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4 shares the pros are buying and selling

Our regular roundup of trades by professional investors, featuring Kromek, FIH, IQE and Brooks Macdonald.

by Michelle McGagh on Feb 20, 2017 at 05:00

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Key stats
Market capitalisation£277m
No. of shares out14m
No. of shares floating11m
No. of common shareholdersnot stated
No. of employees472
Trading volume (10 day avg.)m
Turnover£81m
Profit before tax£13m
Earnings per share94.07p
Cashflow per share120.98p
Cash per share149.37p

Cross and Fosh ramp up Brooks stake

Citywire AAA-rated value experts Anthony Cross and Julian Fosh have upped their stake in long-term holding Brooks Macdonald (BRK).

The managers increased their investment to just over 20% of the wealth management group worth £54 million at a share price of £20.11, just off from an all-time peak of £20.60

The shares are primarily held in their £2.3 billion Special Situations fund, Brook Macdonald’s largest shareholder, in addition to their £569 million Liontrust UK Smaller Companies fund.

In a six-month update last week, Brooks reported a 12% rise in total client funds, to break over £9 billion for the first time, as it reported ‘good progress’ on a number of strategic fronts.

The retreat from its recent high followed a Peel Hunt downgrade from ‘buy’ to ‘hold’ although the balance of analysts remain bullish on the stock, offering a median price target of £20.80.

Key stats
Market capitalisation£m
No. of shares out12m
No. of shares floating9m
No. of common shareholdersnot stated
No. of employees348
Trading volume (10 day avg.)m
Turnover£39m
Profit before tax£2m
Earnings per share17.87p
Cashflow per share30.70p
Cash per share112.91p

St John Webb looks to Falklands

Citywire A-rated pan-European microcap expert Marc St John Webb has ramped upped his stake in Falkland Islands’ business FIH (FIH) as an agreed offer for the group drove shares to a two-year high.

The manager lifted his stake in FIH to 5.6% of the company worth £2.1 million at a share price of 300p, up more than 47% since the takeover offer from private investment shell Staunton Holdings earlier this month. The shares are held in his £240 million Argos Argonaut fund.

FIH – formerly known as Falkland Islands Holding - is a major part of the island’s economy, but now makes almost as much profit in the UK, where it owns the Portsmouth ferry service and art storage and transportation business Momart.

The offer was received following a long slide in its share price to a 2016 low of 179p, from 400p five years ago, as initial hopes of a rapid expansion of oil extraction were frustrated.

The offer price matched house-broker WH Ireland’s long-term fair valuation target of 300p.

Key stats
Market capitalisation£313m
No. of shares out676m
No. of shares floating557m
No. of common shareholdersnot stated
No. of employees488
Trading volume (10 day avg.)4m
Turnover£114m
Profit before tax£20m
Earnings per share2.91p
Cashflow per share4.59p
Cash per share0.70p

Thomson takes profits after IQE surge

Citywire A-rated global small cap veteran Justin Thomson has booked some profit on a surge in specialist semiconductor manufacturer IQE (IQE), as it breaks through a series of price targets.

Thomson reduced his holding to just under 12% of the company worth £38 million at a share price of 47p, up more than 150% over the last 12 months.

The majority of the shares are held in his $5 billion (£4 billion), US-based T. Rowe Price International Discovery, which he has run for almost 20 years.

Shares in IQE have climbed almost a quarter this year alone and are already bumping up against N+1 Singer’s December 2016 long-term price target of 48p, having previously sailed through the median target of 44p.

In a trading update at the end of last year the company said revenues and profit were likely to be ahead of expectation on ‘double digit’ growth in end demand.

Key stats
Market capitalisation£55m
No. of shares out259m
No. of shares floating190m
No. of common shareholdersnot stated
No. of employees111
Trading volume (10 day avg.)1m
Turnover£8m
Profit before tax£-2m
Earnings per share-1.52p
Cashflow per share-0.43p
Cash per share2.53p

Williams and Turner crank up Kromek stake

Citywire A-rated multi-cap income investors Gervais Williams and Martin Turner have taken advantage of a share placing by radiation detection business Kromek (KMK) to rapidly up their stake.

The managers increased their holding to 3.1% of in the business worth £1.7 million at a price of 20.9p.

The shares are held in their £350 million small-cap dividend mandate, the Diverse Income investment trust.

County Durham-based Kromek announced plans to tap investors for £21 million in new capital in late January, as it sought to fund growth of its hand-held radiation detection devices. The company said that the issue was over-subscribed, and that it expected to achieve profitability early next year.

The company announced revenue 19% higher in the six months to the end of October at £3.8 million, as it developed tech originating in Durham University research into a commercial product.

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  • Kromek Group PLC (KMK.L)
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  • FIH Group PLC (FIH.L)
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  • IQE PLC (IQE.L)
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  • Brooks Macdonald Group PLC (BRK.L)
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