A busy earnings time, so let us dive in… I have loved up Sage (SGE) for well over a year, most recently noting that 'I would rate prospects as bright, especially if the UK SME sector can get newly inspired by the election result'. Its latest update talks about a 6.7% rise in organic revenue and a more than 10% increase in recurring revenues. That sounds workable...and has been 'driven by cloud connected solutions', which is very much in-line with my rationale for making the shares one of my tips of the year last year. Back then I talked about the scope for the share price to have an '8' or a '9' in front of it and, underpinned by the update that 'looking ahead, we reiterate our guidance for the full year, as outlined in the FY19 results announcement', buy.
Meanwhile at Sainsbury (SBRY), finally some common-sense. I observed earlier this month that I might have a think about the shares at 200p but the real gist of my write-up was that the company had lost its way. Finally a bit of progress on this front with the announcement that Mike Coupe is to 'retire' as CEO after six years, a period of time which included many years of tough trading and - of course - the failed merger with Asda. In my opinion, Sainsbury needed to move on due to the latter, which had clearly been the focal point of the supermarket's strategy for the 2020s. Perhaps the retail and operations director has a few new ideas...but no need to rush with this one. We know the proclivity of a new CEO to kitchen sink...
Back in July I suggested taking some profits in Burberry (BRBY) after a great run over the prior couple of years. The latest update may have included a small revenue upgrade ('We now expect FY 2020 total revenue to grow by a low single digit percentage at CER compared to previous guidance of broadly stable') but despite the continued forward progress of sales in China ('up mid-teens') and in Europe and the Middle East, unrest in Hong Kong has halved sales there whilst 'the Americas was stable'. In the lower twenties quid share price area, I would still be taking profits.
Finally WH Smith (SMWH), where the travel business (+3% like-for-like growth) continues to thoroughly outpace the retail business (-5% like-for-like growth). No great surprises there and, as I noted in my last write-up on the stock, 'I would still wait for a sub 20 quid share price but I applaud WH Smith in going more global. You are not going to make your money so much on the High Street any more'. The shares remain a bit too hot for me at the moment but I have put a sub 21 quid flag on the stock. After all, even I sometimes spend a bit of money in its travel stores...but never in its high street ones.
Filed under: Sage, Sainsbury, Burberry, WH Smith, ADVFN, Accesso, Versarien, Smartspace Software, Yu
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