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).
Several positions are really healthy and few are coming close to a stop loss at the moment. 13 out of the 18 equity positions I hold are in profit. Diversification across sectors is good, although the next sale or purchase may skew this quite a bit depending on what it is.
At present new trades look unlikely unless there is some news in the market, I have price alerts set up for a lot of companies I may be interested in, but few look like hitting at present.
Transactions in the month:
Deposits: £1,000, Dividends: Go-Ahead, GSK
Purchases: Associated British Foods (ABF): Consumer Defensives
Holdings Review (alphabetical order):
Associated British Foods (LON:ABF): Purchased 2494p, now 2701p (+7.9%)
Bought in as this share has gotten cheaper and cheaper, yet its Primark division continues to go from strength to strength and I believe is well-placed now for either a recession or boom. The results have shown that the company is becoming increasingly reliant on Primark for its profits, but it seems that the Primark model can be replicated around the world.
Currently I have a stop placed at 2400p which would represent a small loss. The market in general dislikes bricks and mortar retailers, and punishes bad news harshly. Stockopedia also doesn’t like this, assigning it a value of 40. At a forward P/E of 19, it can be argued that this can be expensive, but we are paying for quality.
Aukett Swanke (LON:AUK): Purchased 3.14p, now 2.13p (-33.1%)
There is no real news about this share, which is smaller than even a micro-cap. It seems destined to continue losing money this year, and will supposedly make a turnaround after, but visibility for these types of firms is tough, where a customer has many choices.
The reasons I haven’t gotten rid of this is that the bid/offer spreads are ridiculously high and that at an initial investment of £250 the sums of money are rather immaterial. It may be the case that the managers simply take this private, which would hopefully see me out at even. The Stockpedia ranking of 55 has improved remarkably in the past month but I feel this is still a dog.
Glaxosmithkline (LON:GSK): Purchased 1295p, now 1467p (+13.36%)
First quarter results came out last week and provided mixed results. The market disliked this at first but since the share price has recovered. Dividend is set to be maintained at 80p for full year which at the purchase price is a great yield.
Given the bit of breathing room I have, I have set a stop loss for 1320p here. One slight fly in the ointment is the level of debt here, and that dividend cover is poor – a case of ‘jam tomorrow’. That said, it has a Stockopedia rating of 92, although I don’t feel as positive as this.
Go-Ahead Group (LON:GOG): Purchased 1404p, now 1953p (+37.2%)
A perfect month for Go-Ahead, which bounced off a year low and has gained real momentum, on the back of news that First Group was being looked at as a potential takeover target, which indirectly could bring GOG into play (I regard this as a better purchase). Perhaps suffers from a bad press as it operates the much maligned Thameslink, Southern and South-Eastern services but I believe virtually any operator would have difficulty running these. Even at this price I believe this is not a bad purchase: consistently profitable, a progressive dividend and no debt.
I have set a stop at 1850p which would still deliver a good profit whilst still allowing further movement, although admittedly if the price was to retest historical highs of £25ish I would be inclined to leave. This has risen to a Stockopedia rating of 99.
Griffin Mining (LON:GFM): Purchased 137p, now 158p (+14.54%)
A great month for Griffin, although not as expected. The market reaction to its latest update was muted to say the least, because of the lack of clarity given to the prospective new licence, and that funds would be used to finance prospective takeovers instead of a dividend. But on the back of no published news, the share price has steamed ahead, and touched 160p at one point.
Fundamentally the company is excellent. It is heavily profitable and has a local monopoly on the area it mines. It has no debts, and precious metal prices are high and they seem set to remain high. It has integrated well with the local community and the political risks from the Chinese government appear mainly mitigated. This is the only ‘perfect’ stock on Stockopedia, gaining a score of 100.
It is not possible to have an automated stop-loss on these small shares, and potentially this could be worth either a lot more if their new licence is granted or maybe a lot less if the government don’t play nicely. There is no choice but to hold for the moment, not least because I don’t fancy many other mining stocks.
IG Group (LON:IGG): Purchased 840p, now 830p (-2.01%)
Was a ballsy play buying into IG at its peak, and April showed that: a drop to around 770p on leverage restrictions had me a little concerned I may be stopped out, but since then the share has recovered and sits a little bit below. Longer-term I like this share a lot: I think out of all the competition they are the best, and crypto offers them a new market (which has been very profitable for other firms). Financially they are very sound, and come with a good dividend.
Stockopedia likes this share with a rating of 93. It could very well be the case that further share price growth here may be slow, with other alternatives presenting lower valuations, but I very much hope this could be a long-term hold.
Inland Homes (LON:INL): Bought 60.34p, now 63.63p (+4.36%)
Nothing much doing for INL, which has been trading in a range for most of the year. Most house-builders are very cheap at the moment because their future prospects are deemed not so good. Inland trades at a discount to Net Asset Value and has a respectable enough yield.
Stockopedia rating is 82 although if I was to purchase another housebuilder it would be someone else.
Legal and General (LON:LGEN): Bought 257.03p, now 273p (+6.14%)
Traded in much of a range for the past month, although recently has drifted upward. We appear to be in top-end territory for this share, as the chart suggests this will bounce downwards off this region.
That said there is a well-covered dividend which is increasing, and no real news apart from a small move into the housing sector, which may or may not be good. Stockopedia ranking is 90. Hopefully the share price will tick up past the resistance region and I will enter a stop.
Petrofac (LON:PFC): Bought 420p, now 600p (+42.81%)
Stellar performance this month from Petrofac, which released positive annual results this month, and this went ex-dividend as well with a cool 25.3c per share, and the share price recovered to where it was before inside of a day.
Long-term this could be worth a lot more, but the SFO investigation still looms large over this. It should be said that as time goes by the threat of this seems to be receding, but I have a stop at 530p which allows a large drop. Stockopedia is still not fully won over by this, giving it a 73 score.
Photo-Me International (LON:PHTM): Bought 170.6p, now 160p (-6.33%)
Disappointing from Photo-Me, and although the stop loss hasn’t been triggered the chart on this does not look good, with momentum downward.
That said, I really like this business. It is straightforward and profitable. It seems unlikely that the need for photos will ever go away, and technologically they have kept pace with the internet. One particular downside is that a rapid increase in camera phone technology can be said to reduce demand but the company is well placed with a great cash position.
Playtech (LON:PTEC): Bought 760p, now 812p (+6.84%)
Playtech share price got an immediate boost on the acquisition of Snaitech, which the market judged to be good value. Arguably on a lower P/E value the shares could have more upward momentum, as I believe Playtech are in a really strong position.
The downside here always will be government intervention, but most of Playtechs action takes place in regulated markets and it is difficult to see gambling go away overnight, and further innovations may increase it. Stockopedia is neutral on this with a rating of 63.
Plus500 (LON:PLUS): Bought 1064p, now 1510p (+41.73%)
Plus500 share price has been basically going in one direction since I purchased, increasing at a rate of over 1% a day. No surprise that its annual results again reflected record revenues and customer numbers.
I originally bought this as a hedge against IGIndex, but I am beginning to think these may becoming fairly priced. I don’t believe that this type of superlative growth can continue and most of the customer acquisitions are not long-term unlike IG. Stockopedia rates this very highly at 98, and this share is one of the success stories of the year. I have a trailing stop in place.
SSE (LON:SSE): Bought 1190p, now 1381p (+16.01%)
A good month for SSE on news apart from a proposed merger with Npower and my guess was that this was oversold a little.
Stockopedia is lukewarm on this, and so am I. I feel it is a run-of-the-mill utility, although bringing in profits and dividends. I have stuck in a stop at around break-even.
Sylvania Platinum (LON:SLP): Bought 18p, now 16p (-12.5%)
Price I bought in looks very much like the top for now, and price has come and gone with no real movement. A first quarter report was mixed, showing reduced profits but mixed inbetween this was good news that a very good recovery is underway.
At present this is hovering at the price where I would need to make a decision but I don’t see the signs for selling: Stockopedia rating (admittedly backward) is 99, the company is debt-free and profitable and there is easily room for dividends.
Tate and Lyle (LON:TATE): Bought 570p, now 590p (+3.4%)
No real news as the share price went down a bit without troubling the stop loss to make a recovery.
I feel this is a very good dividend stock, which has adjusted well to changes in a mature and stable market and has relatively low debt. No action on this. Stockopedia rates this at 85, which may increase next month due to improved momentum.
Vertu Motors (LON:VTU): Bought 41.9p, now 49.7p (+18.7%)
Mostly bad news for the car industry this month with new registrations declining, although companies such as Vertu somewhat insulated by aftersales and second-hand car sales.
An improving SR rating of 87 but I regard this as slightly fragile: having owned this over 1 year the stock price has bounced off the 40p region many times. The cash position is good here but with margins so thin (averaging 1pc) I feel a little nervous with the recent Conviviality collapse (although to be fair they simply exhausted their credit lines). Stop set at break-even.
Vodafone (LON:VOD): Bought 200p, now 212p (+5.87%)
Very much a case of jam tomorrow here, although the amount of assets built up here is impressive. Share price has trended in a relatively narrow range.
Another dividend share although in recent times this has been paid out of debt. The Stockrank is high at 82, but I believe price action will be minimal until more results are clear.
WPP (LON:WPP): Bought 1257p, now 1248p (-0.83%)
The ultimate roller-coaster share as the resignation of Sorrell caused the price to plunge to close to 1100p which led to me thinking about a stop.
But the market was reassured somewhat by the new dual CEO positive noises and results that marginally beat expectations.
Largely due to the poor share price the Stocko ranking is low at 56 although I believe that the business is not in a bad position for shareholders and value may be released by a split.
Pure Passive Investor. Always looking for ways to make money (but not myself) work harder.