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Positive outlook

Update | Food & Drink | 16 Jan 2018

Greggs' Q4 sales update demonstrates a robust performance in what has been a tough retail market. The company's self-help strategy shows that this is a business firmly in control of its own destiny. Management expects that the industry-wide cost pressures seen in 2017 will continue in 2018 although at lower levels. Greggs expects to deliver full year results in line with management expectations. A combination of strong trading momentum, easing margin pressures and continued self-help gives us confidence in our 2018 forecasts, which we leave unchanged.


Well positioned in sectors with best prospects

QuickView | Construction & Building Materials | 11 Jan 2018

FY17 trading was in line with expectations, with good sector performance in the context of wider industry trends. The CPM acquisition should aid another premium growth year in 2018, beyond which the UK economic outlook should be clearer. Rating premia are earned during growth phases, but can also be sustained during less favourable industry conditions via relative outperformance, and this is what we expect to prevail at Marshalls.

Pacific Edge

Anticipating commercial growth

Outlook | Pharmaceutical & healthcare | 09 Jan 2018

Pacific Edge continues to make progress commercialising its suite of bladder cancer diagnostics products, with three tests currently available in the US market. An uplift in sales is expected as TRICARE and the Veterans Administration (VA) are under contract, although the exact timing of a sales ramp is unknown. In addition, the company’s discussions with Kaiser Permanente are nearing a final decision and progress has been made with achieving inclusion in the local coverage determination (LCD) by the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Intec Pharma

Ongoing AP clinical trials

Outlook | Pharmaceutical & healthcare | 08 Jan 2018

Intec Pharma’s clinical programmes to validate the utility of its unique drug delivery platform, the accordion pill (AP), are ongoing. The company announced with its Q317 report that patient enrolment for the Phase III AP-CDLD (carbidopa and levodopa) in Parkinson’s has been increased to 420 patients (from 328). We now expect full enrolment in Q318. Additionally, Intec is redesigning AP-CBD/THC (cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol) for a second Phase I trial and the indication is not yet specified.

MedicX Fund

Strong investment pipeline to continue progress

Outlook | Property | 19 Dec 2017

FY17 saw steady underlying growth in the investment portfolio and recurring earnings. Overall returns were further enhanced by positive revaluation movements reflecting continued tightening in market yields. Investment in development schemes had a limited impact on earnings in FY17 but completions and continuing acquisitions from a strong pipeline offer good growth prospects. The dividend has been increased and MedicX Fund (MXF) expects to pay 6.04p in respect of FY18, a yield of 7.1%, supported by growing highly secure, long-term income derived mainly from government sources.

Carr's Group

Foundations for growth

Outlook | Consumer staples | 15 Dec 2017

Carr’s Group operates in relatively defensive markets. Demand for agricultural outputs worldwide is being driven by a rising global population, a switch to Westernised diets in the developing world and the adoption of bio-fuels. Demand for products and services from the Engineering division is primarily related to investment in the global nuclear industry and benefits from employers’ increased concern about removing personnel from hazardous environments. While enjoying the beneficial impact of these macro-trends, management’s focus on internationalisation and innovation reduces the exposure to crop and livestock disease, local variations in weather patterns and to government farming policies, from which agricultural stocks typically suffer, and Brexit.


Agile and responsive

Outlook | Aerospace & Defence | 13 Dec 2017

Cohort continues to make progress in a tough UK defence trading environment. Our earnings forecasts remain largely unchanged as performances at MASS and EID continue ahead of expectations, compensating for pressures at MCL and SEA. Our fair value calculation currently stands at 483p implying significant unrecognised potential. The recent share price fall seems unwarranted given the maintained outlook.

AFT Pharmaceuticals

Australia and Maxigesic driving growth

Outlook | Pharmaceutical & healthcare | 12 Dec 2017

AFT Pharmaceuticals is a New Zealand-based specialty pharmaceutical company that currently sells over 130 prescription specialty generics and OTC products through its own salesforce in New Zealand, Australia and South-East Asia. It has been expanding its geographic footprint thanks mainly to Maxigesic, its paracetamol (acetaminophen)/ibuprofen combination product. Maxigesic is currently being sold in 10 countries and has distribution agreements in 124 in total. Further Maxigesic launches in the next two to three years should help drive revenues and margins.


All about the data

Outlook | Media | 11 Dec 2017

YouGov has a strong growth record and its investment in building its data-driven products and services is steadily improving its earnings’ quality. This is also helped by the shift in its custom business to more tracking studies and a greater use of data already held in the Cube, the group’s proprietary multi-dimensional database. The strong balance sheet (net cash of GBP 23m at end FY17) is funding continuing investment in panel and new applications, as well as allowing for an increased dividend payout. The rating reflects the growth record and continued good prospects.


Strength in diversity

Outlook | General Industrials | 11 Dec 2017

Strong H118 results and positive order book development cause us to raise estimates, especially for the current year with better dividend prospects also. UK economic uncertainty will provide challenges but we believe that Severfield’s sector diversity and some pipeline project opportunities should allow the company to continue to grow. Further order book gains and the application of surplus cash balances (via investment or distribution) can be catalysts for further share price recovery.


Looking towards pivotal Cavatak combo studies

Outlook | Pharmaceutical & healthcare | 05 Dec 2017

Viralytics continues to report impressive preliminary data for Cavatak in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), whether administered intravenously (iv) or by intra-tumoural injection. Viralytics is currently recruiting additional patients in expansion cohorts in melanoma, lung and bladder cancers in order to obtain more robust estimates of tumour response rates. It has announced plans to initiate four Phase I studies in additional indications and has commenced planning for a potential pivotal study of Cavatak plus Yervoy in melanoma patients who had failed prior single-agent, anti-PD1 ICI therapy, a serious unmet medical need. Updates on MITCI, CAPRA and Keynote 200 are expected in Q218. We increase our valuation to A$469m or A$1.95/share (vs A$408m and A$1.70/share).


Introducing platON; AsiDNA approaches Phase I

Outlook | Pharmaceutical & healthcare | 29 Nov 2017

Onxeo has experienced a volatile 2017 mainly due to Livatag’s Phase III ReLive not meeting its primary endpoint. The out-licensing of Validive, fresh data from several preclinical studies with core assets – AsiDNA and belinostat combinations – were more positive recent developments. Although the share price halved after the disappointing ReLive data, the asset portfolio has been radically reshaped to focus on DNA break repair inhibition and epigenetics and Onxeo has cash reach until 2020. Our updated valuation is EUR 218m (vs EUR 350m) or EUR 4.3/share.