Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thurs morning supplementary report

Here are some more announcements, too many to fit into one post by 8am, my usual target.

Kingfisher (KGF) reports an improving trend in UK sales, which seems a common theme with several retailers reporting recently. May & June saw UK LFL sales up 1.1%, compared with down 5.6% for the 23 weeks to 7 July, showing just how bad Feb-April was.
Although France has gone the other way, with LFL sales slipping to -2.3% for the last 10 weeks. Doesn't give profits guidance. Stand out performance is Russia, up 19% LFL! China down 3.7% LFL, which is interesting, and confirms suggestions that the Chinese bubble may be finally bursting?

Howden Joinery Group (HWDN) puts out inteirm results which it says are in line with expectations. Priced on a PER just below 10, and with net cash, this looks good value to me - since they have performed well in a recession, and hence one would imagine will be well placed for the recovery in construction when it occurs? Might therefore be worth a look.

Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) announces an in-line IMS. Too much debt for my liking.

Positive trading update from recruitment company Networkers (NWKI), although it doesn't actually mention profits, just sales increases & debt reduction. Looks good value though, on a fwd PER of around 7-8, and with some heavyweight shareholders, including Nigel Wray. Might be worth a look?

The market seems to like Mothercare's (MTC) latest update today, which follows their recent trend of lamentable performance in the UK, offset by strong international trading. Shares have done quite well recently, so I'm not interested in chasing this one.

That's it for now. I must say that most corporate results seem pretty good right now, so it's difficult to reconcile that with the never ending stream of gloom from the media. It seems to me that, barring a meltdown in the Eurozone, equities are looking great value compared with other asset classes. So I remain firmly bullish looking through short term macro issues. Economies will eventually recover, they always do. So I'm mainly focused on trying to find shares in companies which are cheap on current earnings, but which have scope to grow earnings significantly once the economy is growing again.

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