Share Sleuth

Share Sleuth Digest: Triggers for buying and selling

This week: What triggers Share Sleuth. Also, portfolio news, analysis, and Academics v. analysts: MAFFIA take on the quantitative charlatans and three academics expose incompetent analysis.

Trifast's debt reduction lesson

Tuesday's announcement that fastener manufacturer Trifast expects it has entered its new financial year with nil debt is a vindication of management's strategy and a lesson for value investors.

Maths professors expose quantitative quackery

A study says lay investors are sold quantitative strategies on the basis of random signals that happen to perform well in selective backtesting.

ITE joins Share Sleuth

I've added 872 ITE shares to the Share Sleuth portfolio at a fraction below £2.10, the actual price quoted by a broker. The trade was made in haste, but is not regretted.

Cohort contract wins offer hope

Defence and technology consultancy Cohort has won contracts worth £6m. After a disappointing half-year, the news adds some credibility to management’s assertion the second half will be better.

ITE: Ukraine woes uncover value opportunity

The annexation of Crimea and ongoing instability in Ukraine may have created opportunity for value investors. Shares in exhibition organiser ITE are attractive on a historical basis. The rub is concern about the region's future.

Cohort enters value territory

A slide in defence and technology consultancy Cohort's share price delivers the shares into value territory. Although past ill-discipline and defence cuts are concerns, it grinds out the results.

Share Sleuth Digest: Stalwarts and susceptibles

For investors in shares, there are two ongoing fundamental investment situations: stalwarts and susceptibles. Differentiating between the two shapes our expectations.

Anpario: Food for thought

Natural animal feed additive manufacturer Anpario is a growing company in a growing industry, but it doesn't belong on the Share Sleuth watchlist.

Hyder talks a good recovery

A positive update from Hyder Consulting prompts an enthusiastic response from the market, but not me.

McBride warning shows it's tough in the aisles

A supermarket price war is a race to the bottom that could lead to many casualties.

Share Sleuth Digest: When a share is speculative

The week's portfolio news and analysis, noteworthy items published elsewhere and a debate about whether arch-value share Finsbury Food is a speculative investment.

Growing EMIS broadens niche

The market leading supplier of software services to GP practices has a developed a lucrative niche, which it's seeking to broaden by glueing NHS IT systems together. It may be trading one risk for another.

Another hardened potter: Churchill China

Like Portmeirion, Churchill China has emerged as one of UK manufacturing's more dependable  businesses. Unlike Portmeirion, the manufacture of tableware is focussed on dining out.

Portmeirion is steady grower

Potter Portmeirion has defied the trends that sank rivals last decade to emerge as an unlikely growth story this decade.

Finsbury Food: Nothing to celebrate yet

There's nothing much to celebrate in Finsbury Food's half-year results except perhaps that management thinks it can cut costs and lift profit.

Share Sleuth Digest: Companies worth following at any price

The week inside Share Sleuth: analysis of portfolio candidates, news about portfolio members and links to noteworthy items published elsewhere. Friends of Share Sleuth reveal companies worth following at any price.

Revised deal demonstrates Sprue's strength

The extension of smoke alarm manufacturer Sprue Aegis's agreement to distribute US rival BRK's products is anything but routine and reveals the company's growing strength.

Xaar: Always looking forward

Widely fancied digital inkjet printhead manufacturer Xaar has gained a dominant position supplying manufactures that make printers for the decorative ceramic tile industry. The investment case depends on digitising other industries too.

Brainjuicer's behavioural advantage

Market researcher BrainJuicer is a resoundingly profitable company that rebounded in 2013 from an uncharacteristically poor 2012. The main question for long term-investors is not whether it has advantages, it's whether they will last.