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Five shares top investors are trading
by David Campbell on Aug 27, 2013 at 09:47
A round-up of trades by professional investors in Thorntons, Advanced Medical Solutions Group, Domino Printing Sciences, DotDigital Group and Lookers.
Gervais Williams takes profits on Thorntons
Small-cap dividend specialist Gervais Williams has booked some profits on turnaround story Thorntons Plc as a long-term restructuring of its retail chain pays off.
Williams trimmed his investment in the company from 3.63 million to 3.1 million or 4.53% worth £2.57 million at a share price of 83p, up 735% from an early 2012 low of 10p.
The shares are held in his Diverse Income trust, a small-cap income fund launched by investment group MAM Funds in 2011, following his departure from previous employer, Gartmore.
Broker Investec raised its target price of Thorntons in July from 100p to 112p, following a trading update in which it said full year profit was likely to be ahead of expectations.
Total sales rose 5.6% to £26.8 million over the second quarter, despite overall sales at its dwindling number of own-brand stores falling 3.8%. The resurgence in the share price has had a relatively dampening effect on the dividend yield however, currently 0.9% versus a peer average of 4.9%.
Nigel Thomas ups Advanced Medical Solutions Group stake
Citywire AA-rated UK stock market veteran Nigel Thomas has upped his holding in AIM-listed healthcare supplies business Advanced Medical Solutions Group.
Thomas upped his stake in the business from 20.48 million shares to 20.85 million or 10.1% worth £17.97 million at a share price of 86p, up 27% over 12 months versus a FTSE All-Share return of 11.8%.
The shares are held in his £4.04 billion AXA Framlington Select Opportunities fund which over the last five years has returned 77.68% versus a FTSE All Share return of 53.13%.
Broker Panmure initiated coverage of the stock at the end of June with a buy rating and a price target of 90p, following a trading update in which it said profit and revenue for the full year would be in line with expectations.
The company trades on a discount to peer group, at a 2013 expected-earnings multiple of 15.7 versus an average of 43.2 and a price to cash flow multiple of 10.2 versus 14.
Charles Montanaro reduces Domino Printing Sciences holding
European small cap veteran Charles Montanaro has trimmed stake in commercial and industrial printer manufacturer Domino Printing Sciences.
Montanaro cut his holdings in the business from 5.84 million shares to 5.33 million or 4.76% worth £35.98 million at a share price of 675p, up 15.7% year to date versus a FTSE 250 return of 21.07%.
The manager is founder, chief executive and chief investment officer of Montanaro Asset Management, a specialist in pan-European small-caps.
An uninterrupted 33-year run of revenue growth at Domino came to a halt in early 2012 as the company warned that a global wave of economic uncertainty was hitting its order book.
That has fed through into this year, with underlying profits down 3% at £25 million on increased sales and distribution costs, as the business sweated to keep its business up.
Continued uncertainty in Europe, which accounts for 41% of turnover, was a particular weakness it said. In early July Goldman Sachs cut its price target against the company from 825p to 800p.
David Newton takes profits on DotDigital Group
Small cap hedge fund manager David Newton, head of the Helium Special Situation fund, has taken some profits on email marketing business DotDigital Group following a 12% spike in its share price.
Newton trimmed his holding in the company from 21.75 million shares to 16.48 million or 5.96% worth £296,280 at a share price of 18p, up from 16p on August 13.
AIM markets broker analyst Finncap last week initiated coverage of the company with a 20p price target, after DotDigital said full-year earnings were likely to be ahead of expectation.
The Helium Special Situations fund typically invests in under researched small and micro caps where it believes that the market has fundamentally misunderstood the embedded value in a business.
DotDigital has signed a series of blue-chip clients up to its email marketing technology over the past year, including Investec, Santander, BP, Addison Lee, and the Labour Party.
‘Demand for digital marketing continues to strengthen,’ said chief executive Peter Simmonds.
Clive Beagles sells down Lookers holding
Citywire AA-rated UK income veteran Clive Beagles has taken some profits on car dealership Lookers as its shares ease back slightly from a recent six-year high.
Beagles trimmed his investment in the company from 19.77 million to 19.22 million or 4.97% worth £23.25 million at a share price of 121p, off from a recent peak of 128p but still up 75% over a year.
The shares are held in his £1.42 billion JOHCM UK Equity Income fund, a key pick on the Citywire Selection buy-list of funds and co-managed with James Lowen, also A-rated.
Broker Panmure upped its price target against the company for the second time in as many months last week, from 127p to 140p, after Lookers posted a 19% increase in first-half profits to £28 million.
The company said that it was confident that continuing improvement in underlying economic activity would maintain the momentum of its UK business over the full year.
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- Thorntons PLC (THT.L)
- Advanced Medical Solutions Group PLC (AMSU.L)
- Domino Printing Sciences PLC (DOPR.L)
- dotDigital Group PLC (DOTD.L)
- Lookers PLC (LOOK.L)