Voyager RNS Log WC 21/01/2018
After the hectic last week of many RNSs from the portfolio, this week started quite sedately with nothing to report for either Monday or Tuesday; I honestly don’t mind a little quiet once in a while as it gives you time to both reflect and get on with other things in life.
In terms of new investments, I have been wrestling with my conscience about not buying shares in Israeli companies. Am I unreasonably biased? Well after various historic dabbles with investments in Israeli companies I generally have not been left with a taste trust or confidence. So, I asked myself why was I considering breaking a rule and buying into Taptica? Well it would surely be on the grounds of what I term as a special situation i.e a business where something possibly game-changing is really happening, good RNS stories etc. with a nice “ahead of expectations trading update in early January: could I overcome my bias? Well the answer which was possibly influenced by the excellent McMafia on BBC was “don’t, at least not just yet”; just can't get that comfy feeling. No, I am afraid my “no-go” countries which include the bulk of Africa, Russia, Israel & China plus a few others, remain as they were. I know fellow investors will quote companies that have done well but equally from those countries I could quote Emblaze, Telit, Putin’s RusPetro, Stella Diamonds in Africa and various Chinese AIM rubbish; just why put your cash at risk?
I have been adding a few bits & bobs to the portfolio in the last few days but these have been in the form of Investment Trusts, an area of investment I have been very keen on for many many years. I will have to get my bum into gear at some time in the next quarter and do an article dedicated to investment trusts and my approach to these terrifically underrated investment vehicles.
Well, that’s enough rambling on, let’s have a look at this week’s RNSs that are relevant to companies within the Whittler universe.
As ever, although I may get keen about a stock, what I put into print here is purely me sharing my rambling thought process and NOT INVESTMENT ADVICE to either buy or sell a particular stock.
Monday 22nd January 2018: No RNSs for whittler stocks
Tuesday 23rd January 2018: No RNSs for whittler stocks
Wednesday 24th January 2018: Bodycote: BOY: Mkt Cap £1880m: RNS BODYCOTE CONFIRMS EUROPEAN EXPANSION IN HOT ISOSTATIC PRESSING
NEW MEGA-HIP VESSEL SCHEDULED FOR 2018 DELIVERY
Bodycote is pleased to announce that its Sint Niklaas, Belgium, Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP) location will take delivery of a new "Mega-HIP" unit which will be operational by the end of 2018.
The new high pressure, high temperature Mega-HIP is Nadcap capable to meet the growing demand of the European aerospace market over the next five years and beyond. This investment will significantly increase Bodycote's Nadcap HIP capacity globally, in addition to the substantial increase in Nadcap capacity which Bodycote completed in 2017. These recent investments highlight Bodycote's commitment to expand its global HIP capacity to meet market requirements.
In addition to aerospace, Bodycote HIP serves clients around the world in markets as diverse as medical, power generation, marine, nuclear, automotive and electronics with both HIP services and its Powdermet(R) technologies. The recently launched Powdermet(R) technologies incorporate new, patent-pending techniques that combine 3D printing with well-established net shape and near net shape (NNS) techniques. This new hybrid technology dramatically reduces the manufacturing time and production cost of a part compared to producing the same part using 3D printing alone.
My View: well not exactly shooting from the HIP, the announcement looks positive for Bodycote and on another day may well have added a couple of pence to the share price but Mr Market was not in his best mood on Wednesday; no real issues in my opinion just uninteresting market noise taking the markets down a touch. I think that BOY is a lovely quality business and the share price itself had appreciated by about 18% since the middle of December. Until there is a recession, I am just going to sit on my hands with BOY and hopefully let the quality continue to play out.
Wednesday 24th January 2018: WH Smith: SMWH: Market Cap £2340m: RNS Trading Update
The Group delivered a good performance in the period with total sales flat year on year and like-for-like sales down 1% for the 20 weeks.
Total sales in Travel were up 7% with like-for-like sales up 3%. We have continued to see good sales growth across all of our key channels and gross margin continues to grow in line with plan driven by category mix management. Our store opening programme in the UK is on track and we expect to open around 15 new units this year. Our new large airport stores in Gatwick and Stansted opened in the period and are performing well with good feedback from both landlords and customers.
Our International business continues to grow and we now have 249 units open, including 2 of the 10 units we have won in Changi Airport, Singapore. We expect all 10 units there to be open this spring.
In High Street, total sales were down 5% with like-for-like sales down 4%, in line with expectations. Gross margin was up year on year although slightly less than anticipated, in part reflecting the lower sales of high margin spoof humour books compared to the same period last year when humour books had a particularly strong performance. However, we continue with our cost efficiency programme and now expect full year cost savings to be in the region of GBP12m, slightly ahead of target.
My View: well not exactly a trading update from my favourite boring business that will get the punters excited but the real interest in the business for me is the Travel which in 2016 weighed in with 66% of the groups PBT and rose to 69% of group PBT in 2017. According to the TU, travel is continuing to grow both by expansion and like-for-like in 2018. Overall, I am happy to continue to hold.
Thursday 25th January 2018: No RNSs for whittler stocks.
A nice chance to start a slow cooker large batch of Bolognese; if you take care with the selection of the ingredients, the quality really comes given time in the slow cooker; a bit like investing really!
Friday 26th January 2018: No RNSs for whittler stocks
Well, that’s a very short RNS log this week but it at least gives one a chance to draw breath after such a lot of scribbling last week. I am quite glad I ditched Galliford Try last week as the Carillion news broke; that swift action really protected my capital as since the sale the price has drifted down a further 12% as I write. I should say that I think GFRD is a very decent company and in all probability, I will return to invest in GFRD again but for now, I simply protect my capital.
In my opinion, two fairly simple rules apply in this case:
On to next couple of weeks and we may well see a trading update from OTB, maybe JE., KWS and results pencilled in for FDEV & AMO.
This weekend my incurable hattersitis take me to the delights of Cleethorpes where the Grimsby ground is situated with just about every old iron girder corroding nicely is the salty atmosphere. What a dog of a journey it is but needs must etc. Whilst I am not the greatest fan of fish & chips, even I have to say they are a bit special up there so I guess I will be digging into some.
I hope you have a good weekend and should you find the time to read something really interesting, then over I slow cup of coffee, I would highly recommend a read of Terry Smith’s Annual Letter To Investors published a few days ago; a great read in my opinion.