The Star Chamber
The small boats look to be the Waterloo moment for the government, even after all the bullets dodged over the past 13 years. It may be suggested that from the predicable stance of the Supreme Court downwards this is an issue which will be the poll tax for Rishi Sunak and friends. Remainer revenge for Brexit has been the reason for massive immigration. Profiteering from it no less unsavoury than the alleged people traffickers, via lawyers, means that this problem will not be solved. Reports that the Tory “Star Chamber” has rejected Sunak’s Rwanda plans, with its horrific optics, suggests that a Liz Truss style event may not be far off.
Have I Got News For You?
After a period of decades, I watched the first few minutes of HIGNY this week. It was awful. Arguably, the programme is some 25 years past its sell by date. How one can have the same team captains for so long is beyond belief. But the format of making fun of the great and good was what struck me. Call me old fashioned, but ideally someone criticising others should perhaps have some experience of what they are criticising? Neither Hislop or Merton have been in politics. I imagine that it is rather more difficult to be a MP, than to tell jokes about all the mistakes they make.
CEO Stone Throwing
This rather reminds me of those who criticise small cap CEOs. The job ain’t easy, especially in current stock market conditions. Interestingly enough, I see very little criticism from those who are either in the field, or have been successful in it. Instead, I see plenty of negativity from those who have never run a public company. Or of course, most persistently for the past decade from some parties who have completely failed to run a public company successfully. Selective stone throwing, character assassination, and distortion all feature, safe in the knowledge that small cap companies do not have the cash for legal redress. In a bear market it is much easier to knock, than to create value.
Star Stock Pickers
There is normally at least one standout story regarding the death of the stock market in the UK. This week’s came from Matthew Lynn in the Telegraph. That said, it came via the back door, bemoaning the demise of many of the City’s star stock pickers, who even if they are not out of the game, are feeling the pain. The market has been a reason, although not in the USA, up over 20% this year. But apparently it is the rise of algorithms that has really done for them. One would suspect AI will do the rest. This news has given me reason for cheer given that for over 30 years I have been championing (though obviously shadow banned), the idea that technical analysis is a viable alternative to fundamental analysis. This is at least in terms of helping investment timing. If you know both technicals and fundamentals, you should be top dog.
Following on from the death of the City’s star stock pickers, it may be noting that they have been replaced by the online influencers. The best of them, I would say that there are no more than a dozen, are to my mind as good as the fund managers used to be, and obviously far better than those few who still have tipping columns in the mainstream media. It is therefore interesting that as far as cloud based payments services provider Cornerstone (CSFS), there is a consensus amongst the digital great and the good. The result of Monday’s RNS was that the shares were up 50% off the back of the company saying that earnings will be up materially above market expectations. This is the magic RNS phrase people getting up at 7am are always looking for. CSFS were up 50% on the week, and have nearly doubled since the start of the year.
One of the rules of the stock market, related to the saying that the stocks can remain at the wrong price longer than you can remain solvent, is that just when you give up on a stuck is when the big turnaround can come. We were reminded of this with medical imaging technology group Polarean (POLX), as it won its first order for its Xenoview Polariser. Shares of the company were up 45% on the week, but are of course way off the 50p plus seen at the beginning of 2023.
Providing similar pre-Christmas cheer, and another stock where the technicals flagged the news, was Quadrise (QED), the oil technology company. Here the shares were up 36% on the week, as progress regarding low emissions fuel was revealed. An interesting kicker here is that bioMSAR actually helps improve engine efficiency.
Upland (UPL) provided us with one of the more bizarre M&A situations of the autumn, where an apparent high ball offer for the company came through. One did not have to be a HIGNFY panellist to smell a rat here. Fortunately, the market has regrouped, and so has the company. The backing for the rally this week of over 40% was the news at the end of last month that the oil and gas company, has completed its joint technical study on Block SK334 in Sarawak, Malaysia. What might be worth watching here, and given the shorting frenzy / negative comment after the SEC Capital debacle, the shares may rebound harder than many are currently expecting.
Those who are not distracted by the Christmas party season, will be looking forward to December 15, and the apparent denouement in terms of the AIM admission document as far as the Petronas acquisition by Savannah Energy (SAVE). We are waiting on news of the deal and a restoration of its AIM listing. Given the pace companies are leaving AIM, as many as possible are required to be back on. How this pans out will also be relevant to followers of next door company Wildcat Petroleum (WCAT), where a similar waiting game should be resolved soon, albeit from a much smaller market cap company.