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Ian Pollard – Mitchells & Butler – Reports Results on a Snow Adjusted Basis

Mitchells & Butler MAB tries to claim a strong performance for the half year to the 14th April but is reduced in the process to having to adjust its growth figures by calculating the impact of snow. Thus  like for like sales growth of 1.6% becomes 2.5% on a snow adjusted basis. In the end it decides to give up the pretence  and restore its credibility by admitting that underlying profitability remained flat, which is in itself perhaps something of an exaggeration with reported profit before tax down from £75m to £69m. It is a pity when management has to admit that it can not tell the difference between flatness and a fall. Basic earnings per share came in at 13p as against 13.7p

SSP Group SSPG reports another strong performance for the half year to the 31st March, with underlying  profit before tax rising  by 40.3% and earnings per share by 33.3%. Like for like sales increased by 2.8%. The interim dividend is to be increased by 50% to 4.8p per share.

Burberry Group BRBY saw 2018 as a year of transition which would leave the company ready to start its transformation.  Like for like sales for the year to the 31st March grew by 3%, together with growth in both profit and cash flow. Revenue for the year fell by 1% both on a reported basis and and at constant exchange rates. Adjusted operating profit was up by 2% on a reported basis and by 5% at constant exchange rates and adjusted diluted earnings per share was up by 6% and 10% respectively. The final dividend is being increased by 6% from 38.9p per share to 41.3p. The outlook for 2019 includes a proposed share buy back of 150m.

Coats Group plc COA is now undergoing a transformation which will accelerate its transition from the industrial age to the digital age. In the first four months of the year it has seen robust growth of 4% in its core thread business and double digit growth continued in Performance Materials with a rise of 19%. Group sales were up  5% at constant exchange rates with a strong performance from the industrial business with growth of 6%.

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3i Group “Good” First Half As Returns Slide

3i PLC (III) Claims another good first half performance for the six months to the end of September during which it invested in some attractive and well priced businesses in private equity. Total return in this “good” first half fell by some 35% from 1006m. to 655m. and the percentage return on opening shareholder funds virtually halved from 23% in 2016 to 11% in 2017. The dividend remain at 8%.

Mediclinic International plc MDC reports that one of the features of its first half performance was a turnround getting underway in its troubled Abu Dhabi business. Total revenue for the half year rose by 10% but underlying earnings per share were down by 12% and revenue from its Middle East operations in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi fell 5% in constant currency terms. Despite this the Middle East is expected to produce a strong second half. The interim dividend is maintained at 3.2p. The group added that in accordance with Rule 2.6(a) of the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers, by not later than 5.00 p.m. on 20 November 2017, Mediclinic will be required to either announce a firm intention to make an offer for Spire Healthcare in accordance with Rule 2.7 of the Code or announce that it does not intend to make an offer. Although discussions have continued, no agreement has yet been reached on any of the key terms of an offer.

Royal Mail Group RMG Revenue per share rose by 2% in the half year to the 24th September but transformation costs reduced operating profit from 148 to 26m. Profit before tax was well down from 110m. to 77m,. although basic earnings per share almost doubled from 8.6p last year to 17.1p this year. The interim dividend is being raised by 4% to 7.7p per share. The group is prepared for a decline of between 4% and 6% in addressed letter volume  but parcels are performing well in a highly competitive market. Anybodywho has attended RMG’s jargon specialisation course (JSC) will be able to understand that GLS has performed strongly and UKPIL parcels revenue rose by 5%.

Coats Group COA continues to perform strongly and the 2% rise in group sales for the quarter to 31st October would have been much higher but for the decline in the  crafts division increasing to 12% and bring the average over 9 months up to 10%. The problems there are due to tough market conditions and a major customer moving to own brand retailing. The Industrial division produced a strong performance with growth of 5%  which was closely matched by the other divisions which, apart from crafts continue to perform well.


Dr David Paul of VectorVest discusses Victoria (VCP), Coats Group (COA), Countryside Props (CSP), Taptica (TAP & Berkeley Grp (BKG) on Core Finance TV.

Hidden Gems! Dr David Paul of VectorVest discusses Victoria (VCP), Coats Group (COA), Countryside Props (CSP), Taptica (TAP & Berkeley Grp (BKG) with Matt Brown on Core Finance TV.

HSBC – Positive Jaws And An Urivalled Footprint ! – A fish with feet !!

HSBC Holdings HSBA announces that a further share buy back programme of up to 2bn pounds will start shortly and will be completed in the second half of 2017. The interim dividend remain unchanged after a rise of 12% in adjusted half year profit before tax, following a 3% rise in revenue. Global banking performed strongly with a 16% rise in revenue and to match its positive jaws which delivered a rise of 0.5%, it claims that its footprint in Asia and the Middle East is now unrivalled.

Trinity Mirror TNI Claims a resilient performance for the half year to 2nd July despite difficult trading conditions and a volatile environment in print. Like for like revenue fell by 14.6% and management claims full credit for being so strong and managing to limit the fall in adjusted operating profit to only 9.4%. The interim dividend is to be increased by 7.1% to 2.25 p. per share and the second half is expected to show improving revenue momentum.

Coats COA Good to know that we still have a textile industry and that this part of it seems to be thriving. Coats is increasing its interim dividend by 7% after a strong first half in which adjusted operating profit for the six months to the 30th June rose by 14% and revenue  by 5%, both at constant exchange rates. Adjusted  basic earnings per share rose by 38%

Utilitywise UTW warns that revenue for the year to today will be 4.0 to 4.5m below managements previous expectations. The gross order book for the year however is 18% higher than for the year to 31st July 2016.

Hiscox HSX Interim profit before tax for the half year to the 30th June halved to 102m or rose by 12.5% if the impact of foreign exchange movements are ignored and  the interim dividend is to be raised from  8.5p to 9.5p per share . Hiscox USA stood out with growth in premiums of 31.3% in local currency terms.

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Dr David Paul of VectorVest discusses VectorVest market timing indicator, CWD, MGNS, COA, III and HSTG on Core Finance TV

Dr David Paul, Managing Director VectorVest arrived with the news that since July 19th the VectorVest Market timing indicator has turned positive. This was after just two weeks in bear mode. Stocks discussed include Countryside Properties (CWD), Morgan Sindall (MGNS), Coats Group (COA), 3i Group (III) and Hastings Group (HSTG).

Dr David Paul of VectorVest talks CSP, MGNS & COA with Zak Mir on TipTV Finance Show

Dr David Paul, MD at VectorVest speaks with host Zak Mir regarding the Buy/Sell Ratio and Market Timing Indicator trending in the wrong direction, thus the word of caution – the markets are on thin ice. However, should the market turn around, David shows us some shares to keep an eye on: Countryside Properties (CSP), Morgan Sindall (MGNS), Coats Group (COA) and more!

Brand CEO Alan Green talks RedstoneConnect (REDS), Andalas Energy (ADL) & Coats Group (COA) on the VOX Markets podcast

Brand CEO Alan Green discusses RedstoneConnect (REDS), Andalas Energy (ADL) & Coats Group (COA) with Justin Waite on the VOX Markets podcast. The interview is 28 minutes 40 seconds in.

Reiterate buy Coats Group (COA) – Solid progress since our January buy note, says VectorVest

Coats Group Plc (COA.L), formerly Guinness Peat Group plc, is a UK-based company engaged in industrial thread and consumer textile crafts. The Company serves industries, such as apparel, footwear and accessories, technical threads and engineered yarns. COA supports consumers in the crafts activities, including knitting, crochet, embroidery, patchwork and quilting, and sewing. Product offerings include threads, zips, yarns and embroidery, while brands include Rowan, Anchor, Drima, Seta Reale, Royal Paris, Susan Bates and Dual Duty XP. The Company owns over 70 manufacturing facilities, which serve industrial and crafts customers across six continents.

FREE! For free VectorVest analysis on any stock, go to this link here

Following a solid set of full-year results in February, COA published a trading update on May 17th for the period Jan 1st to April 30th 2017. Group sales rose 5% over the period, driven by a stronger than anticipated performance in the industrial division (up 7%). Overall, COA said it had been a “strong start to the year”, and as a result it expects to deliver 2017 full year results ahead of management’s previous expectations. COA expects to achieve this through initiatives to deliver market share gains and productivity improvements, while maintaining a focus on tight cost control. In addition, COA announced on June 26th that it had reached a settlement with all three of its UK pension schemes. This announcement follows COA’s recent entry to the FTSE 250.

Back on January 18th, the VectorVest stock analysis and portfolio management system flagged the value offered by COA shares across a number of key metrics, resulting in a high score on the VST-Vector (VST) master indicator. The VST indicator ranks every stock in the VectorVest database by calculating the square root of a weighted sum of the squares of Relative Value (RV), RS, and Relative Timing (RT). In January, COA registered a VST rating of 1.45 – excellent on a scale of 0.00 to 2.00, and when looking again today, we find the stock still logs a VST of 1.39, which is very good on a scale of 0.00 to 2.00. This is due to the improving performance and increase in numbers as illustrated in the results and trading statement. Today COA registers a current Value of 113p per share, and despite having hit our January target of 78p it remains undervalued at its current 76p per share.



The chart of Coats is shown above using my normal notation. The green line study shows the VectorVest valuation while the blue line study shows earnings per share (EPS). The share has is on a Buy recommendation and has recently broken upwards through a previous high.

Summary: The progress made by COA in 2017 is a classic illustration of the unlocking of value within a growth company. Once again VectorVest identified the opportunity back in January when COA traded at 57.5p, but even trading at 76p today, we see a lot more to come given the solid progress as outlined by the trading results, the recent entry into the FTSE250 and the solid technical picture.  VectorVest upgrades the price target to 113p and reiterates a buy rating. Please note – although I am holding the share and expect further upside, the share may not be suitable for you.

David Paul

June 27th 2017

Readers can examine trading opportunities on COA and a host of other similar stocks for a single payment of £5.95. This gives access to the VectorVest Risk Free 5-week trial, where members enjoy unlimited access to VectorVest UK & U.S., plus VectorVest University for on-demand strategies and training. Link here to view.

FREE! For free VectorVest analysis on any stock, go to this link here

VectorVest Unisearch

On VectorVest a simple search using the Unisearch tool will quickly find shares that are undervalued with good fundamentals that have just issued a Buy recommendation. This will give the active trader a short list of many high probability trading opportunities each week. Traders now have the opportunity to spend five weeks discovering VectorVest’s unique simplicity, automation and independent guidance. Just £5.95 buys a 5 week trial to enable deep exploration, or how the system can assist in smarter trading in as little as 10 minutes a day. Powerful tools. Proven strategies. Unique Perspectives.

Link here for more info and to set up a trial. 

European Financial Publishing Limited T/A VectorVest UK (VectorVest) is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under register number 543038. You should remember that the value of investments and the income derived therefrom may fall as well as rise and you may not get back the amount that you invest. Past performance is not a reliable guide to the future. This material is directed only at persons in the UK and is not an offer or invitation to buy or sell securities. If investors are in any doubt of the suitability of an investment given their individual circumstances, they are recommended to contact an investment manager or independent financial adviser who may be able to provide tailored advice. Opinions expressed whether in general or both on the performance of individual securities and in a wider economic context represent the views of VectorVest at the time of preparation. They are subject to change and should not be interpreted as investment advice. VectorVest and connected companies, clients, directors, employees and other associates, may have a position in any security, or related financial instrument, issued by a company or organisation mentioned on this site. European Financial Publishing Limited is a company incorporated in Scotland under Company Number SC357322 with its registered address at Exchange Tower, 19 Canning Street, Edinburgh EH3 8EH. Email: support@VectorVest.com

Dr David Paul of VectorVest discusses the uptrend in VectorVest Composite UK index on TipTV, plus the early risers portfolio

Dr David Paul, Managing director of VectorVest says the short-term trend and the underlying trends in the ‘VectorVest Composite UK’ index / London market is up, however, caution is advised as more standard indicators like the weekly MACD are suggesting the trend looks matured. “The weekly MACD shows bearish divergence”, says Dr. Paul. Watch the full segment for more info on this week’s VectorVest Early Risers portfolio picks, including Victoria (VCP.L), 3i Group (III.L), Coats (COA.L), Beximco Pharm (BXP.L) & Plus 500 (PLUS.L) &  Dr. Paul’s trade of the day

Brand CEO Alan Green discusses Edenville Energy (ADL) & Coats Group (COA) on the VOX Markets podcast

Brand CEO Alan Green discusses Edenville Energy (ADL) & Coats Group (COA), and mentions Andalas Energy (ADL) with Justin Waite on the VOX Markets podcast. Interview starts at 25 minutes 50 seconds.

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