Derek Pain: Laggards putting the brakes on portfolio
No Pain, No Gain
Friday 31 May 2013
The no pain, no gain portfolio has failed to keep up with the stock market over the past three months. It has made modest headway but lagged behind the powerful surge in share prices.
I am disappointed with so little progress. With shares recently within hailing distance of their peak I had hoped my little collection would at least approach its record high of a near-£150,000 gain. Instead the profit is, at the time of writing, a little above £108,000.
Although some constituents have advanced since my last quarterly review, a few, such as Avation, Northern Petroleum and, of course, the lamentable G4S, have combined to reduce the overall gain.
Once again Booker, the cash-and-carry chain, emerges as the portfolio leader. The shares have advanced 38p since my last update and are way ahead of the pack, having reached 131p against a 24.5p buying price. Last week's results kept the pot boiling. In its last year sales rose 3.5 per cent to £4bn with pre-tax profits emerging at £101.4m against an adjusted £89.7m. The year's dividend is lifted 15 per cent to 2.63p a share. The group was firing on all fronts with sales to caterers up 6.2 per cent and shopkeeper turnover advancing 2 per cent. In addition, delivered sales rose 9.5 per cent and internet trade by 10.9 per cent.
The Makro cash-and-carry business which cost Booker £140m is not included in the figures as, after a Competition Commission probe, the acquisition was not completed until the current year.
Chief executive Charles Wilson believes Makro will help lift the enlarged group's sales to some £6bn a year and declares: "The real merits of the transaction will appear in the next few years". Meanwhile, trading in the first seven weeks of the present year was ahead of the same period last year.
Overseas investments – confined to India – now embrace 12,000 customers with four branches. Two more centres are to open this year.
Essenden is another constituent with a trading report. At last week's shareholder meeting, the chief executive, Nick Basing, revealed that the tenpin bowling group's recovery continues and trading "remained encouraging". In the first 20 weeks of the current year, like-for-like sales were up 1.8 per cent and by the end of next month Essenden should be debt-free with the exception of the 24.4m loan notes (now 36p each) traded on the fringe ISDX share market. The shares are 30.5p against 24p when enlisted.
Avation, one of the portfolio stocks in the red, has successfully completed a £2.5m cash call which was 160 per cent over-subscribed.
Chairman Jeff Chatfield observes: "We were genuinely surprised with the level of overwhelming appetite by shareholders for this open offer." Explaining the need for an extra £2.5m share investment which came as a jolt to some followers, including me, Mr Chatfield said: "Equity issuance in the aircraft finance industry is essential in order to attempt to maintain sensible gearing levels."
The group's shares were recruited at 83.5p and went on to top 120p. Disappointing profits, plus the cash-raising exercise, have reduced the price to 64p.
Although they've been in the red for a long time, I am hopeful that shares of TEG, the green-technology group, will soon be in profit. The portfolio paid 8p a share and, under its rules, was unable to subscribe for more when the group, which develops and operates organic waste composting and energy plants, required a cash injection. The issue was at 3p; the share price is now 6.25p.
TEG has announced that in a year it reached what it called a "composting landmark", having recycled more than one million tonnes of waste through its nine sites.
Chief executive Mick Fishwick commented: "The operational side of our business continues to progress strongly."
The portfolio still has too many losers and I hope to redress the balance. I am out of action for the next four weeks, but if some of the laggards fail to offer at least a little encouragement I will probably axe them on my return.
Whitbread – in spite of a chorus of sell comments when it rolled out figures – and Booker remain my star performers. Whitbread recently topped 2,900p.
And why are 'southern' ways of speaking spreading north?
life + styleClarissa Baldwin is the brains behind the slogan 'A Dog is for Life not just for Christmas'
- 1 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 2 A forgotten episode in Russian history leaves links with the Philippines
- 3 Scientists sequence oldest human DNA from fossilised leg bone found in Spain
- 4 ‘Put it in my mouth’: Viewers outraged by apparent reference to oral sex in VIP e-cig advert
- 5 Joanna Lumley’s garden bridge over the Thames gets £30m seal of approval from Government
iJobs Money & Business
£50000 - £65000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Market Data SM...
£50000 - £70000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Business Analy...
£70000 - £85000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Business Analy...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits: Harrington Starr: An award win...
Day In a Page
A spacious Grade II-listed family home with annexe and equestrian facilities among four acres of land in Itchingfield
A four-bedroom home with exposed brick walls and open fires in the picturesque village of Northill
A Grade II-listed property with five bedrooms and unique tower, overlooking Hastings Old Town
A charming five-bedroom detached family home, set within half an acre in Kew
A two-bedroom maisonette set on the top two floors of a period building, close to Kentish Town Tube.
Take advantage of the extra space provided by former stables and outbuildings at this five-bedroom farmhouse.
This three-bedroom Victorian terrace is near to Queen’s Road Peckham station, Nunhead station.
A five-bedroom modern house with terrace, swimming pool, Zen treehouse and large carp pond
An unexpected gem with four bedrooms, remarkable vaulted reception and a galleried study area
A five-bedroom house in one of Lymington's most sought after tree lined avenues, moments from the marinas and sailing clubs
A grand early 19th century B&B close to the historic harbour, with four en suite bedrooms
A four-bedroom, 17th century home with walled gardens, a landscaped terrace, cellar and open fires
A six-bedroom house with five bathrooms and four reception rooms spread over 4,000sq ft of luxury living space
A stunning three double-bedroom apartment with two decked terraces in the exclusive gated community, Bromyard House
A 10-bedroom period, family home amid beautiful surroundings in the centre of the Wentworth Estate in Longcross village
A stylish three-bedroom apartment with two bathrooms and private landscaped garden, moments from Fitzroy Square
A Grade II-listed Elizabethan barn with landscaped gardens, exposed elm beams and four bedrooms, all with lovely views
A six-bedroom family home, dating back to 1280 with four reception rooms, barn, swimming pool and tennis courts in Harwell
A spacious two-bedroom flat, refurbished to a very high standard with private landscaped garden, close to Kentish Town station
An exceptional two-bedroom apartment with balcony and underground parking in the centre of Richmond
A one-bedroom, luxury, duplex apartment in the grand landmark building, Imperial Hall
Run a fabulous boutique shop, live above it in a one-bedroom flat and let a second one-bedroom flat that comes part and parcel
A Grade-II listed, thatched cottage in Hundleby village, with five bedrooms, a coach house and three and a half acres
A spacious two-bedroom flat in the heart of Hoxton Square with wooden floors and roof terrace
A five-bedroom family home with stunning pool and gym complex set among two acres of land
A six-bedroom period house with heated swimming pool and a separate two-bedroom annexe cottage in Townlake, £795,000
A spacious and contemporary two-bedroom flat arranged over three floors, with garden patio close to St George Square, £600,000
A one-bedroom flat in a beautiful Regency building opposite the beach in Kemp Town, £190,000
A two-bedroom flat with London skyline views close to Surrey Quays. £395,000.
A seven-storey tower with three bedrooms and a stunning roof terrace. Guide price: £850,000.
A 16-bedroom country pile with nine reception rooms, four self-contained flats and a 13th century Peel Tower. £850,000.
A classic six-bedroom Victorian Manse house 10 miles from Edinburgh. £495,000.
John Lennon's childhood home in Liverpool to be sold at auction. Guide price: £150,000-£250,000.
A six-bedroom detached period property with secluded gardens, ample parking and a double garage in Rye, £675,000.
A large split-level property with three double-bedrooms and roof terrace, close to Crouch End Broadway, £625,000.
A charming barn conversion in the picturesque Cotswold village of Ilmington with three bedrooms, a detached garage, workshop and beautifully manicured gardens £675,000.
A three-bedroom new build, ground-floor flat with two bathrooms, close to Bermondsey tube, £445,000.
A three-bedroom house in an enviable new development moments from Oxshott High Street, with secluded garden and decked area, £385,000
A two-bedroom split-level flat with stunning south-west facing roof terrace in the popular Brondesbury Conservation Area, £549,950.
A charming 16th century, three-bedroom detached house in Bidborough with picturesque garden
A top-floor one-bedroom flat in the heart of Pimlico with a terrace providing spectacular views over London, £495,000.