Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
Watkin Jones LSE:WJG London Ordinary Share GB00BD6RF223 ORD 1P
  Price Change % Change Share Price Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  -0.50p -0.24% 209.50p 208.75p 210.00p 210.25p 204.25p 204.25p 41,639 09:16:03
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Real Estate 267.0 13.3 3.1 67.1 534.79

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21/11/201708:28::: WATKIN JONES - buildings for students1,213
30/3/201609:05Watkins Jones-

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Watkin Jones Daily Update: Watkin Jones is listed in the Real Estate sector of the London Stock Exchange with ticker WJG. The last closing price for Watkin Jones was 210p.
Watkin Jones has a 4 week average price of 180p and a 12 week average price of 180p.
The 1 year high share price is 251.25p while the 1 year low share price is currently 114.50p.
There are currently 255,268,875 shares in issue and the average daily traded volume is 831,090 shares. The market capitalisation of Watkin Jones is £534,788,293.13.
jonwig: The AIM rules about whether a company should issue a statement after a sharp move in its share price are unclear. However, if a company is in possession of information which would, if disclosed, lead to a sharp movement, it must clarify. Rule 11: An AIM company must issue notification without delay of any new developments which are not public knowledge which, if made public, would be likely to lead to a significant movement in the price of its AIM securities. By way of example, this may include matters concerning a change in: — its financial condition; — its sphere of activity; — the performance of its business; or — its expectation of its performance. Since the company issued a clear in-line statement on 31/10, absence of a statement can only mean that nothing has changed. In fact, the fall is about 15% from the last statement, which is probably not really significant. I see there are very few AT trades today, suggesting not so much manipulation as serious selling (a few of 10,000 say). A few large holders slicing some profits? The PER is 14x at 190p. No change in broker views since 31 Oct. EDIT: anyone who thinks of ringing the company should leave the stockmarket alone and get an instant access cash account.
its the oxman: Little bit of profit taking is a necessary evil. Trading statement pointed to good progress. The next set of results will reiterate all the good news and probably see a higher share price.
douglas fir: Best AIM shares 2017: Watkin Jones (AIM:WJG) offers plenty of visibility 03/11/2017 · Watkin Jones PLC (WJG) Comments Email Print Share Watkin Jones PLC (AIM:WJG) failed to generate much initial excitement when it arrived on AIM in March 2016. The UK developer, with a focus on the student accommodation sector, has certainly attracted plenty of investor interest since those early AIM days. With plenty of forward visibility and a growing management business, it looks in great shape, as our Blog here highlights.. Watkin Jones was established in 1791 by carpenter, Huw Jones, and is a ninth-generation family business, making it one of AIM’s older businesses! The Group has experienced significant growth since 1999, when it entered the student accommodation market, since when it has delivered over 34,500 student beds to date, across 107 sites, making it a key player and leader in UK Purpose Built Student Accommodation. In addition, Watkin Jones has been responsible for over 50 residential developments, ranging from starter homes to executive housing and apartments. More recently it added the Fresh Property Group, a specialist accommodation management company, to its portfolio of activities. Fresh manages over 16,000 student beds on behalf of its institutional clients and is growing strongly on the back of the Group’s development activities. Watkin Jones is also now expanding its operations into the build to rent sector. - AIM arrival On arrival on AIM the Group raised gross proceeds of £85.4m at 100p per share with selling shareholders also pocketing £45.9m. Despite this material sell-down it was reassuring to note that the Watkin Jones family and related Trusts retain a combined 48.5% stake in the Company. The market capitalisation on AIM admission was £255m. - Well done the Chairman for taking advantage of initial dis-interest With the market initially far from excited about this new AIM arrival, Grenville Turner, Non-Executive Chairman, was able to snap up 90,900 shares at the end of June 2016 at a mere 106.4p per share. A well-timed purchase indeed with the share price now 238p and market cap at just over £600m. - Family sell-down The announcement in May 2017 that 50.25m shares, representing 19.7% of the company, had been sold by G&J Watkin Jones 1992 Settlement Trust, was a little concerning. The shares were apparently placed to ‘meet demand from new and existing shareholders and to improve the liquidity of the Group’. Woodford Asset Management took the lion’s share of the placing and now holds 12% of the issued share capital. The Watkin Jones family does still retain a reassuringly significant 29% interest. - Planning consent, forward sales and completions Over the 19 months since listing the Group has announced planning consents and forward sales on numerous sites. It endeavours to forward sale developments, thereby increasing the certainty of future earnings as the development moves from a secured site to being forward sold. We like this de-risked business model. - Developments going to plan In the financial year ending September 2017 Watkin Jones delivered, ahead of the 2017/18 academic year, ten student accommodation developments across the UK with a total of 3,314 beds. All ten student accommodation developments (3,415 beds) scheduled for delivery in FY18, ahead of the 2018/2019 academic year, have been forward sold and are on track. Looking to FY19, the Group has already forward sold five student accommodation developments (2,599 beds) for delivery ahead of the 2019/20 academic year. In addition to these forward sold developments, Watkin Jones has a further eight secured development sites (2,959 beds) targeted for delivery during FY19 to FY21. - Move into Private Rented Sector The Group is making good progress with its drive into the Private Rented Sector (‘PRS’) having completed its first PRS scheme in Leeds of 322 units in 2017. A trading update in October 2017 confirmed it had ownership of three development sites and is in separate negotiations on several other opportunities, from which it is targeting to develop approximately 1,500 units during FY18 to FY22, subject to securing the necessary planning consents. We are big fans of PRS and you may have read our regular commentaries on Sigma Capital Group (AIM:SGM) a PRS specialist. - Accommodation management Fresh Property Group, the Group’s accommodation management subsidiary which trades under the brand names of Fresh Student Living and Five Nine Living, has 16,082 student beds across 53 schemes under management for the 2017/18 academic year. This represents a significant increase on the 12,337 student beds under management at the start of the 2016/17 academic year across 44 schemes. Five Nine Living provides similar letting and operational management services to Fresh Student Living but the Build to Rent sector. Fresh receives a fee for its management services, with all the direct operating costs of a property remaining the responsibility of the property owner. Fresh is engaged under management contracts which are typically for between three and seven years, although some are for longer. For the six months ended 31 March 2017, Fresh contributed revenues of £3.0 million and a gross profit of £1.9 million. For the full year this business will contributing gross profit of over £4m which is set to grow meaningfully as by 2020, Fresh is contracted to manage around 20,000 beds. We like the long term recurring revenue potential from the accommodation management business which is another differentiator for this excellent business. - Results Since listing results have been excellent. For the 6 months ending March 2017 adjusted operating profit was up 26% to £21.1m and adjusted Earnings per share up 28.8% to 6.7p. While revenues were down 8.4% on the prior half year to £133.7m this was due to the timing of forward development sales and £11.7m of non-repeating inventory sales of completed residential apartments in the first half of the previous year. Revenues are expected to be stronger in the second half of the current financial year with forecast revenue for the full year of £282m and forecast earnings per share for the full year of 13.43p. The interim dividend was lifted 10% to 2.2p with the forecast for the full year of 6.6p equating to a yield of 2.8% at the current share price. The Balance Sheet is in good shape and the Group had £11.7m of net cash at 31 March 2017. The future looks bright for this excellent business
jonwig: Yes - it will do no harm to the share price, of course. But notice, in para 3, the transparency re SA: sites forward sold into 2018 and 2019. However, in para 4 they have three sites for BtR with more to come and no mention of forward selling. In August (post #1033) I mentioned this and was met with a polite "Yes we hear you, but ..." (my one-time boss's favourite remark). Once they do announce forward sales of these units, I'll let it be, but it's worth bearing in mind that for the present they seem to be incurring balance sheet risk. Results 15 January, and AGM will be about a month after that. I'll try to go there again if it's Manchester.
jonwig: Thanks for article, rivaldo! It mentions ESP (Empiric Student Properties, a REIT) which is making a real Horlicks of its business plan. Share price at a nav discount, which shouldn't be happening in this sector.
bestace: I'm not so sure about the family not looking for an exit. Remember the family trusts sold a big chunk of shares at the earliest opportunity after the 12-month post IPO lock-up period expired, and that was at a price some 30% lower than the current share price. So first an IPO and then a secondary placing; the direction of travel seems pretty clear to me. That secondary placing led to a further 6-month lock-up period which expires in just over 3 weeks time. If they were ready to initiate a sale immediately after the first lock up expired, I don't think we should be surprised if we get another secondary placing in 3 weeks.
adamb1978: Jonwig Understand your concern about sticking to their knitting - never great when companies veer off uncontrollably in directions which they have no experience in. However I would say that this move into BTR buy WJG is operationally identical so there should be no risk there for them - the risk is just exposure to the capital costs. WJG do have significant experience in delivering these schemes though so I would hope that they are able to assess the costs etc and the scope for nasty surprises be more limited I would also say that I think there is zero value being attributed in the share price for BTR. So anything which comes from this is upside in my view and given the cash balances, its not a move which can sink the company. Personally I'm fine with it and view it as part of the equity story which will drive the share price higher. Adam
alan@bj: From Simon Thompson, IC:- Shares in Watkin Jones (WJG:176p), a construction company specialising in purpose-built student accommodation, have now passed through my upgraded 170p target price, having risen by 21 per cent since my last buy recommendation five weeks ago ('Five small-cap buys', 29 Mar 2017). It's a business I know well, having advised buying around the 103p mark when the company joined Aim just over a year ago ('A profitable education', 3 Apr 2016). Recent trading highlights why investors have re-rated the shares. In the year to date, the company has sold five student accommodation developments, representing 2,347 beds in total and a gross development value of £192m. This means that all the developments planned to be completed by September 2017 and five of those planned for the following financial year have been forward sold. Moreover, a further six developments totalling more than 1,705 beds are under offer and in legal negotiations which, when concluded, will see all the developments planned to be completed by September 2018 forward sold. Progress on the pipeline further out is equally impressive. Watkin Jones is also making good headway in the private rented sector, having completed a 322-bed scheme in Leeds and secured a 132-unit development site in Sutton. It is currently working on a number of planning applications and other site acquisition opportunities. The point being that since joining the junior market the pipeline has been significantly de-risked, so much so that analyst expectations of a 7 per cent increase in EPS to 13.3p in the 12 months to the end of September 2017, rising to 14.5p in the 2017-18 financial year, look in the bag. It also means that the free cash flow is likely to be around £40m this year, which more than twice covers the cash cost of a forecast payout per share of 6.3p, based on estimates from analysts Mark Hughes and Hannah Crowe at research firm Equity Development. On this basis, Watkin Jones' shares are rated on a forward PE ratio of 12 for the 2017-18 financial year, or just 10.5 times after you factor in a cash pile that is expected to almost double to £60m by September 2017, a sum worth 23.5p a share. That's still not a punchy rating and I feel that there is scope for the shares to re-rate nearer to a cash-adjusted forward PE ratio of 12, suggesting another 10 per cent share price upside to around 195p. So, ahead of the half-year results on Thursday 1 June 2017, I would run your healthy profits on what has been a cracking investment. Run profits.
jonwig: See Annex 1 - I imagine one of their funds was near to their internal limit. The WJG share price edged up pushing them over. Just my thought!
rivaldo: FYI here's the text of yesterday's tip by Simon Thompson: "Watkin Jones buying opportunity CareTech is not the only company on my active buy list that has conducted a major fundraising. The same is true of Watkin Jones(WJG:145.5p), a construction company specialising in purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA). It's a company I know well, having advised buying the shares around the 103p mark at the time it joined Aim last year ('A profitable education', 3 April 2016). I last rated the shares a buy at 134.5p a couple of months ago ('In the ascent', 23 January 2017) and my upgraded target of 155p was surpassed earlier this month when the price hit an all-time high of 162p. However, last week's placing of 49.25m shares at 140p by a family trust in which chief executive Mark Watkin Jones is a beneficiary, and the sale of 1m shares by finance director Philip Byrom, has led to a sharp pullback in the share price. It looks overdone, though, as Mr Watkin Jones still has an interest in over 29 per cent of the share capital, and Mr Byrom only sold less than a quarter of his holding, while liquidity in the shares has improved as new investors have come on board, including fund manager Woodford Investment Management, which snapped up 10.2 per cent of the shares in issue. Indeed, I feel that when the dust settles investors will focus once again on the sound fundamentals of the business, which has driven the share price higher since listing. Namely, the company has 21 developments with 6,800 beds slated for delivery during 2017 and 2018 and the pipeline beyond 2018 is robust - future earnings have been de-risked through forward sales of schemes to institutional investors, including all 10 projects due to be delivered this year and the profits and hefty cash generation realised from these schemes supports a highly progressive dividend policy. In my view, it now looks a rock solid bet that Watkin Jones will grow EPS by around 10 per cent to 13.7p in the 12 months to 30 September 2017. So, with profits rolling in, and net funds of £32.2m on the company's balance sheet worth 12.6p a share, a 50 per cent-plus hike in the dividend per share to north of 6p looks on the cards. This implies the shares are trading on around 10.5 times likely earnings and offer a prospective dividend yield in excess of 4 per cent. In my book, that represents value and offers ample upside to my new price target of 165p to 170p, so I continue to rate the shares a buy."
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