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 06:39:46
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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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
20/10/2017
11:45
master rsi: MARKET REPORT FTSE gains on potential tax cuts in US The FTSE 100 nudged higher to 7,539 thanks to the Senate's approval of US President Donald Trump's budget which could pave the way for potentially significant tax cuts. Financial stocks were among the winners this morning with Standard Chartered (STAN) and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) gaining 2.2% and 1.4%, respectively. Brent crude oil slipped 0.8% to $56.79 per barrel. Copper was flat at $3.15 per pound and gold retreated 0.6% to $1,279 per ounce. OVERSEAS MARKETS Wall Street recovered from earlier losses overnight with the exception of the tech heavy Nasdaq index, which was 0.3% lower at 6,605 thanks to a decline in shares in Apple and eBay due to demand and profit concerns. MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS A dispute with the Tanzanian government continued to take its toll on gold miner Acacia Mining (ACA), down 7% to 197.2p. The company revealed that the export ban in Tanzania hit sales by 40% in its third quarter and its cash position sharply dropped from $302m a year ago to $95.3m. Holiday Inn owner InterContinental Hotels (IHG) dipped 0.9% to £40.62 as the market focused on weaker growth in the US and overlooked a robust performance in Europe. Support services company Serco (SRP) announced its chief operating officer Ed Casey is returning to the US for a role with another firm at the end of the year. Investors took the news in their stride as the stock was resilient at 117.4p. SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS On AIM, miner Ncondezi Energy (NCCL) surged 31% to 7.6p on an initial deal with China Machinery Engineering and General Electric South Africa. The agreement is to enter exclusive negotiations over the development and operation of a coal fired power project and open pit coal mine in Mozambique. Elsewhere, embattled delivery firm DX (DX.) reported no profit in the year to 30 June. Sales rose 1.4% to £291.9m although pricing pressure and operational difficulties offset any profit. Despite the bad news, the share price accelerated 14.1% to 12.1p. Renewable fuels specialist Velocys (VLS) sealed a site option deal for its first US bio refinery site in Mississippi, prompting the share price to rise 9.3% to 36.2p. A share price placing at both Jersey Oil & Gas (JOG) and President Energy (PPC) weighed on the stocks, which slid 12.2% and 13.3%, respectively. Struggling infrastructure group Interserve (IRV) rose 11% to 72.7p on a contract win worth £227m to provide facilities management services for the Department for Work and Pensions. The company's share price tumbled by over 30% on Thursday on a profit warning and announcement that it might breach its banking covenants.
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.
08/10/2017
20:10
master rsi: The companies behind AIM's incredible rally - Andrew Hore | 6th October 2017 Big companies that continue to propel the performance of AIM. Not only are the FTSE AIM 50 index and the FTSE AIM 100 index outperforming the FTSE AIM All-Share, it's the largest constituents that are doing especially well, helping AIM thrash the Main Market. People tend to think that small companies can grow faster but this can ignore the potential of larger small-cap rivals. While these are AIM companies, some are capitalised at more than £500 million and have made huge share price gains. According to the latest fact sheet from the FTSE AIM index series compiler FTSE Russell, the FTSE AIM 50 has achieved a total return of just short of 100% over the past five years. The compound return per annum over the same period is 14.9%. Even in the year to date the return is 25%. The vast majority of the constituents has increased in value this year. This return is not just about share price performance, it also includes dividends. Excluding online fashion retailer ASOS (ASC), nearly all the companies with the highest weightings in the index pay dividends. The FTSE AIM 100 has outperformed the FTSE AIM 50 over this year with a 26.8% return, but over a five-year period the return is 69.3% - a compound annual growth rate of 11.1%. It's important to remember that the FTSE AIM 100 is an international index, whereas the FTSE AIM 50 is focused on UK registered companies. Online fashion retailer boohoo.com (BOO) is registered in Jersey so it is not eligible for the FTSE AIM 50, even though it is effectively a UK business and is one of the largest companies on AIM. Heavyweights Historically, there has been a larger weighting of resources businesses in the FTSE AIM 100, which may be part of the reason for the relative underperformance. For example, African Minerals was worth more than £1 billion around five years ago, but it subsequently went bust. There were also some property funds which have not performed well, plus some Chinese companies, such as Asian Citrus (ACHL)(which was once one of the top 25 AIM companies by market capitalisation), whose share prices have slumped. The FTSE AIM All-Share, while lagging behind the big boys, has smashed through through the 1,000 level to its highest since 2008, and is 20% ahead so far this year. The five-year return is 51% - a compound annual growth rate of 8.6%. That compares with the FTSE 250 up 11%, and the FTSE All-Share and FTSE 100 up just 6% and 5% respectively. A limited number of companies have a significant effect on the performance of each index. Nearly 49% of the weighting of the FTSE AIM 50 comes from 10 companies. The top 10 in the FTSE AIM 100 have 36% of the weighting of that index. Online fashion retailer ASOS has always had a significant influence on each index and it is one-eighth of the FTSE AIM 50 and 7.76% of the FTSE AIM 100. Although the share price is only one-fifth higher this year it still helps to underpin the growth in each AIM index. ASOS is even 5.2% of the FTSE AIM All-Share – it should be noted that not every AIM company is in the AIM All-Share index and there are currently 808 constituents. The top 10 account for nearly one quarter of this index. TOP 10 FTSE AIM 50 COMPANIES WEIGHTING % % CHANGE (9 months) ASOS 12.6 20 Fevertree Drinks 8.4 92 Clinigen 4.6 50 Abcam 4.3 33 CVS 3.6 32 Purplebricks 3.2 175 IQE 3.2 228 James Halstead 3.1 -10 Conviviality 2.8 91 Scapa 2.8 32 TOP 10 FTSE AIM 100 COMPANIES WEIGHTING % % CHANGE (9 MONTHS) ASOS 7.8 20 Hutchison China MediTech 6.1 77 Fevertree Drinks 5.2 92 boohoo.com 3.4 57 Clinigen 2.9 50 Abcam 2.7 33 CVS 2.2 32 Plus500 2.0 133 Purplebricks 2.0 175 IQE 2.0 228 ...and big hitters Even if an AIM company is included in an index it might not have a 100% weighting for its market capitalisation. The weighting could be affected by perceived liquidity. Litigation finance provider Burford Capital (BUR) is the fifth-largest AIM company and it is in the FTSE AIM 100, but its weighting is lower than IQE (IQE), which is less than half its size. The weightings in each index are based on the current valuations of the constituents. This means that it is after their recent share price rises, and many would have had much lower weightings at the beginning of the year. There are also companies that have been taken over or moved to the Main Market, such as Sirius Minerals (SXX). Technology, healthcare and consumer-related companies have done well this year. Spirits mixers supplier Fevertree Drinks (FEVR) continues to go from strength to strength and is not far from doubling this year. Drinks distributor and retailer Conviviality (CVR) is starting to benefit from the consolidation of last year's acquisitions. Semiconductor wafers supplier IQE has soared in 2017 and the share price is still more than treble the level at the start of this year, despite profit-taking – unsurprising considering the share price at one point had risen by 10 times in little more than two years. Last year's star flotation, robotic software provider Blue Prism (PRSM), has more than doubled again. The rating is enormous but the company does tend to spark a forecast upgrade with every trading statement. Unlicensed medicines distributor and speciality pharmaceuticals supplier Clinigen (CLIN) and antibodies retailer Abcam's (ABC) share price rises of 50% and 33% respectively appear modest compared to some gains, but they are impressive for companies valued at more than £1 billion. Volatility Not all the large companies have done well. Telit Communications (TCM)' problems with its former boss Oozi Cats and his past misdemeanours meant that its share price fell by more than one-third, and it crashed out of the FTSE AIM 50 and the FTSE AIM 100. Technology company share prices can be volatile. WANdisco (WAND) had previously fallen out of the FTSE AIM 100 as it lost its premium valuation after disappointing investors, but it has bounced back by quadrupling its share price this year and returned to the index in the latest changes. Online derivatives trader Plus500 (PLUS) has also been a company that tends to either do very well or very badly in a year. This year it is doing well. There appears to be increasing investor interest in resources companies and some have performed well this year, but they tend to be the small ones that have little influence on how any AIM index performs. In contrast, the share prices of oil and gas explorers Sound Energy (SOU) and Hurricane Energy (HUR), which had been strong performers in previous years, each fell by around one-third. The Firestone Diamonds (FDI) share price fell by nearly two-thirds in the first nine months of this year. SolGold (SOLG) rose by 40%, but it has moved to the Main Market, while UK Oil & Gas (UKOG)has nearly quintupled so far this year. UK Oil is an example of an AIM company that has been built up using a shell that previously had a completely different business. That is why in the AIM statistics, UK Oil & Gas is in the technology hardware and equipment sub-sector, having originally been antennas developer Sarantel. It seems strange that management has not asked for the category to be switched, but it means that the oil and gas sub-sector performance has not benefited from the UK Oil & Gas share price rise. Keeping up the momentum It does appear that it will be difficult for AIM to continue to rise at its current rate, but it has seemed that way for a while. Some of the largest AIM companies are trading on prospective multiples of 30 or more. These are companies that have strong track records, but it may be difficult to continue to achieve the level of outperformance in recent years. It is also important that the larger companies do not slip up, so their share prices dive and drag down the index. Purplebricks (PURP) still has to achieve the growth needed to warrant its share price rise and much will depend on its new US business. There are still some more modestly rated AIM companies that are a significant size and there are newer companies with potential to grow. Some of those newer companies will trip up, like toilet roll maker Accrol (ACRL), but they can provide further growth for AIM. Marketing services provider Cello (CLL) and utility infrastructure installer Fulcrum Utility (FCRM) still have relatively modest ratings and have potential for long-term growth and there are new opportunities coming along all the time.
01/10/2017
20:58
master rsi: Best AIM companies of 2017-By Andrew Hore | Fri 29th September 2017 There is less than a fortnight to the 2017 AIM awards and many of the usual suspects are up for awards along with a few new names. The focus is on the larger companies with seven out of the ten largest AIM companies on one or more shortlists. This year's AIM Awards are being held in London on 12th October and the shortlist is available here (www.aim-awards.co.uk). Best investor communication Gift wrap and greetings products supplier IG Design Group (IGR) won this award in 1999 as International Greetings, and was one of the winners of the decade of excellence awards at the 10th anniversary awards, but the business has subsequently gone through tough times. New management has put things back on course and it is prospering again. Touchstone Innovations (IVO), which is the subject of a bid from IP Group (IPO), is back on the list - although it was still known as Imperial Innovations last year and in 2015 when it won this award. Former AIM companies of the year, life science tools retailer Abcam (ABC), healthcare IT provider EMIS (EMIS) and wine retailer Majestic Wine (WINE), are the others on the shortlist. Abcam is one of the most significant growth stories on AIM. Best guess: Abcam Best use of AIM This is a year when there are a number of past winners up for awards. Another example is Ideagen (IDEA), which won best use of AIM in 2015. Ideagen has made a further four acquisitions in the past year. Identity verification services provider GB Group's (GBG) is back on the list for a second year running. Address validation and data services company Postcode Anywhere was acquired in the period and that further enhances GBG's leadership in its market. Legal firm Gateley (GTLY) has made two small acquisitions in the two years on AIM, but it has also signed up 15 new partners, helped by its new status. Much bigger deals are likely to be in the future. Ticketing and queuing technology supplier Accesso Technology (ACSO) has grown into a significant player in its markets having moved to AIM from Ofex (now NEX) early in the century. Last year, entertainment ticketing firm Ingresso and personalisation and data technology developer The Experience Engine were acquired. Best guess: Accesso Technology Global achievement award This is a new award and the big guns, ASOS (ASC), boohoo.com (BOO), Fevertree Drinks (FEVR) and Gooch & Housego (GHH), are up for this one. Fevertree is likely to win something this year, but it is more likely to be AIM company of the year. Online fashion retailer boohoo has had a renaissance over the past 18 months. The share price has moved back above the 50p flotation price and is still quadruple that level even after recent declines. Other retail brands, such as Nasty Gal, have been added to the group. Larger rival ASOS needs little introduction and it has won many AIM awards over the years. Optical components and systems supplier Gooch & Housego deserves highlighting by the AIM awards. This is a truly international business with less than one-fifth of sales in the UK and a majority of sales in the Americas and Asia. Increasing research and development spending maintains Gooch's strong market position. Gooch would be a worthy winner, but one of the consumer businesses is more likely to win. Best guess: ASOS Best technology First Derivatives (FDP) and IQE (IQE) are on other shortlists, with the latter up for AIM company of the year. Summit Therapeutics (SUMM), which is also listed on Nasdaq, has been on AIM for well over a decade and, like many biotech and technology companies, it has been a long slog but a phase III trial for its C.difficile infection treatment is due to start in the first half of 2018. Duchenne muscular dystrophy drug Ezutromid has triggered a $22 million payment from Summit's partner, and news from its trial will be available early in 2018. Blue Prism (PRSM) supplies software robots that are used to automate back office tasks, and the AIM flotation has enabled it to accelerate growth in the US. Blue Prism is losing money, but that is due to the additional investment needed to create a significant business in the US. Best guess: Blue Prism AIM transaction of the year Unusually, there are six companies on this shortlist. Fibre optic infrastructure developer CityFibre Infrastructure (CITY) is on the list for the second year running having acquired Entanet in order to expand its wholesale fibre capability. Horizon Discovery (HZD) acquired GE Healthcare Dharmacon, which moves Horizon towards becoming a leading company in gene manipulation and editing tools and services, as well as providing an e-commerce platform to sell existing products. SDX Energy (SDX) bought producing assets in Egypt and Morocco, while engineer Avingtrans (AVG) acquired the financially troubled AIM company Hayward Tyler (HAYT). Frontier Developments (FDEV) raised £17.7 million from a strategic investment by Tencent, which will help it to move into the Chinese market. Animalcare (ANCR) has been transformed by the reverse takeover of Ecuphar with existing shareholders owning 37% of the enlarged group. The deal increases the number of vet medicines supplied by the group and brings with it a European distribution operation. Best guess: Animalcare AIM growth business of the year Fevertree won the inaugural award last year and it is back on the shortlist, along with software supplier First Derivatives, musical instruments retailer Gear4Music (G4M) and video games services provider Keywords Studios (KWS). First Derivatives pops up on shortlists every year but rarely wins anything. The financial software supplier and consultancy has grown steadily over more than a decade so, although it has done extremely well it has not had the eye catching short-term jumps in price that tend to get noticed. There have been acquisitions but the main growth has been organic. Gear4Music has successfully expanded in Europe and is already one of the biggest retailers in what is a fragmented market. Keywords is another company that has been unlucky not to be recognised more in the AIM awards. The rapid pace of acquisitions may have concerned some, but the strategy was always to be a consolidator of localisation, artwork and other services for the video games sector. Keywords has shown that it can secure good quality, earnings enhancing acquisitions. Best guess: Keywords Studios Innovative fundraising of the year This is a puzzling shortlist which seems to reflect an award seeking suitable candidates. The exact reasons for the companies to be on the shortlist are not stated. It does appear that significant fundraising may be a more appropriate name for this new award. Respiratory drugs developer Verona Pharma (VRP) raised £70 million via a global offering ahead of an ADS listing on Nasdaq. Not exactly innovative, because GW Pharmaceuticals (GWP) raised a lot more in a similar offering one year earlier and other AIM companies have done this to gain a Nasdaq listing. Spend control software provider Proactis (PHD) made two significant acquisitions accompanied by fundraisings during the year. The most significant was the reverse takeover of Perfect Commerce, which was combined with a £70 million fundraising. Proactis is better suited to AIM transaction of the year or best use of AIM - it is probably a better candidate than any on that list. Frontier Developments is also in the AIM transaction list (see above). It has managed to secure finance to move into the Chinese market. Litigation funding provider Burford Capital (BUR) raised £175 million via an oversubscribed issue of bonds that will be traded on the Main Market. They yield 6% and are repayable in December 2026. Burford used $43.75 million to repay 2019 loan notes relating to the purchase of Gerchen Keller. Best guess: Burford International company of the year The 2015 winner Hutchison China Meditech (HCM) is back on the shortlist. Regulatory change in China is helping to raise the standard of clinical data, and there are plans to launch new drug Fruquintinib next year. Banknote and product authentication systems supplier Spectra Systems (SPSY) has been on AIM for six years, and the share price recently went back above the flotation price following approval in China for its smartphone authentication technology. A maiden dividend has been proposed. Digital and mobile marketing services companies XLMedia (XLM) and Taptica (TAP) have both had to cope with fast changing markets, but they have generated cash and paid generous dividends. Taptica has been transformed from an online-focused media business to a predominantly mobile operation. Data collection and analysis is important to Taptica, helping margins to improve, and it has also grown internationally, including recent acquisitions in Japan and the US. Best guess: Taptica Best newcomer Corporate foreign exchange services provider Alpha FX (AFX) is the best performing new AIM admission in 2017, while cosmetics supplier Warpaint London (W7L) joined AIM near to the end of 2016 and it has performed even better. Eddie Stobart Logistics (ESL) is still trading at around its issue price. Share price performance may have an influence, but it is not the only factor in this award. Conferencing technology developer LoopUp (LOOP) has also enjoyed a strong share price if not as big a rise as Alpha and Warpaint. LoopUp is growing strongly particularly in the US which accounts for 52% of revenues. Any losses of customers are more than made up for by existing customers adding more users. It is still early days but LoopUp made a pre-tax profit of £507,000 and R&D tax credits help the company to generate cash which nearly covers capitalised development costs. Target markets are mid-to-large businesses and professional services firms. More customers are being added in the second half. Best guess: LoopUp Entrepreneur of the year Mahmud Kamani and Carol Kane of boohoo.com are jointly on the shortlist as are Samuel Bazini and Eoin Macleod of best newcomer contender Warpaint London. Brian Conlon of First Derivatives is on the shortlist for the second time in three years. Bob Falconer of communications services provider Gamma Communications (GAMA) is also on the shortlist. Gamma has been quoted for three years and Falconer has been chief executive for 13 years. Mark Watkin Jones is boss of student accommodation developer Watkin Jones (WJG), which is branching out into the private rental development market having joined AIM last year. Best guess: Mark Watkin Jones AIM company of the year Fevertree Drinks has been the darling of AIM for more than two years, so it is no surprise that it is on the AIM company of the year shortlist for a second year. Profit and cash generation are growing strongly and consistently beating expectations. Even after a dip in the share price the company remains highly valued. Advanced wafer products supplier IQE has tended to be a cyclical business because of its dependence on smartphone customers, but photonics, infra-red and other applications are growing and this has offset weakness in smartphone-related demand. This is a highly operationally geared business with good cash generation, although much of this cash is being reinvested in increasing capacity. IQE has been hit by profit-taking but the share price is still six times the level it was just over one year ago. Patent translation services provider RWS (RWS) is the one company on the shortlist not up for another award. It has been transformed from a failed healthcare internet shell into one of the top ten AIM companies. This is the third award that online fashion retailer boohoo.com has been shortlisted for. Best guess: Fevertree SUMMIT THERAPEUTICS 192.50p -1.28% IG DESIGN GROUP 347.00p 0.73% HUTCHISON CHINA MEDITECH 4,025.00p 1.07% IQE ------ 124.75p -2.54% ASOS ----- 5,955.00p -1.21% GB GROUP 368.00p 3.66% FIRST DERIVATIVES 3,000.00p 1.39% ABCAM 1,020.00p 0.00% EMIS GROUP 922.50p -1.13% ANIMALCARE GROUP 356.00p -0.42% VERONA PHARMA 140.00p 0.00% IP GROUP --- 137.20p 5.38% GW PHARMACEUTICALS 0.00 0.00% TOUCHSTONE INNOVATIONS 300.00p 7.05% RWS HOLDINGS 396.75p 0.38% AVINGTRANS 211.50p 0.24% GOOCH & HOUSEGO 1,420.00p 0.71% SPECTRA SYSTEMS CORP 85.00p -1.16% IDEAGEN 81.00p -2.41% PROACTIS HOLDINGS 169.50p 0.30% HAYWARD TYLER GROUP 50.75p 0.00% FRONTIER DEVELOPMENTS 1,088.00p 9.07% KEYWORDS STUDIOS 1,385.00p 1.76% ACCESSO TECHNOLOGY GR. 1,880.00p -0.27% BOOHOO.COM 211.50p -0.82% HORIZON DISCOVERY GROUP 227.00p 0.95% XLMEDIA 142.50p 0.00% GAMMA COMMUNICATIONS 595.00p 1.45% FEVERTREE DRINKS 2,187.00p -0.05% GATELEY (HOLDINGS) 160.50p 3.22% GEAR4MUSIC (HOLDINGS) 842.50p 0.00% TAPTICA INTERNATIONAL 405.00p 5.74% MAJESTIC WINE 353.25p -0.70% CITYFIBRE INFRASTRUC. 41.00p 3.80% BLUE PRISM GROUP 1,006.00p -0.30% WATKIN JONES 219.00p 3.18% SDX ENERGY INC 52.13p 0.00% LOOPUP GROUP 275.00p -1.79% WARPAINT LONDON 195.00p 1.30% ALPHA FX GROUP 477.50p 0.00% EDDIE STOBART LOG. 158.50p 0.00% BURFORD CAPITAL 1,035.00p 1.07%
29/9/2017
09:29
master rsi: MARKET REPORT Mining rally pushes FTSE higher A share price rally in the mining sector led by Antofagasta (ANTO) and Anglo American (AAL) helped the FTSE 100 gain positive momentum. At approximately 9am, the blue-chip index was trading 0.4% higher at 7,349. Antofagasta rose 2.8% to 949p and Anglo American was up 2.5% at £13.23. Rio Tinto (RIO) and Glencore (GLEN) chased its peers higher, up 1.3% and 1.5% respectively. Brent crude oil was stable at $57.47 per barrel. MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS Insurer Beazley (BEZ) reported an early estimate of $175m to $275m in net costs from the recent raft of Atlantic hurricanes and series of earthquakes in Mexico. The company estimated the losses would reduce 2017 earnings by approximately $150m. Its share price jumped 6% to 476.6p. Equiniti (EQN) was among the biggest FTSE 350 fallers after the commencement of dealings in nil paid rights associated with its planned acquisition of a US business. Shares in the outsourcing firm fell 8.4% to 276p. A strong trading update from defence tech company QinetiQ (QQ.) boosted the share price by 6.4% to 279.3p. Investors were particularly impressed by the performance in its Global Products division which is expected to grow in 2018 thanks to contracted orders and a strong pipeline. Infrastructure developer John Laing (JLG) said it would invest more money in renewable energy assets including a wind farm project. Its share price held firm at 284.8p. SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS Shares in struggling Carillion (CLLN) dropped 10.3% to 57.1p on yet another profit warning. It said full year results would be below current market expectations. At the half year stage underlying pre-tax profit plummeted 40% due to the phasing of equity disposals and underwhelming trading of contracts. Online estate agent Purplebricks (PURP) said strong progress was made across the business since the start of the financial year on 1 May 2017. Shares were up 2.1% to 379.3p after the company said first half revenues in the UK were likely to more than double compared to the same period last year. Restaurant operator Richoux (RIC) was unmoved at 13.4p despite turnover falling 20.2% to £5.65m in the 28 week period to 9 July 2017. It experienced some trading growth in its rebranded restaurants but there was no consistent improvement in trading conditions since April.
14/9/2017
08:58
master rsi: MARKET REPORT Next rallies and Interserve crashes as investors digest latest plc updates Next's (NXT) first half sales and profits were in line with its cautious expectations after a difficult six months. Pre-tax profits fell by 9.5% to £309.4m and total sales were 2.2% down at £1,914.0m. 'While the external environment looks set to remain difficult, from where we stand today our prospects going forward appear somewhat less challenging than they did six months ago.' Its shares jumped 9.3% to £48.28. Interserve (IRV) crashed 48.4% to 78.5p on a major profit warning caused by disappointing UK trading in July and August. Allied Minds (ALM) rose 15.5% to 171.75p as subsidiary Federated Wireless raised $42m from new investors. Excitement surrounding Federated Wireless' launch of the wireless industry's first spectrum controller, enabling government and commercial users to securely share the same spectrum band without impacting quality of service, was also behind the share price rise. Bradford-based grocer Morrisons (MRW) was marked down 2.6% to 238.7p as investors took profits following a good run for the shares. Half year results showed strong progress with CEO David Potts' turnaround. The supermarket's seventh consecutive quarter of positive like-for-like sales growth, up 2.6% before fuel and VAT, enabled Morrisons to report profit growth on growth for the first time in the turnaround. GVC Holdings (GVC) advanced 5.1% to 840.5p after saying adjusted pre-tax profit rose by 99% to €101.9m in the six months to the end of June. Net gaming revenues of €486.2m were up 10% (+12% in constant currency) vs pro forma H1 2016 and clean EBITDA of €133.9m rose by 28% vs pro forma H1 2016 (€104.4m). Spire Healthcare (SPI) slumped 12.5% to 271.3p after it revealed significantly lower than anticipated revenues in July and August and this trend in performance appeared to be continuing into early September. Ricardo's (RCDO) underlying pre-tax profits rose by 2% to £38.3m in the year to the end of June. Revenues were up 6% at £352m and the group's order book increased by 7% to a record £248m. Its shares were flat at 754p. Safestore (SAFE) saw continuing positive trading across the group in the third quarter with particularly strong momentum in its Paris business. Group revenues rose to £32.9m - up 12.5% at constant exchange rates - with like-for-like revenues up 3.2% at constant currencies. Its shares rose 1% to 412.9p. At 9:05am: (LON:ALM) Allied Minds PLC share price was +19.75p at 168.5p (LON:GVC) GVC Holdings Plc share price was +31.25p at 830.75p (LON:IRV) Interserve PLC share price was -67.25p at 85p (LON:MRW) Morrison Wm Supermarkets PLC share price was -10.8p at 234.2p (LON:NXT) Next PLC share price was +497p at 4914p
13/9/2017
21:41
master rsi: 10 growth shares with price and profit momentum - Stockopedia and Ben Hobson | 13th September 2017 The veteran US fund manager Richard Driehaus, once said that he wasn't at all interested in buying shares that were out of favour in the hope they'd eventually bounce back. Instead, he preferred the idea of buying growth shares on an upward trend and was happy to take the risk that they might fall. This "buy high, sell higher" approach made Driehaus one of the influential early adopters of 'momentum' investing. He was partly responsible for taking momentum from academia into the investment mainstream. And through his fund firm Driehaus Capital Management, he's still doing it today - with notable success. Hunting for growth stocks on the move For onlookers, the big lesson from Driehaus's approach is the potency of blending growth and momentum in small and mid-cap stocks. In essence, it's about looking for firms with a track record of earnings growth and share prices that are already rising. From that respect, it echoes the strategies of well-known investors like Mark Minervini and William O'Neil. Indeed, Driehaus pinpoints long-term earnings growth as the main driver of share price movement. So, central to his strategy is a focus on finding growth companies with rising rates of earnings per share and then figuring out which of them are likely to keep on delivering. Doing this means that this strategy hinges on the academic evidence that trends in both share prices and earnings tend to persist. In other words, a share price that has risen in the past tends to keep rising as more and more investors accept that the company is improving. In the same way, companies with rising profits that are beating market expectations tend to keep beating those expectations. For these reasons, Driehaus takes the view that rising prices tend to be more important than valuations, or even above-average debt, as long as their earnings growth looks assured. In terms of earnings, he looks for a track record of growth but, again, wants to find companies that are beating analyst expectations and delivering positive earnings 'surprises'. A focus on price and earnings momentum Stockopedia's own modelling of a Driehaus-inspired strategy has enjoyed a strong performance over the past year, with an impressive 42.3% gain. The returns are not always that strong, but recent returns reflect the popularity of growth stocks in the current market. With this in mind, we've recreated the Driehaus approach with a few of his favoured measures. These companies have all been seeing impressive earnings growth and strong support for their shares over the past year. Name Mkt Cap £m EPS Growth Streak EPS Growth % EPS Surprise % Last Year 1 Month Relative Strength James Cropper 181.8 5 30.2 24.6 +8.7 Luceco 397.2 3 118.9 21.0 +4.9 Marshall Motor Holdings 124.6 4 59.2 14.0 +12.6 Zytronic 99.9 3 19.8 13.0 +8.5 XLMedia 292.2 3 24.5 7.6 +7.6 Johnson Service 516.8 4 27.0 7.3 +1.0 Churchill China 112.2 8 30.2 6.5 +15.7 Impax Asset Management 137.3 3 57.7 6.4 +5.2 Applegreen 425.6 4 19.2 6.0 +6.5 Zotefoams 159.4 3 34.0 5.2 +12.0 Leading the list is the specialist paper and advanced materials business, James Cropper (CRPR). This is a firm that has seen rapid earnings growth over the past five years in tandem with a robust re-rating of its shares. On conventional valuation measures, this is likely to look expensive to value investors. Yet it's precisely this kind of high growth, high momentum stock that Driehaus looks for. Elsewhere, specialist lighting business Luceco (LUCE), only floated on the market a year ago, but its accounts point to a promising trend in earnings growth. As an ex-private equity controlled business, debt is high but under control and falling, again making this a potentially interesting momentum play. Followers of this column will also recognise other names on this list as regularly coming up in high quality, high momentum small-cap strategy screens. Among them are Zytronic (ZYT), XL Media (XLM), Impax Asset Management (IPX) and Zotefoams (ZTF). There is no doubt that the Driehaus approach to momentum makes this strategy exciting, and targets some of the fastest moving smaller companies in the market. However, with strong momentum comes the risk of sudden price crashes if things go wrong, or if the mood of the market changes. So, this approach to screening needs watching like a hawk. But for those looking for growth stocks on the move, it's a strategy that could be worth exploring.
04/9/2017
21:22
master rsi: Lloyds Bank: The case for 34% upside By Lee Wild | Mon, 4th September 2017 - 12:32 There had been much to like about Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) before the start of summer. Impressive profits, a generous dividend, and all-round improvement in the banking business has rewarded patient shareholders and attracted new ones. Indeed, buying at the post-referendum lows of 47p and selling at the May high would have generated a capital return of around 56%. Over 4p a share of dividends has also been announced since. Yet, there is disagreement about the merits of backing Lloyds now. Certainly, from a technical angle, our analyst John Burford suggests the shares are at a critical juncture, with further downside quite possible. Bears point to a 14% drop in the share price from 73.5p three-and-a-half months ago to levels last seen in April. That's at a time when the wider market has moved sideways and the bank sector has risen 2%. And this downtrend (see red line on the chart below), currently at 63p, remains a significant level. There's been a hiccup on the fundamentals, too. Lloyds has done a great job rebuilding its financial strength following the Credit Crunch, and the shares had been moving nicely. However, second-quarter results late July disappointed. Reported profit was up 4%, but a fifth less than expected because of surprise PPI provisions and other conduct issues. An increase in UK interest rates, which would be a significant boost to margins at Lloyds, appear no closer, either. Despite this, Jason Napier at UBS remains a fan, and Lloyds stays on his list of top bank stocks to buy. A price target of 85p implies 34% upside. Launched in May 2016, Napier's list has returned 40%, outperforming the index by 5%. And that's despite holding Lloyds - down 6% from its 67p portfolio entry price - through the Brexit vote. However, the high street lender is "safer than you think" and "cheaper than the market believes," writes the analyst. "Despite our cautious view on the UK economy we expect Lloyds to deliver broadly flat adjusted EPS in 2017-2019 as pre-provision profit growth offsets substantially higher loan losses," says Napier. "We do not expect earnings growth but we believe good capital generation will finance a dividend yield of over 8%." And UBS differs from others, arguing that net interest income generation is more sustainable than the market credits. In fact, there's room for re-pricing of deposits and return to growth in the open resi[dential] mortgage portfolio. "We see more capacity for cost reduction to offset revenue weakness should competitive conditions worsen beyond management expectations. We see optionality in investing in investments and insurance-driven businesses too." And UBS admits its assumptions could be conservative. "In four of the last five UK recessions, the banks made their share price lows before the recessions began," points out Napier. Expect a share price re-rating if Lloyds keeps outperforming peers like Barclays in unsecured loan losses, defends interest margins and grows the balance sheet. Of the other London-listed banks under UBS's microscope, the broker rates HSBC (HSBA) and Standard Chartered (STAN) both 'neutral with targets of 725p and 800p respectively, suggesting modest downside for the former and a small tick up for Standard. HSBC's valuation - 1.3 times tangible net asset value for a 10% forecast return on tangible equity with 5.3% dividend yield - fully discounts UBS's base case forecasts. For Standard, its turnaround is on track this year, but things will be "far more of a stretch" in 2018, argues Napier.
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