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HSBC has had to cave in and pay yet another huge penalty to fend off claims in the US of widespread fraud and corruption. It took the benighted bank some ten years until 1916 before it had the grace to cough up and agree to pay compensation to US customers to whom it brought financial misery and in many cases deliberately made homeless. The bank has now been forced to pay a huge $765 million settlement to the US Department of Justice but still will not admit to any wrongdoing, which raises the rather major question, as to why in that case it has agreed to make the payment. Banks are not particularly noted for their generosity.
The bank paid up rather than try to defend itself against allegations that it misled investors, misrepresented the quality of securities, hurt people and abused their trust, caused major losses by investors and contributed to a crisis of foreclosures. The amount involved at $24bn was not chicken feed but this is the worlds bank so nobody has actually been sent to prison. The bank claims that it has put things right by strengthening its internal controls but in the same breath it admits that it is still completing the turn-around of its US operations. Twelve years after the event and it has still not got its act together!
Page Group plc PAGE saw third quarter gross profit rise by 19.7%, the highest quarterly growth rate since 2011. The increase ranged from virtually nil (0.8%) in the UK, to 30% in the Americas and 27.7% in Asia Pacific. operating profit for 2018 is expected to be marginally ahead of consensus
Sanderson Group plc SND updates that trading results for the year to the end of September are significantly ahead of 2017, but also slightly ahead of current market expectations. Group revenue rose by nearly 50% and operating profit by 30% to over £5 million compared to 2017’s: £3.90 million. Sales orders in the second half of the year were strong and on a like-for-like basis, the order book at he year end was up by over 9%.
Iofina plc IOF produced the largest quarterly total of crystalline iodine in its history with a total of 172.3 metric tonnes for the third quarter, an increase of 37.8% over the third quarter of 2017. The company expects the positive momentum which it is currently experiencing will significantly increase Group revenue and profits from those attained in the first half.”
HSBC Holdings HSBA claims that 2017 produced good results which demonstrate the strength and potential of HSBC and, believe it or not, it is simpler, stronger and more secure than it was in 2011.If that is the best it can find to say about itself that is not a rosy picture. Adjusted profit before tax rose by 11% and reported profit before tax by 141 %. The final dividend has been maintained and the group has benefited from 1% of positive adjusted jaws which should please everyone who enjoys jargon. Significantly I can not find in the report a single mention of service or customer care, although plaudit upon plaudit is heaped on senior management for the sterling work it is said to have done during the year. HSBC has also agreed to pay over $100m dollars by way of settlement of a US criminal investigation into rigged currency transactions in which its excellent senior management involved it.
Dunelm Group DNLM is increasing its interim dividend by 7.7% for the half year to the 31st December, after like for like sales growth of 6% and total growth of 18%. Online sales grew by 50% or 36.8% on a like for like basis. Underlying basic earnings per share fell by 6.6% as against a rise of 1.8% on a reported basis, whilst underlying profit before tax fell by 8% compared to a tiny rise of 0.7% on a reported basis. The company is pleased that it continued to gain market share in a static homeware market.
Tracsis Group TRCS trading across all parts of the business was strong in the six months to the 31st January and comfortably ahead of the previous year. Revenue rose from £15.6m to £18m and EBITDA was up by 25%. The completion of two acquisitions on the 1st February are expected to lead to further growth
Lighthouse Group LGT delivered an excellent set of results for 2017 with profit before tax rising by 32%, in celebration of which it is increasing the final dividend from 18p per share to 30p.representing an increase of 55% for the full year after taking into account the increase in the interim dividend from 9p. to 12p. Revenue for the year grew by 13% and EBITDA by 27%.
Synectics plc SNX is increasing its final dividend by 50% to match the rise in profit before tax also up by 50%, despite revenue for the year to 30th November remaining static and a fall in the year end order book.
Zak Mir, Technical Analyst for Zak’s Traders Cafe, was alongside Alan Green, CEO of Brand Communications, when he opened the Tip TV Finance Show to discuss the latest macroeconomic headlines including focus on the BoJ after their recent meeting, as well as the performance of LGEN and SBRY after the release of results and the chances of a US Fed rate hike. Topics Covered: Sainsburys (SBRY), Legal & General (LGEN), BoJ, Federal Reserve, US, HSBC (HSBA), Lloyds (LLOY), Standard Chartered (STAN).
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HSBC (HSBA) has found slowing growth in China is creating a bumpier financial environment and becoming an increasing cause for concern. Reported profit before tax for 2015 rose by 1% (far, far less than Chinas reported growth ) and operating costs rose by a sturdy 5%. At least it had a year free of new scandals and penalties.
Associated British Foods (ABF) has found the recent weakness of sterling providing a welcome bonus during its first half year to 27th February. In the UK bakery market prices are at their lowest for 8 years, wich is of course a good thing, unless you happen to be in the UK bakery market. Primark sales for the half year are expected to be up by 7% but trading at Christmas was weaker because of unseasonably warm weather across Europe – this of course ensured that shoppers could go out and enjoy their Christmas shopping without having to trudge through ice, snow and sleet or even worse, remain housebound. .Any excuse is better than none for the busy executive.
Petra Diamonds (PDL) has been badly hit by lower diamond prices to the extent that it allows the dreaded word “impacted” to creep into its interim results. Net profit after tax for the six months to 31st December fell by 85%, revenue was down by 28% and adjusted EBITDA by 43%. Profit margins remained at a healthy 36% and production rose by 2%. The first tender of the second half saw both stable prices and more stable market conditions, which cold provide a ray of hope for the second half.
Bovis Homes (BVS) enjoyed record profits and revenue as the overheated housing market continued to boom in 2015. Profits for the year to the end of December rose by 20%, revenue by 17% and the full year dividend is increased by 14%. Forward sales at the year end were up by 14% on the previous year. Demand for new homes continues to run ahead of supply, thereby enabling 2015’s average selling price to be hiked by 7%.