Category: Sector Analysis

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 […]

The elusive hire firms you can buy and hold

Last week I introduced the listed plant and tool hire companies and mentioned in passing the industry has a bit of a boom bust reputation. Perhaps I didn’t egg the pudding enough, though. Ashtead’s market capitalisation is nearly £10bn, more than ten times what it was nearly two decades ago. In one sense it’s an outstanding growth […]

Homing in on hire firms

Homing in on hire firms When business is sluggish at construction sites and factories, tools and equipment are returned and hire companies make less profit. The hire industry has a boom-bust reputation built on top of the boom-bust reputations of some of the industries it serves. It may seem like an ambitious project to seek […]

Sector Watch: Beverages

Companies which make and sell branded drinks have long been popular with investors. One of the main reasons for this is that as businesses they are very easy to understand. They sell products which millions of people consume daily and are very familiar with. Let’s take a quick tour around the UK quoted beverages sector […]

Sector Watch: FTSE 100 and AIM 100 Miners

Mining companies are very difficult to analyse. Their profits and cash flows are very closely related to trends in commodity prices and sentiment towards the economy in general which means that they tend to be very volatile. Unsurprisingly, share prices move and up and down a lot too. From an investor viewpoint, the inherent volatility […]

A great year for modified magic formula investing

A year ago I started a trial of three model portfolios based on Joel Greenblatt’s magic formula approach (click here to read more about this). I wanted to see how this strategy would work in the real world and with all investing costs taken into account as many studies of investment strategies ignore costs. The portfolios are […]