Gathering clouds

The publication of its interim results by Helios triggered a 9% fall in the share price: despite improvements in forecasts for both open years of account, 2012 and 2013, and two good acquisitions, interim profits were lower than last year. It is now priced at an 18% discount to NAV …

Published: 6th October 2014


Uphill struggles

H&T had warned us a year ago, before Albemarle's problems became public knowledge, that there were too many shops chasing the same customers. The latest interim dividend has been maintained at 2.1p, where it is covered nearly twice by eps and if the final is likewise maintained the yield is …

Published: 1st September 2014


The London Buses syndrome

Fairpoint made a small acquisition costing £0.4m in deferred payments over two years - but the implication is that it is serious about plans to build a legal services business around Simpson Millar LLP as a "consolidator". We consider the group undervalued following the AGM statement. The core IVA division …

Published: 4th July 2014


A return to 5 day weeks

May is a slow news month, however the new brooms at Brewin Dolphin have given us something to think about with a £32m write-off on software that hasn't even been put into operation in the main wealth management division, just in the much smaller execution-only Stocktrade: a cloud over some …

Published: 2nd June 2014


Beazley opens Lloyd’s reporting season with record results

Beazley rightly describes its underwriting performance as exceptional.  Despite their plans to grow premiums by 5-10% in the current year, this excellent result leaves Beazley with surplus capital so it is returning £81m to shareholders in the form of a special dividend of 16.1p on top of the increased final …

Published: 10th February 2014


A tale of two stockbrokers

Charles Stanley's (CAY) third quarter trading statement was impressively good,  while Brewin Dolphin's switch of emphasis from an overwhelmingly client-oriented firm to a profit-oriented company has shrunk its client list.

Published: 4th February 2014