As my thoughts turn towards my tips of the year for 2020, it is only proper and correct to review how my tips for 2019 have worked out. Yes, I know that the year is not quite yet finished...but let's face it, nothing that much is going to change now…
My first tip was GVC Holdings (GVC), the gambling company. At face value, I have generated a 25% profit plus picked up another 4% odd in dividends over the last year. That is good darts – and certainly a lot better than having money in the bank. However, that hardly tells the full story. For the first nine months of 2019 the share flicked between profit and loss, a reality which induced plenty of updates from me. The biggest problem was self-induced: a significant share sale by the then Chair and CEO just days after an excellent trading update. Fortunately, via a couple of profit upgrades, shifts to a more professional regulatory footing and progress with both the Ladbrokes integration and expansion into the United States, the share had a strong last three or four months of the year. My view today would still be that the scope for a ten quid plus share price remains more than doable and hence I would remain a buyer/holder.
My second tip of the year was Sage (SGE), the accounting and related software supplier to many small and mid cap businesses. This one has also risen - up around 28% in its headline capital value since my late December 2018 tip - augmented by a sliver of dividend income too. In contrast to GVC, Sage did most of its upward movement in the earlier part of 2019 – peaking around fifty pence above the current share price in July. Certainly the positive cloud trend that I talked about a year ago has started to show up but it has not been all flawless sailing. Management has evolved with the perception that the company needed to focus a little more on keeping costs under control and less on believing that naturally it is God's gift to technology growth. Still I would rate prospects as bright, especially if the UK SME sector can get newly inspired by the election result of a couple of weeks ago. By choice I would remain long of this one going into 2020.
So from my perspective it certainly could have been a lot worse – after all you could have reduced your return quite considerably by having a passive FTSE 350 index position. And now onto the small task of working out how to keep the run going into 2020 with a couple of new larger cap tips for you to have a think about. Check back on ShareProphets over the Christmas period for these…
Filed under: GVC Holdings, Sage, Anglo African Oil & Gas, Charles Tatnall, Gervais Williams, Inspirit
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