PZ Cussons (LON:PZC): Worth Getting into a Lather For?

It’s been rather difficult to find many defensive shares as of late. I do believe the market is rather bearish at the moment with some shares being punished heavily on bad news, and some sectors such as Retail finding things incredibly difficult. And this is reflected in the valuations of companies: on average, the Consumer Defensives sector is one of the more expensive ones on a price/earnings basis, only being outdone by Technology and Utilities. This comes as little surprise to me, as investors are either willing to pay more for something with decent prospects of growth (such as technology) or a greater certainty of earnings (such as utilities).

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Equities Portfolio Review – May 18

Overall, May was a kind month for my portfolio, although May was a volatile month. Profits have been on an unblemished run since late March, but that record came to an end at the end of May with the uncertainty over Italy’s political scene causing a sell-off in stocks over the world and that hit many of my portfolio’s shares. That said, with some much-welcome dividends, the portfolio value added 1.5% in the month – outperforming the wider FTSE benchmark.

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Share Purchase: International Airlines Group (LON:IAG)

With the forced exit of Photo Me International from the portfolio a space has opened up in the industrial category. I have had my eye on several – there are a few decent companies but many are overpriced at this stage in time. However, I feel that doesn’t apply to International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent owner of airlines British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus, so I have decided to add this to the portfolio as of yesterday. Continue reading “Share Purchase: International Airlines Group (LON:IAG)”

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Share Trade Failure: Photo-Me International (LON:PHTM)

So, after weeks of no real movements in the portfolio, Photo-Me International drops out by virtue of dropping over 15% from its initial purchase price. To be quite truthful, I had been thinking of ditching this before as the share price was drifting down prior to a trading update (not a good sign), but on 23 May the share tanked 5% in one day leaving me with no other option. Continue reading “Share Trade Failure: Photo-Me International (LON:PHTM)”

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Marks and Spencer (LON:MKS): Is there a level at which value can be had?

The news headlines this morning were dominated with Marks and Spencer’s results. Only the previous day, they announced the closure of 100 of their stores (some of which have happened already), to be followed by their results today. The timing of this was odd, considering that these two announcements could really have been made together. However, despite adverse coverage by the BBC, the anticipated bloodbath did not occur and in fact at the time of writing, the share price trades slightly up. Continue reading “Marks and Spencer (LON:MKS): Is there a level at which value can be had?”

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Shares Portfolio Performance – April 2018

April 2018 was a great month for my portfolio – short of any collapses the portfolio value increased by almost 9% in one month prior to any additions. This should be held in context though, as the previous months had losses, much of which owed to the wipeout of my Carillion shareholding – a really terrible mistake that lessons will be learned from (I hope). 

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Debenhams (LON:DEB): Turnaround Share or No Way Back?

One of the most punished shares in recent times has been Debenhams, and not without good reason: a combination in being in one of the more unloved segments of the market (retail) as well as worsening results has seen the share price take a battering over the years. And things were made no better with the release of the interim results today, which showed profits falling, and debt increasing. This theme has been nothing new though, and looking at the share price action it’s pretty much followed Debenhams standing on the high street: a slow decline over the past few years:

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Associated British Foods (LON:ABF) A Share for All Seasons?

Having been in search for a consumer defensive share for portfolio balancing for the past month or so, I was surprised that I managed to pass up Associated British Foods (LON:ABF). This hit a 52-week low earlier in the month but has since rebounded back, so I have decided to dive in. The cause of the recent dip I believe was just general market sentiment, as the trading report at the end of February indicated that it would deliver profits in line with expectations Continue reading “Associated British Foods (LON:ABF) A Share for All Seasons?”

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WPP Shares (LON:WPP): A Whipping Boy for 2018?

Let’s be honest, 2018 is turning out to be a fairly bad year for equities. Good news in the future appears limited, and if there is anything that markets hate, it’s uncertainty. Perhaps one of the worst performers is WPP, whose shares have declined by a huge margin in the space of a year from almost £18 to today’s level of just over £11. Not only this but the company also recently took the rather unusual step of reporting that it was investigating its own boss in public for as yet unspecified allegations of personal misconduct and/or misuse of company assets.

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The Curious Case of Game Digital (LON:GMD)

One of the more notable survivors of the High Street is Game Digital, although its existence belies a turbulent past. As recently as 2012 the company was in administration. OpCapita purchased a selection of assets from the administrators and floated it back on the markets 2 years after it left. In some aspects though, the same problems have continued to dog the company, namely stagnant demand, increased competition and rising costs. 

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