Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
Venture Life LSE:VLG London Ordinary Share GB00BFPM8908 ORD 0.3P
  Price Change % Change Share Price Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  +0.00p +0.00% 54.50p 52.00p 57.00p 54.50p 54.50p 54.50p 0 08:00:00
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Health Care Equipment & Services 9.1 -1.6 -5.1 - 20.08

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25/10/201609:51ValueGrowth Investing6,924
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24/10/2016 14:29:2257.00228129.96O
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Venture Life Daily Update: Venture Life is listed in the Health Care Equipment & Services sector of the London Stock Exchange with ticker VLG. The last closing price for Venture Life was 54.50p.
Venture Life has a 4 week average price of 53.98p and a 12 week average price of 52.57p.
The 1 year high share price is 80p while the 1 year low share price is currently 41.50p.
There are currently 36,837,106 shares in issue and the average daily traded volume is 1,207 shares. The market capitalisation of Venture Life is £20,076,222.77.
redartbmud: Numis slashes Keller target price after profits plunge Engineering company Keller (KLR) has issued its second profit warning in three months, as its Asia Pacific division continued to disappoint. Numis analyst Christen Hjorth retained his ‘hold’ recommendation and reduced the target price to 720p down from over £10. ‘Keller has issued an unscheduled trading update stating that 2016 results are now expected to be circa 15% below current market estimates, mainly due to continued underperformance in the Asia Pacific division. ‘We therefore reduce our 2016 earnings forecast by 15% and our 2017 forecast by 10%. The share price is currently down 24% and, based on this and our updated numbers, Keller now trades on 2016 price/earnings ratio of circa 9x and a dividend yield of circa 4%.’ Although management has made positive statements regarding the outlook for the company, Hjorth said that it was understandable that investors could be sceptical of management guidance following Keller’s second profit warning since August. The shares closed 27% or £2.41 lower at 644.5p. Bottom fishing has it's moments. Tintins at it, as can be expected. In for the longer term, with undemanding stats, if there is no further deterioration in the numbers. Not a recommendation. red
apad: Fundsmith, my fund management business, celebrated its fifth anniversary in the past month. What have I learnt over the past five years of running the fund? One thing I have observed is the obsession of market commentators, investors and advisers with macroeconomics, interest rates, quantitative easing, asset allocation, regional geographic allocation, currencies, developed markets versus emerging markets — whereas they almost never talk about investing in good companies. It seems to me that most of these subjects pose questions to which no one can reliably forecast the answers, and even if you could the connection to asset prices is tenuous at best. Take GDP growth — few things seem to obsess commentators more, yet no one has ever managed to demonstrate a positive correlation between GDP growth and stock market performance. Invest in something good What has continued to amaze me throughout the past five years is not just this largely pointless obsession with factors which are unknowable, largely irrelevant, or both, but how infrequently I hear fund managers or investors talk about investing in something which is good. Like a good company with good products or services, strong market share, good profitability, cash flow and product development. I suppose I had assumed that the credit crisis might have taught them that you will struggle to make a good return from poor-quality assets. No amount of CLOs, CDOs and the other alphabet soup of structured finance managed to turn subprime loans into a good investment. When the credit cycle turned down, even the triple-A rated tranches of these instruments turned out to be triple-Z. There’s a saying involving silk purses and a sow’s ears which encapsulates the problem. I am not suggesting that there is no other way of making money other than to invest in good companies, but investing in poor or even average companies presents problems. One is that over time they tend to destroy rather than create value for shareholders, so a long-term buy and hold strategy is not going to work for them. A more active trading strategy also has its drawbacks. Apart from the drag on performance from trading costs, it is evident from the performance of most funds that very few active managers are sufficiently skilled to buy shares in poor companies when their performance and share prices are depressed, and then sell them close to their cyclical peak. Another obsession I have been surprised about is that with “cheap” shares. I have been asked whether a share is cheap many more times than I have been asked whether the company is a good business. This obsession often manifests itself in the critique of our strategy which goes something like, “These companies may be high-quality, but the shares are too expensively rated.” This is almost certain to be true, as from time to time the share prices are sure to decline, but it misses the point. If you are a long-term investor, owning shares in a good company is a much larger determinant of your investment performance than whether the shares were cheap when you bought them. Ignore the siren song A fairly obvious lesson, but one I have re-learnt, is to stick to your guns and ignore popular opinion. I lost count of the number of times I was asked why we didn’t own Tesco shares, or was told that I had to own Tesco shares when our analysis showed quite clearly that its earnings-per-share growth had been achieved at the expense of returns on capital. In fact, its return on capital had deteriorated in a manner which pointed to serious problems in Tesco’s new investment in areas such as China and California. How investors ignored the warning signs at Tesco Since starting Fundsmith the stock which I have most frequently been asked about, and implored to buy, is Tesco. Similarly, it is important to ignore the siren song of those who have views on stocks which you hold, particularly if they are based on prejudices about their products. I also lost count of the number of comments I read about how Microsoft was finished as it “wasn’t Apple”. This included one investor who rang us to ask if we had seen the quarterly numbers from Microsoft which were not good. (It was tempting to respond saying No, of course we had not seen the quarterly results for one of our largest holdings and thank him for pointing this revelation out to us.) He said we would face questions at our AGM if we still held the stock then. It was of course just one quarter and the stock more or less doubled in price after that. Sadly no question was raised at the AGM. Stick to the facts Another of my observations is that impressions about stocks are often formed erroneously because people do not check the simplest facts. Sometimes they simply relate to the wrong company. We topped up our stake in Del Monte, a processed food and pet food business, on some share price weakness which resulted when a news service carried an article that dock workers in Galveston had gone on strike and so had stopped Del Monte’s ships being unloaded. The company it was actually referring to was Del Monte Fresh Foods, which imports tropical fruits like bananas and pineapples, not the one we were invested in. Or the client who contacted us to say how concerned he was about our large holding in Domino’s Pizza since the chief executive and chief financial officer had left. They had left the UK company, but we owned the US master franchiser. I would be hard pressed to name the least well-understood subject in investment given the wide choice available, but I suspect that currencies is among the leaders. Over the past five years I have heard lots of people talk or ask about the impact of currencies in a manner which betrays a complete lack of understanding of the subject. The commonest question or assumption about our fund is the impact of the US dollar, since the majority of the companies we have owned since inception are headquartered and listed in the US. This makes little or no sense. A company’s currency exposure is not determined by where it is headquartered, listed or which currency it denominates its accounts in. Yet this does not seem to stop people assuming that it does and making statements about the exposure of our fund to the US dollar, based on where the companies are listed. We own one company which is headquartered and listed in the US, but which has no revenues there at all. Clearly this assumption would not work very well for that company, any more than it would work for the UK listed company we own which has the US as its biggest market and which, perhaps unsurprisingly, reports its accounts in US dollars. Nor could we understand the reasoning of the commentators who wrote that our holding in Nestlé had benefited from the rise in the Swiss franc. How? Ninety-eight per cent of Nestlé’s revenues are outside Switzerland. It may be headquartered and listed in Switzerland and report in Swiss francs, but the fact is that a company’s currency exposure is mainly determined by where it does business. In Nestlé’s case the Indian rupee is a bigger exposure than the Swiss franc. Does anyone read accounts? I have also discovered that hardly anyone reads company accounts any more. Instead they rely upon management presentations of figures which often present “underlying221;, “core” or “adjusted̶1; numbers. Not coincidentally, the adjustments to get to the core or underlying numbers almost always seem to remove negative items. Reading the actual accounts bypasses this accounting legerdemain. We have also discovered mistakes in accounts which no one else seems to have noticed. Like the $1.8bn mistake in the IBM cash flow. This alone did not prevent us investing in IBM, but it helped to support our conclusion that hardly anyone reads its accounts thoroughly. Don’t sell good companies I have also learnt that selling a stake in a good company is almost always a mistake. Take Sigma-Aldrich, a US chemical company based in St Louis. It supplies pots of chemicals to scientists around the world who use them in tests and experiments. Its financial performance fitted our criteria, as did its operational characteristics — supplying 170,000 products to more than a million customers at an average price of $400 per product. It fitted our mantra of making its money from a large number of everyday repeat transactions, as well as having a base of loyal scientists who relied on its service. It was a predictable company of exactly the type we seek. That was until it was revealed that it was trying to acquire Life Technologies, a much larger company which supplies lab equipment. Given the execution risk involved, we sold our stake. As it happens, Sigma-Aldrich did not acquire Life Technologies as it was outbid. But having gone public on its willingness to combine with another business, it was in no position to defend its independence and succumbed to a bid itself from Merck at a price about 40 per cent above the price we has sold at. Selling good companies is rarely a good move. The good news is that we don’t do it very often. Our best share The best performing share contributing to Fundsmith’s performance over the past five years was Domino’s Pizza Inc, with a return of over 600 per cent from the initial stake purchased on the day the fund opened. What might we learn from this? ● People often assume that for an investment to make a high return it must be esoteric, obscure, difficult to understand and undiscovered by other investors. On the contrary — the best investments are often the most obvious. ● Run your winners. Too often investors talk about “taking a profit”. If you have a profit on an investment it might be an indication that you own a share in a business which is worth holding on to. Conversely, we are all prone to run our losers, hoping they will get back to what we paid for them. Gardeners nurture flowers and pull up weeds, not the other way around. ● Domino’s is a franchiser. If you regard a high return on capital as the most important sign of a good business, few are better than businesses which operate through franchises, as most of the capital is supplied by them. The franchiser get a royalty from revenues generated by other people’s capital. ● Domino’s has focused on the most important item for success in its sector — the food. This is in sharp contrast to other fast food providers, such as McDonald’s, which are struggling. ● Domino’s is mostly a delivery business. This means that it can operate from cheaper premises in secondary locations, and so cut the capital required to operate compared with fast food operators who need high street restaurant premises. ● Domino’s was owned by Bain Capital. Like a lot of private equity firms, Bain leveraged up the business by taking on debt to pay themselves a dividend before IPO, so it started life as a public company with high leverage. This can enhance equity returns. In a business which can service the debt there is a transfer of value to the equity holders as the debt is paid down and the equity is de-risked. Please note — this does NOT indicate that leverage always enhances returns.
hydrus: TSTL share price is overcooked and I'm a holder. Lots of uncertainty with US plus likely to be a long time before significant sales are achieved there but share price is now starting to bake in certain success. Reality will hit home at some point I'm sure.
hydrus: Red I have no idea about the specific company mentioned and I assume you have a reason to be wary of it from your conversations but as a more general point illiquidity is not a reason to avoid an investment in my view if you are a long term investor. In fact, illiquidity typically means low or no institutional holders and high director ownership, which is something I tend to look for. That means you are likely to have less selling as there are no large institutions who, for whatever reason, decide to sell down a position, suppressing the share price for a period. Plus it means if the company does well, institutions at some point will buy in, boosting the price. If Directors own a significant portion of the company and they are competent then that's a good thing as the main way they will make money is through creating value with a resultant higher share price.The companies to avoid are those where Directors own very little of the company but cream off big salaries. They have no alignment with shareholders.
redartbmud: Back from Torquay, now have insomnia. Haywards Yes I looked at Lvd, but only in a cursory manner. The business is rental of powered equipment, which rather put me off. Given the downturn in the world economy, I could not get beyond the question of growth. After that I got caught up in other things. I will have to get back to an in depth look. They may be something for the future. I have a dilemma with Plnd. Having bought the story I saw my investment plummet from a combination of rank bad management of the takeover of 99p stores and an over-egging of the business model. The impending takeover puts me, fortuitously, into profit. Currently the share price exceeds the offer price, indicating the possibility of another bid. Alternatively the bidder could withdraw and the share price would plummet. Do I sell in the market or hold on? My inclination is to sell and recover the cash for other opportunities, counting myself fortunate to have escaped unscathed. I cannot see a rival bidder on the horizon for low end budget stores in the current marketplace. What has made things worse was the actions of Steinhoff, the bidder. It looked quite obvious that they would make a second bid when the board rejected their first, undisclosed, offer and they started buying aggressively in the market. I have witnessed such actions many times before and know the end game. Brexit gave them two advantages: 1. The fall in sterling making the deal cheaper for them through currency translation. 2. They had previously failed to close two previous bids for other companies. A third failure would have tarnished their reputation in the City. 3. They bought aggressively and would have incurred a very significant loss on the purchases as a result of failure. I should have bought aggressively below £1.80 to take advantage of the 'golden' opportunity and made a real killing. I fear that this factor is clouding my judgment to sell in the market, as I hope for a better outcome. On balance, I intend to take my ill gotten gains and run for the hills in the morning. red
petersinthemarket: Like I said apad, I sometimes use more aggressive versions of the above: The Holding To keep the maths simple, assume 6000 shares are bought at £1 with a 90p stop and partial exits proposed for each additional 10% share price gain. Maths - Sell 25% of the position for each 10% rise in the share price The first stage of the plan might be to sell 6000sh x 25% = 1500 shares at £1.10 and this plan is then followed by taking further 25% slices of the original position at 2x and 3x Initial Risk. The remaining 25% could be sold later or left in the market, depending on prospects: Buy 6000sh at £1 each = £6000 Place a stop loss order at -10% = 90p per share Assume share price rises to £1.10:Sell 25%£6000x25% =1500sh x £1.10=£1650 in the bank) Assume share price rises to £1.20:Sell 25%(£6000x25% =1500sh x £1.20=£1800 in the bank) Assume share price rises to £1.30:Sell 25%(£6000x25% =1500sh x £1.30=£1950 in the bank) For an share price rise of 30% the trader now has £5400 (£1650+£1800+£1950) in the bank after selling 75% of his position, which is 90% of the cost of the original trade. So he has 25% of his holding still in but at only 10% of the cost. There are 1500sh with a remaining Book Value of only £600 still in the market and if the share price continues to rise these can be left to run with little risk whilst the rest of the capital is used elsewhere. Even if the share price finally runs out of energy and falls all the way back to £1 the final portion could still be sold at its original cost: 1500sh x £1 = £1500, making the total return £6900 (£1650+£1800+£1950+£1500), to leave a small profit of £900, or 15% (minus charges). I throw the above in FWIW, knowing that I am mostly talking to long termers. We all do things in different ways more comfortable for ourselves. Different numbers can be inserted into a similar maths process and I have calculated various examples at different splits and percentages. The intention is always the same: to take fairly regular profits for investment elsewhere without completely exiting a successful run plus protecting the portfolio capital. Without capital, we are out of the game. GL, pete
haywards26: I considered RTN at the 280 region, but not at the current share price level. I think the current strategic review could bring further skeletons out of the cupboard and weaken the share price, especially if no bidders emerge. A big share price crash alerts me to a company initially, then I review the financials, business and come to a conclusion as to whether Mr Market has overreacted and presented an investment opportunity or not.
redartbmud: Clln The market focus has moved away from the construction sector for the present time. The share price has slowly settled south. The PE and yield underpin the share price at current levels. I would expect the share price to adjust to the ex-d then recover. red
apad: I increased ROR at 162.5p, inc charges, in February, red. I might be interested if it reaches this sort of level again, I guess. Beddard article on VCT: Victrex AGM: The cost of domination By Richard Beddard | Fri, 12th February 2016 - 10:00 Even for a proven market leader the future is far from certain, but Victrex is building on what has made it successful. PEEK, and the close variants of the polymer that Victrex manufactures, is light, very tough and heat resistant. Since the 1980’s manufactures have been using it to replace metal components in aeroplanes, cars and more recently spinal implants. It replaces inferior plastics in smartphones for example. I added Victrex shares to the Share Sleuth portfolio because I believed Victrex produces the best PEEK, it has the most technical and scientific expertise, and can produce it in the biggest volumes. To put numbers on that, last year Victrex produced 40% of the market’s PEEK and this year it could, in theory, make up to 70% of it. By convincing customers to use new PEEK products it hopes to create a market for 80,000 tonnes of PEEK. It is market leader and because, as chief executive David Hummel likes to repeat, it’s the only company where 700 people wake up every day to develop markets for PEEK, it should maintain the lead. To be honest, I didn’t take much sleuthing to work this out, the company spells most of it out in its annual reports. I still believe all of that, but a dominant position in a market isn’t cause for complacency. The weakness in the share price that allowed me to add the shares at a reasonable price, reveals doubts in the minds of some traders and investors about the company’s ability to maintain its exemplary record of profitability and growth. The fact that respected hedge fund manager David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital has been one of them for at least a year is not necessarily cause for alarm. Falls in the share price that vindicate his decision to sell short may also bring about its end if, as I believe, the shares are no longer overvalued. The short-term risk is oil and gas, one of the reasons for a carefully worded update published by the company on the morning of the Annual General meeting. Victrex did not warn profit will disappoint in 2016, but revenue and sales volumes were lower in the first quarter. Victrex makes components like seals for sub-sea pipelines and refineries and it’s experiencing very low levels of demand that in 2015 shrunk revenues from the oil and gas industry from about 10% of total revenue to about 7%. In 2015, none of Victrex’s other major markets contracted, and overall the company grew. In 2016, it expects other divisions to come to the rescue again. In response to a question about the sputtering global economy, whether a repeat of 2008/2009 is on the cards, Hummel sounds confident. The crisis then was a surprise, customers had stocked up in the expectation of continued growth and the subsequent drop in demand, for once, threatened Victrex’s profitability. Today, he says, we are bombarded by bad news and stocks are low. Perhaps, even if the global economy experiences recession, the impact on Victrex would be less severe. If 700 plus people at Victrex wake up thinking about selling more PEEK, what do Victrex’s competitors wake up thinking about? Hummel tells me the two biggest, Solvay of Belgium and Evonic of Germany are big chemical companies seeking to supply customers with all the plastics they might need. PEEK is a high value product, but it’s only a small part (1-2%) of their portfolios. Victrex thinks its ability to supply PEEK in more forms than the standard granules, and in so many specifications, some of them protected, means the specialist will win, particularly now it’s making finished products too. But making products means bigger bets. Victrex has invested £90m in new polymer manufacturing capacity, and is focusing on six “mega-programmes” that might within five years deliver £50m in revenue each. Revenue and profit should increase quickly as superior Victrex products are adopted and then tail off. Returns come in lumps that follow waves of innovation. Hummel says returns have always been lumpy, but the record shows minor perturbations. My impression is the lumps, or burps as Hummel sometimes calls them, and the gaps between them will become more pronounced. Perhaps a harbinger of the challenges ahead, adoption of Victrex’s new Magma subsea oil pipelines made from PEEK, one of the mega-programmes, is delayed because investment by oil and gas exploration and production companies has collapsed. Growth at Invibio, Victrex’s healthcare division, has stalled due to consolidation in the spinal implant industry, before its new mega-programmes, a new generation of spinal products and, knee, dental and trauma plate implants, are generating returns. A question from a shareholder about the slow adoption of Victrex’s Juvora dental discs by dentists reveals the difficulty of marketing new products to thousands of independent dental practices and groups. The company has turned to YouTube. Shareholders must prepare themselves for change: lumpier returns and higher costs as Victrex takes on the manufacture of finished and part-finished products. Victrex says gross profit margins may come under pressure but the prize is a much bigger share of the total profit from the products it manufactures than it gets as a raw materials supplier.
apad: Interesting Bearbull article in the IC: Let’s call it ‘the dilemma of growth’. It’s what happens when an investor seeks to fit a growth stock into an income fund. It’s natural enough to want to do it; after all, including the growth stock will add oomph to what might otherwise be dull and pedestrian. But the new inclusion will struggle to justify its place because too much hope and expectation is factored into its price. As a result, it’s almost inevitable that it will look expensive when put amongst securities whose prices are set to minimise the chances that they will deliver unpleasant shocks and maximise the likelihood that low but satisfactory returns will materialise. Slotting shares in utilities-services provider Telecom Plus (TEP) into the Bearbull Income Portfolio (see last week’s Bearbull) triggers this dilemma, prompting two related questions: are shares in Telecom Plus wildly overrated, and why does the Bearbull fund get such a low rating? Let’s focus on the first question. Recall that, superficially at least, a holding in Telecom Plus offers good things for the income fund. At their current 989p, the shares come with a 4.7 per cent yield on 2015-16’s promised 46p payout. Simultaneously, a combination of the high volatility in Telecom Plus’s share price, the above-average monthly gain in the price and its low correlation with price movements in the Bearbull income fund make Telecom Plus’s shares a useful addition to the portfolio. These benefits aren’t in question – although that doesn’t mean they are certain to materialise – but it may be that I’m paying too high a price for them. Put bluntly, it’s difficult to find value in the shares that’s remotely close to the current share price. Given that Telecom Plus’s shares are rated at about 22 times forecast earnings for the year to end-March, that may not be surprising. True, I pay little attention to PE ratios. Even so, a high earnings multiple can indicate useful things – in particular, that the interest rate that capitalises a company’s earnings is very low. This infers that most of the future growth is already factored into the share price and that, therefore, anyone buying around current prices must expect low returns (and that – paradoxically – is pretty well the opposite of what’s expected by punters who buy on high earnings multiples). We can turn this proposition around and find out how much profit Telecom Plus should make in order to justify its current share price. True, an investor can’t answer that without first supplying the return that he wants from holding the shares. For Bearbull, that’s usually 8.5 per cent. To satisfy that requirement, either Telecom Plus should make twice last year’s £38m operating profit or its share price must first halve.................
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