Robert Stephens, CFA

Uncertainty to send investors in the direction of Compass

Uncertainty to send investors in the direction of Compass

5 mins. to read

2017 looks set to be a challenging year for investors due to the risks posed by a Trump Presidency and higher inflation. New policies pursued by Trump could lead to greater uncertainty. Higher than expected US interest rates may be a consequence of rising inflation resulting from the US running a larger budget deficit. Similarly,…

Morrisons could be the winner in the battle of the supermarkets

Morrisons could be the winner in the battle of the supermarkets

4 mins. to read

Morrisons (LON: MRW) has enjoyed a superb Christmas trading period. The food retailer posted its best performance for seven years as it recorded LFL sales growth of 2.9% for the nine weeks to 1 January. A key reason for this is the company’s strategy, with its focus on improving the customer experience, becoming more efficient…

Bag Burberry for Chinese growth

Bag Burberry for Chinese growth

5 mins. to read

Between now and 2020, the Chinese economy is forecast to grow at 2.5x the rate of the UK economy. This means that while China’s economy is 3.85 times bigger than the UK’s economy today, in three years’ time it is expected to be 4.55 times larger. Beyond that, it seems highly likely that China’s economy…

Next plc is a top turnaround opportunity

Next plc is a top turnaround opportunity

5 mins. to read

This week has been a cruel one for Next plc (LON:NXT). It has seen its share price fall by around 17% following the release of a profit warning. In my view, the downgrade in profit expectations for the 2017 financial year was hardly surprising. After all, the company had warned that 2016 ‘may be the…

Why 2017 could be BP’s year

Why 2017 could be BP’s year

5 mins. to read

BP is entering a new phase in its history, with it having drawn a line under the costly oil spill of 2010. Its valuation and yield have appeal in my view within a sector that remains generally undervalued. Therefore, I feel that now is the right time to buy BP and that 2017 could be…

BT’s appeal has been boosted by Brexit

BT’s appeal has been boosted by Brexit

5 mins. to read

Perhaps the main effect of Brexit thus far has been a weakening of sterling. This is set to cause a rise in inflation as imports become increasingly expensive. Although the Bank of England remains dovish, a tighter monetary policy stance may become necessary as the price level rises at a faster pace and weaker sterling…

The hunt for a growing dividend leads to RSA Insurance

The hunt for a growing dividend leads to RSA Insurance

4 mins. to read

2017 could be the year that dividend growth becomes the most important aspect of income investing. In 2016 and recent years, low levels of inflation have meant that investors focused on higher yielding stocks. While this was enough when inflation has been at or near zero, a faster rising price level could mean that the…

Brexit makes me bearish on the Sainsbury’s growth plan

Brexit makes me bearish on the Sainsbury’s growth plan

4 mins. to read

Sainsbury’s (LON:SBRY) has a rather strange growth strategy, given the outlook for the UK economy. Its purchase of Home Retail Group mans that it is becoming less defensive and more cyclical at a time when real disposable incomes seem certain to come under pressure. A mix of higher inflation and uncertainty regarding the economic outlook…

House prices are going nowhere – but Persimmon just might

House prices are going nowhere – but Persimmon just might

5 mins. to read

December’s Halifax House Price Index showed that house prices rose by just 0.2% in the last month. This gives a quarterly change of 0.8%, with the report warning that “house price growth may slow over the coming months”. That’s not surprising. Uncertainty surrounding Brexit, affordability issues and the potential for high inflation are all likely…

Risky times call for a low risk stock

Risky times call for a low risk stock

5 mins. to read

Looking ahead to 2017, it feels as though there are a number of major risks facing investors. In fact, it is difficult to think of a more uncertain time since the credit crunch. The ‘no’ vote in the Italian referendum is but the latest challenge facing investors. Depending on who succeeds the now former Prime…