Comptoir Investors - COM

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Stock Name Stock Symbol Market Stock Type
Comptoir Group Plc COM London Ordinary Share
  Price Change Price Change % Stock Price Last Trade
0.00 0.0% 7.50 08:00:00
Open Price Low Price High Price Close Price Previous Close
7.50 7.50 7.50 7.50 7.50
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DateSubject
05/6/2017
13:24
pugugly: and they are (imo) in breach of AIM Rule 26 in that investor website only accessible after registration. So why consider investing if restricted access - NOMAD please take note
23/1/2006
01:07
maestro.: Business Focus The dotcom boom is back. Will it last this time? Less bubble less squeak. The web is now in the hands of big players less likely to get caught in the mouse trap By : Tony Glover - Technology Editor January 22, 2006 THE GROWING NUMBERS OF investors convinced the dotcom boom had returned got the fright of their lives last week. Their nightmare started when a little- known Japanese internet company, Livedoor, was raided by Japanese investigators last Monday. So overwhelming was the panic caused by the news, which added to worries about oil prices, that the selling of Japanese technology stocks forced the Tokyo Stock Exchange to close its doors for trading – for the first time in a generation. The Nikei 225 Index fell nearly 6% on Tuesday and Wednesday. Fears that the good run in technology stocks over the past year might be about to come to a painful end quickly spread to Wall Street and other markets. The Dow fell 213.32 points or 1.96% to 10667.39 on Friday erasing all gains for 2006. It was the worst session since March 2003. The S&P's 500 shed 1.83% to 1261.49. The Nasdaq slumped 2.35% to 2247.70, its biggest decline since August 2004 as the markets succumbed to mounting fears about earnings. By Monday, it is likely that traders will have relaxed and reverted to their previous belief that a new tech boom has just started. But for all investors, the events of last week raise a fundamental question which demands an answer: will the new dot.com era last or will it turn into a bust like the previous one, wiping out hard-earned savings and dashing the hopes of millions? This is an especially important question in Japan where share prices in Tokyo surged by 40% last year. Livedoor had been a favourite stock among small investors in Japan. Investors panicked on hearing that the company was being investigated by Japan's Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission. Its offices in Tokyo's Roppongi Hills were raided after allegations that it had mis-stated losses from its 2004 results and spread false information to boost its share price. Television pictures of the raid were flashed around the world, spooking investors. Frightened Tokyo brokers stopped accepting Livedoor shares as collateral and demanded that investors cover their trading positions with cash. As clients were forced to sell in a falling market, other technology stocks were dragged down. Japan's dotcom flu soon started to mutate into a global pandemic. Lower-than-expected profits from Yahoo and Intel last week were seized upon as evidence that tech stocks were in deep trouble. News of good earnings from two other technology darlings, Apple and eBay, were also viewed with suspicion by investors; even Google, the world's favourite dotcom stock, suffered. The Wall Street Journal, although noting that Google's profits are still climbing and that analysts are generally upbeat about its prospects, added this warning to its report last week: "But few investors are focusing on the growing number of restricted shares and options that Google is handing out to employees which will emerge as a sizeable expense in the next few years." By the end of the week calm had partly returned in Japan. The panic was over and the consensus among analysts was that investors had over-reacted to the Tokyo crisis. By Thursday, the market was even able to keep its poise even after absorbing disturbing news that 38-year-old Hideaki Noguchi, a senior adviser to Livedoor, had been found dead in a Tokyo hotel. The Nikkei Index recovered around 2% with internet and technology stocks leading the way. But there were plenty of scars left -- and in the US at least the worst was yet to come. The first signs of trouble ahead was when Yahoo's share price fell by a hefty 12% on news that fourth-quarter earnings had missed analysts' average estimate by 1 cent a share. Earnings had come in at 16 cents a share against the 17 cents expected, hardly a disaster. Far from being a dotcom promise that was not delivered, Yahoo had managed to grow annual revenues by an impressive 47% from $3.6bn (£2.1bn, E3bn) to $5.26bn over the year and its profits had risen by 126% from $840m to $1.9bn. Figures like these would normally be a cue for celebration and for sending the stock flying to new highs, rather than provoking a sell-off. To some sellers Yahoo's latest figures were interpreted as an indication that the stock may have reached, or be nearing, "maturity", another way of saying that growth rates on this scale cannot last. Growth is certainly slowing: Yahoo doubled sales between 2002 and 2003 before tripling them in 2004. But Yahoo's decline was only a taste of things to come. On Friday, Google's share fell 8%, leading a severe decline in the US markets on fears about earnings, energy prices and just about everything else. With a bit of luck, the markets will recover this week but questions will continue to be asked about the durability of the current boom. The most bullish analysts argue that the recent resurgence of the technology sector has several features that distinguish it from the late 1990s boom and subsequent bust. At that time the internet, e-commerce and web publishing sectors were untested concepts. Young dotcom entrepreneurs convinced venture capitalists to back their business plans. Because few investors understood what they were up to, a brash culture arose that declared it was creating "new economy" stocks. The Nasdaq, which lits shares of technology stocks, has doubled since October 2003, but is still only half way to the heights (5132.52) of October 2000. US interest rates have been rising steadily but there is lots of cash in the US parked in real estate that has not yet migrated into shares. Higher employment has returned to Silicon Valley (mostly in software), though there are still a quarter million fewer tech jobs from the 2000 peak. Attitudes have changed. A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation showed Silicon Valley residents now prefer salaried jobs with established companies, rather than huge stock options with risky start-ups. Another indication Silicon Valley is more mature is the increase in spending by American venture capitalists, 25% of which ends up in Valley firms. A total of $4.21bn in venture capital was invested in the Valley in the third quarter of 2005, compared with $6.09bn for all of 2004. In 2000, in a blind frenzy, investors poured $30bn into thousands of dotcom start-ups. Virtually none of them made a profit. By the end of 2001, an estimated 80% were out of business. Tens of thousand jobs were lost and $2trillion in share value wiped out. The tech sector has revived since those dark days and the current boom has a different look, the most notable being that mergers and acquisitions have become the way for start-ups to cash out, rather than initial public offerings (IPOs). VCs are looking for fundamentals not visionaries, cashflow more so than hype. Harry Dent, an economist who predicted the last tech boom and bust in his 1992 book The Great Boom Ahead predicts a bigger boom growing over the next five years. But there is a sting in his tail. Dent sees the Nasdaq rising to 13,000 (it is now at 2,258) by 2010. "We see a broader tech boom, including biotech, resuming now that we're over this crash," he told an interviewer at Wired.com, another survivor from the last crash. "Businesses have cut costs and expanded their ability to grow with past investments. Now, businesses are going to have to catch up and reinvest to keep up with consumers, who never stop spending. Businesses will come back big-time, and that money largely flows into information technology." Dent, however, predicts a crash at the end of 2010 worse even than the previous one in 2001. He says this is largely because there is no large Baby Boom generation coming up to pick up consumer demand, which he attributes to the tech revival. "You've got a smaller generation following the largest generation in history," Dent said. Rather than thousands of start-ups, the current rebound is confined to established online advertisers such as Google, Yahoo and AOL, electronics firms such as Apple, as well as biotech, telecoms and software developers. "It is more isolated than last time," says a leading analyst. "[The rebound] is not insignificant, but it is in smaller pockets." The market still sees Yahoo's big rival, market leader Google, as the leading internet growth stock. Most analysts believe Google is firmly in a growth phase, while conceding that its shares are highly valued. Google trades at roughly 90 times current earnings. By contrast, Yahoo's shares trade at around 60 times earnings. But analysts believe internet stocks like Google have room for faster growth than non-tech companies. According to Cyrus Mewawalla, analyst at Westhall Capital, internet companies have substantial growth potential while traditional telecoms stocks are overvalued. "There will not be overall growth across the sector. Already, clear winners and losers are emerging. Telefónica, for example, probably bought O2 at the top of the market. "The bottom line is that telecoms operators like Vodafone derive about 80% of their voice while internet players such as Google [and now Tesco] are starting to offer voice [telecom] services on the web that are virtually free," said Mewawalla. "Internet stocks are set to benefit from customer losses that will severely impact traditional telecoms operators." France Telecom's profit warning earlier this month was attributable to loss of business to internet-based services and evidence of a shifting power base from old communications suppliers such as the former national telecoms operators to the internet-based economy. According to a survey, 592,000 France Telecom customers ended their fixed-line contracts with the phone operator during 2005 – six times as many as the year before. The survey also revealed that 2005 saw a spread of alternative phone operators, with a further 2.23m customers switching to other operators for the internet and other services, but retained a fixed-line contract with France Telecom. Ian Lobley, a senior partner in 3i's venture capital business, said he believes the balance between old and new communications players will shift dramatically during 2006. "Investors will start to find companies' roles increasingly confusing during the course of the year," predicts Lobley. "We are already seeing TV companies selling phone services and phone companies becoming TV companies." Overall, the view is that today's technology sector is different from the dotcom bubble seven years ago and that the boom has barely begun. JP Rangaswami, global chief information officer of Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, says the internet is entering the second stage of its evolution and that the medium, like the early days in Hollywood, is "only just at the Keystone Cops stage of its development". Speaking to entrepreneurs in London recently, Julie Meyer, founder and chief executive of Ariadne Capital, an early business development adviser of internet voice specialist Skype, was bullish about prospects for 2006. She likened the recent evolution of the internet as comparable to other periods in history that brought about sweeping social change. One venture fund manager attending the event said: "The buzz is just like it was at the start of the last dotcom boom. We are only at the start of the next cycle – 2006 is going to be an incredible year."
06/3/2005
07:53
maestro.: The Sunday Times March 06, 2005 Is it dotcom mania all over again? Five years since the height of the boom, technology stocks look ready to take off again. By David Budworth IT IS five years to the day since the peak in Britain's Techmark index at the height of the dotcom boom, when technology stocks echoed the madness surrounding the South Sea Bubble nearly 300 years ago. Investors who bought into the hype when the bubble was about to burst have had little cause for celebration. On Friday the Techmark, which measures the London market dedicated to technology firms such as Amstrad and ARM Holdings, closed at 1,175, down 80% since the peak of 5,743 on March 6, 2000. Its US counterpart, the Nasdaq, has slumped 59% from its peak to about 2,050. If you had invested £1,000 five years ago in the average tech fund it would now be worth just £257. The same amount invested in the worst-performing scheme, Framlington Netnet, would have shrunk to just £144, according to Lipper Hindsight, a ratings agency. But despite the gloom, advisers are urging investors to take a chance on technology once more, ahead of what they hope will be a sector rebound. Alan Steel of Alan Steel Asset Management, a financial adviser, said: "The sector is at the bottom of the heap, but history shows that that is often the best time to invest. Over the next two years I think a lot of money will be made." Investors are returning to the stock market after a strong start to the year by the FTSE 100 index. Around 58% of experienced private investors are planning to increase their stock- market exposure, according to the Association of Investment Trust Companies. This is up from just 46% six months ago. But in January only £4m was invested in technology unit trusts, making it one of the least popular sectors, according to the Investment Management Association. This opens the door for canny investors to pick up unloved shares before they become popular again. Fund managers and professional investors are also backing technology. Last month Patrick Evershed, who manages the New Star Select Opportunities fund, told The Sunday Times that technology is his favourite sector. Bernard Fairman, who manages technology venture-capital trusts for Foresight Venture Partners, said: "We are in the early stages of an upswing. It feels like the position we were in back in 1995, before the last tech boom really took off." Although some managers and advisers are enthusiastic tech supporters, there is little sign of the late 1990s fever, when investors were happy to pour money into any firm with ".com" in its title, no matter how improbable its business plan and how far off the prospect of profits, let alone dividends. Commentators believe there are sound business reasons to back tech firms now. John Bearman, head of UK equities at Insight, Halifax's fund-management arm, said: "Investors can feel more confident that they are buying sound companies at sensible prices. Normality has returned." Some dotcoms have survived. Lastminute.com and Ebookers.com both made solid businesses out of linking customers to travel services via the internet. Although Ebookers was taken over recently, Lastminute is still thriving. There are positive signs that corporate spending on tech and telephone networks is also growing. US spending on information technology was up 12% last year at $484 billion (£254 billion), the first year of double-digit growth since 2000. But which new developments are the ones to back?
11/8/2004
00:06
maestro.: August 11, 2004 Google's £20bn float online and on track From Abigail Rayner in New York GOOGLE shrugged off Wall Street criticism yesterday and fears that its £20 billion float plans would face severe difficulties after hinting that its long-awaited auction could start as early as Friday. The internet search engine said yesterday that potential bidders would have their last chance to register for the auction tomorrow at 5pm New York time. The secretive internet group provided a one-line statement on its website yesterday: "Google IPO – Bidder Registration Closing August 12 2004; Auction Will Commence Soon Thereafter." Investors who still want to buy Google shares are required to sign up for a bidder registration number by visiting www.ipo.google.com. Without a number, individuals cannot take part in the sale. Registration began on July 30. The auction of 25,697,529 shares is expected to start either on Friday or next Monday. It is not yet clear how long the auction will last but industry sources expect that unconditional trading in the shares could begin by the end of the week of August 16. Google had been expected to begin trading as early as the start of this week, but has been delayed by a series of setbacks. On Monday, Google increased the number of shares in the auction by more than a million so that it could hand over the additional shares to Yahoo!, its rival, to settle a lawsuit. In all, Google gave Yahoo! 2.7 million shares worth from $291 million (£158 million) to $365 million, based on Google's price indication. The class A stock settled a patent dispute over technology owned by Overture Services, which was acquired by Yahoo! last year. The patent licence will allow Google to continue to operate its AdWords program, wihch links keywords to adverts. Google has been beset with problems ahead of its impending float. It emerged last week that the company had failed to disclose share allocation to employees over the past three years. The internet search engine admitted that it could have broken US Securities and Exchange rules and securities laws in 18 states for failing to register 23.2 million shares it issued to 1,105 past and current employees and consultants, and stock options to 301 people. Earlier this week, traders were anxious about the potenntial valuation of the flotation, after a report by Jupiter claimed that revenue growth from advertising linked to Google's searches, the company's main source of income, was set to fall dramatically over the next five years. The research, by Nate Elliott, an analyst at the fund management firm, claimed that advertisers are expected to double spending on paid research to $5.5 billion by 2009, but that the annual growth rate will drop to 11 per cent from more than 65 per cent in 2003. "This market has grown so phenomenally over the past number of years. Now it is maturing," Mr Elliott wrote. HOW THIS WEEK'S AUCTION WILL TAKE PLACE Potential investors in Google must sign up for a registration number at the flotation website, ipo.google.com Only "US persons" - US residents and companies incorporated in the US - may apply for stock. Regulators will not take responsibility for the residents of more than one country In response to the completed application form - which requires a US social security number and an e-mail address - a 20-digit registration number is e-mailed to the bidder. Investors must have an account with a broker. When the bidding begins tomorrow, investors will make their bids - they can bid for stock in various amounts. The auction will be similar to an open auction except that bidders will not know what their competitors have bid until after the process has closed. Google has provided guidance of $108-$135 (£59-£73) a share but if underwriters see the price rising 20 per cent above the top end of their range ($162), or below its low end, they will notify investors by e-mail. Bidders will be given an hour to revise or withdraw their bids. If demand for the shares is overwhelming Google could increase the number in the offering. Google has also allowed itself the right to lower the price from that generated by the auction. To do that would mean more winning bidders receiving fewer shares in total. The banks will oversee the auction and decide when to close it. That evening bidders will receive another e-mail telling them the final offering price and, if they have been successful, the number of shares that they have bought.
02/8/2004
21:40
maestro.: Googlemania forces IPO site launch London, August 2 2004, (netimperative) by Gareth Vorster Search giant Google has been forced to launch a site to provide information about its Nasdaq flotation as a result of the massive public interest. The new site enables prospective investors (in the US only) to apply for an identification number so as to register and participate in Google's listing on the Nasdaq. Google expects the auction process to close during the middle of this month. Despite being hit by the latest version of the notorious 'MyDoom' virus last week, which searches the web for e-mail addresses using search engines run by Google, Yahoo, Lycos and Altavista, Google said that money raised by its initial public offering on the Nasdaq could reach as much as $3.3bn (£1.8bn), valuing the company at more than $36bn (£19.7bn). In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Google estimated it would sell its shares for between $108 and $135 through an online auction expected next month. The company is aiming to sell 14.1 million of its own shares, with a further 10.5 million to be sold by existing shareholders. Also last week, the search engine reported second quarter profits of $79.1m, up from $64m in the first. This was from revenues of $700.2m, up 7.5% from $651.6m in the first quarter. Content for the new site includes the entire Google Prospectus, a list of press releases, frequently asked questions about the IPO and instructions for how to participate
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