IC Interviews: Simon Thompson
Dan Jones is back talking to our very own Simon Thompson, the IC's small cap expert.
Simon chats through how his Bargain Shares portfolio has fared in a difficult year for markets, what investors should be mindful of in the current environment, the outlook for the year ahead, and much more!
Simon Thompson's latest book Successful Stock Picking Strategies and his previous book Stock Picking for Profit can be purchased online at www.ypdbooks.com at £16.95 each plus £3.95 postage and packaging. Details of the content can be viewed on www.ypdbooks.com.
Promotion: Subject to stock availability, both books can be purchased for £25 plus £5.75 postage and packaging.
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‘Dividends are a good way to check if CEOs are too optimistic’: Fund manager Daniel Peris of Federated Hermes48:08In the latest episode of the IC Interviews podcast, Daniel Peris, a senior portfolio manager at Federated Hermes, discusses his new book, The Ownership Dividend, with IC associate editor Alex Newman.The two discuss:The backstory of The Ownership Dividend (what happens when interest rates go down for 40 years and what happens to investors when that stops?)The fleeting/ephemeral nature of corporate dividends Dividends in the USMetaShell
Selling shares and Relx’s £1bn buyback: The Companies and Markets Show28:12We begin this week’s episode with Jemma Slingo who covers top-10 FTSE data and analytics company Relx (REL). Jemma walks listeners through the company’s growth, its latest buyback news, and the issues it has faced with universities.Knowing when to sell their shares is a common question investors ask and this week, Alpha editor James Norrington lays bare the answers in our cover feature ‘How to know when to sell shares’. He reveals biases investors should avoid when selling either a struggling stock or a winner that may run out of steam, the importance of rebalancing and the models investors can apply to master selling.Last on the roster, Mark Robinson and Julian Hoffman cover the latest from the motor finance industry, which some are donning a new PPI-like scandal. The two unpack the knock-on effects on lenders S&U (SUS) and Close Brothers (CBG) and explain the possible outcomes of the regulator’s inquiry.
Housebuilders, PZ Cussons and the future of British American Tobacco: The Companies and Markets Show34:33We start this week’s show with property writer Mitchell Labiak, who delves into the details of the big takeover story of the week – the £2.5bn Barratt (BDEV) and Redrow (RDW) deal. The team weighs in on how sensible the move is, the two companies’ recent results and whether this could be the beginning of a swathe of housebuilder M&A activity.It’s then on to healthcare company PZ Cussons (PZC) whose shares slumped after weaker-than-expected results. Christopher Akers examines the company’s decision to cut its dividend and rein in its profit forecasts, and what can be done to resolve issues in Nigeria. Chris also reports on British American Tobacco (BATS), assessing the headwinds facing the company, the announcement it may cut its stake in India’s ITC, and the prospect of share buybacks.Last but not least, Mark Robinson and Julian Hofmann discuss Virgin Money’s recent trading update. The pair explore what the figures can tell us about the business, its view of the wider UK economy, and the credit provisions the company has been taking.Barratt reports plunge in profits – but Redrow deal could make it strongerRedrow – earnings down as Barratt comes calling PZ Cussons shares dive after dividend cutBritish American Tobacco ponders ITC divestment
‘I always find buybacks disappointing’: Gervais Williams of Premier Miton35:02In the latest episode of the IC Interviews, funds editor Dave Baxter sits down with the head of equities at Premier Miton Group and Diverse Income trust manager, Gervais Williams. In the conversation, Gervais shares why he is upbeat about capital-intensive industries and reveals why customer service is a key criteria he considers before adding a company to the portfolio. The two also discuss why the fund tries to avoid share buyback situations, the case for optimism for supermarkets and insurers, and why BT could make a name for itself in the copper industry in years to come. This episode was recorded on 11 January.
A guide to the FTSE 350: The Companies and Markets Show42:12Jennifer Johnson talks about the recently published GSK results, which showed strong growth, but the ongoing Zantac litigation is hanging over the shares. The team also touch on the prospects of rival pharma companies AstraZeneca and Indivior.Our US-based journalist Arthur Sants joins from New York to unpack the growth, capex and future returns worries investors may have about the Magnificent Seven.It’s then on to food producers AG Barr and Premier Foods with Mark Robinson, who shares news of trading updates, a new CEO sourced from an unlikely sector, and the prospects for growth.Last on the agenda, Mark shares the thinking behind his latest feature on regulation and how investors can get involved with the companies using it to their advantage.Dan Jones is joined by Jennifer Johnson, Alex Newman, Arthur Sants and Mark Robinson.Timestamps1:34 GSK and pharmaceutical firms15:20 US Tech stocks 28:58 AG Barr and Premier Foods36:22 RegulationMentioned in this episodeSemiconductor industry split between AI and the restGSK's RSV vaccine success makes its shares look cheapIrn Bru maker AG Barr buoyed by new subsidiariesThree companies benefitting from more regulationFTSE 350 Review: The drinks brands likely to grow in a struggling marketFTSE 350 Review: Will GSK replace Astra as the investor favourite?FTSE 350 Review: Software companies scramble to find AI uses
‘Private investing has become too formal’: Lee and the IC36:59This month’s episode begins with an examination of one of Lord Lee’s holdings: Secure Trust Bank. The pair discuss its unique position in the market, its performance since its 2011 IPO, and how it fits in with his view of the broader UK economy.The landscape for investors has changed significantly since Lord Lee began his journey six decades ago. Alex takes the opportunity to ask what he makes of the rise of index tracker funds and fall in popularity of private investing, and the differences he has noticed during his time picking stocks. The episode rounds off with the pair checking in on several companies in his portfolio, including Treatt, M&G, Aviva and Concurrent Technologies. This episode was recorded on 18 January.
The evolving world of textiles, gold mining and 4imprint: The Companies and Markets Show36:03In our latest episode, we start with gold miners, Centamin and Hochschild, both of which have released trading updates. Alex Hamer and Julian Hofmann unpack the news, revealing the contrast between the two. Alex Newman joins in to discuss the role of gold in a portfolio given the geopolitical context, and shares thoughts on just how good miners are at beating the gold price.It’s then onto this week’s cover feature by Jemma Slingo on the textile industry. As the awareness of the industry’s environmental impact is the most prevalent it has ever been, Jemma digs into the areas pushing for change. From businesses focussing on recycling to whispers of IPOs for second-hand selling apps, Jemma shares opportunities investors can take advantage of in what could be a new era for fashion.We then move on to the surprising success story, merchandise company 4imprint. The team discuss a recent trading update and ponder whether there is an element of snobbiness from investors around companies such as 4imprint and Me Group.
‘Most businesses would benefit from more intelligence’: Tom Slater42:25In our latest IC Interviews episode, funds editor Dave Baxter sits down with Tom Slater, manager of the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust. With a simple philosophy of maximising returns over the long-term, and having secured a 300 per cent return in the 10 years to January 2024, Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust is best known for acquiring ownership of some of the world’s top growth companies. However, it’s not immune to volatility and the past few years has seen a downturn in the growth of its portfolio. In this episode, Dave Baxter and Tom discuss the troubles the portfolio has faced, the performance and scope of AI stocks, the allure of China, non-conformist business leaders, and more. This episode was recorded on Monday 15 January.
The Indian opportunity, Ashmore and Bakkavor: The Companies and Markets Show32:35We begin with emerging markets, focussing on Ashmore’s (ASHM) latest figures. Thanks to expectations of interest rate cuts, the investment manager’s shares were up 25 per cent in the last quarter, after a tough time for emerging market-focused companies. Julian Hofmann shares what investors can take from this promising uplift and where we can expect Ashmore to focus in the future.The author of this week’s cover feature on India’s economy, Alex Hamer, discusses our Big Read, revealing the thinking behind the piece, trends in India’s markets that have paved the way for its stellar performance and more. For listeners looking to further their research, Alex discusses some funds investing in the country, as well as UK-listed companies getting a slice of the action.It’s then on to food manufacturing company Bakkavor (BAKK) which released a trading update yesterday. Mark Robinson discusses the choice to bring back an ex-board member who was involved in the business pre-IPO, its reliance on supermarkets, and both the successes and risks that lie ahead. To conclude, we touch on clean energy company Ceres Power (CWR) in the wake of its deal with Taiwan’s Delta Electronics that caused its shares to jump 38 per cent. Alex discusses the history of the company and ponders whether shareholders may be getting ahead of themselves.This episode was recorded on 18 January.1:19 Ashmore8:55 The Indian opportunity21:51 Bakkavor27:09 Ceres Power