The Evil Diaries: “If this company survives it is cheap”

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The Evil Diaries: “If this company survives it is cheap”

I doubt if Sir, as was, Fred Goodwin is my kind of chap. But why he should lose his knighthood for carrying out what his board, entirely comprised of the great and good, had authorised him to do beats me. I think honours are for life, not on loan.

In the same vein, I myself have never taken Phil Green’s knighthood seriously. But why he should face losing it is not obvious. It is possibly the case that frisky financing attended the acquisition of BHS some fifteen years ago but, otherwise, the business stood on its own two feet for years after that. BHS just ran into trading difficulties. Phil sold the business for £1 and has since offered £80m to meet his obligation under pension fund laws. He hasn’t offered £80m since he feels overcome by goodwill. He has offered it since his accountants and lawyers have advised him that this is the offer to pitch. ‘Nuff said.

*****

I traipsed to the City yesterday to hear Gary Ashworth and his team put forward the case for heeding Interquest (ITQ). At 88p offer the share price is roughly six times tangible net asset value. So, on this basis, the PE ratio of around 8 is fairly attractive given the yield of just under 4%. However, apparently, ITQ does not merely attend to recruitment, it also places long term staff of its own to attend to the IT problems of its customers. This is often done on long-term contracts of as much as five years. The profits to come on already established and operational contracts would, I learnt, come to circa £20m. This closes the gap between tnav and the share price fairly dramatically and makes ITQ cheap at under 100p. ITQ is capitalised at around £30m.

*****

Finally, Molins (MLIN) looks to be climbing back up. Now 56p bid. If this company survives it is cheap.


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