Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
Opd Group LSE:OPD London Ordinary Share GB0007053944 ORD 5P
  Price Change % Change Share Price Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  +0.00p +0.00% 38.25p 0.00p 0.00p - - - 0 06:30:09
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Support Services 49.4 -2.0 -66.5 - 10.15

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Date Time Title Posts
10/1/201115:18OPD Group - used to be PSD before merger414

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jeffian: There will be no rival offer, Charlatan. Hearn, his co-directors and the strangely-favoured Graphite have committed their near-40% holding to accept so a counter-bidder hasn't got a hope of achieving the levels required to effectively control the business (75%+). It's an iniquitous deal which even the Independent Directors can't bring themselves to recommend ("The Independent Directors do not believe it is necessarily an accurate reflection of the long term value of the business that may be achieved if the business successfully overcomes the near term obstacles..."). This management have distinguished themselves by using their substantial cash-pile to over-pay for businesses at the top of the cycle; wasted energy and expense on the abortive Imprint bid; rewarded themselves handsomely with full bonuses whilst waiving the dividend and watch 90% of the share price disappear and now 'recommend' that we accept their derisory offer to take it private! The position of Graphite is interesting. Several posters above have promoted the idea that the company should knuckle down and work through this for the benefit of all shareholders. Clearly Graphite agree that there is something of greater value down the road and want to stay aboard. Why just Graphite? I would be interested to know what Shroders attitude to all this is and whether they were approached. I certainly wasn't! Why is one group of shareholders being treated differently to any other? In the meantime, a call to enquire why the AR and AGM voting papers hadn't been despatched to shareholders elicited the response that 'there had been a hold-up at the printers'. Yeah, right! I imagine they're hoping the deal will be done and dusted before they have to face shareholders' enquiries about paid bonuses, waived dividends and disappearing Remuneration Committee Chairmen! Regards, Ian
cascudi: Ian maybe the result is not great but looking in the balance sheet It seems a cheap company. also the did not cut the dividend and did not make a profit loss what do you think? do you think they the share price will go more down? what is the problem of this compnay for your point of view Regards
apatel21: OPD results tomorrow. I'm expecting a stonkingly good set of numbers but don't expect it will do OPD share price much good for the medium term having lost out on IMP.
apatel21: nigel - we'll see what the share price reaction is tomorrow. You must have a big chunk of these now given they were good value @ 210p and the time to buy value shares is NOW ; ). What with you being a long term investor and all*. *subject to share price increasing by 10% in a couple of weeks in which case abandon long term strategy and bank profits ; )
nlm1: this is absurd speculation. How do any of you know whether this has done damage to their business. Don't be ridiculous. So they spent a few months trying to buy another business. Do you really think that's distracted the day to day fee earners in the business? Of course it hasn't. The share price has tanked because of fears over the economy. Have a look at Michael Page's share price - it has fallen by almost exactly the same amount. As long as the economy stays ok then OPD look like a bargain to me. I would expect profits to ease off a bit over the next year or so to reflect the slow down but they won't go into a loss. Buy now and sit tight for 4 years. The shares will be back to £5 and you'll have made 3 times your money. Don't believe me? Track the share price from April 2003 up to mid 2007.
nigelpm: What you have to consider in all this is the price action of the OPD share price - since its been battered its effectively costing OPD shareholders 30% more to just match their 1st offer in absolute price. IMHO if they had offered 130p-140p HYDG might not have considered offering. This would also have represented a nice premium to the then prevailing share price. OPD share price would also have stayed firmer as the market would have rated the deal as a good one and one liklely to SUCCEED. i.e. pure speculation on your part. You cannot say with any confidence that OPD's share price has fallen because of the reasons you state above. If OPD now come back at 125p with a large cash chunk it's likely to succeed in current conditions and they'll have picked IMP up cheaply. Simple as that.
apatel21: No they didn't - that was the MBO bid @ 210p Things have moved on since OPD first became interested in IMP. You may want to see the share price of Michael Page and any other recruiter over the time since they became interested in July. ALL recruiters have been revalued down because of the change in economic outlook. It would no longer be a bargain if they paid more than 140p IMHO. 150p is probably about fair price. What you have to consider in all this is the price action of the OPD share price - since its been battered its effectively costing OPD shareholders 30% more to just match their 1st offer in absolute price. IMHO if they had offered 130p-140p HYDG might not have considered offering. This would also have represented a nice premium to the then prevailing share price. OPD share price would also have stayed firmer as the market would have rated the deal as a good one and one liklely to SUCCEED.
apatel21: Ian The profits warning relates to IMP's search & selection business which is being sold and is not the bit OPD are after. i agree that it would be disastrous to overbid. However, OPD bought shares in the market in IMP @ close to £2 - i believe then made noises about making an offer @ about 245p in shares. It was therefore prepared to twice the price only 3 months before it eventually bid with the low ball offer. Has so much value been destroyed in that time - i don't think so? I think theres been deals going on in the background between Hamilton and the OPD Directors to take the bits of businesses they were interested on the cheap. What OPD did not bargain for was the change in ownership between passive holders and activists and an alternative bidder appearing. To conclude, i think OPD could have offered up to 150p (with an initial bid in the 130p region) for IMP without overpaying. It would still have represented a great deal both in terms of strategic fit/low price paid/potential cost savings - show me another firm available offering a similar strategic fit @ the same price. I believe part of the reason that the OPD price has been trashed is the market realisation that the takeover would fail. OPD have to increase their offer by 50% to offer 130p instead of 20% when the bid was 1st made. The OPD management have plyed a really bad hand in the takeover - i hope for your sake as shareholders their skills @ running the business in what looks to be very challenging market going forward is much better.
apatel21: OPD share price continues to slide with 07 PE forecast now 5.68 and 08 now 4.84. I would be tempted by the fundamentals but the OPD management have shown themselves to be totally incompetant in their handling of their takeover of IMP, which i feel almost certain they will not get.
goldcooper: Investors Chronicle article: 17 May 2007 A new recruit It was with more than a passing interest that I perused the bullish trading statement from recruitment group Robert Walters last week. I have been looking to get back into the sector, but have been put off by the valuations on offer. Walters, for example, trades on around 19 times analysts 2007 earnings estimates, while larger rival Michael Page is rated even higher, on 21 times earnings. So, with the best will in the world, I really can't get excited about shares in either of those companies - even though they are clearly trading well. In fact, as Walters reported net fee income (NFI) growth of 17 per cent in the first four months of this year - following a stellar 19 per cent growth rate in the second half of 2006 - then it is fair to say that business is buoyant. This has not been lost on investors, who, in the past six months, have pushed up Walters' shares by 20 per cent and driven those of Michael Page ahead by 45 per cent. However, I have noticed that shares in an old favourite, OPD, have lagged behind those of its bigger rivals. To recap, I advised buying shares in the company at 323p ('A new recruit for your portfolio', 25 August 2006) and, following a 32 per cent advance in just 10 weeks, recommended banking profits at 427p ('Lessons learned', 2 November 2006). With hindsight, I was a bit premature in taking this quick-fire gain as OPD's shares then proceeded to advance to an all-time high of 495p at the start of this year. It was a rise that looked justified when the company announced in March that pre-tax profits had risen from £4.5m to £12.5m in 2006 – a full £1.5m higher than broker Bridgewell Securities had been forecasting last August – with earnings per share rocketing to 32.3p (13.9p in 2005). Still, the good news is that we can now buy back into the OPD story at what I deem to be an even more attractive relative valuation than when I first recommended buying the shares. That's because, at the current share price (TIDM: OPD – 471p), the company is trading on just 12.5 times 2007 earnings estimates based on Investec Securities pre-tax profit forecast of £15m, which gives EPS of 37.5p. Admittedly, that means OPD will have to increase profits by 20 per cent this year to hit those broker estimates. But a read through Robert Walters latest trading update indicates that the recruitment cycle is firmly in its uptrend. So I feel comfortable that OPD will not only match those forecasts, but could actually exceed them - especially as we already know that the company was trading 20 per cent ahead of last year when it gave a trading update in mid-March. In any case, we will not have to wait long to find out how OPD has been performing, as it is scheduled to have its annual meeting later this month and will then follow this up with a post-half year-end trading update in mid-July. It's worth noting, too, that even without forecast upgrades, OPD – which is capitalised at £125m – looks too lowly rated compared with its larger rivals, trading on a 30 per cent discount to the sector's average PE ratio for 2007. In addition, with £11.9m net cash on its balance sheet at the end of 2006, OPD has ample scope to make further value enhancing acquisitions. On that score, the company's purchase of Odgers, Ray and Berndtson (ORB) in December 2005 is looking a pretty smart move, with ORB's net fee income – the income derived from permanent placements, together with the contribution earned from temporary staff and advertising - rising from £18m in the first half of 2006 to £22.7m in the second half. As a result of this strong trading, OPD has actually increased the value of goodwill acquired in that business by £850,000. Needless to say, given this track record, any further corporate activity would be seen as positive for the shares. There is also a technical reason for buying the shares now. fFollowing a period of share-price consolidation since the start of the year, the shares are now trading back above the 100-day moving average at 460p, with both the faster-moving 20-day and 50-day moving averages offering nearby support at the 440p level. And, looking back at share-price trends over the past 18 months, the 100-day moving average has provided support on any counter-trend pull-back. So, on the basis that OPD has the highest exposure in the UK listed recruitment sector to permanent staffing (85 per cent of net fee income), is trading on a chunky valuation discount to its larger peers, and is shortly due to give the market a trading update, I rate the shares a short-term trading buy. I have set a two-month price target of 550p a share – to take the rating up to to 14.5 times 2007 earnings estimates – which looks realistic as we will also have the benefit of the mid-July trading update in this eight-week period. Simon Thompson is the Investors Chronicle's companies editor
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