As the bear market continues to roar on there were a few snippets of news from stocks that I have covered in the past. I'll keep it brief as no doubt you might want to get back to watching your portfolio, although that may not be good for your well being and blood pressure. First up we had an in line trading update from what is now just a car finance company S&U (SUS). This included a 19% increase in the dividend which is probably in line with forecasts, although this is a bit hard to discern due to the special dividend paid this year on the back of the disposal of their home collected credit business. This also means they have a strong balance sheet with only low gearing and therefore plenty of scope to grow their business and consider acquisitions. On acquisitions quite topically they said:
"We continue to examine potential acquisition and start up opportunities in a rigorous and painstaking way and have added to our development team. The recent reverses in stock market values have confirmed our impression of unrealistic pricing last year and may lead to better value in the coming months. Our search continues, but against a background of continuing investment in Advantage, and our determination to maintain shareholder returns in areas where we have experience and expertise."
Seems like a sensible and cautious approach and I would continue to trust the management to deliver value for shareholders. As such with that in mind the shares look good value having come back with the market recently and are close to potential support from lows in April / May last year. At around 2000p they now trade on around 12x with a 4%+ yield which seems fine to me, although if the market carries on falling then no doubt this one may be dragged down further with it.
Meanwhile Rolls Royce (RR) have announced their results and the on going restructuring being undertaken by the new CEO. As a result of this, probably unsurprisingly, they become the latest blue chip, after Rio Tinto (RIO) yesterday, to announce a dividend cut. In this case it is a 50% cut to this years final and next years interim. So looks like the turnaround here will be a long haul, but it does at least have a large order book to tide it over.
Finally I noticed that the recently appointed finance director at RM has picked up an initial 35,000 shares and a director of Matchtec (MTEC) seems to have done a bed and ISA transaction so probably nothing too significant in those. That's all for now, I hope your portfolio's are not being too badly hit by the current turmoil. If you are on the look out for bargains in the stock market flash sale then just to let you know the latest Scores are out today, right now where's my tin hat.