continuing to attract strong interest thanks to its "Made in Britain" products. Printed fabrics for all of the brands are manufactured in Lancaster at the Standfast & Barracks factory. In addition, there's continued strong growth in licensing income after the company said it was on track for a 15% rise on a like-for-like basis in the current financial year. The group also benefits from a strong balance sheet and an improving dividend yield, which is forecast by WH Ireland to grow to 4.4% in 2020 from the 2.3% achieved in 2017. In the meantime, Cummins has reduced 2018 revenue forecasts by £6.8 million to £108.2 million as a result of today's warning. This results in full-year pre-tax profit forecasts moving £1.4 million lower to £12.7 million and EPS slipping 10% to 14.1p. chart ... https://tinyurl.com/y8p6cc9v
15/10/2017
22:46
master rsi: Best AIM companies of 2017 confirmed - Andrew Hore | Fri, 13th October 2017 This year's AIM Awards were held last night at Old Billingsgate in London and the winners came from a broad range of sectors with no company winning more than one award this year. I shocked myself by managing to predict five of the winners, compared with three last year when there were fewer awards. BEST INVESTOR COMMUNICATION This year: Majestic Wine (WINE) Last Year: WYG Group (WYG) Majestic Wine is a former AIM company of the year and the wines retailer has been highly successful in its time on AIM, but it has been much tougher in recent years. The second half of the financial year to the beginning of April 2017 showed a sharp upturn in fortunes as measures taken by the management begin to pay off. In the past year, Majestic has moved PR firm from Buchanan to Instinctif, although it appointed former Buchanan executive Gabriella Clinkard as internal head of public and investor relations just over one year ago. BEST PERFORMING SHARE This year: Nu-Oil and Gas (NUOG) Last Year: Pantheon Resources (PANR) Nu-Oil and Gas changed its name from Enegi Oil in 2015, and in the 12 months to July 2017 the share price has risen by more than 1,300%. Positive news concerning progress with the onshore petroleum lease in Western Newfoundland, Canada has helped to propel the share price upwards, particularly in July 2017. This late surge probably secured the title. The share price has subsequently fallen by one-quarter. Nu-Oil focuses on developing marginal fields via a joint venture and it is seeking further licences. BEST USE OF AIM This year: GB Group (GBG) Last Year: Conviviality (CVR) GB Group has been quoted for more than two decades, but it moved to AIM in 2010. The greater flexibility in terms of transactions has helped the company to become one of the leading identity capture, verification and analysis businesses in the world. More than two-fifths of revenues come from fraud and risk management services. Richard Law had headed the expansion of the group, having originally been finance director, but he was replaced in April by Chris Clark. The focus continues to be global growth. GLOBAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD This year: Gooch & Housego (GHH) This is one of the awards where the correct company won, even if I did think that ASOS (ASC) might be given the award. Gooch & Housego has been on AIM for almost 20 years and it has changed from a company dominated by its founder into a wider ranging international business. The process has not always been smooth but progress made, both organic and via acquisition, has been substantial. The share price low was in February 2009 and the current price is nearly 30 times that figure and more than double the previous high. Gooch & Housego is a world leader in the photonics sector and it has been expanding its operations in areas such as defence and life sciences. BEST TECHNOLOGY This year: IQE (IQE) Last Year: MaxCyte Inc (MXCT) (MXCT) The voting panel appears to have gone with the old timer in the form of epitaxial semiconductor wafers supplier IQE, rather than the newer robotics software supplier Blue Prism. Both share prices have roughly quadrupled in the past year. IQE started out on the Main Market and transferred to AIM 14 years ago. The share price was a few pence at the time of the switch, but it had been more than £7 in 2000. Historically, the company has been dependent on the wireless market and it has grown on the back of the increasing number of chips used in mobile phones. Growth in sales to the photonics market means that it was nearly one-quarter of interim revenues and other markets are also growing. AIM TRANSACTION OF THE YEAR This year: (ANCR) Last Year: Breedon Group (BREE) Animalcare always appeared the stand-out candidate in this category and this is the first award of the night that I got right. Ecuphar reversed into Animalcare right at the end of the period that the awards cover. The deal increases the number of vet medicines supplied by the group and brings with it a European distribution operation. Pro forma figures for the six months to June 2017 indicate revenues of £45 million and underlying EBITDA of £6.3 million. Product development activities will be combined and there are cross selling opportunities. Management expects the earnings enhancing benefits to show through in 2018. AIM GROWTH BUSINESS OF THE YEAR This year: Keywords Studios (KWS) Last Year: Fevertree Drinks (FEVR) I felt that Keywords had the requisite track record for this award having built up an excellent track record over the past four years. The current share price is not far off 12 times the July 2013 flotation price of 123p. Management of the localisation, testing and art services provider to the video games industry has shown that it can make earnings enhancing acquisitions. In 2012, revenues were €14.3 million and they are set to reach €135 million in 2017. Pre-tax profit was €2.74 million back in 2012 and it is expected to be €20.5 million this year. INNOVATIVE FUNDRAISING OF THE YEAR This year: Burford Capital (BUR) Litigation funding provider Burford Capital seemed the only company on the shortlist to fully fit the remit for this award, which is why I felt it would win. Burford raised £175 million via an oversubscribed issue of bonds that will be traded on the Main Market and through the electronic order book for retail bonds. They yield 5% and are repayable in December 2026. Burford is expanding in Asia with the opening of an office in Singapore. The current share price is eleven times the flotation price back in 2009. Burford's 2017 litigation finance survey shows that 81% of UK lawyers are aware of litigation finance, with 54% of those that have not used it as year expecting to do so in the next two years. There are similar percentages for US lawyers. BEST RESEARCH This year: Stockdale Last Year: Liberum Stockdale Securities has been rebuilding its business over the past couple of years following its name change from Westhouse and taking on Peter Ashworth, a past winner of this award, following the purchase of Charles Stanley's broking business by Panmure Gordon, helped to boost its research team. INTERNATIONAL COMPANY OF THE YEAR This year: Taptica International (TAP) Last Year: Somero Enterprises Inc (SOM) Israel-based Taptica has managed the shift in business from online to mobile marketing and a focus on data analysis has transformed the group, and I thought it was the frontrunner in this category. Taptica did not do well in its first year on AIM with profit slipping, but swift action meant that it soared to new highs in 2016. The share price has trebled over the past 12 months. In the first half of 2017, revenues were 27% ahead at $65.6 million and pre-tax profit jumped 47% to $12.7 million. Cash generation is strong and this has enabled the payment of dividends as well as acquisitions, including the purchase of Tremor Video's demand-side platform business for $50 million. BEST NEWCOMER This year: Alpha FX Group (AFX) Last Year: Hotel Chocolat (HOTC) The judges have gone for the newly-floated company with the best share price performance this year. Corporate foreign exchange services provider Alpha FX joined AIM on 7 April and raised £13 million at 196p a share. By the end of May, the share price had already more than doubled and, at 467.5p, down from a high of 560p last month, it has risen by 139%. Alpha FX's clients include fellow AIM company ASOS and the total number of clients has risen to 269. In the first half of 2017, revenues were 90% ahead at £6.29 million -based on £1 billion of transactions. Pre-tax profit, excluding flotation costs, jumped from £1.72 million to £3.14 million. ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR This year: Mahmud Kamani and Carol Kane, boohoo.com Last Year: Diana Hunter, Conviviality (CVR) Online fashion retailer boohoo.com has been one of the major reasons behind a strong performance in the FTSE AIM 100 index this year, so it is no surprise that joint chief executives Mahmud Kamani and Carol Kane have been recognised in these awards. The retailer was not always a favourite with the market, and for the whole of 2015 the share price was below the flotation price, although it is currently quadruple the placing price. One of the keys to the improvement in the share price was the regularity of profit upgrades as trading continually beat expectations. The addition of other brands - Nasty Gal and PrettyLittleThing - provides further impetus to growth. COMPANY OF THE YEAR This year: Fevertree Drinks Last Year: Restore Given the performance of spirit mixer drinks brand owner Fevertree Drinks in the three years it has been quoted, and the AIM awards it had already won, I thought that Fevertree was a banker for this award. The share price is 16 times the flotation price from November 2014. This has been achieved despite founders and pre-flotation investors selling a substantial number of shares in the flotation and in the past three years. The latest interim figures show revenues 77% ahead at £71.9 million, pre-tax profit doubling to £24.1 million and a near-doubled dividend of 3.01p a share. Sales in the UK more than doubled and there was significant growth in the other regions.
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