Podcast: Stale bulls

Simon BrownJSE Direct, Latest

Simon Shares

  • Wildest story of the year. Imbalie (JSE code: ILE) is ditching beauty to become a miner via a reverse listing!
    Local GDP for Q1 2018 was a shocker at -2.2%. Expected was -0.5% and the number is usually shifted higher over time, but wowzer.
  • That all said, this was mostly driven by agriculture and frankly turning a country around is a slow process.
  • Delta Properties (JSE code: DLT) has me perplexed. On a dividend yield of around 15% and trading at around 30% discount to net asset value (NAV) it seems a screaming buy – but that assumes the market is wrong and I never want to be the one telling the market that. They mostly have government as a tenant and a lot of their leases are on a month-to-month basis. But government isn’t going to suddenly move out but they may put pressure on rent increases. The company says there is a process recently put in place by government to start signing leases and this should reduce the month-to-month leases and lower lending costs. Am I missing a trick or is the market, as always, right?
  • Anthony Clark was at the Curro (JSE code: COH) annual general meeting (AGM) and tweeted that the company said with utilisation of 90% from the current +/-53% HEPS would be around 201c. So we have a marker for future earnings albeit no time line. That said even at 201c HEPS and a current price of 3000c that would put the stock on a PE of around 15x which to my mind is a fair valuation.

Stale bulls

In a recent Fat Wallet podcast Kristia commented again how her investments have done pretty much nothing over the last few years.

Now there is only one reason we buy any share, ETF or even derivative – too make money. But what happens if we don’t make money or worse the price falls and we’re losing money.

Now it depends in part what we bought. A derivative trader will stop out and individual share buyer may hold as they consider it quality and in time it will start moving while an ETF should in theory not worry about the short term and just continue holding. That’s the theory.

But we get a phenomenon called stake bulls, especially with individual shares.

Lets take Aspen (JSE code: APN) as an example. It hit a price of almost R450 in January 2015 after trading at R100 for the first time just three years earlier and 1000c was hit for the first time in 2003. If you missed the initial run from 2003 you’d have felt aggrieved at missing out and you may have jumped in at R100. But many would have said no they’ll wait for the pull back, a pull back that never really happened. Then after a price of almost R450 there is a serious pull back to almost R250 and many jumped in during that pull back. That was followed by another rally but only to R350 and now we’re back at R250.

So having watched Aspen be one of the best stocks on the JSE you’re now holding it and your price is under water. You’re not happy and frankly you want shot of the share – but ideally at as small a loss as possible – you’re a stale bull.

So now every time it rallies the stale bulls are ready to sell essentially capping the price.
We see this with a number of local shares and to a lesser degree with ETFs (lesser here as we’re too small to really influence an entire index).

So what do we do?

  • Firstly, recognise yourself as a stale bull if you are one, set your exit price and act accordingly. The new bulls are not your problem.
  • Secondly, understand that if you are a new bull to a stock there may well be a lot of stake bulls lurking and this will make the rise higher a slow drawn out affair. That’s fine, investing is about the long-term and if you hold quality it will in time preform.
  • If you’re trading the share understand the going may be slow and sticky as stale bulls keep exiting.
  • Lastly if you’re holding ETFs don’t stress it. Sure over the last 3-5 years money in the bank has potentially beaten your ETF return. But again this is a long-term game and given time you’ll make handsome profits.

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JSEDirect is an independent broadcast and is not endorsed or affiliated with, nor has it been authorised, or otherwise approved by JSE Limited. The views expressed in this programme are solely those of the presenter, and do not necessarily reflect the views of JSE Limited.

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