Metro update: Bad, but may be not so bad at all ?

A quick update on the Metro case. This is how I ended the Metro post from a few days ago:

For me, it is currently too early to do something. It is not clear to me if the stock price has overreacted or if more trouble is coming along especially from Russia.

Selling now would be clearly an uninformed decision as well as buying more. The next step will be the release of the 6M report next week. I think I will then still wait and see how Russia develops. If, for instance there would be a further profit warning because of Russia, then this would be a clear sell signal.

So let’s quickly check out the half-year report.

The good:

  • Real, the German Supermarket chain is doing batter than last year. However the improvement in Q2 was smaller than in Q1 and might have been aided by early Easter holidays
  • Delivery & Real Online do well, but are small
  • Asia stable despite negative FX impact

The bad:

  • Metro Germany is still losing money
  • Eastern Europe less profitable despite good growth
  • FCF Q2 lower by -130 mn (reason given: Store openings)
  • Restructuring charges at Real of up to -40 mn EUR (over 2 years if I understood correctly)

The ugly:

  • EBITDA in Russia in Q2 dropped -50%, Like for like sales by almost -9%

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Some links

The spring issue 2018 of Graham & Doddsville is out

A good overview on competition for self driving cars from Bloomberg

British stocks look cheap these days, one example is Centrica

Some updates on Spin-off situations 

Great Longread on the dominating position of the combined Essilor/Luxottica

“Big Beer” needs to reinvent itself

Want to get into start-up Financing ? Here is a good guide for seed stage investments

 

Metro AG – Update & Playing the Devil’s Advocate

Metro, the spin-off stock I bought last year, doesn’t look very good at the moment. The stock priced tanked significantly over the last weeks and the stock is now a proud member of “V&O Flop 10“:

metro upd

When a stock price moves like this, the fist thought is always: I need to do something, either to sell, or more often, to buy more. This was for instance one of the mistakes I made with Silver Chef, where I Increased my position at least temporary.

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Some links

Argentina has raised interest rates to 40%

Venture funds are getting bigger and fee levels are falling

24 rules to succeed in life by Richard Jenrette (The “j” from DLJ)

John Huber thinks large Tech companies are attarctive right now  (Tencnet)

However published free cash flows for Big Tech should be taken with a few grains of salt

Elliott’s presentation on how to “accelerate Hyundai”

Enron’s Ex CFO is now offering anti-fraud training

Saga PLC (ISIN GB00BLT1Y088) – High Quality Travel / Insurance Hybrid ?

The company:

Saga Plc is a UK company that combines two business that I have looked at quite often: Insurance and Travel.

Saga has its origin as a Seaside Hotel in England and then became a travel company before then moving into insurance in the 1980s. Saga caters specifically for the “over 50” market and claims to be the “leading provider” to people over 50 in the uK.

After a PE financed management buyout in 2007, he company was IPOed in May 2014 at a price of 185 pence / share.

Looking at the stock chart, IPO investors at first saw a decent outperformance before things went south this year:

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