Regular readers will know that I am a complete investment geek and therefore will not be surprised that I regard the two hours I spent during the summer discussing corporate whatevers with a representative of corrugated board producer DS Smith (SMDS) as one of my highlights of the year. I last wrote (briefly) about the name HERE and told you to continue buying/accumulating the stock, a view which has been sensibly remunerative even taking into account a surprise fall in the shares post interim results publication…
To be honest - and maybe it is because I have my own blinkered biased view - I can see very little wrong with the results. Certainly, some might say that a constant revenue advance of 3%, an adjusted EPS increase of 4% and an equivalent proportional rise in dividend per share is not that exciting, but for a company with an historically cyclical product playing into the difficult global economy it certainly could have been a lot worse. And the return on sales advance backed up by comments such as 'market share gains driven by multinational FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) and e-commerce customers...customers increasingly valuing our sustainable packaging solutions', sound fully on-trend. Certainly you should be looking out for your Amazon and others parcel in DS Smith board this Christmas! I remain a buyer and anticipate a 'hello 400p' moment on the shares (and quite possibly more) over the next year. A core larger cap portfolio holding in my view.
Naturally I do not say the same about badboy Metro Bank (MTRO), which a month ago had got goosed up to 260p a share despite it offering so many red flags (as I have detailed consistently over the last year or two, most recently HERE) it would make Vlad Putin hosting the leaders of China and Vietnam for a communist greatest hits retrospective, blush. As I noted at the above link, I really do not understand why the company continues to put out regulatory news statements after the London close as most of the time it looks as if it is trying to hide something...which obviously most of the time it usually is. Anyhow, the latest such disclosure was centred on 'Craig Donaldson, who has been Metro Bank's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) since 2009, has agreed with the Board that he will step down at the end of the year, having led the Bank through what has been a challenging period...'. I should coco! Good luck to the as yet unannounced replacement. Another one bites the dust then at Metro Bank following the progressive exit of the founding Chairman, among other executives. All it needs to do now is find someone desperate enough to work there, ideally with a winning strategy. Actually that may still be Mission Impossible.
And talking about tough corporate gigs, I see that horror show Amigo Holdings (AMGO) has announced that it has befriended the FCA by finally get its free float up above 25%...following the sale by some of the executive team of some of their stakes. Bad luck boys for having to dump stock at this price...but of course given the Amigo ethos and business plan I feel absolutely zero sympathy. Naturally it remains a mega avoid.
Filed under: DS Smith, Providence Resources, Hurricane Energy, Chamberlin, Mobile Streams, FirstGroup
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