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From Brammer to Mattioli Woods: Six eye-catching trades
A round-up of trades by professional investors in Brammer, Ashcourt Rowan, Proteome Sciences, Liontrust, Mattioli Woods, and Inspired Energy.
Nigel Thomas takes profits on Brammer
Citywire AA-rated UK stock market veteran Nigel Thomas has taken some profits on mechanical component distribution, logistics and repairs business Brammer Plc as its shares surge.
Thomas cut his investment in the business from 15.6 million shares to 15.1 million or 12.85% worth £7.1 million at a share price of 473p, up 87% over the last year versus a FTSE All Share return of 16%.
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%.
Shares in Brammer have been setting new daily records since the end of July when it released interim numbers reporting profits before tax up £500,000 to £14.6 million and upped its dividend 13.3%.
The company currently trades a significant premium to its peer group against a range of metrics, with a 12-month forward price to earnings multiple of 17.7 times versus a peer median of 12.4.
Adam McConkey sells down Ashcourt Rowan
Henderson head of small caps Adam McConkey has taken some profits and sold into a sharp rally in asset management and financial services business Ashcourt Rowan.
McConkey trimmed his investment in the business from 3.83 million shares to 3.67 million or 13.59% worth £6.39 million at a share price of 174p, up 12.38% over the past month.
The manager runs the Henderson UK & Irish Smaller Companies fund, alongside co-manager Robert Giles, up 35.7% over the last 12 months versus an average peer return of 33.1%.
Shares in Ashcourt Rowan have surged since early August, when it announced it had sealed a £2.1 million deal to purchase the London-based private client division of Generali Portfolio Managers.
Ashcourt Rowan recruited the division’s founding chief executive David Palmer in January this year. In May broker Canaccord Genuity upped its rating on the stock from a ‘speculative’ buy to a buy.
David Newton buys into Proteome Sciences
Small cap hedge fund manager David Newton, head of the Helium Special Situation fund has bought into in biotech business Proteome Sciences as its shares bounce around nine-month lows.
Newton took 5.93 million shares in the business or 3.02% worth £2.6 million at a share price of 44p, up 41% over 12 months versus the FTSE Small Cap’s 31%, but still off a peak earlier this year of 72p.
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.
Like many businesses in the booming biotech sector Proteome Sciences has been subject to some speculative bid talk, although enthusiasm for the stock has been muted by the issue of 3.75 million new shares to an institutional investor in August at 41.5p each.
In results for 2012 the company reported a 13% increase in revenue to £1.15 million and a 22% increase in licensing and contract revenue to £810,000.
Philip Rodrigs takes position in Liontrust
Investec UK equity veteran Philip Rodrigs has bought a significant stake in boutique fund manager Liontrust.
Rodrigs took 2.3 million shares in the boutique or 5.76% position worth £5.175 million at a share price of 225p, up 136% over the last year versus a FTSE All Share return of 15%.
The purchase follows a trading update from Liontrust at the start of July, in which it reported a £302 million inflow in the second quarter to lift assets under management to £3.3 billion.
Rodrigs runs the Investec UK Smaller Companies which has returned 83.5% over the three years to 6 September versus a 61.1% rise in the benchmark.
He lost his Citywire rating in July have enjoyed an unbroken stretch dating back to 2009, which included 20 consecutive months of being AAA-rated.
Rodrigs bought the interest from Walker Crips Group, which netted £6.6 million after putting 3,030,000 million shares on the market, which it received after selling its asset management business to Liontrust in 2012.
Ralph Cox ups Mattioli Woods stake
BlackRock managing director and lead small cap manager Ralph Cox has upped his stake in pensions administrator and financial adviser Mattioli Woods as its shares soar to match its historic high.
Cox upped his stake in the company from 891,622 to shares 2.2 million worth £7.51 million at a share price of 340p, 66% up over the course of 2013 versus a 21% return on the FTSE Small Cap index.
The shares are held in his £394 million BlackRock Smaller Companies fund.
Canaccord Genuity upped its price target against Mattioli Woods at the end of August, from 300p to 340p, following full-year results in which it reported revenue up 14.3% to £23.4 million and profit before tax up 9.9% to £5.56 million.
The company had earlier been lifted by investors support for its purchase of rival pensions specialist and asset manager Atkinson Bolton at the end of July for £5.9 million.
Gervais Williams and Martin Turner lift Inspired Energy holding
Miton fund managers Gervais Williams and Martin Turner have topped up their stake in Inspired Energy.
The fund managers snapped up 3.7 million shares in Inspired Energy, bringing their total position up to 28.9 million shares, equating to 7.1% of the company. Williams and Turner hold the stock across the funds they run at Miton, including the Miton Multi-cap Income fund.
The move follows Inspired Energy’s results for the first half of the year in which the energy procurement consultant posted a 65% increase in revenue to £3.5 million. The company also saw its order book grow by £1 million during the period to around £9.9 million.
Commenting on the rationale behind the trade, Williams explained: ‘We find that service standards lead profitability. Inspired have been remarkably effective at delivering value to their customers, retaining nearly 100% of their larger customers since they first set up. That suggests the company is a very attractive investment.’
More about this:
Look up the funds
- AXA Framlington UK Select Opportunities R Inc
- Henderson UK & Irish Sm Cos Ret Acc
- Investec UK Smaller Companies A Acc Net
- BlackRock UK Smaller Companies A Acc
- CF Miton UK Multi Cap Income Inst B Acc
Look up the shares
- Brammer PLC (BRAM.L)
- Ashcourt Rowan PLC (ARPR.L)
- Proteome Sciences PLC (PRM.L)
- Liontrust Asset Management PLC (LIO.L)
- Mattioli Woods PLC (MTWL.L)
- Inspired Energy PLC (INSEI.L)