The one that really caught my eye was the somewhat surprising news from Engineering Company SIX HUNDRED GROUP, that it had parted company with its CEO Nigel Rogers.
The news accompanied a Trading Update which stated that underlying trading in the year to 28 March 2015 was in line with expectations.
It was also added, that the pre-tax profit is expected to be more than £3m which is more than the £2.1m previously pencilled in by Broker FinnCap.
No doubt though, that anticipated figure will be flattered by the pension surplus as in previous periods, so it is worth anyone looking at the potential earnings per share baring that in mind.
As for the CEO’s departure, there was no indication as to why Rogers has resigned and moved on, although David Buxton the FinnCap analyst apparently pointed out, that having been there since 2012 the CEO had done a good job in turning the group around.
I wouldn’t disagree with that view, having spoken the Nigel Rogers on a few occasions I found him very engaging and pretty passionate about the business, so I am sure holders may also be sorry to see his departure.
Paul Dupee, the non- executive Chairman who is also managing partner of Haddeo which holds around 25% of Six Hundred will now assume the role of executive Chairman, overseeing the various divisions.
FinnCap has retained a 27p target price, citing the apparent value on offer within the current valuation, where the shares sit at 16p.
While that may well be the case and as one who has covered Six Hundred a few times now along with holding the shares, I should perhaps be bullish.
However for me, it is what the resignation does not say, combined with what also appeared a previously odd stake taken in ProPhotonix last year.
On that basis, although I will keep an eye on the shares, the suddenness of the resignation and lack of an explanation is from an investment perspective, just a bit off putting for me.
The 600 Group PLC ("600" or "the Company"), the machine tools and laser marking company announces that Nigel Rogers has resigned as Chief Executive Officer. The Board would like to thank Nigel for his dedication, leadership and contribution to the Company over the last three years. Paul Dupee, currently Non - Executive Chairman, will become Executive Chairman with immediate effect.
Nigel Rogers became Chief Executive Officer of the Company in March 2012 and successfully carried out the disposal of the Company's operations in Poland and South Africa and later, the sale of surplus property assets in the UK. Under his direction a very capable senior executive team has been put in place to manage the machine tools, precision engineering components and laser marking businesses in the UK and the USA where an ever-greater proportion of the Company's activities are now taking place. This team will now report to Paul Dupee.
Update on Trading
The Board is pleased to give the following update on trading for the period ended 28 March 2015. A fuller account will be given on the publication of the preliminary results expected to be released at the end of June 2015.
Group revenues are expected to be approximately 5% ahead of prior year, or 3% on a like-for-like basis excluding the effect of the acquisition of TYKMA Inc. in February 2015.
The process of integration of TYKMA Inc., and Electrox Laser is progressing very well. All US sales and customer support activities are now managed under a unified structure from 1 April 2015, and plans for future product strategy are largely determined.
Total group profit before taxation (including the effects of pension credits, pension credit interest, amortisation and the costs attributable to the acquisition and associated fund raising) is expected to be over £3m (2014: £2.48m). We expect underlying Group trading results (excluding these items) for the year ended 28 March 2015 to be in line with the board's expectations.
always a clean slate situation when new CEO comes in so worth monitoring now.
Engineering company 600 Group (SIXH) has been making use of its strong balance sheet this year to spice up its business. The company has issued £8.5m-worth of loan notes with an 8 per cent coupon to fund the £3m acquisition of 80 per cent of TYKMA, a US laser marking company, as well as to refinance some existing debt and boost working capital. Attached to the issue of the loan notes, the company issued 44m warrants convertible at 20p until February 2020. The warrants, if exercised, would be equivalent to half of the current 90m shares in issue and could therefore potentially significantly dilute existing shareholders should the share price perform really well. That said, money raised from any exercise would cover the cost of the loan notes.
The TYKMA acquisition is significant as it substantially boosts 600 Group's presence in the growth market for laser marking. TYKMA's 2014 revenues of $8.4m (£5.6m) compare with turnover of £7.6m generated by 600 Group's Electrox laser business in its last financial year. Broker FinnCap predicts the acquisition will boost EPS by 15 per cent in 600 Group's recently-commenced financial year.
While first-half laser-marking sales growth came in at 15 per cent, the company's machine-tooling business, which accounted for four-fifths of first-half revenue, had a tougher time. The environment for the machine-tooling business may have improved during the second half based on industry data, but 600 Group has yet to issue a trading update for the financial year completed at the end of March 2015. 600 Group's shares look very cheap and should earnings growth begin to emerge there is clear scope for upside, but the warrants can be expected to slow the pace of any ascent above the 20p level.
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