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Blue Cap

Well on track

Update | General Industrials | 14 Sep 2018

Blue Cap continues to deliver with c 10% organic sales growth in H118 and confirmation that the recent, potentially transformative investment (Knauer) is well in hand. The shortfall in profit (EBIT down by 25%) was, as expected, rather a matter of timing as the impact of the disposal of a significant contributor to H117 (Biolink) was compounded by the initial inclusion of underperforming Knauer. Consensus forecasts for this year and next are therefore maintained, given renewed evidence of progress across the board, notably at key turnaround situations, Neschen and Knauer. Substantial increasing benefit is expected after joining forces with new major shareholder PartnerFonds (44%) as long as conducted by Blue Cap management. Internal disputes between PartnerFonds management and their shareholders should have no impact on independent Blue Cap.

Blue Cap

Locking in growth

Update | General Industrials | 20 Jun 2018

Blue Cap is gearing up for further expansion by joining forces with like-minded counterpart, PartnerFonds, its new major shareholder (44%) and planned merger partner. Meanwhile it continues to please, both in terms of trading and its eye for transformative investment. H217 delivered strong momentum, notably at reinvigorated Neschen, with EBITDA up by a quarter (likely doubling y-o-y, as in H1, but for sale of Biolink). For 2018, guidance of progress across the board is complemented by the largest purchase to date (Knauer-Uniplast) and associated turnaround potential. Dividend initiation despite continued investment marks Blue Cap’s success.

Blue Cap

In full swing

Update | General Industrials | 16 Oct 2017

H1 profit well ahead of market expectations and confirmation of the successful sale of Biolink are fitting endorsements of Blue Cap’s investment strategy. Indeed, more of the same appears on the cards with full-year management guidance of strong momentum, notably in the turnaround of Neschen, as well as new investment opportunities, which the now de-geared company is well-placed to seize. Despite a buoyant share price (up over 50% since our positive initiation report in July), the rating remains attractive at under 9x 2017e EV/EBITDA on seemingly cautious consensus forecasts.

Blue Cap

Sticking at it

Initiation | General Industrials | 17 Jul 2017

Blue Cap is set to benefit from recent potentially transformative deals. The projected turnaround of Neschen may yield a step-change in profit, while the disposal of Biolink on a chemical industry-leading multiple confirms the success of management’s exit strategy. Otherwise, a strong, coherent business model is evident in a solid financial record and outlook. Indeed, current consensus forecasts appear not to reflect adequately the general improvement in trading and this virtual de-gearing; adjusted 2017e EV/EBITDA of under 7x ignores the proven corporate success and increasingly ambitious investment.

Aberdeen Standard Equity Income Trust

Unconstrained approach to income and growth

Review | Investment Companies | 06 Jun 2016

Standard Life Equity Income Trust (SLET) is a multi-cap UK portfolio made up of manager Thomas Moore's 50-70 best ideas for achieving a high and growing income with the potential for capital appreciation. The manager seeks attractively valued stocks with strong earnings and dividend growth potential that may not have been fully appreciated by the market. He currently sees better fundamentals in stocks outside the blue-chip FTSE 100 Index, and the trust has a large weighting (60%+) to smaller and mid-cap stocks as a result. Recent performance has been affected by poor sentiment towards UK domestic stocks in the run-up to the EU referendum; there is potential for this to reverse if, as widely expected, Britain votes to remain in the EU, although a Brexit vote could have the opposite effect.

Martin Currie Global Portfolio Trust

Still finding opportunities

Review | Investment Companies | 10 Dec 2014

Martin Currie Global Portfolio Trust (MNP) invests in a portfolio of larger-cap blue chip companies selected for their above-average growth potential. Recent performance has been similar to the FTSE World index benchmark in a period of market volatility and risk-adjusted returns are ahead of global trust sector averages over one and three years. Since adopting a zero discount policy in 2013, the shares have traded close to NAV. Dividends are paid quarterly and have held steady or increased each year since launch with MNP's 2.3% yield ranking in the top quartile of global trust peers.

Seeing Machines

Major technology endorsement

Update | Technology | 29 May 2013

Seeing Machines (SM) has announced a strategic alliance with a unit of Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT, market cap $57bn), a blue-chip manufacturer of construction and mining equipment and one of the 30 constituents of the Dow Jones Industrials Average. The exclusive multi-phase agreement will begin with a sales and marketing alliance and could eventually involve SM's IP being integrated into Caterpillar's own products. We have noted before that SM's DSS (Driver State System) has established leadership in the young market for fatigue- and distraction-monitoring systems on haul trucks. Yesterday's announcement is a strong endorsement of the DSS and also SM's face- and eye-tracking intellectual property in a broader sense.