Robert Stephens, CFA

Is Barratt Developments a value trap?

Is Barratt Developments a value trap?

4 mins. to read

As the UK finally invokes Article 50 to leave the EU, the outlook for housebuilders such as Barratt Developments (LON:BDEV) is incredibly uncertain. The company’s shares may have risen 16% already this year, but they continue to trade on a P/E of 9.7 and a prospective dividend yield of 6.9%. For many investors this could…

Higher inflation could enhance Shell’s income appeal

Higher inflation could enhance Shell’s income appeal

5 mins. to read

Inflation is arguably one of the biggest dangers facing investors at the moment. Although it is currently only 2.3% in the UK, forecasts from various entities such as the Bank of England say it will hit 3% or even 4% by the end of 2018. Added to this is the potential for a relaxed fiscal…

Kingfisher could be a surprise performer in the long run

Kingfisher could be a surprise performer in the long run

5 mins. to read

Investing in a retailer with exposure to the UK economy may seem foolhardy given the prospects for UK plc. Consumer confidence is weak, Brexit talks are about to begin and inflation is now at its highest level in four years. These are hardly the conditions which are conducive for positive like-for-like sales growth or rising…

Prudential’s Asian opportunity

Prudential’s Asian opportunity

4 mins. to read

News headlines in the last nine months have been dominated by Brexit and Trump. In my view, that’s understandable given the uncertainty and potential implications for the global economy which those two events have precipitated. However, I also believe investors are failing to give enough attention to an obvious growth opportunity which can easily be…

Restaurant Group could be hit by a ‘restaurant recession’

Restaurant Group could be hit by a ‘restaurant recession’

5 mins. to read

Although economic data suggests the UK economy has generally not been severely affected by the EU referendum, I expect a ‘restaurant recession’ to take place in 2017/18. The main reason for this is higher inflation caused by Brexit. Already, CPI is 1.8% and is expected to move to 3% or even 4% this year according…

Auto Trader has investment appeal ahead of Brexit

Auto Trader has investment appeal ahead of Brexit

4 mins. to read

Brexit negotiations will soon begin and I believe companies with large economic moats and defensive characteristics will perform well. An economic moat will enable improved financial performance versus sector peers during what may prove to be a challenging period for consumers and the wider economy. Defensive characteristics should help to further protect companies from the…

Is Direct Line a bargain after the profit warning?

Is Direct Line a bargain after the profit warning?

5 mins. to read

According to a range of headlines this week, car insurance premiums are set to soar. Normally, this would be great news for car insurers such as Direct Line (LON:DLG), but its shares slumped 7% on the news. The reason for this is a profit warning, brought about by a change to the discount rate which…