..news flow today and yesterday. So in brief yesterday we had the governments announcement about further regulation of gambling and high street book makers which was relevant to William Hill (WMH) that I wrote about recently. This was taken quite well by the sector as most of the shares rose a few percentage points after the announcement. It seems the market had travelled fearfully on this issue but was relieved when it turned out not to be as bad as expected. As dear old Warren Buffet says be greedy when others are fearful.
In the Today Business News Pod cast which I wrote about at the weekend I heard that Morrisons (MRW) which I wrote up after their results recently, are launching over 1000 price cuts by an average of 17% which you can read about on Reuters or the BBC.
Further to my recent Bellway (BWY) post, there was also a report about a review by S & P on the UK housing market with a positive outlook which I re-tweeted yesterday. Today, Nationwide have reported a 10.9% rise in house prices in the year to April 2014, stock is bouncing back - perhaps a big seller has finished?
Today we have had final results from N. Brown (BWNG) the multi channel mail order Company or on line retailer as they now like to describe themselves as this is now an increasingly larger part of their business. I'll not write these up in full because they looked slightly light of forecasts in most areas, although they did increase the dividend by 4% despite earnings being down slightly on the back of a slightly higher tax charge. However, I'm probably being a bit harsh as the sales were up reasonably well and their physical stores saw a very strong LFL sales growth which is encouraging as this is a key part of the new CEO's strategy. They have also been developing a new business in the US and investing to revamp the original UK core mail order business. So it will be interesting to see how these develop and the shares are up first thing so the market seems relaxed about it, although like many mid cap stocks it had come back quite a long way recently.
EMIS Group (EMIS) - which I wrote up here and here had an AGM yesterday in which they declared in line trading, a new contract win and what they describe as unprecedented tender activity in both CCMH and Secondary Care and where they confidently expect in the near future to secure further contracts in both areas. So all seems reasonably positive and happy to hold this one.
Meanwhile S & U plc (SUS) announced a new seven year debt facility of £30 million which will be drawn down in two £15 million tranches now and in six months time to fund their loan book. Unusually this financing is provided by M&G Investments on what the company describe as "attractive terms". Seems strange for them to be getting money from an investment company rather than a bank but perhaps this just shows banks are unwilling to lend or perhaps they don't want to lend further to a company that is competing with them, albeit in a different segment of the market.