Month: April 2018

Dark days for regulated utility shares

Since they were privatised in the mid 1980s and early 1990s, the shares of regulated utility companies have found a place in many private investors’ portfolios. Their main attraction has been an ability to offer a higher income than government bonds with plenty of dividend growth on top. This made them ideal income stocks. With […]

AGMs – If in doubt, ask

Most companies will answer questions from shareholders and potential shareholders. At Annual General Meetings shareholders have a right to ask questions and get answers. A large proportion of listed companies report full-year results in late winter and spring because their financial year-ends coincide with the end of the calendar year in December. As surely as […]

Stock Watch: Cranswick

Cranswick is a UK-based food producer. It specialises in the production and selling of pork and poultry products. The sales mix of its business is as follows: Fresh Pork (34% of sales) – Cranswick is the third largest pig producer in the UK. Its own herd of outdoor reared pigs provides 18% of its own […]

Should investors avoid low margin companies?

Highly profitable companies can make outstanding long-term investments. Arguably, the best way to measure a company’s profitability is to compare its profits with the amount of money invested to make them. This is known as the return on investment or return on capital employed (ROCE). One person’s definition of a highly profitable business will differ […]

Putting performance in perspective

To get a grip on where a company is going you have to understand where it has come from. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean reading every annual report. Usually, it’s not enough to read the latest annual report. To understand a firm’s business model and strategy, how it makes money, how it plans to make more, […]