Author: Richard Beddard

Investing in Team17 shares: A team worth joining?

Richard is thinking about joining computer games developer and publisher Team17 as a shareholder. It would be a bold decision, but he would rather invest in Team17 shares than the closest alternative, Frontier Developments. The first thing that attracted me to Team17 was the financials. The second thing was the chief executive. That is because […]

Roll up! Get yer easy returns here…

Bunzl, a company I investigated last year, is a classic roll up A distributor of everyday items consumed by businesses and organisations, it routinely acquires much smaller distributors, improves their efficiency and creates economies of scale. This reduces customer’s procurement costs, and improves the profitability of the mothership. To grow, the company has repeated this […]

Nichols: More than Vimto

Having prospected for investments in the soft drinks industry, I think Nichols is perhaps the most intriguing of quite an interesting group. It has been enormously profitable and a steady grower, unlike the other candidate, Fever-Tree, which has experienced both extraordinary profit and extraordinary growth. Fever-Tree makes me nervous. Explosive growers rarely keep growing rapidly […]

Floored

James Halstead makes vinyl flooring, the kind we see in hospital corridors, GP surgeries, clinics, schools, offices, laboratories, prisons, factories, shops, trains and boats around the world. James Halstead’s biggest brand is Polyflor. The company’s social media accounts are a good way to get a feel for the product and you can take the Commercial […]

What does not kill a business can make it stronger

This article was not supposed to be about paper maker James Cropper. I set out to write about Animalcare, a veterinary pharmaceutical company, but I quickly became disillusioned, wretched even. You probably will hear about Animalcare one day, because it is an interesting business, but it is also complicated and its complicatedness was epitomised by […]

This time is different for Design Group

If you watch Design Group’s annual results presentation, you may detect a bashful smile on chief executive Paul Fineman’s face. Paul Fineman, chief executive of Design Group. Source: Design Group Full Year Results 2020 (video). Despite unexpected tariffs on products imported into the USA from China and the onset of the pandemic, Design Group was […]

A safety first stock

I found James Latham a couple of months ago when I was trawling for cheap shares with strong balance sheets. The shares are still cheap, James Latham’s Price Earnings (PE) ratio is 13, and the balance sheet should remain strong… Centuries trading timber James Latham has a long and storied history. It manufactured plywood for […]

Preparing for the worst, capitalising on the best

Listening to Porvair’s long-standing chief executive Ben Stocks talk about the challenges ahead, it is clear the company is bracing itself. Phrases like “preparing for the worst, hoping for the best”, and “the overall balance is negative”, come readily to him. This is a company I have long admired, but I have never had the […]

Making a new discoverIE

I discovered discoverIE using a simple and fruitful method of finding new investment ideas: a list of shares sorted in SharePad by previous annual report date. Having squinted for a few minutes at financial charts showing profitability, cashflow and debt (more on that later), I thought the company looked promising: Sorting a list in SharePad […]

A cheap profitable share with a strong balance sheet

Today I have added two more criteria to turn the list of cheap shares with strong balance sheets I made in my last article into a list of cheap profitable shares with strong balance sheets! The profitability criteria are free cash conversion and return on capital employed. This table shows the individual and aggregated rankings […]

Putting safety first

Funny thing (peculiar, not ha! ha!). Search SharePad news for the phrase “strong balance sheet” and there are dozens of companies every day confirming their finances are strong as they reflect on the prospect of reduced, or in some cases, no revenue for a while. Search SharePad news for the phrase “weak balance sheet” though […]

Going for repeat business

Fundsmith Equity probably needs no introduction. Since its launch in November 2010 the fund has racked up class-leading annualised returns of more than 18%, compared to less than 12% for an index of global equities, by investing in high quality businesses at attractive valuations. You can, of course, make further comparisons, and explore the makeup […]

Taking back control

Richard investigates Dialight, a supplier of industrial LED lighting that flared up ten years ago briefly setting the stock market alight, and subsequently dimmed alarmingly. What are its prospects now it is taking back control of manufacturing? Ten years ago Dialight was a feted, fast growing business in a booming industry, LED lighting, but it […]

Death in paradise

The demise of Thomas Cook impacted the whole package tour industry including London listed Online Travel Agent, On The Beach. Whether you trust the accounting regulations or On The Beach’s adjustments makes a big difference to the company’s profitability in 2019. Richard unravels the exceptional items. It’s January, The BBC is screening Death in Paradise, […]

The ultimate competitive advantage

Business schools identify the sources of competitive advantage that tie customers to companies and what they produce. Fundamentally though, there is only one true competitive advantage: people. If I could recommend one book for long-term investors, it would be “Intelligent Fanatics Project” by Sean Iddings and Ian Cassell, which is subtitled “How great leaders build […]

Skin in the game: Two for the watchlist

Richard uses his “Skin in the game” table to find companies whose directors are major shareholders. The experiment starts off badly with Asset Co., but gets better. Frontier Development and Focusrite could be great owner-managed businesses. To recap: We can use SharePad to find companies that are run by managers who are themselves significant shareholders. […]

Investing alongside managers with skin in the game

Richard uses SharePad to find companies whose managers are also significant shareholders. They are likely to be building businesses for the long-term, he says. The reasons for investors to look kindly on owner-managers, executives that have large shareholdings in the firms they run, are ably described in this article by Harry Fraser, manager of the […]

Burberry joins “Future of Fashion” portfolio

In his quest for companies that control their own destinies, Richard discovers luxury fashion brand Burberry, a company whose products he is in no danger of buying. Last time, I promised to investigate one of the shares I found while filtering for vertically integrated companies, companies that control their own destinies because they control many […]

The art of the sale

In response to a reader’s request for a sell filter, Richard goes looking for trouble in his portfolio by setting some “curiosity triggers”…. One of the better bits of advice passed between investors is to sell shares when the reasons you bought them no longer hold true. Most of us will have all sorts of […]

How to work out whether a firm is good acquirer

Richard uses a trick from Judges Scientific’s playbook to assess local hero Scientific Digital Imaging. Both companies acquire scientific instrument manufacturers using a “buy and build strategy”. Last month we worked out how to populate Google Maps with SharePad data to find local companies to invest in. Today, we will take the process a stage […]

RM: Will profit endure?

Richard considers whether the supplier of educational resources and software services can sustain profitability and reignite growth. There’s a good chance, he thinks, which makes RM an intriguing proposition at its current valuation. In my last article, we took a tour through SharePad and RM’s annual report to check its profit was real. RM is […]

RM: Is profit real?

Richard investigates RM, one of the stock market’s great survivors, starting with just one question. It takes him on a twisty trail… Before we get into the numbers, some reasons why RM, a supplier of 50,000 educational products and IT to schools and nurseries and on-screen marking services to exam boards, is worthy of investigation: […]

Fishing like Fundsmith

Richard builds a Fundsmith filter, taking it from concept to conclusion. The aim: To reduce the “junk” in our watchlists so we are fishing in a better-stocked pool of shares. My editor wonders whether my obsession with Fundsmith Equity Fund is a ‘fatal attraction’ but he has permitted one more article. It would be remiss […]

Putting performance into perspective

Richard reads Fundsmith Equity Fund’s annual letter to fundholders and suggests a modest improvement that could change your perception of financial history. He also responds to reader’s queries about On The Beach, the company he profiled two weeks ago. If you are a fundholder in Fundsmith Equity Fund, then congratulations. You’ve just received fund manager […]

Evaluating a hot tip

Psst, company XYZ is going great guns, it’s shooting for the moon, get in before it is too late!!! In today’s article, Richard uses SharePad to evaluate Clipper Logistics, a tip he received anonymously on the Internet. Tips passed online are sometimes little more than ramps, invitations to boost the tipster’s wealth by buying shares […]

Filtering new issues

New issues have a reputation for delivering poor investment returns. In this article we filter SharePad for companies that may be more seasoned than they look. In my last article, I filtered SharePad for the firms that had been listed longest on the London Stock Exchange. Statistically speaking, the longer an investment has been listed […]

Motorpoint: A car dealer that stands out from the crowd

Financial statistics from SharePad and non-financial data from the company itself all indicate Motorpoint is no ordinary car dealer. If you’ve bought a vehicle from the company, or read its annual reports, you’ll probably know why. My article on Electrocomponents showed how I find most of my investing ideas with the simplest of SharePad filters, […]

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 […]

Using SharePad’s “Live” tables in your own spreadsheets

Maybe you already download tables of data from SharePad by clicking on the sharing button in SharePad’s blue Table view, but this data is dead. It doesn’t change in your spreadsheet if it changes in SharePad. Now there is a new option: Export “Live” Table. This allows you to incorporate data into spreadsheets that updates […]

Buy and build

If you take a look at Diploma through the lens of SharePad’s summary page (under the green ‘Financials’ tab), you will find it shares many qualities of a good business. It has raised the dividend every year since 1999, a significant period in the company’s history as we shall see. It has grown turnover, profit, […]

Stock Watch: Abcam – is lower profitability worth paying for?

Abcam shares are more popular than ever. Perhaps they’re worth it. Nailed on growth stock There’s no doubt Abcam has grown. In performance terms it’s about ten times better than it was when it floated in November 2005. Revenue in its first year as a listed company (to June 2006) was just under £20m. Eleven […]

Tech recruiter is statistically attractive, but is it special?

There are two questions I ask of all companies I might invest in. Do the statistics indicate the business is highly profitable and, if they do, can I identify what makes it special? SharePad can answer the first question, and it can help with the second. Today I’m looking at Harvey Nash because it satisfies […]

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