Posts in Beginning investing

French Connection in 2 minutes 19 seconds

In for the long haul

Impressed by Next, I'm reappraising French Connection. Perhaps management could have done more to stave off losses at its stores and the latest profit warning contains disturbing news about cash flow.

Next in 2 minutes 14 seconds

Next's  record of earnings and cashflow is extraordinary and since it operates in a competitive environment, that must come down to management.

French Connection in 2 minutes 9 seconds

In for the long haul Stephen Marks, French Connection's chairman and chief executive, has just experienced the most difficult winter season in all his years in business. That's saying something considering he founded the fashion company in 1972, and rescued it after the recession of 1989.

Premier Foods in 2 minutes 11 seconds

Exceedingly good brands, damaged company

New management is dealing with Premier Food's onerous debt, but they only have a two year window in which to turn the company around or it may no longer be making exceedingly good cakes.

Holders Technology in 2 minutes 8 seconds

Up for the challenge Holders Technology sees the current year as “one of both significant challenge and great opportunity”, a fair assessment considering the stress on the distributor’s finances as it repositions itself in a growth market.

Churchill China in 1 minute 53 seconds

The price is wrong Churchill China is a stable, profitable manufacturer of tableware with a proud heritage that has found an answer to low-cost competition. The only questionable thing about it is the price.

National Milk Records in 2 minutes 34 seconds

More speculative than it looks With an oligopolistic position in the milk recording market National Milk Records is a promising candidate for the Thrifty 30 but its pension obligation leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

Johnson Service in 1 minute 58 seconds

Good business, bad liabilities

Johnson Service's operational heart is beating strongly, but its strengths as a business are weighed down by hefty liabilities. Maybe management makes the difference.

PV Crystalox Solar in 1 minute 56 seconds

Blood on the silicon streets

I don't know if hibernating PV Crystalox Solar can survive the down-cycle in wafer prices, but the market says it won't. The shares are outrageously cheap, but then again they might be worth nothing.

Metalrax in two minutes sixteen seconds

A two minute monologue.

What it does: steelsmith

Metalrax is a hodge-podge of specialist engineering companies and two pot and pan producers. The common denominator is metal, the pre-coated metals made by Cooper Coated Coil, the group's largest business, are used in the manufacture of bakeware, for example, which is also produced by Metalrax companies, George Wilkinson, the group's second largest, and Samuel Groves. It also makes hinges and handles, pallet trucks, vehicle components, architectural metalwork and power products for hospitals.