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Key trades: 10 top buy & sells from SLI's Nimmo & Moore

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by Robert St George on Feb 12, 2014 at 11:53

Two of Standard Life’s star UK equity investors, Citywire A-rated Thomas Moore and Citywire Selection veteran Harry Nimmo, have revealed some of their key recent buys and sells.

Two of Standard Life’s star UK equity investors, Citywire A-rated Thomas Moore and Citywire Selection veteran Harry Nimmo, have revealed some of their key recent buys and sells.

Through his £259 million Standard Life UK Smaller Companies Trust, Nimmo (pictured) has returned 56.7 over the past three years, compared with 48.4% from his benchmark Numis Smaller Companies index.

Moore’s £188 million Standard Life Equity Income Trust has generated an annualised 14.4% through the same period, ahead of both the FTSE All Share’s 9.4% and the FTSE 350 High Yield index’s 11.2%.

Clinigen

The first of Nimmo’s purchases has been Clinigen. ‘The diversified healthcare business provides services to the drug research industry and also specialises in acquiring competitors’ mature drug products in order to reinvigorate sales,’ he explained.

Telecom Plus

Next, Nimmo participated in a rights issue from Telecom Plus. The firm, which trades as Utility Warehouse, sought to raise £130 million in order to acquire some subsidiary business from Npower – ‘a deal we believe will secure attractive growth in the coming years,’ Nimmo commented.

BTG

The last company on Nimmo’s shopping list has been BTG, a healthcare specialist. ‘The US regulator’s approval of its key varicose vein drug Varithena considerably enhances its growth profile,’ the manager said.

Dialight

Balancing the books, Nimmo has exited LED manufacturer Dialight. ‘We grew concerned over the trading outlook. Our fears were later confirmed as the company issued a profit warning in January.’

Telecity

And finally, Nimmo confirmed that he had trimmed his position in data centre firm Telecity ‘due to concerns about the sustainability of margins and trends in its international markets’.

Rentokil

Moore, meanwhile, has bought into pest-control group Rentokil. ‘The business has scope to improve its growth profile, while a new management team increases the potential for self-help measures to further improve profitability,’ he remarked.

Infinis

Infinis, a generator of renewable electricity, is another addition to Moore’s portfolio. ‘UK energy prices are set to witness upward price pressure given the absence of new capacity to replace older plant being withdrawn, while the high free cashflow yield is also supportive of a generous dividend.’

TUI Travel

The trio of new entrants to Moore’s fund is completed by TUI Travel, with the manager enthusing about its ‘self-help potential from reduced costs, improved margins and realisation of value from subsidiaries such as Corsair and LateRooms’. Moore concluded: ‘All of this should be supportive of double-digit dividend growth.’

BSkyB

On the sell side, Moore has turned negative on BSkyB, citing fears about the spiralling costs of television content rights, most notably for Premier League football. ‘Heightened competition in the UK may also require increased investment in sales, marketing and general promotional activity to the detriment of profitability,’ Moore cautioned.

Restaurant Group

Moore has also had his fill of the Restaurant Group, the parent of the Frankie & Benny’s and Garfunkel’s chains, taking profits after shares in the company have soared by 61% over the past year. ‘The business continues to exhibit excellent growth, but the valuation now leaves little room for disappointment in our view.’

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