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Bashful Bovis Rejects Bids

Bovis Homes BVH is in demand by predators if not by investors, with bids over the weekend being announced from Redrow RDW and Galliford Try GFRD, neither of whom knew that the other was interested. Bovis, no doubt delighted that it has found an escape route from its management problems, decided that the bride price was too low and both offers were rejected. Redrow was informed that  that its proposal did not merit further consideration.

Any housebuilder which has managed to do badly during the current boom conditions is not really fit for purpose and Bovis should be delighted that it is suddenly in such demand. Housebuilders are so flush with cash that they do not know what to do with it and presumably this is an alternative to keep giving it back to the shareholders. Obviously neither bidder felt that it should be reducing, rather than increasing its exposure to the collapsing central London market but that is house builders for you. Discussions with Galliford Try are continuing and Redrow believes that Bovis is a compelling opportunity.  Let battle begin.

Computacenter CCC admits that results for 2016 were mixed which is a bit of an understatement with statutory profit before tax falling by 31.3% and diluted  earnings per share by 36.3%. The only thing that was mixed appears to be that the UK part of the business did badly with a material decline in profitablity, after a 1.1% revenue decline,  despite a strong second half, whilst Germany leapt ahead with a 15.4% rise in profitability and France edged upwards with a rise of 4.5%. The dividend is to be increased by 3.7%.

Clarkson CKN produced a strong 2016 performance despite challenging markets and the final dividend is to be increased by 5%. Underlying profit before tax and earnings per share both fell for t he year to the end of December but reported profit before tax rose by some 50% from £31.8m to £47.3m. The company also sees the beginnings of what it calls “recalibration” in the shipping and offshore markets and is looking forward to the opportunities which it sees in 2017

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Bovis Milks the Boom With 14% Price Rises

Bovis Homes BVS delivered a record number of homes in the 6 months to the end of June, allowing revenue to grow by 18%, profit before tax by 15% and earnings per share by 14%. Shareholders are rewarded with a 9% rise in the interim dividend to 15p per share and net debt has been slashed from £59m. to £8m.

That all looks very good but it appears to have been achieved mainly by imposing swingeing price rises averaging 14%, to take the average new home price to £254,000. Legal completions during the 6 months rose by only 5%. Take those two figures together and it puts the rise in profits into perspective, whilst at the same time illustrating the boom in the new housing market showed no sign of abating prior to June, save that the weekly private sales rate per site fell from 0.61 to 0.59. Since June however the decline has continued with a fall to 0.5 from 0.58 a year ago. Despite that, as at the 12th August Bovis had achieved over 90% of its planned sales for 2016 and it regards the decline in average sales rates as being seasonal.

Clarkson plc CKN has more than weathered the storm which continues to batter the shipping industry and it rightly claims that its performance for the half year to 30th June was robust. Profit before tax rose by some 70% from £10.8m to £17.5m whilst earnings per share nearly tripled from 15p to 41.7p. All this was achieved in the face of the most challenging rate environment which the industry has seen for many years and no improvement is yet in sight, at least in the short term.  The interim dividend is maintained at 22p.

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Trakm8 Holdings to Pay Maiden Dividend

Trakm8 Holdings TRAK is proposing a maiden dividend of 2p per share after profit before tax for the year to 31st March surged by 77%. Revenue rose by 44% and basic earnings per share by 91%.  Both of the acquisitions which it made during the year became earnings enhancing and units reporting to its server were up by 50%.  Its order book remains strong.

Clarksons CKN expects that profits for 2016 will be materially lower than in 2015. The Baltic Dry Index has continued to fall sharply and reached all time lows in the first quarter of 2016. The Clarksea Index has fallen a further 10% since the AGM and the average in the first half of this year was down 30% on the first half of 2015.

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Fastjet Slows & Warns

Fastjet (FJET) It seems only yesterday that Fastjet  was rapidly extending its network and Sir Stelios had a wide beam on his face. Now, all that can be forgotten and rationalisation of the newly built network has become an urgent necessity. 2016 results will be materially below expectation, the year will not be cash flow positive and the company may need to raise further funds during the course of the year. The source of the problems is that the challenges facing the African aviation industry have been far more prolonged than management envisaged. The shares have been marked down 26% to 49p, prior to the start of trading this morning.

Seeing Machines (SEE) produced record revenue and profits for then half year to 31st December.  sales and service revenue grew by 594% Last years loss of A$14.2m has been turned into a profit of A$11.2m.  The partnership with Caterpillar proved to be a milestone event, producing a A$21m licence fee which helped to create the record profit.

Clarkson (CKN) has put in a robust performance in what it describes as an incredibly challenging year. Revenue for the year to the end of December and profit before tax both rose by some 25%. despite all the doom mongering in which the media engaged in 2015, overall sea born trade actually grew and the company continues to see signs of a healthier shipping market which is at least one indication that the world economy is perhaps not as bad as pundits proclaim.

Stobart (STOB) Overall performance for the year to 29th February was in line but Infrastructure exceeded expectations with a strong performance.  Biomass and Southend airport are seen as the two main driving forces for the future

Petroceltic (PCI) Oil woes spread as trading in shares of Petroceltic International has been suspended as from this morning pending clarification of the company’s financial position.

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