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Shares the pros are buying and selling

We look at four share trades by professional investors in Symphony International Holdings (SIHL.L), Vislink (VLK.L), Lamprell (LAM.L) and Superglass Holdings (SPGH.L).

by David Campbell on Nov 09, 2012 at 07:46

Key stats
Market capitalisation£325m
No. of shares out513m
No. of shares floating325m
No. of common shareholdersnot stated
No. of employeesnot stated
Trading volume (10 day avg.)0m
Turnover4m USD
Profit before tax-11m USD
Earnings per share-0.03 USD
Cashflow per share-99,999.99 USD
Cash per share0.29 USD

*Correct as at 2 Nov 2012

John Pennink raises Symphony International Holdings stake

Global value star John Pennink, manager of the £717 million British Empire trust, has upped his investment in Asian private equity investor Symphony International Holdings.

Pennink increased his stake in the company from 3.2 million shares to 41.89 million worth $26.8 million (£16.61 million) at a share price of 62 US cents a share.

While some of that increase is accounted for by the dilution impact of a $100 million rights issue launched last month, the manager also upped the total percentage of shares he holds.

Singapore-based Symphony invests in Asian consumption growth, primarily through stocks in the healthcare, hospitality, lifestyle and high-end real estate sectors.

Following the rights issue, broker Panmure Gordon cut its price target from $1.18 to $1.13, rated 'buy'.

In first half results in mid-August the company reported a net asset value of $1.24 per share, meaning it trades at a discount of exactly 50% to the most recent estimate. Symphony has since announced two profitable exits likely to have boosted the portfolio, however.

Key stats
Market capitalisation£29m
No. of shares out114m
No. of shares floating77m
No. of common shareholdersnot stated
No. of employees292
Trading volume (10 day avg.)2m
Turnover£50m
Profit before tax£-3m
Earnings per share-2.59p
Cashflow per share1.14p
Cash per share8.94p

*Correct as at 7 Nov 2012

Hermes Fund Managers takes profits on Vislink

Leading activist investor Hermes Fund Managers has taken profit on its stake in broadcast technology specialist Vislink following a near-60% run-up in its shares.

Hermes previously held 6.82 million shares or more than 5% of the company worth £1.7 million at a share price of 25p, up 58.49% over the past 12 months.

A subsidiary of the BT Pension fund, Hermes manages almost £30 billion in 'responsible' investment strategies across a range of assets. The stake was held by Hermes Equity Ownership, its activist and advisory division.

Vislink supplies broadcast, communication and surveillance systems internationally, with a client base which includes many of the world’s major broadcasters.

The company returned to the black in the first half of 2012, with a profit of £733,000, up from a loss of £3.7 million previously. A programme of cost cutting was sufficient to outweigh a 14% fall in orders for its satellite terminal technology.

Key stats
Market capitalisation£213m
No. of shares out260m
No. of shares floating171m
No. of common shareholdersnot stated
No. of employees9496
Trading volume (10 day avg.)2m
Turnover718m USD
Profit before tax40m USD
Earnings per share0.17 USD
Cashflow per share0.23 USD
Cash per share0.39 USD

*Correct as at 7 Nov 2012

Whitney George raises Lamprell holding

Small-cap and value guru Whitney George has ramped up his exposure to beleaguered oil rig maker Lamprell, following a six month period in which its shares have given up 75% of their market price.

George upped his stake in the business from 10.05 million shares to 12.96 million or 4.98% worth £10.63 million at a share price of 82p, down from 337p in mid-May.

The manager is co-chief investment officer and managing director of Legg Mason subsidiary Royce & Associates. The stake is held across a number of his funds, such as the Royce Low Priced Stock fund.

Lamprell has issued no less than three profit warnings this year on supply chain problems and delayed projects, with a series of senior executives throwing themselves on their swords.

The business is trading at a discount to the market, at 7.08 times 2013 expected earnings versus a FTSE All Share average of 10.61, and a dividend yield of 6.24% versus 4.19%.

Key stats
Market capitalisation£3m
No. of shares out50m
No. of shares floating44m
No. of common shareholdersnot stated
No. of employees199
Trading volume (10 day avg.)1m
Turnover£32m
Profit before tax£-4m
Earnings per share-114.69p
Cashflow per share66.44p
Cash per share0.00p

*Correct as at 8 Nov 2012

Peter Gyllenhammar buys more Superglass shares

Activist investor and entrepreneur Peter Gyllenhammar has ramped up his investment in troubled insulation specialist Superglass Holdings as it struggles to escape a restructuring and sales slump.

Gyllenhammar increased his stake in the business from 4.09 million shares to 7.39 million or 14.7% worth £369,656 at a share price of 5p, down 88.8% from 40p over the past year.

The former analyst and corporate adviser seeks out businesses which he believes are trading at a substantial discount to net asset value, often seeking board membership.Creditor Clydesdale Bank was left holding 23% of the business in the form of convertible equity following a financial restructuring at the end of 2011.

In an interim statement in July the business warned it faced ‘extremely challenging’ conditions, on both the construction slowdown and reduced government support for green investment.

Following a profit warning in the first half of the year it said it was revising its full-year sales expectations down once more.

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Look up the shares

  • Symphony International Holdings Ltd (SIHL.L)
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  • Vislink PLC (VLK.L)
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  • Lamprell PLC (LAM.L)
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  • Superglass Holdings PLC (SPGH.L)
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