Portfolio update 13 Feb 2021

A quick unofficial mid-quarter portfolio review (official quarterly reviews here). Views welcome.

Latest portfolio weightings below.

Tristel (TSTL): These shares have marched higher on no news, and the holding now represents 19% of my portfolio. Last time this position reached 19% was January 2016, and I top sliced… at 138p. Price now 670p. Still minded to run this winner.

HY results due a week Monday. Figures should be no surprise following the AGM. Same update hinted at favourable US progress. Outlook all important given my 19% position. Will last year’s extra pandemic sales be repeated? Rating now very elevated at over 50x. Written up my annual report notes here.

Bioventix (BVXP): No news. HY results due in March. Rating remains lofty at c33x. Written up my annual report notes here. 12% weighting means almost a third of my portfolio rests upon two healthcare-related stocks.

System1 (SYS1): No news. Upcoming webinars (here and here) with ITV suggest relations with the broadcaster remain good.

Mountview Estates (MTVW): No news, although mystery shareholders may have engaged with management.

S&U (SUS): Issued a promising full-year update. Company now seems to be looking beyond the pandemic with the chairman using upbeat adjectives. All feels encouraging. Should really have bought more of these last year. FY results due in March.

City of London Inv. (CLIG): Issued a mixed Q2 update. New clients remain elusive, but the shares have performed well YTD. HY results on Monday. Webinar set for Thursday. I hope to submit questions; some may be awkward.

FW Thorpe (TFW): No news. Written up my annual report notes here. HY results due in March

M Winkworth (WINK): Issued an encouraging statement, but the ending of the stamp-duty subsidy could curtail progress. Might spell a buying opportunity? Q4 dividend continues the recovering payout trend.

Mincon (MCON): No news but website has been revamped. FY results due in March.

Andrews Sykes (ASY): Undergoing leadership changes, but company blog remains busy with prominent case studies. Still hoping one day the price becomes right to increase my small 3% position.

Tasty (TAST): Not bankrupt just yet – shares in fact up 83% YTD. Bank facility news appears very positive, and implies Barclays views the restaurant chain’s future as ‘assured’. Offers of up to 40% off deliveries continue to land in my inbox. FY results due in March.

Overall, no major disasters just yet and fingers crossed for the bevy of results between now and the end of Q1.

How is your portfolio doing?

Maynard

3 Likes

Thanks for sharing the details Maynard, the year has started positively which I hope is a mid-term trend! My only comment on your two health care holdings is that whilst TSTL has benefited from Covid, BVXP has been held back somewhat - so a balance of sorts there. I have seen talk in the twittersphere of people trimming TSTL, certainly not an ‘add’ at these levels. Personally I’l hang on as my position is small and hopefully the US opportunity is starting to crystallise.

I’m amazed that you stuck with TAST! I bailed way back. It seems a long road to any decent recovery, but I doubt now is the time to get out.

I shall be watching TFW closely, its stick or twist time for me - I have way too many positions (c100) and need to rationalise, so I need to sell or double down on TFW, amongst others. Its a good company but things have been rather pedestrian for a while. Maybe no bad thing of course.

Your portfolio percentages don’t add to 100, you have a missing 10% - maybe intentional but you may want to check down the back of the sofa :slight_smile:

Roger

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Hi Roger,

Yes, I am not adding to either at current levels, but happy to hold on to what I have. Over the years I have gained a greater understanding of the ‘moat’ at TSTL, which has encouraged me to refrain from top-slicing but I recognise may have created some over-confidence. Lots of people have in the past top-sliced TSTL (including me!) and perhaps now look back and wonder why they sold. Somebody keeps saying in the twittersphere that if you want to own great multibaggers then you must have the conviction to hold them. I think ultimately TSTL will be acquired.

I met the directors for a one-on-one the other year, which in hindsight did create misguided confidence about them and the business. I just did not face the facts about the declining economics of the sector and that past Kaye-family multibaggers were achieved in eras with lower rents, lower wages and less competition. I just need the shares to 6-bag to breakeven. I am hanging on in the hope things turn around.

100?! :slight_smile:

Well observed! My Mountview Estates holding was down the back of the sofa. Chart and text now updated!

Maynard

1 Like

Hi Maynard.
I’ve also held ASY for many years. At the time I invested, I think some commentators suggested there was a risk it could be taken private at a low valuation given the tiny free float but it has not happened so far. Is it a risk do you think?
Best,
Steve

Hi Steve,
I believe and I may be wrong here, that 85% of shares are held by owners/directors under the HSBC Nominee delegation. See this >> Investegate |Andrews Sykes Group Announcements | Andrews Sykes Group: Holding(s) in Company

what that means is it is very unlikely if not impossible, for an low ball offer to get anywhere. As a controlling stake would not accept it.

Hi Riccie, I see two trusts (Eden Trustee and Ariane Trustee) each owning 43.13%, so 86% in total, then there is another 2.75% owned by Jean-Pierre Murray, 0.71% by Jacques Gaston Murray and 0.55% owned by Jean-Jacques Murray. So I think that’s about 90% owned by the family. Best, Steve

Always a risk of a low-ball delisting with such a dominant shareholding. But the controlling family like the quotation. From my 2016 AGM notes:

“Listing — board owns 90% of the shares while the company has no option scheme nor has issued any shares to raise money (at least for a decade). So why have a quote? Governance — quoted firms are tightly regulated and controlling family, who are not involved in the operation of the business, like the higher levels of management governance a stock-market listing can provide. Question has been asked for at least the last ten years.”

I am sure a low-ball offer would have occurred by now if the family were planning one*. The sons of the (100-year-old) chairman took effective ownership during 2008 and have kept the quote. I am not sure what benefit they would get by taking ASY private. The business would save on listing costs etc, but not enough to make much difference to their dividend income.

Well, yes, but the risk is the low-ball offer comes from the controlling owners – who would steam-roller the deal through! Worse still, the controlling owners could simply decide to delist without any offer for outside investors, which has happened at some smaller AIM companies.

Maynard

(*But the same could have been said about Daejan just before its controlling family took the business private – thankfully at a premium to the earlier share price)

Hi Maynard,

Great portfolio review. Hoping Bioventix sales slowdown ends as we get out of the pandemic and more people return to diagnostic testing. Would have liked better disclosure from management on the pipeline research being done, as research done today affects revenue 5-10 years from now.

Anish