Share Sleuth

Colefax papers over economic cracks

An improvement in trading at fabric and wallpaper designer Colefax is welcome, but it also requires interpretation.

Share Sleuth's digest: Anatomy of a failed investment

This week: It’s easy to blame companies when an investment goes wrong but unless there’s been a fraud, the analyst’s to blame. Also: Animalcare in value territory.

Grafenia exits Share Sleuth portfolio

I’ve just removed 7,140 shares in Grafenia from the Share Sleuth portfolio. The actual deal price quoted by a broker was 19.3p a share, which after a £10 deduction in lieu of the broker's fee, returned £1,368.

Grafenia and the mother of all risks

If printer Grafenia’s new software and franchise services bear fruit, the unloved shares are extraordinarily cheap. But if faces the mother of all risks...

Cohort’s canny acquisition

Cohort’s partial acquisition of Marlborough Communications last week complicates the accounting, but probably makes the company a more attractive investment.

Share Sleuth Digest: Harnessing the investing power of social media

This week: distracted by hype, grappling with Twitter, and Immunodiagnostics’ business model demystified. Plus: scientists detect bubble warning system in traders’ brains.

Unloved MSI is contrarian pick

As defence spending has contracted, so has naval gun manufacturer MS International. But the company’s good at making guns, and it makes other things as well. Investors may not have noticed.

Share Sleuth Digest: Hedging your bets

This week: Doubts about hedging at Dart, Castings holding pushes limits, and who’s the greatest? The Worlds greatest investors compared.

Castings: Better than cyclical

Buying cyclical stocks when they are doing well can be hazardous. But this year’s results, like every year’s, show Castings has qualities other cyclicals don’t.

High flying Dart descends into value territory

Dart’s full year results ought to have been cause for celebration. In fact they precipitated capitulation. Traders may have overreacted to a dent in its growth story.

Share Sleuth Digest: Going on the defensive

This week: How to check a company’s not going bust, operating lease shenanigans, advice from bloggers for novice investors, and notes on Xaar, Devro and Trifast.

A quiet revolution at IDS

The results from Immunodiagnostic Systems may look unremarkable, but behind the headline figures a revolution is underway.

Investors find safety in Latchways

The share price of fall-protection system manufacturer Latchways is defying gravity almost as effectively as the products the company makes. It’s frustrating for a would-be purchaser.

Rethinking Xaar's valuation

Xaar’s extraordinary surge in profitability over the last two years makes it difficult to decide how far the share price must fall before the shares are good value. A double adjustment may be the answer.

Share Sleuth Digest: Reaching for the wrong reason to invest

This week: How to avoid taking naive decisions despite all your hard work. Also: An accounting professor takes on two Nobel prize winners in a battle about bubbles.

Xaar warning exposes trader enthusiasm

A profit warning from Xaar tells us more about trader psychology than it does about problems at the company.

Vp: Set for growth

Judging by its final results, plant and tool hire firm Vp is preparing to accelerate growth. The company has an enviable record.

Share Sleuth Digest: Man versus Machine

The promise of algorithmic investing is that it shields investors from their biases. There is another way to make better decisions that is uniquely human. It’s utter honesty.

Share Sleuth Digest: A checklist for long-term investors

This week: A long-term investing checklist emphasising trust, stability and value to aid rational decision making. Also: At last, evidence the PEG works, albeit less well than almost any other valuation metric.

Fenner flirts with value rating

A profit warning sends Fenner shares towards value territory. The manufacturer of conveyor belting and industrial components has an increasingly resilient business model, but it’s being tested.