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So, bet you thought this was about Trump…and/or his Inauguration?
Nope, sorry…just my little bit of fake news! I meant something much better – who remembers this childhood classic: Top Trumps! To know the game is to love it…though if you don’t, it probably seems impossibly quaint in today’s digital world. I still remember the De Tomasa Pantera was the best card by far in my Supercars deck – what are the chances you’ll remember a detail like that about your latest app in the years/decades ahead?! Anyway, it’s still that time of year…and yeah, I’ve cheated a little. Pretty much everybody’s finished with their Top Tips & Picks for the New Year, so now I’ll swoop in & hog your undivided attention! Well, at least ’til your next tweet…
Regular readers will know what to expect from my Top Trumps for 2017 – yep, I’m sticking with my disclosed holdings. I mean, what could be better?! [Well, except some undisclosed holdings..?! No more teasing, I swear: I’m just about finished with the (very) slow accumulation of positions in half a dozen new stocks, soon I’ll line ’em up & start work on some proper investment write-ups]. Though I should remind you, in my last post I deliberately focused on the negative aspects of my 2016 Losers…hopefully, I offer a more balanced perspective here. Or at the v least, highlight how ridiculously cheap some of these stocks have gotten!? So, let’s crack on:
[NB: i) With the near-liquidation of Alternative Asset Opportunities (TLI:LN) this month, it’s no longer a disclosed holding, ii) I highlight my current portfolio allocation (as of CoB Jan-26th) for each holding, but will use my year-end allocations (which are similar) for 2017 performance reporting purposes, and iii) I include relevant corporate/IR websites & Bloomberg tickers, but avoid posting previous write-ups, in an effort to present each holding afresh – but feel free to reference last year’s portfolio commentaries (here & here), plus it’s easy to search/find original investment write-up(s) on the blog also.]
Share Price: GBP 1.45p
Market Cap: GBP 6.8 Million
A special situation…which actually obscures an underlying growth story. While these trading updates (here & here) have crucified the share price, Newmark’s electronic division still looks like the real problem here. For almost a decade now, revenue’s unchanged, while divisional margins declined relentlessly – from 20-23%, to a £(0.5) million loss today. Poor return on capital was bad enough, but losses kill any argument for keeping the division. And after 4 years as CEO, shareholders presumably have little confidence Marie-Claire Dwek can still deliver a turnaround – and her hands are now full dealing with the larger asset protection division. Noting Chairman Maurice Dwek always ran a tight ship here, the situation appears untenable – something’s gotta give…