The FTSE 100 shares Neil Woodford just bought

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The FTSE 100 shares Neil Woodford just bought

Neil Woodford has had another busy month, even more so now he has three portfolios to run. The latest addition to his stable, the CF Woodford Income Focus fund, has started well, outperforming its sector in the just over two months since inception. That'll be a relief after a "disappointing" 2016.

Income Focus has returned 2.6% compared to the Investment Association (IA) specialist sector's slight gain of just two basis points. His two more-established portfolios also beat their sectors last month, with CF Woodford Equity Income up 0.2% versus the IA UK equity income sector 0.1%.

Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT), meanwhile, had a more meaningful beat, gaining 0.7% compared to the Association of Investment Companies UK All Companies sector's loss of 2.5%.

And it's certainly been interesting since Woodford's previous update, with the general election catching most off-guard. While many are now cautious on the outlook for the UK economy, Woodford is in contrarian mood.

As he's mentioned before, he tends to look through the macroeconomic environment and share price movements when selecting his stocks, preferring to focus on company fundamentals and valuations instead.

That's summed up perfectly by his view on two of his main tobacco holdings. British American Tobacco (BATS) hit an all-time high in May - up 5.5% in the month - and has continued that performance into June. In contrast, Imperial Brands (IMB) fell 3.8%, and has slipped to a five-month low since.

However, Team Woodford says "Imperial Brands now looks by far the more appealingly valued of the two". As a result, he's "somewhat reluctantly" taken some profits at BATS in the Equity Income fund to bankroll additions. He's also trimmed his stake in support services G4S (GFS), which has almost doubled in value this past year.

Additions include housebuilders Barratt Developments (BDEV) and Taylor Wimpey (TW.), and property giant British Land (BLND). Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) also received more cash from Woodford.

Stakebuilding is "a product of our contrarian view of the UK economy, which we believe is well situated for a prolonged period of benign growth and low inflation".

One newbie into both the Equity Income and Income Focus funds was yet another housebuilder in Countryside Properties (CSP), which is trading at an all-time high after floating in February 2016.

Countryside primarily operates in London, the South East, North West and the West Midlands and has a close relationship with the public sector, specialising in improving social housing. It's "extremely well placed to deliver strong growth," say Woodford's team.

Honeycomb Investment Trust (HONY) was another new holdings in both funds, while Equity Income took part in placings for IP Group (IPO) and Irish-listed Malin.

High-yielding telecoms company Vodafone (VOD) was a new addition to the Income Focus fund. The firm has been on a rollercoaster recently, gaining 16% in May before surrendering some of that in the past few weeks.

Re-assurance over the sustainability of Vodafone's 6% dividend yield, and a clearer strategy outlined at a meeting with its finance director, seems to have been the catalyst initiating "a small position".

Income Focus also added to positions in Redde (REDD), Lloyds, Topps Tiles (TPT), British Land (BLND) and Non-Standard Finance (NSF).

Patient Capital, which focuses on smaller-cap and unquoted companies, participated in the initial public offering (IPO) of mattress seller Eve Sleep (EVE) - a company the trust owned when it was unquoted.

The firm's listing "reflects the company's clear ambition to grow meaningfully over the long term," we're told.

"The funding raised will be used to accelerate Eve's growth strategy by further strengthening its brand, extending its product range and growing its share of the fragmented European mattress market."

Unquoted peer-to-peer lender Ratesetter was added to the portfolio during its latest funding round, while the fund took advantage of "unjustified share price weakness" to add to positions in Prothena (PRTA) and Thin Film Electronics.

This article is for information and discussion purposes only and does not form a recommendation to invest or otherwise. The value of an investment may fall. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment adviser.