Presentation and structure of the portfolio on 25th September 2020

I would like to use my first post to introduce my portfolio. The start date is the 25th September 2020. I will update the performance and composition of the portfolio every quarter, starting the 31st December 2020. However, I will put any buy or sell movement in the Trading Diary section of the blog.

The portfolio currently has 22 companies, where the top 10 positions reach the 59% of the portfolio. The cash position is 6% and all the companies are based in Europe.

The following table and graph show the distribution of the portfolio in relation to the market capitalization of the companies:

81% of the portfolio is invested in companies with a market capitalization below 1.000 million Euros. As explained in the Investment Strategy section of the blog, small caps are my investment focus.

The next table shows the distribution of the portfolio in terms of the non-cyclicality and cyclicality of the businesses:

The stable (or non-cyclical) businesses are generally profitable regardless of economic trends because they produce or distribute goods and services we always need, including things like food and beverages, food and beverages packaging, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, power, water, and gas. These companies are also called defensive stocks because they can defend investors against the effects of economic downturn.

Cyclical companies follow the trends in the overall economy. Cyclical stocks represent companies that make or sell discretionary items and services that are in demand when the economy is doing well. These are goods and services that people cut first when times are tough. Examples of cyclical industries are travel, construction, furniture, car manufacturing or car manufacturing supplies.

The following graph shows the distribution of the portfolio in terms of the net financial debt that the companies have:

As the graph shows, there is only a 4% invested in companies with a net financial debt between 1,5x and 3x EBIT. In fact, it is just one company, Fromageries Bel, which is one of the top worldwide branded cheese manufacturer. This type of companies normally can handle these debt levels without any problem.

As you will see in the next table, almost all the companies, except one, are owned either by a family or by the founding CEO of the company, which is still in place. For me, as you can see in the Investment Strategy section of the blog, is one of the most important things to look at when you are analysing a company.

The next graph shows the currency exposure of the portfolio:

The following graph shows the country exposure of the portfolio, considering where the companies are based:

I would like to mention that the exposure to Greece is explained by these three companies:

As you can see, these are very defensive businesses and in two of the companies, the international sales are more than 50% of the business.

Finally, the next graph show the industry exposure of the companies in the portfolio:

Disclaimer: The purpose of this blog is not to provide financial advice or recommendations to buy or sell specific investments. Please, do your own research before making any investment decision. If you are unsure of any investment decision, you should seek a professional financial advisor. 

19 thoughts on “Presentation and structure of the portfolio on 25th September 2020

  1. Andreas

    Hello, congrats to your blog. I like your approach and ideas. For some companies I am having trouble to confirm that they acually have no net debt, but maybe I understood something wrong. As it seems that you like paper & packaging you might take a look at Grigeo / Latvia.
    I follow more a top down approach. Interesting countries to look for hidden gems are Poland and Japan, I think. Poland might be interesting for smaller tech companies. In Japan there are a lot of companies with next to zero or even negative EV. There are other structual issues in the economic sector of course.

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    • SCE

      Thank you Andreas! Which companies do you have any doubt in relation to their debt level?

      I have quickly looked at Grigeo. Just looking at the numbers it looks very cheap!! Some years ago, I looked for stocks at some eastern European countries and I found very interesting things, but unfortunately, my broker just gives me access to Poland.

      I know that in Japan there are many companies with tonnes of cash in the balance sheet, but for the time being I prefer to invest in Europe. Additionally, I know a fund manager that invests in Japan and he says that just the big companies have their report in English. Despite of that, Japan is very far away for me anyway.

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      • Andreas

        Please forget about the net debt I mentioned. I saw that MCM has 70M EUR total debt (tradingview). Morningstar says “-” whatever that means. Anyway, the cash level is above 50M EUR so it is no issue anyway. MCM looks interesting. I will wait to see some price appreciation to confirm the end of the actual down trend.

        I use Degiro and IB. Degiro closes the gap of IB in Europe (Norway, Finnland, Denmark, Greece,….). As DEGIRO has a strange business/custody model, I have only shares there that I cannot trade elswhere. The combination makes almost everything tradable. South Korea is missing though.

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      • SCE

        No worries Andreas. If you look at the 2019 figures you will see that MCM had around 70M€ in long-term and short-term financial debt, 44M€ in cash and short-term investments and 45M€ in long-term investments. Therefore, net cash is around 19M€. After the first semester results, net cash is now around 23M€.

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  2. Sutje

    Hi,

    Great post and a really interesting list of shares.
    Low or no net debt and Skin in the game are also for me two of the most relevant Points for my “boring portfolio”.
    Cembre, Groupe Guillin, Kri Kri and Sarantis are part of my portfolio. I sold Precia and Naked Wines, what a mistake in both cases.
    I also sold Headlam during the Corona crises, not sure about their future.
    Looking forward to your next comments.
    Kind regards
    Sutje

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    • SCE

      Thank you Sutje! Yes, I think that just looking for companies with non or very little debt and high insider ownership is already a very good filter.

      Cembre, G. Guillin, Kri kri and Sarantis are great companies and easy to understand businesses. Happy to know that you have Kri kri, very few people know this company, although it has recently become more famous.

      Headlam is another great company. Let see how it ends up the year but I think very negative things are already priced in.

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  3. Marc

    Hi again,
    Unfortunately my first comment was in German.
    Since i am investing in large caps normally i wasThat shocked that the bid and ask spread in microcaps like Holland colours is very big.
    How do you handle this? Do you wait for an opportinity when the spread is smaller?

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    • SCE

      Hi Marc,

      As you have noticed, the spread in micro-cap companies sometimes is quite wide. In the case of Holland Colours that you mention, the spread is 2,50€ (Bid: 87€ ; Ask: 89,5€).

      When I invest in a company is because I have estimated an upside potential of at least 40% – 50% in a 3 years time. So in the case of Holland Colours that you mentioned, I don’t mind if I have to pay 2% – 3% more (due to spread reasons) if I believe the company is worth +50%. Therefore, although the tighter the spread is, the better, I don’t mind paying this 2% – 3% extra.

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    • SCE

      Hi MMI!

      Thanks for linking my blog in valueandopportunity.com. As you know, I am a long-term reader of your blog and always try not to miss any post.

      About Wasthec… The short answer is that I sold Washtec to increase my position in Societe LDC. I updated it in the Trading diary section. I had enough cash to increase in Societe LDC without selling Washtec, but I didn’t want to reduce my cash position. So I had to sell something.

      Washtec is a great company and I still think it has a good upside potential. However, at 39€, Washtec was the least interesting stock that I had, so I sold it to increase in Societe LDC. I have actually been lucky to have made a nice quick profit, since I bought them at around 32,7 at the end of July.

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  4. Alfonso

    Gosh I think this blog is what I was looking for. I’m a novice investor/speculator. But although I live in Spain my portfolio is basically a US portfolio. I discovered Finviz (I think it is an amazing tool) and I have 2 or 3 screeners configured besides I scan recent insider buying, unusual volume and recent winners to start my analisis. I couldn’t find such an amazing free tool for Europe and mainly that is the reason I’m concentrated in the US.

    But we have a lot in common. I look for small caps, low debt, skin in the game, generating profit, etc, etc. I learned about Kri Kri Milk from another place and it looked to me like a great investment but sadly Interactive Brokers didn’t offer it (eventually I must open a DeGiro account, I don’t want this to happen again).

    I hope I can learn a lot from this blog!

    Like

    • Andreas

      Hello Alfonso, I like the Screener of Tradingview. It is for free and has world wide coverage. The data seems to be reliable. I would prefer to have some growth related figures as well. But I use it to find a list of companies for further research. Best, Andreas

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  5. Sutje

    Hi SCE,

    You mentioned in the trading diary that you bought Creightons shares.
    Imho in interesting company which would also fit into my portfolio.
    There is one item which I don’t like, the very high number of share options.
    High costs not to be seen in the p&l, at the end of the day a transfer of wealth from the (crowd of) shareholders to the management.
    This can be only accepted if the creation of wealth and the upside is significant higher than this issue.
    Would you share your thoughts on this item?

    Regards
    Sutje

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    • SCE

      Hi Sutge,

      You are right, this high number of share options affects Creightons shareholders. However, I take into account all those share options (as it should be done) and I still think the stock offers a very nice upside potential at 0,50 GBP per share.

      The company said this would be the last big share option plan going forward. If they keep it that way I am ok with it. You have to consider that this management team has achieved tremendous growth for the last years just by selling toiletries and fragances. I actually recommend you going through the annual reports and Youtube presentations in the piworld Youtube. I know the company for 4 – 5 years and I have actually been a shareholder in the past and I can tell that is a company worth following.

      What I don’t like is that the two heads of the company, William McIlroy (Chairman and CEO) and Bernard Johnson (Managing Director), which already own 25% and 7,9% of the share capital, have received a huge amount of share options too. I would have liked to see a lower number for them, although I like them a lot. On the contrary, in the case of Philippa Clark (Global Marketing Director), which is terrific asset for the company, I am totally ok with doing “whatever it takes” to keep her motivated. She is a big part of the success of the company so far. The CEO and Managing Director acknowledge that and it is reflected in the number of share options she has.

      Kind Regards,
      SCE

      Like

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