Monday, 12 November 2012

Current thoughts

Pretty good third quarter results for Ithaca Energy today. Bought in at 100 earlier in the year and it ticked up again a tiny bit on these results to 128p. Dunno how much further it has to run, but it is starting to look like a legitimate long term oil company that can fund its exploration without any more share dilution.

Hopefully in the same vein is another recovery play, Lamprell. Just happens to be in the same industry although as the supplier of the technical equipment and expertise to dig up the black stuff. There've been four profit warnings so far this year though, which is spectacularly poor running of a company. It's expected to announce a big loss for this year. There's still $1.5B in the order pipeline though so that's good. Management has been sacked and there was a late announcement today of a new CFO. From here it should be able to go up, provided the new management can restore faith in the company and start delivering on those orders. There appears to still be downward pressure on the share price though so it may still be too early to buy in. Long term, the company appears to have a good forward order book

Lastly, somehow or other I found this book today. I don't really know if it's any good but it looks fun. There don't appear to be many reviews on it online, other than Richard Beddard's at iii. I checked out the free sample pdf which had an interesting page on companies that like (or not) January. Listing the five companies that rose 9/10 times in the last 10 years and the polar opposite five companies that fall 9/10 times, it featured two of my current holdings, Beazley (a riser in Jan) and Tesco (a consistent faller in Jan). With this new found knowledge, maybe it would be a good play to put more money into Beazley prior to Christmas and to wait for after January to top Tesco up at a lower price (or short it, if you know what you're doing...) Of course as with all financial information, past performance is no guarantee of future returns so this will probably go wonky on me.

The problem I'm finding with my 32 different holdings is keeping track of all the news that flies into the inbox each day. It is crazy. I don't know how I'm going to prune things down enough to make sense of it all again. The true dogs of my portfolio (hands up RBS, Emed, Coal of Africa - arrgggghhh, and Man Group) are so far down on initial purchase price I don't know what to do with them. Forget about them, average down, or sell, realise the loss and release the capital to fight the good cause somewhere else?