Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
Smc Group LSE:SMC London Ordinary Share GB00B086GY58 ORD 0.5P
  Price Change % Change Share Price Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  +0.00p +0.00% 3.625p 0.00p 0.00p - - - 0 06:36:16
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Equity Investment Instruments - - - - 11.35

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Date Time Title Posts
09/12/200817:13SMC Group-recent IPO8,083
29/9/200607:54A Safe bet, get into -SMC15
17/6/200615:06Tax issues - please read-

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njp: Quite a few superficial similarities to WNG here. Buy and build spending spree, share price rattles up to near 200p before imploding off the back of a series of profit warnings, ultimately to single pence, both in the same broad sector, both say they have now cleared the decks for recovery. WNG has parachuted in a credible management team in Beart & Co (ex RAS, formerly XKO) but the business was a horrifyingly incompetent mishmash. New management appear to be acting swiftly to uncover the core to a future profitable business. They have the benefit of residual funds from the 170p share placing (how on earth were major instis persuaded to invest?) but there's a further loss to look forward to next half before the struggle back to breakeven and beyond. Beart reckons he's entered at a good price, snaffling 350k at 8.1p. SMC is a collection of good businesses welded uncertainly together by debt, with McColl's almost megalomanic ambition far outstripping central management's ability to control the rate of expansion and pushing debt to unsustainable limits. An object lesson in the perils of too-rapid 'buy and build', though at the time many of us (me included) paid too little heed to the rapidly building debt by over-focusing on projected profits and cash flows which indicated a modest valuation relative to growth. Inevitably, of course, the wheels were coming off, the share price plummeted and sorting out the debt gave rise to 500% dilution. Fundamentally the various businesses that remain look good (very much unlike WNG) and hitherto there has been plenty of work, but new management have much to prove and key staff retention has to be a major concern. SMC look to be the better business but the dilution is massive and must limit the upside. Will they manage to weld a credible whole out of the various disparate businesses that comprise it? Many in the architechtural universe expected them to fail. WNG meanwhile pretty well starts with a clean slate and a credible management team. They don't suffer from the dilution and have some funds at their disposal, but are pretty much starting from scratch. I note that following WNG's recent results announcement the price rose from 8p to 12p before falling back. Though SMC's trading update was encouraging, I wouldn't be surprised to see something similar happening here and I certainly don't see any spike beyond yesterday's close being sustainable, though wish current holders well. Both companies could be good recovery stories but there's just too much competition out there from sound, well funded and profitable growth companies on near similar forward profit multiples. Why take the risk right now?
paulcaine2003a: Hi Gary, Haven't spoken in a while. Im not in SMC at the moment and took a pretty big hit on this one earlier in the year. IMO, its hard to judge where the share price will go. I thought that there was some kind of support around 18p but that has been breached. With the possibility of the merger, who knows where this will go. Am tempted to get in at these prices although to be honest with you the debt is extensive, and if the merger isn't properly managed, SMC could end up bringing AUK down with them. I think underneath it all, there is long term value in SMC (I know they are winning contracts left right and centre but have no idea of the profit being made). Another thing is that Kier Chiefr Exec recons the construction boom will continue for at least another 3 years. If thats the case, then that gives potential for SMC to get things together and set up a profitable business which could lead to a buyout (should the current merger fall thorugh). One final thing is that SMC bosses may need to merge the company to stop it from going under. I know AUK don't have any debt so in that case the debt that SMC have would be shared. As a result of sharing debt with AUK, you have to question what bargaining power SMC will actually have with the merger and the terms that are likely to be given are more than likely to be in AUK's favour. IMO, AUK is looking like more of a buy than SMC because if the merger fails, their share price is likely to increase and if the merger happens then their shareholders are likely to get better terms than SMC's.
dave7: Not huge volumes today so no big change either way.The SMC share price is pretty much dead though isn't it,and barring really good figures (unlikely!) I can't see it going anywhere in the near future.Be interesting to hear some more news though,any AGM moles out there?
devere: Also in The Telegraph. SMC hopes rise after founder departs Shares in SMC, the troubled Aim-listed architecture group, rose by 8pc yesterday after founder and deputy chairman Stewart McColl left the company and the firm said some of its businesses are continuing to trade well. SMC has been hit by three profit warnings this year, causing its share price to fall from 193p in January to as low as 41.5p before today's news, valuing the company at around £20m. Mr McColl, who still holds 20pc of SMC's shares, relinquished his duties as chief executive in February and was appointed deputy chairman following the first profits warning. SMC's problems came after Mr McColl, in his then capacity as chief executive, embarked on an ambitious series of acquisitions over the last two years, buying up practices including that of Will Alsop, the leading architect behind the award-winning Peckham library. SMC is one of just a handful of publicly-listed architecture firms and Mr McColl's M&A spree raised eyebrows in an industry where artistic qualities are often valued much more highly than business nous. But, in a letter to Building Design magazine sent between the first and second profits warnings, Mr Alsop wrote: "The perceived problem related to share price is a market adjustment and has nothing to do with the excellent and buoyant work being undertaken. I would also like to state clearly that Stewart enjoys the full support of everyone within the group." SMC said that it will cut costs and may close certain offices. Sir Rodney Walker, the company's chairman, took over the day-to-day running of the business in February from Mr McColl. After a further profits warning in March, Sir Rodney, who is also the chairman of World Snooker, sought to reassure investors in April that: "the business is more soundly based for 2007, and beyond, which should enable it to meet its targets going forward." These comments sent the shares soaring back up again only for shareholders to be hit again last week by a third profits warning, which left the stock trading at the lowest level since it floated on Aim in 2005. Once he had taken charge of the company, Sir Rodney launched an "internal business review" to get to the bottom of SMC's difficulties and, after a board meeting yesterday, the company announced this morning that: "Whilst some businesses within the Group continue to trade well, others have overheads which are out of line with revised revenue projections." SMC added: "The Group's bankers have confirmed they continue to be supportive of the Group in order to facilitate the changes required by the review."
slowtrain11: More for Posterity and lessons Learned than told you so....but worth reviewing methinks. For thise unaware SMC jusped from 50p to circa 80p on 11 April... slowtrain11 - 30 Mar'07 - 07:18 - 5205 of 6955 edit A lot of emotive posting yesterday. Understandably so; My reading is the following; 1. Re Mr McColl's resposes to peoples phone calls yesterday i) It is his job to sound upbeat ii) It is clear from the announcement yesterday and the last minuteness of it the management have no longer a clue what is going on in the business and it is the external accountants driving agendas, literally 2. 1.ii) above could be expensive for the company, very expensive. To have large accountancy firms trawl over your books and records in detail does not come cheaply. Has this been factored into results forecasts? Will the accountants factor into their findings further restructuring which, of course, will involve themselves? 3. A list of yesterdays top 5 trades show little sign of significant institutional selling yesterday. This could be a good sign if they are standing by the company. However if they did not have time to react, or are still weighing up their options, their actions may cause further pressure on the share price 4. Recent director's buys re-iterates that the directors don't know what the true state of affairs is in my view. This was an action to be seen to be doing the right thing, and without proper review of the business' worth. 5. As others stated yesterday this might be a profitable company in the long run. But if say you run out of cash or in this case you start to run out of credability with your stakeholders - investors, customers, etc it is difficult to recover from this downward momentum. 6. Mr McColls passion is not the same as clear, straight thinking, logic. The former are the characteristics of an entrepreneur, the latter of a stateman and CEO of an established PLC. 7. What really caught my eye about the statement yesterday was the fact that after all thats gone on, and the very best of financial professional advisors working with SMC, they still cannot say what date they are going to announce their '06 results. The words "on of before"... were both damning and quite bizzare to my mind.. Slowtrain slowtrain11 - 10 Apr'07 - 09:10 - 5569 of 6955 edit Does anybody here know of the simple concept of Caveat Emptor (not sure of the spelling of the second word). It exists as a priciple of law - it means basically that it is up to each individual to protect themselves in any Commercial transaction in as much as it is up to the law to do so. If you draw a line through a 12 month graph of this stock where the new FD was appointed and look at what the share price has done since you must surely see that it is not the demoted COO's actions that have caused this share price to fall. And if you want to keep relying blindly on an FD for reassurances that everything is going to be Ok for a PLC, in particular for SMC with their recent undependable track record, well good luck to you. You will need plenty of it!! Slowtrain NJP - 10 Apr'07 - 09:28 - 5570 of 6955 A strange post, slowtrain. I presume your comment about the correlation between the share price graph and the FD is made 'tongue in cheek'. If not, then I fear for your investments. The problems, we understand from Numis' comments, appear to relate to the pre 2006 businesses. Now I make assumptions here, but I suspect (a) accounting standards were lax and (b) McColl wanted a strong share price to facilitate his buying spree. Not hard to see where this might lead. Boardman is a young FD and no doubt new to the industry. He was only appointed in March and probably didn't have time to get his feet under the table before a series of acquisitions and the interim accounts. He also had to build his finance function. I'm not surprised - with hindsight - that there have been problems, and I'm not surprised that the WIP issue wasn't grappled with until H2. As to the two profit warnings, it does appear at first sight to be incompetence. I suspect, though, that the error might have been one of attempting to communicate the news without considering that a full cleansing of the stables would be the better approach. No doubt, the board was split on the issue. All in all, I see the FD as tainted by the mess rather than the instigator. A more experienced FD might have navigated these troubled waters somewhat better, though. Masurenguy - 10 Apr'07 - 09:41 - 5571 of 6955 People on this thread should chill out ! 1. BBJL - the results will come when they are ready to release them ! Incidentally, if I were you, I would be far more circumspect about comments being made on individual directors of SMC, which are bordering on libel as far as I can see. 2. TT2 - wait for the results and stop clutching at straws like house broker forecasts, director share purchases, prior directorspeak etc etc. I understand that you are sitting on large losses and that you are anxious but you will get ulcers on top of everything else if you carry on like this. The next share price development will be consequent on the results. They will be what they will be. Nobody here can predict, influence or change them. Just be patient and wait - they will be published shortly. 3a. Slowtrain - Caveat Emptor or 'buyer beware' puts the emphasis on the buyers to take the necessary precautions to protect their own positions by ascertaing as much information as is possible prior to buying something (usually property in this legal context). However there is also a responsibility, under common law, for the vendor not to conceal or misrepresent information. If and when the latter is alleged to have happened, it is more usual for the vendor to be penalised by the law, if convicted, than the buyer to be compensated (usually they would have to take action against the vendor on their own account to obtain this) so the principle of 'caveat emptor' still remains valid in all situations. Not sure what relevance this has in the context of SMC - are you implying that something more ominous could have happened here ? 3b. They're not going to wait 6 months to release results - these will appear imminently, probably within the next 5 working days ! Masurenguy - 10 Apr'07 - 09:42 - 5572 of 6955 Good post NJP ! slowtrain11 - 11 Apr'07 - 08:13 - 5669 of 6955 edit In terms of diving in here; 1. Turnover does not equal profit 2. Contracts won does not equal profit 3. Forecasts are just those Personally for me credability needs to be re-established, a company that cannot predict when they issue their results (see 2 weeks ago) now wishes to be believed on 12 month forecasts. In particular there are unrcognised issues about bedding 10-15 new company behaviours (not just accounting policies) under one PLC logo. And I can forsee a lot of fighting about how the revised WIP workings and calculations will effect the aquisitions' earnouts and hence morale over the next week to two weeks. Otherwise read the statements carefully, form your own judgements, and take both the statements of the execs and your eggs this morning with a pinch of salt!! Slowtrain pre - 11 Apr'07 - 08:16 - 5670 of 6955 Should head back to £1 now.....very good update this am... turbotrader2 - 11 Apr'07 - 08:17 - 5671 of 6955 WATCH FOR THE DIRECTOR BUYING Masurenguy - 11 Apr'07 - 08:18 - 5672 of 6955 Well I'm very pleased for the longer term holders that the actual results were not as bad as they might have been and that there is a solid platform upon which to move forward. We should see a sharp rise today followed by a bit of a drop back as short term traders and speculators take profits. VOLVO - 11 Apr'07 - 08:22 - 5679 of 6955 Its one way money.The forecasts this year are 50m turnover and 8m pbt.If what they said today is true you will see 100pc from here.
masurenguy: Extract on SMC from an interesting post (93802) made by AliceinWonder on TMF ............................................................................... Foolish Friends: Prelims of the week No contest: SMC. Having initially said that the 2006 results would be released on 29 March, the directors delayed the results, plus they took the opportunity two weeks ago to announce another profit warning. Thankfully on Wednesday of last week, SMC's 2006 results were announced, and at face value the results were not as bad as expected: - Gross Profit increased by 96% to £14.6m (2005: £7.4m) - Profit before tax (PBT) & Amortisation £2.7m (2005: £2.8m) - EBITDA increased by 20% to £4.1m (2005: £3.4m) - Adjusted basic earnings per share 5.3p (2005: 7.2p) The Armageddon possibility of a massive write down of goodwill has not happened, but hey, 2007 is another year. Hopefully from 1 January 2007 SMC will have another set of auditors, fingers crossed it is bye bye Baker Tilley. SMC needs all the credibility it can get. The prelims are an accountant's delight – lots of details on internal control. Accountants get so little joy, so I cannot resist including an extract on internal control in this review of the week that has just passed: "Robert Boardman, Finance Director, supported by newly promoted Caroline Godfrey and their team have implemented reporting and control measures which have helped identify some of the areas of concern outlined above and given the Board increased confidence going forward. These measures which are in place across the Group include, inter alia: - A standard central WIP review procedure and method of calculation. - A standard group reporting format and timetable - A detailed and consistent budgeting process - Key performance indicators monitoring WIP, debtor days, profitability, efficiency - Weekly cash flow targets for all business units - Consistent credit control and invoicing procedures - Standardisation of HR and recruitment procedures - Central monitoring and control of Professional Indemnity Insurance policy - Central monitoring of chargeability of staff and profitability of projects The Group's control environment has evolved quickly to ensure that it can meet the needs of a rapidly expanding business and the central finance team has been augmented. The Board is committed to improving further our systems and controls in order to manage the business and financial risk exposures effectively."Fantastic stuff. If Robert and 'newly promoted' Caroline have not got a grip on internal control, it is safe to assume that the SMC dream of 'world domination' will end in tears because of the following facts: - Number of employees increased from c.175 to c.655 - Number of offices in UK increased from 9 to 29 - Added 4 overseas offices; Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore & Toronto So if SMC could 'screw up' in 2006; with more employees, more offices, they could really 'screw up' in 2007. I like the fact that SMC does not appear to know how many employees the company has. Hopefully payroll statistics will be more precise in 2007. Disappointments (and there are always disappointments with SMC): - No mention of liquidity and funding. Shareholders have to assume, and it is a big assumption, that SMC has the bank facilities in place to meet its financial requirements in 2007 and beyond. - No mention on the current cash position, no mention of whether WIP and trade debtors have fallen. - No mention of whether further payments are required for the acquisition of DTR:UK, SMC was making quarterly deferred considerations payments up to the 3rd quarter of 2006. - No one has fallen on his sword. The AGM is to take place on 14 June. Lots of questions remain outstanding, so the meeting should be a cracker. Wish for SMC in 2007 – they recruit a CEO with credibility, who understands accounts/cash flows, and who has a reputation for taking no prisoners. If SMC do recruit a hard-nosed businessman, it would certainly boost the share price. (But what about Sir Rodney I hear you cry? Come on, is Sir Rodney a long-term solution, is he working five days a week every week at SMC?)
masurenguy: I know that existing long term holders don't want to hear this but house broker forecasts are not worth the paper that they are printed on ! Different company (HCEG) and sector (Healthcare) but same broker and consequence of profit warning after directors bought shares at 68p. Not saying this will happen with SMC but does anything sound familiar here ! ............................................................................... Date: 27/09/2005 11:02:26 EPIC: HCEG Price When Posted: 57.00 p Looks like Investec have their finger on the pulse while Numis still have theirs in the air trying to determine which way the wind is blowing today. Since the Numis buy rec (with a target of 155p) at the end of August 05, the share price has fallen 28% from 79p to 57p in the space of 4 weeks. Meanwhile Investec assesses the current share value at 55p. Interesting how 2 different entities can come up with potential valuations that are so far apart as 55p and 155p !! Recent fund raising at 68p has not underpinned the price ............................................................................. 29/09/2005 10:32:52 EPIC: HCEG Price When Posted: 55.25 p Strange that both the NXD's, who took shares in lieu of fees, and the executive directors, who participated in the £3m acquisition fund raising, all bought at 68p which was below the August month end (79p) and the Sept 13 close (75p). If directors are subscribing, either for current or new shares, at more than 10% below the market price what message does this give to the market about current valuations, particularly after the Numis report projecting a potential 100% increase in the 2006 valuation of over 150p. .............................................................................. Date:16/11/2005 09:15:23 EPIC: HCEG Price When Posted: 21.50 p HCEG now at 22p - down 60% this morning ! .............................................................................. 17/11/2005 16:29:33 EPIC: HCEG Price When Posted: 23.25 p "The distribution business should be capable of sales of £20-25m in the medium term, and profits of £3-4m. At a market capitalisation of £30m, little value is being given for the new products. For the year, breakeven appears feasible, with profits of perhaps £10m (4.4p) for 2006/7 (£3m from distribution and £7m from Ebiox). At 20p, the shares are on a multiple of 4.5 times this figure. On a nominal target price of 40p (9 times eps), reflecting the considerable uncertainties, the shares are a Buy". This is the same broker who published a note JUST 11 WEEKS AGO projecting pretax profits of £8.3m in the year ending Feb 2006 and a share price target of 155p. They are now saying medium term profits of £3m - £4m and a share price target of 40p. IN 11 WEEKS THEY HAVE HALVED THEIR PROFIT PROJECTIONS AND CUT THEIR SHARE PRICE TARGET BY NEARLY 75%! Is there a credibility gap here ! ............................................................................... Closing HCEG share price on 10/4/07 (today) was 5.5p !
affc21: That's an extremely positive contract(s) win of in excess of £31m, plus the potential of much more again over the term of the contract(s).As stated above by CR, at least double. Would be nice to see it reflected in the share price in due course (noted in the past SMC share price has initially been slow on positive news, then in only a few days later up it went) and who knows we may even get a broker upgrade on the back of this news.
steeplejack: "It is theoretically possible to envisage circumstances where the acquistions all outperform SMC's expectations,yet the SMC share price falls.In that case the number of shares to be issued as earnouts would rise and dilution could be experienced by original investors." So reads the Hardman research note published in May 2006. Interesting,a bear market makes life more difficult for SMC, Creston and the like who issue loads of paper........but who's in a bear market :)
blackrabbit: same here - shame SMC share price isn't a bit more like BEG, at times mentioned on this thread as being "similar in nature" ! Still, hope springs eternal.
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