...lets talk about Podcasts. I've mentioned these in the past in relation to keeping up with the news by listening to The Best of Today and Radio Five Live Wake Up to Money. While today I have a couple more suggestions for you for Podcasts.
Firstly in a similar way to the two above I have a suggestion for a news podcast - but more related to the UK stock market and shares called the ADVFN podcast with Justin Waite. You can read more about it and sign up for it if you want by visiting their dedicated website called Sharepickers.com. He presents it in a quite chatty and enthusiastic fashion and talks quite a bit of common sense educational way while also having guests covering quite a few topical, smaller and more speculative names which may or may not be to your taste. To give you a feel for this a recent episode covered:
“What are IPO’s and are they worth investing in?” – Technical Analyst, Nicola Duke charts Avation #AVAP InternetQ #INTQ Utility Wise #UTW Horizon Discovery #HZD and Aveva #AVV & the share pickers site then included some charts of these topical stocks including the one below which has been popular in my twitter stream recently.
My final suggestion today is for a book review, podcast and video site slanted towards covering investment and business.
It's called the Investor podcast which describes itself as follows:
First, we like to have fun! Second, we study billionaires & the books they read. Come join us, we would love to have you in our community. Cheers.
Their latest episode was quite interesting as it reviewed Think and Grow Rich - A Summary of Napoleon Hill's book which was commission by Andrew Carnegie. It seems like an interesting book with some good advice and the podcast about it is good too. There is plenty of other stuff on their site so check it out if you have time now or if you are bored over Easter.
Seems like it will be a quiet short week this week so may not be many posts - but lets see if I get any more inspiration. Otherwise I'll try and update the site a bit and bring my performance figures up to date, so don't forget to check back over Easter or afterwards. Have a Happy and healthy Easter but don't eat too many eggs otherwise you might need to read this guide about calories!
...so I don't have much for you today, but as I always try and bring some added value, I have a two things for you today.
First up is 16 Rules for Investment Success by the Late Great Sir John Templeton. There is lots of common sense advice in here, although I have to admit I'm not sure about No.12 & praying, but may be that is in there because he was a member of the Presbyterian Church and was dedicated to his faith, plus this piece was originally published in 1993 in World Monitor: The Christian Science Monitor Monthly,which is no longer published.
Any way don't let that put you off as there are plenty of pearls of wisdom in this short document which you can access below.
Otherwise the General Election is hotting up with the start of the TV things not really debates are they? I missed last nights as I watched the Truth about calories instead. With that in mind I'm off to do some exercises while I catch up on Paxman grilling Dave & Ed.
So on that bomb shell I'll leave you but finally, for a bit of fun as the news has been all about Clarkson this week (Jeremy not the stock, although that has been doing nicely thank you), I came across this short video of the unseen Last Ever Top Gear Episode - enjoy and have a great weekend.
Brief update on statements from Easyjet (EZJ) & KCOM for you. Easyjet as expected suggested that currencies and fuel prices have had a beneficial impact on the business in the first half, although currencies may have a negative impact for the full year. On the back of this they have upgraded their half year loss guidance form £10 to 30m to £5m to a potential £10m profit.
So steady as she goes for Easyjet with some signs of the expected benefits from currencies and fuel coming though, although their costs were up too due to more de-icing. So guess we could see some upgrades which may help the price, but as it is a volatile stock that has recovered recently, I guess they may suffer some turbulence in a likely weaker market today after falls on Wall Street last night.
Beyond that though with increasing consumer confidence and rising real incomes it seems their strategy of making travel easy and affordable for passengers should continue to benefit from these trends. I certainly found my trip to Amsterdam with them recently easy and affordable and as a shareholder it was good to see that they sold out of expensive sandwiches!
Meanwhile KCOM have provided a very brief pre-close update in which importantly they say they are trading in line with market expectations. In the limited detail they say that take up of their fibre offering at 30% is higher than the national average and that they therefore plan to accelerate the roll out over the next two years, but they will make you hold the line until 5th June when they will announce their results.
...that Bellway - (BWY) the UK house builder (CI Score 99) announced bumper interim profits today as they had already flagged in a prior trading update that they would see strong trading results which would be weighted towards the first half. So rather than reproduce lots of big % gain numbers like the 56.1% rise in earnings I'll leave you to read the announcement if it is of interest. Of interest to me was the fact that the dividend was also up by 56.3% to 25 pence. They suggested they would continue with "The payment of a progressive dividend, together with the growth in net asset value, is delivering long term, sustainable returns for shareholders."
So given that they already told us that the results were going to be first half weighted what does this leave them to do in the second half? Well last year they made 89.9p of earnings in H2 and they have just reported 103.5p in H1 this year. So looking at forecast of 210.2p for the full year (Source: Stockopedia) this leaves them 106.7p to do in the second half or growth of 18.7% in H2, which doesn't seem too demanding against the growth just reported.
However, I guess we have had some signs of a slow down in the housing market and with the General Election to come this could impact them. But talking of politics each party seems to be trying to out do the other in terms of the number of house they are planning to build - although I'm not quite clear how they are going to do that? Plus the latest scheme from the Chancellor George Osborne to provide help to buy ISA's with tax relief on top might eventually help (house prices) at the margin, but surely increasing supply and bringing prices down would be better for those looking to get on the debt treadmill, but then falling house prices presumably don't help win elections.
Any way I digress, getting back to the point, it seems Mr. Market likes the numbers and has marked the shares higher this morning by around 4% to nearly 2100p. Looking at the chart (see below) they seem to be making a break for new highs, which will be good if it is confirmed. I see also that Panmures and Liberum have price targets of 2126p and 2278p.
However, I note that the shares have gone up faster than some builders scaffolding recently and their vertical ascent has also left them looking overbought in the short term.
So on around 9.5x with a 3.5% yield (3x covered) based on current forecasts for this year, before any changes on the back of today's numbers, they seem fine but I probably wouldn't chase them up here. It will be worth watching to see what happens to the numbers to see if there are any upgrades as this could make them look better value and possibly justify the higher price targets.
So there you go:
No Alarms and No Surprises
Such a pretty house, such a pretty garden
Radiohead - No Surprises - seems like an appropriate song for today so see also the video at the end if music is your thing and even if its not I would urge you to check it out as I think Radiohead are an "interesting" band and this tune is one of their more relaxing, if a bit weird - enjoy.
...or forecast beating final results from S&U plc (SUS) the 77 year old motor finance and home collected credit provider which has a market cap of around £250m. I say motor finance first as this has been the driver of the profits growth in recent years and now accounts for 72% of the pre tax profits after a further 42% growth in profits in this division on the back of 38% revenue growth.
This together with 11% growth from the home credit side led to earnings per share of 156p (+38%) v 149.1p forecast while the dividend was 1p ahead of forecasts at 66p (+22.2%). This suggests there could be some scope for upgrades to this years numbers which prior to today saw further earnings growth of just under 20% and dividend growth of 12.7% according to Stockopedia.
This seems a reasonable expectation as the UK car market is quite buoyant at present and they continue to trade well, although they did allude to some increased competition which they had anticipated last year. In addition on the home credit side they say they are benefiting from industry consolidation, regulatory changes and opening three new branches last year with another planned for this year. They also flagged that both divisions had gained from rising consumer confidence and, latterly, a perceptible increase in disposable real incomes which seems to be continuing at present.
All this increased activity and growth has meant an increase in borrowings to £53.6m or gearing of 66% which they are comfortable with and which is pretty conservative for a banking / finance group. The Group has sufficient headroom to finance anticipated growth this year. Bank facilities of £70m have also been confirmed through to 2018.
On the regulation front they gave some detailed commentary on this in the statement and they seem to be benefiting as other less well established businesses perhaps shut up shop on the back of it. They have also appointed a new non executive Graham Pedersen, formerly of the Prudential Regulation Authority to oversee to their new Compliance Committee. They also hope to obtain a deposit taking licence which, if approved, would see them taking deposits from 2016 and this could also be favourable for their financing at the margin.
Summary & Conclusion
Another good set of forecast beating numbers from S&U leaves them looking good value on around 12x with a 3.5% yield which is likely to be more than 2x covered for this year, based on high teens forecast earnings growth, prior to any changes on the back of today's numbers. The shares are also trading around their all time high which can put people off but can also consequently be positive on momentum grounds if there is an under reaction to the positive news as a result.
Thus given the results and the outlook I am happy to continue holding this one instead of banks (see second chart below) as I wouldn't be surprised to see it breaking out to the upside in due course. Indeed I see that Panmure Gordon and Canaccord Genuity have both upgraded their price targets (for what that's worth) to 2400p.