Personal and undiluted views
yield

17 days ago

BP – Q4 results, still an Income buy!

Previously updating on BP (BP.), in October we concluded with the shares currently down to below 200p (they were above 500p early this year) and yielding around 8%, we continue to see long-term recovery and income value from here. Therefore, still a long-term Income buy. They’re currently still above 250p on the back of fourth quarter 2020 results but they are still cheap.

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206 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Metro did not throw the kitchen sink at anything!

I end with a view from my office photo just to annoy Graham Neary. I also comment on the latest bonkers ideas from Boris about how to cripple the economy. Those are relevant as I discuss the assumptions made by Metro Bank (MTRO) and its Godawful results. Who is it trying to kid? It has certainly not thrown in the kitchen sink in terms of provisioning. There is far worse to come when the banking crisis really gets going. I discuss gold and ask those with a knowledge of cocaine to help Lucian out with a new valuation metric. I look at Centamin (CEY) and am not persuaded there is a new normal to justify a sub 4% prospective yield.

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376 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Eurasia owning morons lay into poor Gary Newman for speaking the truth with hard analysis

In today’s bearcast I discuss how little shorting actually takes place on the AIM Casino, I look at Eurasia (EUA) where the slience is deafening, Versarien (VRS) and at Hammerson (HMSO) where Andrew Monk should thank me for warning him off but should NOT be tempted to bottom fish after the dividend is cut this week. And 8% yield, post cut, is still illusory. Finally, I again ask you to sponsor the , now 5, Rogue Bloggers for Woodlarks HERE

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683 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Naughty naughty Lord Razzall (again), another mini bond blow up and yield, reward and risk

I staert with a few thoughts on Eazster and on the hollow words from our wretched Prime Minister Theresa May on protecting Christians who are under attack. I then have a few more words on lying Mail on Sunday journalist limp dick Jamie Nimmo. Finally with a hat tip to Jamie’s paper for breaking another mini bond scandal, MJS Capital, I discuss shamed Lord Razzall and the idea of what a high yield really tells you on a bond, a share or a house.On this day of gioving please make a donation to Rogue Bloggers for Woodlarks. 90% of those who listen almost every day to this podcast are yet to chip in, please correct that HERE!

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685 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Mr Angry on the Yourgene front

In today’s podcast I look in detail at Managenent Resource Solutions (MRS), Yourgene (YGEN), First Derivatives (FDP) and hapless Neil Woodford and the crashing yield on his Equity Income Fund. How soon will that force Hargeaves Lansdown (HL.) to drop him? And I discuss my plans for weekend training walks as I urge you to become a hero as we surge through 25% of our Rogue Bloggers for Woodlarks target HERE

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713 days ago

Tom Winnfrith Bearcast: Brexit bollocks, the real threats to the economy, Crest Nicholson's dividend and Charlie & Lola

Charlie & Lola let me down so sorry for the Joshua interruption today. In this podcast I discuss Brexit and the real threats to the UK economy and then look at Crest Nicholson (CRST), its dividend and, I think, illusory yield. If you enjoyed this, almost, profanity free bearcast, follow a bloke from the Grim North who donated enough to buy a whole house in the welfare safari and support the Rogue Bloggers for Woodlarks HERE.

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726 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Why Hargreaves Lansdown CAN'T tell its clients to dump Neil Woodford and why the yield on EIF is set to crash

I start with the utterly shite journalism of Jeff Presstrip in the Mail on Sunday which disgraces our profession as I explain HERE. Then it is onto Neil Woodford and two issues. First why HL just cannot tell its dumb clients to sell and, secondly, why the yield on the flasgship EIF will plunge from 4.1% today to something starting with a 2 within a year, if the fund still exists. That is by no means a given. If you enjoyed this bearcast, follow Jim Mellon and support the Rogue Bloggers for Woodlarks HERE.

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884 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - is the reward at Royal Mail safe and is it enough?

I note the wise words of Chris Bailey on Royal Mail (RMG) and have swapped emails with him on the subject. He is, much cleverer than I am so you may wish to heed the conclusion of Three Brains Bailey. But I am not so sure if a 6.8% current year yield is enough to offset the risks both operational and political.  The article I wrote on water leakage which I refer to in the podcast and which the Sun Tel picked up on is HERE

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907 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - Malcolm Stacey you are stark raving mad

In today's bearcast I look at Vela (VELA), Debenhams (DEB), Nakama (NAK) and why Malcolm Stacey's bullishness on the house builders is a sign of madness, I think I need to send the old boy on a holiday to reflect. Yields of 8%, 9% and 10% for a sector tell you that what lies ahead is very bad news indeed, including, almost certainly, dividend cuts.

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1650 days ago

San Leon 2017 yield 19% and PE 2.6 - we are in

Well that is the forecast anyway for those who took part in the San Leon (SLE) placing at 45p details of which were announced today. For once we are on the same side as Tosca Fund which did most of the placing as we also had a modest nibble. Delivery is the key but on those sort of forecasts it would be rude not to invest. 

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1713 days ago

Prime People results - check out that yield

Recruiter Prime People (PRP) has announced results for its year ended 31st March 2016 and that“current activity is resilient across the group”. The results show a pre-tax profit of £2.15 million on net fee income more than 20% higher than in the prior year, at £12.28 million, generating earnings per share of 13.84p, up from 9.28p. The dividend per share was maintained at 8.84p.

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1788 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bonus Bearcast: A 10% yield must be bogus

I refer to Malcolm's article earlier on Anglo American (AAL) HERE where I fear his numbers are not correct. More generally I discuss what a high dividend yield means: is it too good to be true? Usually the answer is, sadly, yes.

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1857 days ago

Entu results - look to the yield & Buy

Provider of home improvement and energy saving & insulation products and services, Entu (UK) plc (ENTU) has announced results for its year ended 31st October 2015 - these impacted by the closure of its solar business, though with some confidence looking ahead.

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1990 days ago

GLI Finance - launches closed end fund - shares are a buy (yield 9.5%)

GLI Finance (GLIF) has announced that “it has successfully launched GLI Alternative Finance plc, a closed end fund focusing on a loan portfolio diversified by geography, asset class, duration and security”

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2048 days ago

Entu Interims - look at the yield and buy

Entu (ENTU) has announced results for the six months ended 30th April 2015 and that “we have seen and continue to see increased activity levels in the second half, and we remain on track to meet market expectations for the full year”.

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2062 days ago

Plastics Capital Results - shares to buy for yield

Plastics Capital (PLA) has announced results for its year ended 31st March 2015 and that “trading in the current year is in line with management's expectations” - we note those numbers had already been shaved some months ago. However

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2535 days ago

GLI Finance - Prelims: share tip very much on track (look at the yield!)

GLI Finance (GLIF) has announced results from a calendar 2013 “year of significant change, as our company continues to develop its strategy of moving from investing only in loans originated by third parties towards origination of small and medium enterprises finance through the platforms in which we have an equity interest”

The company has reported a year-end net asset value of 49.99p per share (£70.11 million), up from 49.09p at the end of 2012.

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2670 days ago

Buy Fox Marble at a 17.5p offer price

Why are you guys not tipping a raft of bombed out mining stocks? Well we are not sure that things have bottomed out quite yet. There is no rush to fill the gold portfolio on our Nifty Fifty site ( although – amazingly) we are only 1% down over a year on gold stocks. Fox Marble (FOX) is classified as a mining stock on AIM but I’d view it as a building materials sector play. 

It produces marble – the price of which is far more predictable than, say, gold.  It is not a cash cow yet but it will be pretty soon. It is run by a sensible and successful businessman Chris Gilbert who is modestly paid but has a big equity stake and the 2015 yield could well be close to 100%. I am not joking. The stock is a buy at an offer price of 17.5p with a two year target price of 60p.

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2800 days ago

Office2Office: buy for a 13% yield - you are kidding me right?

As you may remember, fully listed Office2Office (OFF) issued a dire profits warning earlier this week at 5.31 PM. Its shares duly collapsed the next day to 44p but it is not without friends. Commissioned research outfit GE&CR duly urged punters to buy the stock with a 104p target if only for a 13% yield. You are kidding me are you not?

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2827 days ago

Guest Post Robert Sutherland Smith: SSE Results - Buy now or later?

Robert Sutherland Smith is again proving that he is still alive with another guest post. Robert started his City career the year before I was born and is, I think, 157 years old. Fear not. He is very much alive and kicking. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at Shareprophets.com  on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 5th 2014. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at SSE. RSS writes:

Events have fully justified my earlier bullish judgement elsewhere that SSE (SSE) shares were good value on a then estimated 6% prospective dividend yield. The share price rose with grace and charm to a recent May time peak of 1690p, from whence profit taking brought them down to a share price of 1627p last seen having done better that the FTSE 100 Index over six months in a bull market where risk stocks have been rising.

This ‘safe’ utility,

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2827 days ago

t1ps reunited… Robert Sutherland Smith joins the Shareprophets team

It is always good to be firmly reunited with old friends. Robert Sutherland Smith and I started working together along time ago when he was only 148. I am pleased to say that he is, as of yesterday, devoting his freelance enterprises to www.shareprophets.com – thus the four key writers who made t1ps what it (once) was: myself, Steve Moore, Zak Mir and RSS are all reunited again over at www.shareprophets.com

RSS will continue to pen a monthly Pond Life column here but three times a week he will be analysing a FTSE 350 yield stock over on Shareprophets. Having started his City career in 1967 ( the year before I was born) RSS knows what he is talking about.

While some financial websites groups have recently admitted to sharply falling numbers I am delighted to say that after less than two months www.shareprophets.com already has 7,000 registered users who go there for free share data on all UK listed stocks as well as breaking news and cutting analysis from 20 writers with the men who made t1ps what it was at the heart of it.

If you have not registered you can do so for free at www.shareprophets.com

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2827 days ago

Guest Post Robert Sutherland Smith United Utilities a 2012 7.2% dividend hike - what's next?

Robert Sutherland Smith is again proving that he is still alive with another guest post. Robert started his City career the year before I was born and is, I think, 157 years old. Fear not. He is very much alive and kicking. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at Shareprophets.com  on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 5th 2014. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at United Utlities. RSS writes:

 

My last look at United Utilities (UU.) on a site I have now abandoned to join the winning team here at Shareprophets with all my efforts, was just over two months ago, pointing out the attractions, adding them to my shares to buy tray and suggesting it was worth looking at. Since then, the share price seems to have risen by 17% as a reminder that the modern stock exchange, despite all the digital computer technology and highly rewarded analytical anorak power, is far from being a perfect market in the economic sense of the word. The price in late March was about 671p. It is now, last seen, 789p; an almost explosive share price rise.

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2827 days ago

Goldplat - Profits Warning: Buy for Income

On Monday, Goldplat (GDP), the AIM-listed African gold producer, rather disappointingly warned that “EBITDA for FY2013 is likely to be materially lower than market expectations”. I am disappointed because I had tipped the stock at a higher level. But how many gold companies issue an alert and still seem set to maintain a bumper dividend? Not a lot. And that is why this is a buying opportunity for both income seekers and those wanting gold exposure.

Although the company notes

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2828 days ago

Guest Post Robert Sutherland Smith Greggs Q1 Results is the 4.8% yield safe

Robert Sutherland Smith is again proving that he is still alive with another guest post. Robert started his City career the year before I was born and is, I think, 157 years old. Fear not. He is very much alive and kicking. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over  at various places ( including Shareprophets.com naturally) on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 5th 2014. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at Greggs. RSS writes:

There is something comforting about Greggs (GRG) the Newcastle based  convenience food company;  as reassuring as Geordies cheerfully tucking  into sausage rolls, whilst sitting astride a cask of Newcastle Brown to the  sound of a brass band playing “Pick ya feet up Geordie Hinnie” – and what  is wrong with than man, do I hear you ask?

The sight of a Gregg’s shop on some British High Street somewhere across the  land, is as reliable a token of our national identity as – at the other end of  the economic and social scale – champagne and hats on Ladies Day at Ascot. And  in my book a Gregg’s sausage roll and a cuppa wins my affections every time.

So it is sad to see that Gregg’s is having a torrid time on the stock  exchange

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2831 days ago

Cupid shares tumbling - what is its cash position?

AIM Cesspit listed Cupid (CUP) shares are off again today at 52p. There are some folks who blather on about the yield of almost 6% and the strong cash balance. But what exactly is the cash balance? And is the dividend sustainable? Well let’s do some sums.


On March 25th the company stated that its cash position was £9 million. So far so good. However I note that tax payable at the yearend + trade payables minus trade receivables was c£4 million. So the real net cash position may well by March 25th have been as low as £5 million.  Foxy PR bird Bex who spins for Cupid points out that working capital could have moved either way between December 31 and March 25. So the real net cash position at March 25 could be higher. Or lower. We just do not know.


By the way, Happy Birthday Bex.



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2832 days ago

Guest Post Robert Sutherland Smith Centrica - the Gas Man Cometh

Robert Sutherland Smith is again proving that he is still alive with another guest post. Robert started his City career the year before I was born and is, I think, 157 years old. Fear not. He is very much alive and kicking. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over  at various places ( including Shareprophets.com naturally) on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 5th 2014. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at Centrica. RSS writes:

The Centrica (CNA) narrative does not read like a John le Carrier novel.  But its story has to be understood and explained if for no other the reason than  it is a significant provider of high dividend yield income in the age of  quantitative easing, low interest rates and low annuity rates. So instead of  immediately leading you through a tantalizing tale of its activities during the  first three months of the year, I shall start by alerting you to the fact that  the company, having had a good winter at – quite literally- our expense, states  that   “we expect the residential energy supply business to  deliver an operating profit for the full year in line with expectations,  weighted towards the first half”. That has arisen because of the extended  spell of cold and miserable weather in the UK during the first three months of  an unforgettable year. April and May have not exactly been warm much of the time  either.

 

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2834 days ago

Guest Post Robert Sutherland Smith GlaxoSmithKline’s cash flow gets dry rot; a bit of cash analysis

Robert Sutherland Smith is again proving that he is still alive with another guest post. Robert started his City career the year before I was born and is, I think, 157 years old. Fear not. He is very much alive and kicking. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over  at various places ( including Shareprophets.com naturally) on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 5th 2014. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at GlaxoSmithKline. RSS writes:

The latest information and news emerging from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is  of encouragement to investors generally but to dividend investors most  particularly. Although the company is one of the stock markets dividend yield  staple, with a long established reputation for cash generation, a glance at the  trends in its cash flow statements is a bit disconcerting. Whilst investment  spending over the last three years has been rising (that includes capital  expenditure) operating cash flow, the stuff that finances it (along with  dividend payments to ordinary shareholders) has been declining; and  significantly so, last year.

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2834 days ago

Guest Post Robert Sutherland Smith: Standard Chartered: Q1 Statement creates fog of uncertainty

Robert Sutherland Smith is again proving that he is still alive with another guest post. Robert started his City career the year before I was born and is, I think, 157 years old. Fear not. He is very much alive and kicking. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over  at various places ( including Shareprophets.com naturally) on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 5th 2014. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at Standard Chartered. RSS writes:

Standard Chartered Bank’s (STAN) Q1 statement has brought the thing that  markets most particularly dislike; the fog of uncertainty. And most  particularly, the un-quantified (and thus unquantifiable) kind that the  analytical mind must abhor. The Q1 statement informs us in the most general way  without figures or percentages (the closest we get to arithmetic, are vague  references to such thing as “low/high digit” changes etc) which mean as good as  nothing to the numerate, calculating analyst and reporter. For someone like the  reporter and commentator on the Financial Times trying to put objective  copy together, it is about as insufferably and frustrating a thing as could be  imagined.

It creates the impression that either the company did not know exactly what  had gone on (the least likely  explanation) or knew too well and did not  wish to give it more precise substance? Whatever the reason, it left  commentators without scope for analytical exploration and explanation?

 

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2834 days ago

Guest Post Robert Sutherland Smith Sainsbury: a respectable relative 2012 performance suggests dividend growth ahead

Robert Sutherland Smith is again proving that he is still alive with another guest post. Robert started his City career the year before I was born and is, I think, 157 years old. Fear not. He is very much alive and kicking. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over  at various places ( including Shareprophets.com naturally) on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 5th 2014. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at J Sainsbury. RSS writes:

Another year, another buck! Sainsbury’s year to the 16th of March was  helpful and modest. Sales revenue grew by 4.6% to the £25,632 million of  turnover which makes it the UK’s third largest retailer. Reported pre-tax  profits fell by 1.4% to £788 million; a result which is perhaps on the verge of  the “highly commendable” when you gloomily contemplate what was happening to the  British consumer’s spending power and the state of economic activity generally.  Basic reported earnings per share rose by 1.9% to 32.6p. However, the estimated  underlying earnings (the version used by institutional analysts to enable them  to compare one year with another on a consistent basis when reporting to  financial institutions) actually increased by 9.3% although the consistent  figure was lower at 30.7p. The dividend was raised by an above inflation 3.7% to  16.7p. In everyday stock market terms, that means that Sainsbury shares at a  share price of 380p (last seen) are valued on a just reported historic price to  underlying earnings ratio of 12.3 times and a dividend yield of 4.4% with a  respectable dividend earnings cover of 1.8 times.

 

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2834 days ago

Guest Post Robert Sutherland Smith: HSBC Q1 Results not a bad capital play

Robert Sutherland Smith is again proving that he is still alive with another guest post. Robert started his City career the year before I was born and is, I think, 157 years old. Fear not. He is very much alive and kicking. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over  at various places ( including Shareprophets.com naturally) on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 5th 2014. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at HSBC. RSS writes:

The two big relative attractions of HSBC (HSBA) as a bank are its recent  historic steadfast holding to its culture and its subsequent capital strength.  The culture enabled it to steer the ship without tax payer help through the  storm of the banking crisis. It also persuaded the US Justice Department to keep  a recent fine it imposed of $1.3 billion for money laundering, at the lower end  of what was allowable, because it concluded HSBC management had the right  attitude. No need, as at Barclays, for an internal moral rearmament campaign to  return it to a more overtly ethical approach to business in the new post Bob  Diamond world. At HSBC it seems to have survived like DNA in the corporate  fibre.

 

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2852 days ago

Guest Post Robert Sutherland Smith on Q1 Results from Legal & General

Robert Sutherland Smith is again proving that he is still alive with another guest post. Robert started his City career the year before I was born and is, I think, 157 years old. Fear not. He is very much alive and kicking. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over  at various places ( including Shareprophets.com naturally) on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 5th 2014. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at Legal & General. RSS writes:

The Legal & General (LGEN) share price is at the top of its game and the  top of its trend pathway. It has risen 55% over a year in which the FTSE100 rose  by only 16%. That gives scope for the share price to fall back again on profit  taking. In Q1 the wind was decidedly in the Company’s favour. And the quarterly  reports of insurance companies like winds are variable too. If you wish to by  L&G shares for dividend yield, I dare to suggest that you may get a higher  one in due course at a lower price.

It is the maturity of its more traditional UK markets as well as the  catatonic state of the UK economy that is propelling the Legal & General to  search for expansion in the business of fund management services both in the UK  and internationally. Legal & General’s first quarter results were strikingly  indicative of that

 

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2852 days ago

Guest Post Robert Sutherland Smith BP QI Results - A Mixed bag

Robert Sutherland Smith is again proving that he is still alive with another guest post. Robert started his City career the year before I was born and is, I think, 157 years old. Fear not. He is very much alive and kicking. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over  at various places ( including Shareprophets.com naturally) on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 5th 2014. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at BP. RSS writes:

One quarter’s results, usually gives an indication and little more about a  company’s progress in a particular year; particularly a company as large,  complex and international as BP  (BP.). But these are not usual times by any definition, so far as BP  is concerned. The accounting is complex; the headline figures dominated by a  massive exceptional item. Read more at

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2852 days ago

Guest Post Robert Sutherland Smith Admiral Group: A Yield of 6.9% enough?

Robert Sutherland Smith is again proving that he is still alive with another guest post. Robert started his City career the year before I was born and is, I think, 157 years old. Fear not. He is very much alive and kicking. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over  at various places ( including Shareprophets.com naturally) on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 5th 2014. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at Admiral. RSS writes:

Despite the above average gambling aspect of its unusual business model and  payout policy, my instinct is to add the shares to my ‘shares for buying list’,  on the limited ground (not too hasty I trust) of first quarter trading; the  explicit confirmation of continuing financial strength and an estimated ‘super  normal’ prospective dividend yield of  6.9%.     

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2852 days ago

Guest Post Robert Sutherland Smith on BAT Industries- a last gasp or a final draw

Robert Sutherland Smith is again proving that he is still alive with another guest post. Robert started his City career the year before I was born and is, I think, 157 years old. Fear not. He is very much alive and kicking. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over  at various places ( including Shareprophets.com naturally) on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 5th 2014. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at BAT Industries. RSS writes:

My last review of BAT Industries was a bullish one, having examined  the management strategy of this large and important international business  geared as it is, by common consent (entirely reasonably so) to a long term,  irresistible decline demand for its products. I noted at the time that analysts  estimated on a consensus view that sales revenue would grow by 20% over the two  year 2013 and 2014 to an annual sales figure of £16.7 billion by the end of next  year along with a 20% increase in earnings and dividends to 248p and 162p  respectively estimated for the year to 31 December 2014. 

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2864 days ago

Guest Post: Robert Sutherland Smith - is AstraZeneca a buy after Q1 numbers?

Robert Sutherland Smith is again proving that he is still alive with another guest post. Robert started his City career the year before I was born and is, I think, 157 years old. Fear not. He is very much alive and kicking. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over  at various places ( including Shareprophets.com naturally) on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 5th 2014. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at AstraZeneca. RSS writes:

With the first quarter’s results from Astra Zeneca (AZN) the curtain has gone up for the first act of what we all know will be a tough and difficult year; a stock market version of Gounod’s Faust but with a happier ending we trust. At least that is what the market expects to judge from the fact that the share price has risen some ten per cent from since the introduction and appointment of the new Chief Executive (whose name almost rhymes with Poirot) and his plan plus the fact the share price did not fall significantly on their publication - ending down 4.5p on the day to 3321p a share.  His plan is to transform the company from its co-operative, external economy dividend favouring model, back to the drug discovery orthodoxy of more internally funded research and development; leaving the question hanging in the air about whether the company can  increase internal R&D spending while at the same time maintain and increase dividends?

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2865 days ago

Guest Post: Robert Sutherland Smith Bearish on Barclays

Robert Sutherland Smith is again proving that he is still alive with another guest post. Robert started his City career the year before I was born and is, I think, 157 years old. Fear not. He is very much alive and kicking. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over  at various places ( including Shareprophets.com naturally) on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 13th. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at Barclays. RSS writes:

Two seasons have arrived simultaneously: Spring, and the reporting season for Banks. The bank’s first quarter figures have been delivered along with some cheerful late arrived sunshine. In the real world of long delayed warmth and sun, things suddenly seem wonderfully natural and uncomplicated to the average, well adjusted, individual feeding his mossy lawn. Daffodils are daffodils and cherry blossom is cherry blossom. “Oh to be in England…etc.”

For the investor in banks life is not so natural, beautiful or straight forward.

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2888 days ago

Guest Post: Robert Sutherland Smith on BP

Robert Sutherland Smith is again proving that he is still alive with another guest post. Robert started his City career the year before I was born and is, I think, 157 years old. Fear not. He is very much alive and kicking. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 13th. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at BP although comic style makes me wonder what this child of the sixties has been smoking of late. RSS writes:

America, or at least its coastal region around the Gulf of Mexico – which was unfortunately flooded with crude oil from a BP platform a year or so ago – may be a land of dreams over the rainbow; but they are not necessarily pleasant dreams as BP – like Dorothy and her little do Toto from the “Wizard of Oz” which I watched with my grand-daughter over the weekend – are finding out. It is curious that the tin man in the film is made out of old oil drums and oil cans. But is BP “Dorothy” who eventually gets back to normality, or the “tin man” without a heart who does not?

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2891 days ago

Guest Post Robert Sutherland Smith on supermarkets group William Morrison

Robert Sutherland Smith is again proving that he is still alive with another guest post. Robert started his City career the year before I was born and is, I think, 157 years old. Fear not. He is very much alive and kicking. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 13th. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at William Morrison, the supermarkets group. RSS writes:

I can remember when William Morrison (MRW) was once the most fashionable share in the food retailing sector. Not only fashionable, but exotic too; an emergent hitherto unknown northern kind of retailer, that was culturally different; more direct and tougher than softer southern food retailers like the then Tesco and Sainsbury. In stock market terms it was a bit like one of the heroes from one of those gritty fifties novels set in the north like ‘This Sporting Life’ and the ‘Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner’. I seem to recall that Morrison’s brought the concept of ‘bogof’ to our shopping reality. William Morrison was at the no nonsense, cutting edge; retailing with a Yorkshire accent. It was highly rated as I recall, because it was a growth business as it pushed into the deep south of gentrified food and grocery demand.

But things have changed. Morrison is out of fashion in the food retailing sector now

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2901 days ago

Guest Post: Robert Sutherland Smith - is AstraZeneca a buy?

Robert Sutherland Smith is again proving that he is still alive with another guest post. Robert started his City career the year before I was born and is, I think, 157 years old. Fear not. He is very much alive and kicking. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 13th. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at AstraZeneca. RSS writes:

The new CEO of Astra Zeneca Pascal Soirot (which scans with Hercule Poirot very nicely) made his promised presentation on the strategy for returning the company to profits and earnings growth on Thursday 21 March. He appeared to do that with some degree of credibility because the share price was marked up the next day. I am also delighted to see that along with the presentation on how he plans to get profits growing he had a comment on dividends. Basically, the company says that ordinary dividends will not be an automatic function of an individual year’s earnings but rather will reflect expectations about growth. I think it is worth a direct quote

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2902 days ago

Guest Post Robert Sutherland Smith: Buy United Utilities for Yield

Robert Sutherland Smith is again proving that he is still alive with another guest post. Robert started his City career the year before I was born and is, I think, 157 years old. Fear not. He is very much alive and kicking. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 13th. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at United Utilities. RSS writes:

The water company United Utilities (UU.) whose equity has a £4.8 billion market capitalization has caught my attention for three reasons. First, at 709p, it has a useful historic dividend yield of 4.6%; second the share price has come close to its trend support line; third the company has just produced a well-received trading statement which put the shares better on the day.      

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2906 days ago

Guest Post Robert Sutherland Smith: Bae set for shock dividend cut?

Robert Sutherland Smith is again proving that he is still alive with another guest post. Robert started his City career the year before I was born and is, I think, 157 years old. Fear not. He is very much alive and kicking. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 13th. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at Bae Systems. RSS writes:

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2907 days ago

Guest Post Robert Sutherland Smith Close Bros: something in the City with yield

Robert Sutherland Smith is again proving that he is still alive with another guest post. Robert started his City career the year before I was born and is, I think, 157 years old. Fear not. He is very much alive and kicking. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 13th. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at Close Brothers. RSS writes:

As a result of a long and recent history and despite the fact that London is a uniquely large banking and financial services centre, the investor has not got many conventional banking equity investment targets at the moment. Fortunately, that does include two banks HSBC and Standard and Chartered Bank, which remained sufficiently true to their banking inheritances to come through the great banking collapse without government assistance to provide UK investors with a direct means of investing in the growing Asian Pacific economies.

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2909 days ago

Guest share tip: Robert Sutherland Smith - buy Centrica for yield

Robert Sutherland Smith is again proving that he is still alive with another guest post. Robert started his City career the year before I was born and is, I think, 157 years old. Fear not. He is very much alive and kicking. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 13th. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at Centrica. RSS writes:

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2909 days ago

Guest Share tip: Robert Sutherland Smith buy J Sainsbury for yield

Robert Sutherland Smith is again proving that he is still alive with another guest post. Robert started his City career the year before I was born and is, I think, 157 years old. Fear not. He is very much alive and kicking. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 13th. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at J Sainsbury. RSS writes:

In the chemical filing cabinet that serves that as my memory, I had evidently misfiled Sainsbury under the heading ‘no dividend interest’; presumably nudged by another memorized observation that Sainsbury has been handsomely outperforming William Morrison and Tesco – which I have also recently reviewed as a dividend paying candidate. The truth is of course that Sainsbury is notably well qualified to serve as an above average dividend yielder. So I have looked at the situation to see what Lord Sainsbury’s store has to offer by way of useful dividend income.

The Lord Sainsbury thing is a little joke of mine which I like to share with the bemused staff at my local Sainsbury when I send my personal regards through them to Lord Sainsbury.

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2912 days ago

Guest Post: Robert Sutherland Smith on the yield at Standard Life

Robert Sutherland Smith is again proving that he is still alive with another guest post. Robert started his City career the year before I was born and is, I think, 157 years old. Fear not. He is very much alive and kicking. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 13th. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at Standard Life.

I willingly confess that I have generally found little difficulty in resisting past temptations to take a keen interest in Standard Life (SL.). Life assurance and annuities, the traditional focus of this two hundred year old company, are not the most exciting or fastest moving business activity in the world. That fact combined with the dry as dust name ‘Standard Life’ has invariably – by which I mean without variation – presented a cocktail of too dull a prospect to greet with of warm enthusiasm.

What life has ever been standard and who would wish it so? A name that is a negation of language and the constipation of linguistic imagination. But one which – putting the other case – fully conveys the attributes essential in a business concerned with the scientific measurement of and accounting for group human mortality in relation to the calculation of premiums and benefits for life assurance and pension annuities. Surely, was there not somebody on the occasion of its christening in some boardroom long ago, who felt an instinctive urge to giggle nervously and ask, “surely, we are not calling it Standard Life, are we? “

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2913 days ago

Guest Post: Robert Sutherland Smith on the Aviva dividend cut ( still a buy)

Robert Sutherland Smith is again proving that he is still alive with another guest post. Robert started his City career the year before I was born and is, I think, 157 years old. Fear not. He is very much alive and kicking. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 13th. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at Aviva.

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2914 days ago

Guest Post: Robert Sutherland Smith on Admiral – is a 7.1% yield too good to be true?

Robert Sutherland Smith is again proving that he is still alive with another guest post. Robert started his City career the year before I was born and is, I think, 157 years old. Fear not. He is very much alive and kicking. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 13th. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at Admiral.

There is something of the Sound of Music about the Admiral Group (ADM) dividend yield; pleasing but too good to be true? A version of the world not as we realistically understand it! Earnings are to Admiral what heavy curtains were to the singing children’s governess; something she used to the most useful extent by turning curtain drapes into children’s clothes. In Admiral’s case they have turned all – or almost all – of its 2012 earnings into dividends; a policy wholly untypical of most publicly quoted companies. Both choices are idiosyncratic but also, infuriatingly, examples ‘out of the box’ practical utilitarian logic. Just as the chorus of nuns sing “How do you solve a problem like Maria? How do you catch a cloud and pin it down”, so investors might murmur, something similar about the dividend policy of the Admiral Group.

It is decidedly unusual for a company to distribute nearly all its earnings as dividends. Particularly so when its balance sheet reveals that 97% of the shareholder equity of £443 million is made up of retention’s

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2915 days ago

Guest Share tip: Robert Sutherland Smith on Legal & General

Robert Sutherland Smith is again proving that he is still alive with another guest post. Robert started his City career the year before I was born and is, I think, 157 years old. Fear not. He is very much alive and kicking. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 13th. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at Legal & General.

The great issue surrounding insurance has been, as with the banks, one of capital adequacy: do they have enough capital to sustain and carry out their contractual obligations? That has been an overriding preoccupation for European insurance industry regulators. But regulation and the things that are regulated are as a moving feast or moving goal posts on unlevel playing fields. Most recently, the regulators have been worrying about those insurance companies that have been giving guarantees to customers. One recalls what that kind of thing did to an even once older insurance company, the late and august Equitable Life, which was ordered by the High Court to pay up on promises made contractually. It has been made known that a small number of insurers are under the regulatory eye in that respect.

And that has prompted a guessing game about which underwriters may be capitally challenged on that score, with dour implications for dividends for the most challenged. The recent cut in the Royal Sun dividend was both a surprise and a shock to the market. So viewing insurance as a game of musical chairs, the market has been watching to see which of them would be left without a chair.

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2916 days ago

Guest Post: Robert Sutherland Smith - is Pearson a buy?

Robert Sutherland Smith is again proving that he is still alive with another guest post. Robert started his City career the year before I was born and is, I think, 157 years old. Fear not. He is very much alive and kicking. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 13th. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at Pearson.

Pearson’s (PSON) results for calendar 2012 have returned its accounting for the layman to an even greater inscrutability than that which it enjoyed years ago, when it was an extraordinary, almost eclectic collection of activities ranging from publishing to oil; a bit like going back from the renaissance to the dark ages. Investors cannot rely on the statutory accounts because they, in their matter of fact way, give a misleading impression of change. For illumination, the management provides adjusted and underlying figures to chart the changing dynamics of a changing business in a changing world. In that, we are entirely in their hands although they have to satisfy the sniffing, close probing finger jabbing attention of institutional analysts and fund managers.

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2919 days ago

Guest Post: Robert Sutherland buy HSBC for yield

Robert Sutherland Smith is again proving that he is still alive with another guest post. Robert started his City career the year before I was born and is, I think, 157 years old. Fear not. He is very much alive and kicking. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 13th. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at HSBC.

HSBC (HSBA) performed strongly throughout the great banking collapse of the first decade, of the twenty first century like a good deed in a naughty world by hanging on to much of its custom, practice and culture, when other banks were swapping their dull conservative garb for emperor’s new clothes. Chief amongst the traditions kept by HSBC was a miserly Scottish grip on capital. A lucky break for HSBC shareholders and a lucky break for UK tax payers. In the bankers’ gospel does it says: ‘blessed are they who employ sufficient capital for they shall inherit the earth’. And that is pretty much what we see in these results for the year to 31 December 2012.

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2920 days ago

Guest Post: Robert Sutherland Smith - Buy BAT Industries

My previous article, RIP an old friend had at least one reader worrying about Robert Sutherland Smith given that he started his City career the year before I was born and is, I think, 157 years old. Fear not. He is very much alive and kicking. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 13th. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at BAT Industries. His introduction is a cracking one.

 

Belonging to a generation of children who smoked Turf cigarettes on London bombed sites to collect the cards of famous film stars and whose culturally formative involvement with cigarettes was through the allure of films like the Maltese Falcon I start this review to camera – as they say. I gazed at the results from the British American Tobacco Company for the year to 31 December 2012 and groaned. I flung my Humphrey Bogart fedora – slightly battered – onto the hook on the wall and stared again; sales revenue down 1.4%? I groaned again and took a Lucky Strike (brand sales up 11%) from the pack in the top pocket of my shirt and lit up. Below that top line sales figure, things had suddenly got a whole lot better; operating profit up 20%; net income up 24%. But were they legit? They were after all only the ‘statutory’ figures demanded by Federal busy bodies and others. As if by some kind of slow motion Hollywood magic, through a haze of imaginary Lucky Strike tobacco smoke, the truer adjusted figures emerged dream like – as they might in an old black and white movie.

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2928 days ago

Guest Post Robert Sutherland Smith: Imperial Tobacco: An Outstanding Dividend Buy

Robert Sutherland Smith started his City career the year before I was born. He is, I think, 157 years old. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 13th. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at Imperial Tobacco.

As an arithmetically and financially attractive income share, Imperial Toboacco (IMT) or “Imps” looks to be an outstanding buy at 2344p. Here is why. There are in fact two reasons – Imps is the object of two very distinct investing perspectives.

The most recent, is that of speculative interest on press stories about Imperial (as in old, a long vanished British Empire Singapore) Tobacco being acquired by a Japanese (as in the land of the rising sun) tobacco company. For that, investors want the lowest dividend yield to exit on. The second traditional investment interest in Imperial Tobacco has focused on its high dividend yield and its ability to grow dividends.

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2929 days ago

Guest Post: Robert Sutherland Smith Buy Vodafone for a 5.9% yield

Robert Sutherland Smith started his City career the year before I was born. He is, I think, 157 years old. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 13th. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at Vodafone.

Vodafone (VOD) is at the cutting edge of the application of digital information technology which it supplies to a world of clamouring, fastidious consumer demand. The mobile phone is taking and increasing share of Internet communications business including data transmission, the latest commercial opportunity and phone company objective, from PC’s laptops and tablets. It is transformational; exciting stuff socially and economically.

By the logic of the scale of its worldwide operations it is a utility which has to compete not only on investment and innovation but also on price. Each year it needs to square the commercial circle of keeping a large number of people happy: its customers; regulators; governments and of course its investors. Doing all of those things simultaneously requires enterprising, athletic management. Vodafone shares have traveled in a short period of time, from being a highly rated company without much in the way of profits, to becoming a lowly rated share with a modest price to earnings ratio and a high historic (for the year to 31 March 2012) annual dividend yield of 5.9%; considerably higher than that currently offered by tobacco company equity – for many years the staple of high dividend payouts.

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2933 days ago

Guest Post: Robert Sutherland Smith on BAE Systems - is the 5.6% yield cast iron?

Robert Sutherland Smith started his City career the year before I was born. He is, I think, 157 years old. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 13th. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at Bae Systems.

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2934 days ago

Guest Post Robert Sutherland Smith: Drax pleases the market, but is off the high dividend tariff

Robert Sutherland Smith started his City career the year before I was born. He is, I think, 157 years old. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 13th. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at Drax.

So that old fashioned (in scale) and very British (Yorkshire) non global business of supplying the 7% of the UK’s electricity has, as part of the price of converting half its highly efficient coal fired electricity generation capacity, to the generation of electric power from biomass – mainly imported, fast growing replaceable timber – is off the stock market’s higher end dividend tariff. Before its results for last year to 31st December 2012, on a then share price of 609p, the published dividend yield for Drax (DRX) was 4.3%. That was then this is now.

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2936 days ago

Guest Post: Robert Sutherland Smith - sell RBS Now!

Robert Sutherland Smith started his City career the year before I was born. He is, I think, 157 years old. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 13th. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at RBS ( or Royal Bank of Scotland as it was in my day).

The share price of RBS (RBS) has headed due south since my bearish comments on the company last month. Reviewing the share in terms of its future dividend paying capacity in the light of recent history, I observed that in the different world and circumstance of 2007 ( when bank capital adequacy was seemingly almost inconsequential and some banks were running on low or dubious capital or both ) RBS had distributed only 30% of its earnings as dividends. That implied on a totally theoretical, best expectation 30% dividend payout from 36p of earnings per share, a dividend of 11..9p; translating into by way of academic exercise, into an annual yield of a mere 3.3%.

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2937 days ago

Guest Post: Robert Sutherland Smith - buy SSE for a near 6% yield

Robert Sutherland Smith started his City career the year before I was born. He is, I think, 157 years old. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 13th. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at SSE ( or Scottish & Souther as it was in my day).

There are two things about energy supplier SSE Plc (it was until recently known as Scottish and Southern Electricity – which used to prompt thoughts of hairy highlanders incongruously tossing cables at a vicarage lawn tea party presided over by Miss Marples) which makes its shares a good dividend income play. But also, a share with some potential for long term capital appreciation relative to the FTSE 100 Index.

Firstly, SSE is explicitly committed to one over-riding objective investor objective which makes it noteworthy as an equity; that is, its proclaimed mission to increase its dividend payout by 2% more than the rate of inflation measured by the Retail Price Index. Chairman, Lord Smith of Kelvin (mysteriously a Kelvin being a unit of temperature movement) has explicitly confirmed that goal.

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2941 days ago

Guest Post: Robert Sutherland Smith is worried about Barclays

Robert Sutherland Smith started his City career the year before I was born. He is, I think, 157 years old. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 13th. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at Barclays.

The market response to the Barclay’s 2012 figures and accompanying strategic review out to 2015 was good enough to suggest that the Quakers had returned to run the fallen bank to restore those long lost standards of Quaker ethics, which had once prompted customers to beat a pathway to the bank’s door. No Quaker would have fiddled Libor. But in their absence (assuming that he is not in fact a Quaker) Barclay’s new Chief Executive, Antony Jenkins, was the next best thing.

He does a splendid job invoking a new moral high ground to which Barclay’s employees, drowning in ‘they don’t get it’ public opprobrium, may now swim. It was emphatic moral re-armament. The words ‘respect’, ‘integrity’, ‘service’ and ‘stewardship’ were picked up, recorded and reported by scribbling journalists. A job well done! But can words alone change the bank’s more recent culture of error when investment banking will continue to be such a big part of the bank’s business?

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2944 days ago

Guest Post: Robert Sutherland Smith on BT

Robert Sutherland Smith started his City career the year before I was born. He is, I think, 157 years old. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 13th. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at BT.

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2948 days ago

Guest Post: Robert Sutherland Smith on BP

Robert Sutherland Smith started his City career the year before I was born. He is, I think, 157 years old. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at BP in light of its latest trading statement.

Writing here on January 6th I concluded that a charge of ‘gross negligence’ against BP in regard to the continuing judicial saga of the case against BP for its role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, was made less likely by a guilty plea to negligence from the sub-contractor oil well operator Trans Ocean. I added that, that such a helpful outcome might not represent the last word on BP’s outstanding liability; the ways of lawyers being wondrous. And so it has come to pass, something we learned more about as as part of a 2012 trading statement published on February 5th.

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2949 days ago

Guest Post: Robert Sutherland Smith - Buy Aviva for 7% yield

Robert Sutherland Smith started his City career the year before I was born. He is, I think, 157 years old. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at Aviva. I have never understood insurance stocks but, as I noted, RSS is a clever chap.

I saw that an analyst somewhere had suggested that Aviva (AV.) might wish to re-base its dividend payout – a polite way of suggesting a cut. The rationalist argument for such a development, if it were to occur, might include the obvious point that new chief executives coming to a corporate debacle to sort it out, often like to put all the bad news he ( or she) can find out for public consumption to distance themselves from history and provide the lowest start base possible for the rebuilding project. It only remains to add that Mark Wilson, after a long search, was appointed the new CEO of Aviva on the 21 November and took up his appointment on 1 January this year.

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2951 days ago

Guest Post: Robert Sutherland Smith - AstraZeneca: asking questions of dividend policy?

Robert Sutherland Smith started his City career the year before I was born. He is, I think, 157 years old. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at AstraZeneca.

Whatever else, the annual results from that curiosity of the pharmaceutical sector, the Anglo-Swedish company AstraZeneca (AZN) tells us that the company’s management is thinking about dividend policy but presumably not telling us all they think. So here are my Hercule Poirot like surmises. Smoothing the waxed moustache, taking the cane from the umbrella stand and giving oneself an admiring glance in the art deco hall mirror, I mince forward, stimulating my little grey cells – such as they are – as I go.

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2954 days ago

Guest Post Robert Sutherland Smith: National Grid Interim Management Statement: on course

Robert Sutherland Smith started his City career the year before I was born. He is, I think, 157 years old. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at National Grid.

A couple of weeks ago I advocated a purchase of National Grid (NG.) shares for dividend yield. This week the company published its interim management statement for the period 1 October 2012 to 28 January 2013. It seems that my reading of the runes were pretty much correct. Regulatory management is shown to be going according to plan and shows no obvious signs of not moving into an expected new dance like embrace of mutual understanding and agreement between the regulator and company for the years following 2013.

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2958 days ago

Guest Post Robert Sutherland Smith Standard Chartered – One of the better banking bets

Robert Sutherland Smith started his City career the year before I was born. He is, I think, 157 years old. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at Standard Chartered.

What should one make of Standard Chartered Bank (STAN) at the current share price of 1665p? The price is 52% above this year’s low of 1092p (August 2012) and only 2 % below January’s peak of 1700p. Is it too late to buy? I think that despite the rise, arguably not.

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2961 days ago

Guest Post: Robert Sutherland Smith on RBS ( sell)

Robert Sutherland Smith started his City career the year before I was born. He is, I think, 157 years old. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at RBS

What does one make of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) at 362p? Banks as objects of everyday investor curiosity seem like sealed black boxes, wrapped in heavy oil cloth placed in a screwed down drum lying at the bottom of a deep ocean. Arguably, the buying of RBS shares this last year has been more a matter of flying by the seat of the pants (a great stock market tradition which some do well some of the time) than normal calculation. Trying to work out when the share price has reached a rationally understandable investment destination is difficult; more the stuff of momentum investment and chart reads.

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2962 days ago

Guest Post: Robert Sutherland Smith on AstraZeneca

Robert Sutherland Smith started his City career the year before I was born. He is, I think, 157 years old. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at AstraZeneca.

Astra Zeneca (AZN) is not as other pharmaceutical companies are: or rather, it was not as other pharmaceuticals are! Until last year, Astra Zeneca was operating a singular business model in which it sought to reduce R&D costs by outsourcing much of it in collaborative deals with outside companies. That left it, in theory at least, to simply generate cash with which to pay shareholders dividends or buy back their shares. The City did not buy that model and the shares sunk to a level where the yield was phenomenal. Change was needed and now, under new management, it is returning to being a more orthodox ‘big pharma’ which by convention, does a significant quantity of its molecule discovery, research and development in house – incurring the costs of such activity.

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2963 days ago

The FTSE 250 and yield

I tried to steer Zak Mir away from the dark side of Technical Analysis and towards the true shining path of fundamental research last night. Of course I failed. Zak explained that as a semi-literate Old Harrovian he had to stick to charts. Words fail me. Or rather they fail him. That is the problem…. But, during the course of our discussions, he sent over a table of the highest yielders in the FTSE 250 Index and it is illuminating. The three highest yielders (Cable & Wireless, First Group and Man Group) offer such moth watering yields that they are too good to be true. The yield tells you that the dividend must be cut.

Below that trio, there are only 11 stocks (out of the 247 that remain) that offer 6% or more. Frankly, I would not be terribly sure that all of them will hold their payouts. As a value investor this is pretty alarming.

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2963 days ago

Cape – Dividend will be held: Buy at 228.5p for a 6.13% yield

Cape (CIU), the FTSE 250 constituent which provides essential, non-mechanical support services to the energy and mineral resources sectors had a pretty dreadful 2012. On 29th March its CEO Martin May stood down with immediate effect. Six months later we had a repeat announcement, this time it was the FD going. In between the company served up a dismal set of interim numbers, warned of a downturn in trading in Asia and took a £14 million write-off against current and estimated future losses on the Arzew LNG contract in Algeria. Frankly it could get worse. The company has already flagged that given declining margins in its Asian business it could take an enormous hit in terms of goodwill write-offs in the year end numbers as it issued a profits warning on November 12th. It all sounds pretty dreadful which is why the shares are trading at a near year low. As a contrarian investor and a value investor I see this as an opportunity.

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2970 days ago

Guest Post: Robert Sutherland Smith on HSBC

Robert Sutherland Smith started his City career the year before I was born. He is, I think, 157 years old. He and I have worked together for almost eight years. at t1ps. He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. He is a great one for focussing on yield. He is also going to do a monthly column for me on this blog on the subject that really interests him, life on Hampstead Heath. I am sure we all look forward to “Pond Life.” RSS today looks at HSBC.

see reports that US Mega bank JP Morgan has this week been taken to task by regulators for its lax internal controls. For those of us who remember when banks used to be in institutions that lent money and were considered safe and dull this serves as yet another reminder that those banks with a real advantage in the new regulatory world are those with a culture for what used to be called ‘probity’; the principal stock in trade of London’s ‘joint stock’ clearing banks for much of the last century.

Barclays, under its new management, in a neo-Darwinian instinct for adaptation to the new conditions

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2971 days ago

Guest Post: Robert Sutherland Smith on National Grid

Robert Sutherland Smith started his City career the year before I was born. He is, I think, 157 years old. He and I have worked together for almost eight years. at t1ps. He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. He is a great one for focussing on yield. He is also going to do a monthly column for me on this blog on the subject that really interests him, life on Hampstead Heath. I am sure we all look forward to “Pond Life.” RSS today looks at National Grid and starts, once again, with a touch of comedy. He is a funny chap RSS.

The observation about things being in the price is usually a prelude to the conclusion that a share price is well up with events; more than discounting prospects and one where a profit should be taken. On this occasion, in respect to that dullest of shares, the National Grid, (NG.) it means the opposite. Dull and boring, as my friend and former t1ps colleague Tom Winnifrith often says in relation to shares, is sexy. At my age I have long forgotten what he means by that but I think I get his general point and agree.

What is in the price of the shares of the great UK and US electricity transmission supply owner and operator, is a growth in dividends

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2975 days ago

Guest Post: Robert Sutherland Smith on GlaxoSmithKline

Robert Sutherland Smith started his City career the year before I was born. He is, I think, 157 years old. He and I have worked together for almost eight years. at t1ps. He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. He is a great one for focussing on yield. He is also going to do a monthly column for me on this blog on the subject that really interests him, life on Hampstead Heath. I am sure we all look forward to “Pond Life.” RSS today looks at GlaxoSmithKline and starts with a touch of comedy. He is a funny chap RSS.

Medical matters are on my mind as I have the Norovirus. But it takes more than that to stop me writing about companies but naturally my mind turns to drugs. Well I was a young man in the sixties – the 1960s not the 1860s before you ask. Talking of ancient history, the market long ago abandoned the assumption that GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) would automatically build a pathway for shareholders to a starlight future of endless profits and earnings growth, by simply spending 15% of its sales revenue on R&D, and turning that into an approved blockbuster therapy every few years. In truth, costs rose and progress became more difficult – the return on R&D capital was not acceptable.

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2978 days ago

Guest Post: Robert Sutherland Smith on BP

Robert Sutherland Smith started his City career the year before I was born. He is, I think, 157 years old. He and I have worked together for almost eight years. at t1ps He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. He is a great one for focussing on yield. He is also going to do a monthly column for me on this blog on the subject that really interests him, life on Hampstead Heath. I am sure we all look forward to “Pond Life.” RSS today looks at BP. I cannot say that I disagree with his analysis.

One should always have some oil exposure in your portfolio. Those of us old enough ( and I certainly qualify on that count) can remember at least three oil shocks when events in the Middle East have sent the crude price soaring. While the rest of one’s portfolio tends to take a bit of a hit on such occasions, your oil stocks prosper. You need that hedge. And, although no expert on regional geo-politics, it strikes me that the Middle East is, as a region, rather more “combustible” today than it has been for many a year. Sooner or later it will go up in flames, the oil price will spike and shares in large scale oil producers will be re-rated rapidly and brutally. Until then the issue is what oil stock to hold and that brings me to BP (BP.). Is the yield on offer sufficient to both offset business risks and also give me a reasonable return until the oil price spikes as it will inevitably do at some stage?

However, I start not in the Orient but in the United States.

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3011 days ago

First Property Interims & CEO Chat

AIM listed property investment group First Property (LSE:FPO) has not exactly been a stellar share tip from my twelve years running t1ps.com. I tipped the stock at 19.25p in May 2008 and after publishing results for the six months to 30th September yesterday the shares trade at 18.75p. We have, to be fair, enjoyed 4.82p in dividends, so it is no disaster either. But where next? I chatted at length to the rather posh CEO Ben Habib yesterday and this is very interesting – the market capitalisation is £20.82 million.

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3049 days ago

Town Centre Securities – A good share tip but how good?

I recommended shares in Town Centre Securities (LSE:TCSC) – a Leeds-based northern property investor and developer – in April 2010 at 148.75p on t1ps.com the site I founded 12 years ago and ran until this September. The company has since paid out 20.88p in dividends and the shares currently trade at 184p – so this has been a pretty decent share tip for those who followed my advice. Results for the company’s year ended 30th June 2012 were released last month and in light of that I wonder if it really is still a red hot penny share or if it is time to take profits.

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3102 days ago

ReThink Group CEO Chat -Looks a Buy at 8p

A good chat last night with Jon Butterfield, like me educated ( I use the word loosely in his case) at Warwick School, and now the CEO of AIM listed recruitment group ReThink (RTG) – a pretty solid penny share buy. The company reports its interims in mid September so there are certain things Jon could not say but what is in the public domain is pretty clear. The case is solid. But like all smaller AIM companies there is no firework scenario right now to drive a dramatic short term gain

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3162 days ago

Barclays: Is the yield and asset backing real?

A few folks seem to think that my Barclays bearishness is wrong and that this stock is as cheap as chips. Presumably that would be chips from the Casino that is Barclays Capital. We shall see what happens to the share price on a one year view. But to counter the points of the stock market optimists, I offer up a few more thoughts.

The bull thesis is that Barclays trades on a PE of 7, yields 3.75% and has a net asset value of £3.50 per share upwards and that it should thus be bought because all the hoo-hah about rate fixing, Bankster Bob Diamond etc means that the stock is oversold relative to fundamentals. I know this to be the view of the bear raider Evil Knievil and others who are not daft but I disagree.

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