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Please note that tax, investment, pension and ISA rules can change and the information and any views contained in this article may now be inaccurate.

Disappointing updates from small cap energy provider and general insurance business

Two of our Great Ideas have been hit by recent negative news and exit the portfolio after trading below our stop loss.

Insurer Hastings (HSTG) delivered poor third quarter numbers (25 Oct) which revealed premiums failing to keep pace with claims and a failure to grow the volume of customers.

Shore Capital Analyst Paul De’Ath pithily summed up the negative outlook for the stock, noting: ‘There is little in this trading
update to indicate a turnaround in fortunes in the short-term.’

Much more alarming was the update from small cap energy firm Yu Group (YU.:AIM). The company shocked the market by revealing a £10m hole in its accounts in an unwelcome echo of the accounting scandal at Patisserie (CAKE:AIM).

The shares lost more than 80% of their value on the news (24 Oct). Though this development is embarrassing for Shares given we added the business to our list of Great Ideas as recently as August, it is worth noting that we, like other investors, were working off numbers which have subsequently proven to be faulty. (TS)

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