Category: Company analysis

Weekly Market Commentary | 28/11/2023 | DPLM, SRC, CRH | Trust Your Process

This week, Jamie Ward talks about why missing out on some great investments might not be a bad thing, especially when thinking of the wider context where you may have invested in something better. He believes that having a process is far more important than whether you did or did not buy a security and […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 21/11/2023 | DCC, OCN | Low-Cost Mediocrity

This week, Jamie Ward returns to talk about how passive investing is logical but isn’t really investing. He also posits that passive investment cannot exist without active investment but the reverse is not true. Companies covered: DCC, OCN.  US inflation data set the tone for markets last week. The previous readings for US core and […]

Small-Cap Spotlight Report: Judges Scientific (LSE: JDG)

Judges Scientific has delivered mega-bagger returns for its very early shareholders. Maynard Paton studies the growth and success of the ‘buy and build’ operator. Today’s rough market for small-cap shares could be the exact time to hunt for your next great portfolio winner. Take Judges Scientific, the £540 million group of scientific instrument manufacturers, which […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 14/11/2023 | DGE, BEZ, WRKS | Excessive Ebullience

While away on an Australian retreat, Bruce asked ex-fund manager and private investor Jamie Ward to manage his weekly commentary for the upcoming weeks. Jamie takes a look into Diego DGE, Beazley BEZ and The Works WRKS. Markets had a poor end to an otherwise rather uneventful week. This resulted in equity markets being down […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 7/11/23 | AML, ULTP, HEIQ | The bids keep coming

With two more bids coming in for small-cap stocks, Bruce looks at the average premiums being offered by buyers. Companies covered: AML, ULTP and HEIQ.   The FTSE 100 was up +1.3% to 7,426 last week. Meanwhile, there was a very strong rally in the US markets with Nasdaq100 +6.4% and the S&P500 up +5.9%. […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 31/10/23 | CABP, OMG, IPF | CAB crash

As two more bids come in for small-cap listed companies, and another Private Equity IPO disappoints, Bruce looks at the trends that are shrinking public stock markets. Companies covered: CABP, OMG, IPF.   The FTSE 100 was down -1.5% to 7,291 last week. The Nasdaq100 was down -2.6% and the S&P500 was down -2.5%. US […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 24/10/23 | STJ, HL., BPM, LIO, TMG | Forced selling creating an opportunity?

Bruce looks at UK fund manager outflows, both at an industry level and manager-specific level. Companies covered: STJ, HL., BPM, LIO, TMG. The FTSE 100 was down -3.2% last week to 7,384. Nasdaq100 and S&P500 were also both down -2.9% and -2.4% respectively, with the FTSE China 50 off even more steeply at -4.7% over […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 17/10/23 | IPX, SDG, YOU, OXIG, MRK | Misbelief and markets

Bruce looks at what we can learn from Oscar Wilde and a half-bearded psychology professor on flawed narratives that capture people’s imagination. Companies covered: IPX, SDG, YOU, OXIG and MRK.    The FTSE 100 was up +1.35% to 7,596. Nasdaq100 and S&P500 were both up less than +0.5% in the last five days. In Japan, […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 10/10/23 | BOO, PEEL, MTRO | Widening direct equity ownership

Attempts to widen direct equity ownership in the UK stock market are gathering pace, even as the high dividend yields on fund managers are signalling problems with that business model. Stocks covered BOO, PEEL, MTRO. The FTSE 100 was up +0.3% to 7,536 last week. The Nasdaq100 rose +1.8% and the S&P500 was up +0.5%. […]

Journeo PLC: Navigating the Road to Transport Innovation

Visiting an old friend in today’s fast-evolving tech landscape, few sectors remain as untouched by innovation as the world of transportation. At the helm of this transformation, one finds Journeo PLC (AIM: JNEO), a trailblazer in information systems and services explicitly curated for transport and local governments. The company’s recent accomplishment — a £2m purchase […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 03/10/23 | PZC, YU, SCE, GTC | Solving Greenspan’s conundrum

Bruce uses Sharepad to look at recent movements in the US long bond yields USTSY10 and the bondholder total return TLT ETF. Companies covered, PZC, YU, SCE and GTC.   The FTSE 100 fell -1.8% in the last 5 trading days to 7613. The Nasdaq100 and S&P500 were flat and down -0.75% respectively. The FTSE […]

Is SDI cheap?

Shares in SDI have plummeted. Richard examines the price differential between the company, a manufacturer of scientific equipment, and Judges Scientific, a firm it is often compared to. In the last two weeks, my 5 strikes system* has only surfaced two new investment ideas: SDI and Goodwin. These businesses have good financial track records, but […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 26/09/23 | HL., CODE, 4BB | Not just the UK housing market

Bruce suggests that government bonds and mortgages have been beneficiaries of Basel banking regulations over the last few decades. The effects of rising interest rates won’t be limited to the UK housing market. Companies covered HL., CODE and 4BB. The FTSE 100 was down -0.3% to 7,630 over the last five trading days. The Nasdaq […]

Small-Cap Spotlight Report: NCC (LSE: NCC)

Many great companies still can’t resist ‘diworsifiying’ in the quest for growth. Maynard Paton studies IT specialist NCC and its costly folly beyond software escrow.   “Instead of buying back shares or raising dividends, profitable companies often prefer to blow the money on foolish acquisitions. The dedicated diworsifier seeks out merchandise that is (1) overpriced, […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 19/09/23 | ELIX, FEVR, FDEV | Investing against the flows

Bruce suggests that rather than ARM’s successful IPO, the likely catalyst for more companies coming to market will be retail flows into funds. Companies covered ELIX, FEVR and FDEV. The FTSE 100 was up +2.6% last week to 7,688 helped by mining stocks and financials. The Nasdaq100 and S&P500 were both down less than -0.5%. […]

Four companies with (almost) unblemished financial histories

Richard picks holes in the financial histories of four companies and finds little to trouble him. Remarkably Cake Box, a company that published an annual report riddled with errors two years ago, is one of them. As fishing expeditions go, my daily trips in the last two weeks have been particularly unfruitful. Few companies have […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 12/09/23 | BUR, STVG, WINK, CVSG | Chaos Kings

Bruce reviews a recent book Chaos Kings, on investors who benefit from financial crises and volatility. Companies covered BUR, STVG, WINK and CVSG. The FTSE 100 was up 0.5% to 7,494 last week and was the best-performing major indices other than the Mumbai S&P BSE +2.1% over that time period. Nasdaq100 and S&P were down […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 05/09/23 | SDRY, BNZL, PBEE | Emotional dividends

If the price of trophy assets like football clubs are wildly above intrinsic value, perhaps there’s a way for less wealthy investors to benefit from the same theme? Companies covered SDRY, BNZL and PBEE. The FTSE 100 was up +2.4% at 7,511 last week. The index is exactly flat on 5 years, though what 5 […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 29/08/23 | CMCX, EYE, TRCS | Join the sinful to regain innocence

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Bruce looks at UK retail equity fund flows, and their implications for future expected returns.  Companies covered CMCX, EYE, TRCS. The FTSE 100 rose +1% to close at 7,338 over the bank holiday weekend. The Nasdaq100 was up +1.7%, while the FTSE China 50 was up very strongly +5.1% as their Ministry of Finance cut […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 22/08/23 | LGEN, JUST, TRMR | An opportunity in plain sight?

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Bruce suggests that the nature of cross border capital flows might present an opportunity in front of our eyes, in FTSE and AIM stocks. Companies covered LGEN, JUST and TRMR. Last week I suggested that with the VIX below 16, some complacency might be creeping back into markets. Right on cue, the FTSE 100 fell […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 15/08/23 | SDI, D4T4, JIM | Cross border imbalances creating instability

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The VIX index is currently below 16, signalling some complacency may be creeping back into markets, so Bruce looks at the deterioration in near term liquidity measures.  Stocks covered: SDI, D4T4 and JIM.   The FTSE 100 was down -0.6% to 7,509, while the Nasdaq100 fell -1.6% and the S&P500 was down -0.3%. The price […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 08/08/23 | GRG, TW., DEVO| The Outlook for Approvals

Bruce uses Sharepad to look at H1 mortgage approvals data going back to the mid-1990s, and house prices back to the 1950s. Companies covered: GRG, TW. and DEVO. All three of the FTSE 100, S&P500 and FTSE China50 were down -2.2% in the last 5 days. The Nasdaq100 was even worse down -3%. The US […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 01/08/23 | LLOY, TSTL, RBGP | An Engine, Not a Camera

Bruce makes some broad observations about how economists’ models drive Central Bank behaviour and interest rate expectations.  Companies covered: LLOY, TSTL, RBGP The FTSE 100 was flat in the last five days at 7,688. Nasdaq100 was up +2% and the S&P500 was +0.75%. The FTSE China 50 Index was up +3.9% as the renminbi rose […]

AG Barr – Buying Boost may re-energise its profits but investors will have to wait

Phil asks whether AG Barr’s recent acquisitions can turn it into a growing business again. Soft drinks companies are a long-term favourite with investors. Their products are affordable, small and regular consumer purchases which can produce a nice blend of steady growth and resilience which can make them all-weather investments. The giants of the industry […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 25/07/23 | ONT, DARK, HL., AJB | Base effects

With inflation peaking in the UK (at least for now), Bruce looks at some larger cap stocks that have broken through their 200-day moving averages on the upside.  Companies covered: ONT, DARK, HL., AJB  The FTSE 100 enjoyed a strong week up 3.4% to 7,658 as last week the UK’s inflation data was better than […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 18/07/23 | SHOE, MEGP, ZOO | The Buy-to-Let burden

Bruce looks at the prospects for the UK Buy-to-Let market in the BoE’s Financial Stability Review, and wonders if rising interest rates are driving higher rents, which could be causing an inflationary feedback loop.  Companies covered SHOE, MEGP and ZOO. The FTSE 100 enjoyed a positive week up +1.9% to 7,415, while the Nasdaq100 was […]

Small-Cap Spotlight Report: Hotel Chocolat (LSE: HOTC)

Devoted company bosses do not always create great returns for outside shareholders. Maynard Paton studies chocolate retailer Hotel Chocolat and the board’s decisions and composition. I love ‘owner managers’ — company bosses with significant shareholdings who live and breathe their business and want to build wealth for the long haul. Typically, entrepreneurs, and owner-managers who […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 11/07/23 | KOO, SUP, SMV | Bank deposits and dividend yields

While the dividend yield on the FTSE and AIM indices is not high relative to history, it does seem remarkable that >8% yields are available on companies in so many different sectors.  Stocks covered KOO, SUP and SMV. The FTSE 100 fell -3.5% in the last 5 days, with the Nasdaq 100 up +0.7% and […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 4/07/23 | WISE, TBLD, DPP | Safe haven investing

Bruce looks at the idea of tail risk hedging but thinks that the strategy might be too difficult for private investors to implement. Instead, companies significant cash could be an interesting theme for H2. Companies covered WISE, TBLD and DPP. The FTSE 100 rose +1.4% last week to 7556, while the Nasdaq10 and S&P 500 […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 27/06/23 | MANO, SOM, HOTC, BOTB | And Quiet Flows the Don

Bruce suggests that unemployment, rather than interest rates, will be the driver of banks’ bad debts. Companies covered MANO, and profit warnings from SOM and HOTC, plus Teddy Sagi’s bid for BOTB.  After an entertaining weekend in Russia, one observation from a military friend who was in the Donbass, now in Libya, is that a […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 20/06/23 | W7L, FDEV, VNET | Stale blows the London IPOs

Bruce looks at recent trends in the IPO market and questions whether attracting new listings at any price really is good news for investors in London’s equity capital markets.  Companies covered W7L, FDEV and VNET. The FTSE 100 was up +0.5% to 7,618 over the last 5 days. The Nasdaq100 and S&P500 were up +3.8% […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 13/06/23 | OMG, GHH, OCN, ADB | A bifurcating bull market

Bruce looks at the divergent performance of the Nasdaq100 +22% since its October lows, versus AIM which is flat over the same time period. Companies covered OMG, GHH, OCN and ADB. The FTSE 100 fell -0.3% to 7,573 last week. The Nasdaq100 and S&P500 were both flat over the last 5 trading days. A week […]

Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Belvoir

Screening for consistently high margins and ROE leads to property franchisor Belvoir. Maynard Paton weighs up the small-cap’s acquisitive history, super cash flow, visible management and immediate prospects. Today I have revisited a SharePad screen that applies two ratios favoured by ‘quality’ investors — operating margin and return on equity (ROE). The exact criteria I […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 06/06/23 | BOWL, BMY, DOCS | Copper’s super contango

Bruce looks at 3 companies on low teens PERs that reported last week: BOWL, BMY and DOCS.  But he wonders if copper is suggesting negative macroeconomic news that is not yet priced in. The FTSE 100 was flat at 7646 last week. In the last 5 days, the Nasdaq100 was very strong, up +4.4% and […]

Moneysupermarket shares could keep on rewarding investors

A business that aims to save its customers money should be doing well during a cost of living crisis. Phil looks at and asks if the recent rally in its shares has further to go. The business Moneysupermarket (MSM) is the UK’s largest price comparison website. It aims to save people money on household […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 23/05/23 | BLV, SHOE, OTB | Does the house always win?

Bruce uses Sharepad to graph UK house prices and mortgage approvals data back to the 1980s. Companies covered BLV, SHOE and OTB. The FTSE 100 was flat in the last 5 days, at 7,774. The Nasdaq100 was up strongly +3.4%, as was the KBW US regional banks index (KRE) up +7.7% while the S&P500 was […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 16/05/23 | MANU, SDI, CGEO | Valuing a Trophy Asset

Bruce uses Sharepad to analyse the performance of MANU shares, listed on the NYSE. The football team presents some interesting challenges for valuing debt-funded intangible assets. Plus SDI’s profit warning, and CGEO’s Q1 results. The Bank of England raised interest rates to 4.5% last week, as the FTSE 100 rose +0.7% to 7,754. Since last […]

Small-Cap Spotlight Report: Reach (LSE:RCH)

Newspaper publisher Reach trades on a P/E of 3. Maynard Paton believes the rock-bottom rating reflects a pension scheme ‘black hole’. Let me start by confessing this article covers pension deficits. What follows is therefore not thrilling and does require some concentration. But please stick with me, especially if you have ever fallen victim to […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 09/05/23 | HEIQ, SDRY, LLOY, HL., KITW | Professor Altman’s Average

Bruce looks at Prof Altman’s credit analysis, going back 4 decades, suggesting US corporate default rates might rise above average, so understanding Sharepad’s Altman Z score could prove valuable. Stocks covered HEIQ, SDRY, LLOY, HL. and KITW. The FTSE 100 fell -1.2% to 7,737 in the last 5 days. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq100 were […]

Is SSE an undervalued renewable energy business?

Phil Oakley takes a look SSE (formerly known as Scottish & Southern Energy), which despite its history of unsustainable growth highlighting the dangers of investing solely on the basis of dividend yield may still be undervalued given long-term potential of its renewable energy portfolio. The dangers of investing for high dividend yields For years SSE […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 02/05/23 | BARC, NWG, MGP, NUM, SMV, AOM | A liquidity crunch?

UK banks BARC and NWG reported Q1 results, with contrasting trends in customer deposits. Also covered: bid approaches for MGP, NUM and SMV, plus a look at AOM. Last week the FTSE 100 was down -1.3% to 7,812. The Nasdaq100 was up +1.3% while the S&P 500 was broadly flat in the last 5 days. […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 25/04/23 | MONY, KMK, THRU | Inflation and banking deposits

Bruce looks at the influence double-digit inflation is having on bank deposits. Companies covered MONY, KMK and THRU. The FTSE 100 was up +0.4% to 7,907 over the last 5 days, while the Nasdaq 100 fell -0.6% and the S&P500 was flat. The Natural Gas contract (NG-MT) was up +31% in the last 5 days […]

Have investors wrongly called “time” on Watches of Switzerland?

Watches of Switzerland shares have been stellar performers since listing on the London market nearly four years ago. However, since peaking at over £15 at the end of 2021, they have more than halved in value. This is despite profits continuing to grow and forecast guidance being maintained. The sales of luxury watches boomed during […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 18/04/23 | AGFX, JTC, SIS, SDRY| Some thoughts on averaging down

Bruce shares some thoughts on averaging down when a share price falls versus supporting a company that needs to raise capital. Companies covered AGFX, JTC, SIS, and SDRY. The FTSE 100 was up +2.0% in the last five days to 7,902. The Nasdaq100 was up +0.1% and S&P500 +0.8% over the same time period. The […]

Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: James Latham (LSE: LTHM)

Screening for a growing dividend, lowly valuation, net cash and decent director ownership leads to 40-bagger James Latham. Maynard Paton studies the timber distributor’s history, financials, management and prospects. I have embarked on further ‘back to basics‘ filtering to unearth a potential long-term winner for my portfolio. This new screen identifies companies that offer rising […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 11/04/23 | RAT, FRAN, G4M | Tech disconnecting from banks

We have seen a disconnect between the performance of Nasdaq 100 (+19% YTD) versus US regional banks (-28% YTD). Companies covered: two large acquisitions by RAT, FRAN plus G4M’s profit warning. The FTSE 100 was up +2% over the last 5 trading days to 7,788. The S&P500 was flat, while the Nasdaq100 was down -1% […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 04/04/23 | TM17, TBLD, KWS, AQX, BUR | Platforms for shareholder democracy

Platforms have made it easier for retail shareholders to vote at company AGMs, remuneration committees should take note. Plus a look at the computer games sector: TM17, TBLD, KWS and a couple of financials AQX and BUR. The FTSE 100 rose to 7,685 last week, an increase of +2.9%. The Nasdaq100 and the S&P500 were […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 28/03/23 | KAPE, SDRY, ALPH, EQLS | The End of Alchemy

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The Swiss Central Bank’s balance sheet in 2022 shows signs that Credit Suisse’s problems were well understood, but harder for the authorities to resolve. Companies covered KAPE, SDRY, ALPH and EQLS.  The FTSE rose +1% to 7476 in the last five days, most of which was on Monday morning. The Nasdaq100 was up +2% and […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 21/03/23 | BUR, TCAP | Who is next?

With the ‘rescue’ of Credit Suisse over the weekend, Bruce ponders what might happen next and which indicators to focus on. Companies covered BUR and TCAP. The FTSE 100 fell -2.5% to 7,358 over the last 5 days. The Nasdaq100 and S&P500 were up +1.4% and 5.8% respectively, indicating that the sell-off in markets has […]

Small-Cap Spotlight Report Revisited: WANdisco (LSE: WAND)

WANdisco has owned up to ‘significant accounting irregularities’ and the prospects for shareholders now look grim. Maynard Paton revisits the software developer to identify the warning signs Small-Cap Spotlight Report Revisited: WANdisco (LSE: WAND) You can become a better investor by occasionally visiting the stock-market graveyard. One company that now seems destined for the cemetery […]

Born in the UK

Although Arm will list in the USA, there should be nothing to stop us buying shares in Britain’s top tech company after it floats. This idea leads Richard to a potentially rich seam of investments he has not previously explored: UK firms listed in the USA. Judging by the headlines, news that Arm is to […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 14/03/23 | IPO, FRAN, BGEO / TBCG | We wanted flying cars…

Following the rescue of Silicon Valley Bank, Bruce looks at possible read across to recent IPOs and IP Group. Companies covered IPO, FRAN and Georgian Banks BGEO / TBCG. I suggested last week that the rally was running out of steam. I was not expecting a bank run in Silicon Valley though (SIVB total assets […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 07/03/23 | CAPC, RMV, RCDO | Banking on Equity Returns

With the rally running out of steam, Bruce looks at long-run equity returns. The two banks which compete to publish this data have performed much worse than the average equity. Companies covered SHC, RMV and RCDO. The rally seems to be running out of steam. The FTSE 100 was down -0.2% to 7,917. The Nasdaq […]

Roll your own alternative performance measures

Richard looks at the good and the ugly in Hollywood Bowl’s alternative performance measures and concludes that the company has put a positive gloss on adjusted profit. In Getting to grips with Alternative Performance Measures (APMs), I explained that exceptional items are costs or gains that obscure the underlying performance of a business. This does […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 28/02/23 | AVAP, SLP, GBG| Letter from Berkshire

Bruce looks at the Berkshire Hathaway 2022 shareholder letter, which Buffett published over the weekend.  Stocks covered AVAP, SLP and GBG. The FTSE 100 remained just below 8,000, and was down less than -1%, recovering from a sell-off early last week. The Nasdaq100 and S&P500 sold off more heavily, down -3.9% and -3.0% respectively. The […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 21/02/23 | KAPE, HL., BGEO | Cross border liquidity

Cross-border liquidity could be driving the market rally, so it’s worth keeping an eye on Central Banks in China and Japan.  Companies covered KAPE, HL. and BGEO.  The FTSE traded above 8,000 last week, up +0.7%. The Nasdaq 100 was up +0.4% while the S&P 500 was down -0.3%. The US 10Y bond yield has […]

Getting to grips with Alternative Performance Measures

Companies publish alternative performance measures (APMs) that remove one-off costs and gains from profit to give us a better understanding of how they have performed. Like all financial statistics, though, APMs can be abused. Investors should always check how they are calculated. Since making profit is the reason for being in business, many Alternative Performance […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 14/02/23 | ULVR, RDW, EKF, RNO | AIM’s IPO buy signal

IPO activity on AIM has hit a 20-year low, which Maynard speculates could be a buy signal for shares on the junior market. Plus coverage of ULVR, RDW, EKF and RNO. Another weekly commentary from me while Bruce is away. I had hoped the FTSE 100 would add just 1.2% to surpass the 8,000 milestone […]

Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Telecom Plus (LSE: TEP)

Higher energy bills are supporting significant dividend advances at Telecom Plus. Maynard Paton weighs up the group’s illustrious growth and ambitious targets against a leadership change and unusual marketing. Difficult market conditions have prompted many investors to find safety through attractive dividend shares. Hence a new screen to pinpoint companies that boast a dependable payout, […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 07/02/23 | GSK, DARK, SOM, TPX | New FTSE Highs

As the FTSE 100 reaches a new peak, Maynard looks at another blue-chip measure setting record highs. Plus coverage of GSK, DARK, SOM and TPX. Bruce asked me to compile these commentaries while he is away on holiday. Many private investors swear their portfolios perform better when they’re not watching the markets, and a record […]

My partner is an AI

Richard deploys ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence program, to help him understand two software platforms we can invest in that incorporate artificial intelligence. His conclusion: this is not a dystopia, it is the start of a partnership. Unless you have been living under a rock, you have surely heard of ChatGPT. It is an artificial intelligence […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 31/01/23 | SDRY, NFC, SAA, BOTB, CWR | An indiscriminate rally

With equity markets and industrial metals like copper rallying at the start of this year, Bruce looks at some companies geared into the recovery. SDRY, NFC, SAA, BOTB and CWR. The FTSE 100 was flat at 7,774 in the last 5 trading days. In the US the S&P was up +2.5% and the Nasdaq 100 […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 24/01/23 | ALPH, EQLS, CAPD | Currency markets and capital controls

Bruce looks at the government’s misguided attempt to defend the pound with capital controls in the 1970s. Companies covered are forex traders ALPH and EQLS, plus CAPD. The FTSE 100 was down 0.9% in the last 5 days to 7,791. The S&P500 was down -0.3% while Nasdaq100 was up +1.39% over the same time period. […]

Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Quartix (LSE: QTX)

Quartix’s vehicle-tracking services have delivered consistently attractive financial ratios. Maynard Paton spotlights how new customers and a good-value workforce are counterbalancing pricing pressures and rising costs. Today I have revisited a SharePad screen that applies two ratios favoured by ‘quality’ investors — operating margin and return on equity (ROE). The exact criteria I re-used were: […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 17/01/23 | GAW, TMG, FRAN, QTX | Terry Smith’s Triskaidekaphobia

Bruce looks at Terry Smith’s 13th annual shareholder letter and compares what he’s now saying about his META investment to his commentary a couple of years ago.  Companies covered GAW, TMG, FRAN, QTX The strong start to the year continues, with the FTSE 100 +1.64% to 7,851 in the last 5 days, approaching an all-time […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 10/01/23 | NXT, CNC, HEIQ, FDEV | Weathering the stormy markets

Bruce looks at how the warm weather in Europe has been affecting financial markets.  Companies covered NXT and CNC, plus profit warnings from HEIQ and FDEV. The FTSE 100 has enjoyed a strong early January, up +3.4% to 7,705. OCDO was up +20%, while IAG (the old British Airways) and BT were up +17% and […]

Poolbeg Pharma

Regular readers will be aware that I have areas of interest when it comes to research and investing. The past few years these areas have been in the human microbiome, greener energy, including more recently in the transition to electric vehicles and the manufacturers of powertrains, electric batteries inside these motor vehicles, and pharmaceuticals. Today’s […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 20/12/22 | FCAP, GAW, ZTF | Mortgages v equity investing

Bruce looks at the BoE Financial Stability Report and ponders whether the rising cost of mortgages will cause forced selling in equity markets.  Companies covered FCAP, GAW and ZTF The FTSE 100 was down -1% in the last 5 days to 7,373, with the Nasdaq100 -2.8% and S&P500 -2.1%. The FTSE 100 was also flat […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 13/12/22 | K3C,SOLI, MSI, SDI | Redemption Song

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Bruce thinks that net outflows from professional fund managers could eventually create an opportunity for amateur investors because we’re not forced to sell when markets fall.  Companies covered K3C, SOLI, MSI, and SDI. The FTSE 100 was down -1.6% in the last five days to 7,446. The S&P500 -3.4% and Nasdaq100 -3.6% were even weaker. […]

Small-Cap Spotlight Report: Strix (LSE: KETL)


Strix is the world’s leading developer of kettle safety controls, but a recent profit warning has sent the shares tumbling. Maynard Paton wonders whether the group’s competitive advantage can support an eventual recovery. A profit warning and 32% share-price crash brought Strix to my attention the other week: This small-cap dominates the market for kettle […]

Weekly Market Commentary | 6/12/22 | C4XD, CRL, PEEL, FCAP | Santa Rally arrives early

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Bruce looks at the bounce in markets over the last 2 months and suggests some ideas that could benefit from a recovery in risk appetite.  C4XD, CRL, PEEL, FCAP We’ve had a strong rally in markets since the lows at the beginning of October, the pound is up +15% against the dollar and AIM is […]

Bi-Weekly Market Commentary Part 1 | 22/11/22 |HVO, BMS | The Emperor’s New Blockchain

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Bruce ponders if any large corporates are exposed as social proof in crypto disappear.  Companies covered HVO and BMS   The FTSE has been flat at just below 7,400 for the last 5 days. The S&P500 and Nasdaq 100 are both down around -1%. The China FTSE 50, has enjoyed a +22% bounce from its […]

Bi-Weekly Market Commentary Part 2 | 18/11/22 |CMC |Globalisation and index returns

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Bruce questions why globalisation has been so bad for the FTSE All Share index versus the S&P500.  Plus a look at CMC Markets H1 results. The FTSE 100 was down -0.9% in the last 5 days, at just above 7,300 with some of the selling coming as the new Chancellor announced his plans for tax […]

Small-Cap Spotlight Report: Trustpilot (LSE:TRST)

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Many quoted companies trumpet their TrustPilot ratings. But is Trustpilot itself a 5-star investment? Maynard Paton evaluates the review website’s financial progress and business model. Read a set of company results, and chances are you will spot a reference to Trustpilot. Examples of quoted businesses mentioning the popular review website include: AJ Bell: “Our operational […]

Bi-Weekly Market Commentary Part 1| 15/11/22 |HLN, BGEO| Timing the cycle

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Bruce looks at a couple of stocks that have benefited from the US dollar strength / weak pound.  HLN and BGEO. The FTSE 100 was up +0.65% to 7343 in the last 5 days. The Nasdaq100 and S&P500 were much stronger, +7.7% and 4.9%. Nasdaq has been strong despite the collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX […]

Bi-Weekly Market Commentary Part 2 | 11/11/22 |ABF, AGFX | Questions left unanswered

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Bruce suggests that company managements who are reluctant to physically meet investors could be facing a more uncertain outlook. Companies covered ABF and AGFX The FTSE 100 was up +1.4% in the last 5 days to 7296, while the Nasdaq100 and S&P500 were up +0.8% and +1.0% respectively. The pound weakened slightly versus to 1.138 […]

Bi-Weekly Market Commentary Part 1 | 8/11/22 |ATOM,AFC | A look at hydrogen

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Bruce looks at the FT30 index, which Sharepad has going back to 1935. Plus a couple of hydrogen stocks, that are currently too speculative for him:  ATOM and AFC The FTSE 100 has recovered well in the last 5 days up +2.9%. By contrast, the Nasdaq100 and S&P500 were down -4.7% and 2.3% respectively in […]

Bi-Weekly Market Commentary Part 2 | 4/11/22 |LSEG, TCAP| You can’t eat vindication

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Bruce looks at two financial businesses that recently reported Q3 results, both delivering around 7% RoCE. Yet one trades on 5x sales, and the other 0.7x.  LSEG and TCAP. The FTSE 100 is up +0.7% in the last 5 days. Nasdaq100 is down -3.4% and the S&P500 was down -2.2%. Much of that sell-off came […]

Bi-Weekly Market Commentary Part 1 | 1/11/22 |BGEO, CRPR| Costs for growth

Bruce looks at the history of Brompton’s growth, and the trade-offs required to fund expansion. Plus a look at UK banks margin trends and James Cropper CRPR profit warning. The FTSE 100 rose +0.65% in the last 5 days and managed to consolidate above 7,000. Despite US tech stocks reporting a difficult quarter last week, […]

Bi-Weekly Market Commentary Part 2 | 28/10/22 |SDRY, BARC, HSBA, LLOY, NWG, STAN| Numbers reflect reality

Bruce comments on Superdry’s auditor resignation and summarises Q3 trends at UK banks. The FTSE 100 rose above 7000 to 7,057. Nasdaq and the S&P 500 were around +3.0% and +4.5% over the last 5 days. Brent crude remains at mid $94 per barrel. The UK 10Y bond yield fell to 3.62% and the US […]

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