Friday, January 25, 2013

Fri 25 Jan - GBO, TMMG, CRE, API, SAL, CDY

Good morning. First my big news! As you know, I've been looking at ways of trying to earn a bit of income from these reports, and have weighed up lots of options (advertising, affiliate marketing, charging for access, writing on other websites, etc). Thank you very much indeed for the many helpful responses - many readers have emailed me with some great ideas, and offers of help, which have helped steer me in the right direction.

The deal I've agreed is with Stockopedia. As readers might already have spotted, I'm a big fan of Stockopedia - it's a very high quality site, with minimal advertising, and a wealth of high quality data, presented in innovative ways. It's designed for investors who dig into the numbers, do proper research, and want to constantly learn & improve their analysis & investing.

As such I think it's the perfect fit for my reports. So the deal I've done with Stockopedia is that my reports (which have already been syndicated to them free for several months) will now appear exclusively on Stockopedia, and the best bit is that they will remain free! You won't even need to register with Stockopedia to read them, and you will also be free to leave comments & discussion there.
I will get paid (based on page views, so would be good if you could spread the word & help me increase the readership).

The second best bit is that I retain complete control over what I write, this is a genuine no-strings-attached deal, where I don't have to promote anything, they just like my reports & want me writing my morning reports (and other stuff) on their site.
So I'm absolutely delighted with this outcome, and hope you will be pleased too. We start on Monday 28 Jan 2013.

What will happen is this - a post will appear here on this Blog as normal each morning. However, it will just be a title, listing which companies I'm writing about that day, and there will be a link to click through to the full article on Stockopedia.

The beauty of that is it keeps this Blog alive, and you can still use the search box here to find my thoughts on particular companies - and it will throw up all the relevant articles pre-Stockopedia as well as on Stockopedia.

OK, let's look at this morning's RNSs.

Globo (GBO) is a share I've always had nagging doubts about, after reading their Annual Report. It is regularly promoted in the financial press (which rings if not alarm, then at least mild warning bells).

They divested their Greek operations in Dec 2012. It's a very lop-sided disposal deal with only E1m received on signing, and the other E10.2m sales proceeds deferred. Hmmm. The first thing I would do when scrutinising Globo's next set of accounts is to write off that E10.2m debtor!

The other thing I would look closely at, is their policy of capitalising internal costs into intangible assets. You might find that profit is nowhere near as high as they claim, once you adjust the accounts to a more conservative basis expensing all costs.

However there's no denying that the trading statement this morning sounds very good. EBITDA is expected to be E29m for 2012, up 42%. I'd want to add back the costs they capitalise though, and work out what the profit really is, rather than this inflated EBITDA figure.

Their mobile offerings, CitronGO!, GO!Social, and GO!Enterprise have all shown strong sales growth. It does look tempting, but I'm not happy with the accounts, so will pass on it (will probably kick myself when they double or triple from here).

Mission Marketing (TMMG) looks potentially interesting. I think this is a good time to be buying into cheap, cyclical shares, such as PR & Marketing companies - several of which are still on cheap multiples of earnings. They have operational gearing, which means that when the economy improves (as I believe is likely for 2013), then profits rise disproportionately fast when increased turnover is achieved (due to most costs being fixed, so extra turnover drops through to much higher profit).

They put out a nice bouncy RNS this morning, gushing about a new contract win (Harley-Davidson) for their subsidiary "Big", based in Leicester. There are no figures of course, that would just complicate the message!

Someone was telling me the other day that they never use advisers based in London, because if you use people based elsewhere in the UK, you get the same service for a much lower price. Worth considering as a general point.

TMMG is on a fwd PER of only 5.8, but it has quite a bit of debt, equivalent to just over 50% of the mkt cap, so on a crude basis that would take the PER up to nearer to 10, which is worth considering, but not amazingly cheap.

Quite low margin work too, and no dividend, but could be a nice cyclical recovery investment over the next couple of years? I bought into Creston (CRE) recently, who operate in a similar space, but the beauty of Creston is that you get a lovely 4% dividend yield whilst you wait for the shares to go up.

With interest rates so low, I think dividends are very important, and buying into high yielding shares is a key part of my investing strategy at the moment. Although I'm also mindful of the fact that we're currently in a roaring bull market for small-mid caps, and hence the emphasis will gradually shift back to aggressive ratings for growth, rather than value.

I think it's important to adapt one's strategy to prevailing market conditions, so I'm also hunting around more for early stage growth situations, so I might drop my minimum mkt cap limit from £10m to £5m accordingly, as I think the risk of de-Listings is receding, especially for companies that are trading well.

A wobbly-sounding statement from API Group has been published this morning. This company put itself up for sale quite a long time ago, and there haven't been any takers yet. Today's update says that indicative proposals have been below the current share price of 90p, and there have been no formal offers as yet.

The shares have fallen to 76p, and risk-reward doesn't look great to me, even at that price. We now know the upside is probably minimal, since bids (if any) are likely to be below 90p, and the downside case (if bid talks are called off completely) would probably take the shares back down to 60p.

It doesn't seem to have paid a divi for 12 years either, so I'm pretty sceptical on this one, but who knows, things can change & maybe a bid will emerge?

Spaceandpeople (SAL) is a £20m mkt cap company which manages promotional space in shopping centres, mobile kiosks, etc. Their trading update today says that 2012 results should be in line with market expectations. That is for just under 8p EPS, so at 95p the shares are on a PER of about 12, which is probably about right.

The divi isn't bad though, and a yield of 3.5% is expected for 2012.
They also report that net cash has risen to £391k. Not huge, but at least it's positive.

Casdon (CDY) is a tiny company, making tiny products - miniature toys.
Their interim results this morning are excellent, with profits having more than doubled to £693k. That makes the £2.7m mkt cap (even after this morning's 20% rise!) look potentially exciting.

I tried to speak to the CEO a moment ago, but he wasn't in, so I spoke to their accountant, who wasn't very helpful. Although I did glean that the Interims probably contained one-off sales which are not likely to be repeated, which is hinted at in the RNS. So unsustainable profits, and an uncommunicative company, mean I won't be investing here.

OK that's it for today, have a great weekend, and see you back here on Monday morning, for the link to my usual morning report, but on Stockopedia.

Best Wishes,


  1. Hi Paul. Excellent choice. I too am a big fan of stockopedia, paid subscriber. Apart from a well laid-out, data rich site, they are a smashing team who respond to customers in a flash. They have a big future. Look forward to reading your pearls of wisdom on stockopedia.
    Best. Ram

    1. Cheers Ram, and I agree with you on all those points.


  2. can you persuade Stockopedia to generate an offering superior to ADVFN, with focus on the customer rather than User ID numbers - they will clean up if they can do this :)

    1. Hi uki220,

      I didn't understand what you mean by this;
      "with focus on the customer rather than User ID numbers"
      Pls can you clarify?

      Cheers, Paul.

  3. Hi Paul

    You mention that you have a holding in Creston, however I can't see it mentioned on your current holdings page?
    Am I missing something.


    1. Hi Stefan,

      Well spotted! I've updated it now.
      Sometimes I just forget, but update the page about once a month typically.

      Cheers, Paul.