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Ian Pollard – Kingfisher #KGF Not So Chirpy

Kingfisher plc KGF claims that its engine has now been largely rebuilt and it is confident in delivering significant financial benefits but only over time. And looking at results for the year to the 31st January, that time sees nowhere near having arrived. Growth in sales, margin and returns is being targeted but only over the medium term which appears to indicate that there is not much promise for the short term. Underperformance in France and other parts of the business needs addressing which is an admission that it has not not been so far. The closure is being considered of 15 poorly performing stores across the business over the next 2 years; as well as the closure of 19 Screwfix outlets in Germany, where the heart of industrial Europe is alleged to beat strong. As for the recent past, there is little wonder that the immediate future looks grim.

Total sales for the year fell by 1.6% on a like for like basis, Uunderlying profit before tax was down 13% or 52.6% on a statutory basis. Underlying basic earnings per share fell by 6.%. Mercifully the dividend remained unchanged.

TI Fluid Systems plc TIFS had a great year in 2018 with strong organic growth and solid profit margins. Final results for the year to the 31st  December showed profits growing by 24.9m. to 140.1m.. whilst a final dividend is proposed of 5.94 euro cents per share. The groups approach to continued and disciplined organic growth has, it says, positioned it well for 2019 and beyond.

SDL plc SDL reports a solid improvement in the Group’s financial performance compared to 2017, with all divisions performing well. Revenue for the year to 31st December rose by 12.6% and on an adjusted basis, basic earnings per share gre by 23.7% and operating profit by 20.8%. The company believes that Brexit brings risks and opportunities which it can manage.

Tasty plc TAST Revenue fell by  6% to £47.28m in the year to the 30th December due to site closures and like-for-like decline. Three restaurants were sold and one closed  in 2018. There is no intention to open any new restaurants in 2019 and management claims it will be focused on restructuring and improving profitability from the existing portfolio.

Ten Entertainment Group TEG has had another good year and is facing excellent future growth prospects. Sales in the first 11 weeks of the current year have started positively, with like-for-like sales up 5.1%. to date. Total sales in 2018 rose by 7.5%, adjusted EBITDA by 8% and earnings per share by 16.6%. A final dividend is announced  of 7.7p per share making 11p per share for the full year

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Ian Pollard – Sirius Minerals #SXX Sharks Out On A Feeding Frenzy

Sirius Minerals SXX Short selling against Sirius hit a record high last week as it tried to secure funding for its huge potash mining project in North Yorkshire. Sirius hoped to raise £2.4bn by April but in September it warned that it would need to raise an additional £400m.. Last week it issued its fourth quarter update and the sharks started a feeding frenzy led by. hedge fund Citadel, which  is one of the top six short sellers to disclose a position against Sirius. Last week Sirius became one of the top 10 most shorted stocks in the UK, with 12.36pc of its shares on loan. Other famous names to join the feast included JP Morgan Asset Management and Och Ziff . Meanwhile the Telegraph reported that Citidel founder Ken Griffin last week “snapped up” a Grade II listed mansion near Buckingham Palace for £95m, and “just days later” paid a record $238m (£182m) for a New York apartment. As for the shares they have halved in value since September from a high of 38.7p to Fridays closing price of 19.87p and it seems there may be little prospect of an improvement despite the huge potential.

TI Fluid Systems plc TIFS expects to report revenue of approximately €3.5 billion for the year ended 31 December 2018. On a constant currency basis, revenue growth is expected to exceed growth in global light vehicle production by approximately 3.0%. Full year results are expected to be in line with the expectations announced in the third quarter up date but as a result of strong second half cash generation adjusted Free Cash Flow for the full year is now anticipated to exceed expectations.

Minds & Machines Group Limited MMX updates that for the year to the end of December domains under management grew by 37% to over 1.81 million. Operating EBITDA for the full year is expected to be marginally ahead of market expectations. “The CEO says that strong sales in quarter 4 allowed management to deliver on its strategy of transforming MMX into a stable, growing, cash generative business and that the significant momentum  created last year has continued into the early part of 2019.

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