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  • Writer's pictureMark Watson-Mitchell

Wanted by Interpol 




In a very interesting piece of news yesterday, it was announced that Windward Ltd (LON:WNWD) is wanted by INTERPOL. 


Windward is required by The International Criminal Police Organisation to assist in their mission of facilitating a secure maritime environment.  


INTERPOL wants to leverage Windward's insights to advance investigations of suspicious vessels, activities, and areas of interest worldwide, with its platform helping to enhance INTERPOL's capacity to detect and disrupt illegal maritime activities, including smuggling, piracy, IUU, human trafficking, and the transportation of illegal goods to create a safer maritime environment which is essential for the smooth flow of global trade.   


The mission of INTERPOL is to enable police around the world to work together to prevent and fight crime, by offering police a high-tech international infrastructure of technical and operational support to meet the growing challenges of fighting emerging types of crime.  


Only through international cooperation can police hope to tackle today's criminals, with the organisation working to ensure that police around the world can instantly share and access the relevant data necessary to assist their investigations through secure communications channels. 


This is all very good news for the Israel-based group, which announced in early January its 2023 Final Trading Update, showing strong trading throughout the year, boasting of a 35% advance in annual contract value, a 31% growth in revenues, as well as boosting its customer count up to 200. 


At the time CEO and Co-Founder Ami Daniel stated that: 


"2023 has been a record year for Windward, winning multiple new customers while expanding our offering.  


We have delivered strongly on our execution and believe Windward's opportunity set has expanded.   


As the evolving events in the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the security situation in the Red Sea demonstrate, the need for visibility and actionable insight across all facets of the maritime industry continues to grow, driving adoption of our maritime AI platform.  


We are committed to providing our customers with the insight they require to trade with confidence and have begun 2024 with continued good momentum." 


On that Statement analysts at Canaccord Genuity rated the group’s shares as a Buy, raising their Price Objective from 115p to 135p on the back of the guidance by the group. 


They now look for the group to have increased its 2023 sales from $21.6m to $28.3m, helping to significantly reduce its adjusted pre-tax losses from $16.4m to just $6.1m. 


For the year now underway they see $34.5m revenues, together with a further reduced loss of just $2.6m. 


For the coming year they are looking for the company to get into a near break-even position, estimating only a $0.3m loss, on an estimated $41.4m of revenues. 


Yesterday’s news helped the shares burst upwards to 125p, before closing at 115p. 


Hold on ahead of the 2023 Final Results later next month. 


(Profile 03.04.23 @ 37.5p set a Target Price of 47p*) 

(Profile 13.12.23 @ 80p set a Target Price of 100p*) 


H&T Group (LON:HAT) - £11.3m cash buy and additional funding 


My long-term favourite pawnbroking group yesterday announced £25m of additional financing from Pricoa Private Capital, to be used to support the future growth of the business. 


The UK’s largest pawnbroking operation also made an £11.3m cash acquisition of Maxcroft, the Gants Hill, Ilford-based pawnbroker. 


It has a £6.1m pledge book, with an average loan of £4,063, almost ten times larger than that of H&T’s £423 average loan. 


CEO Chris Gillespie, H&T chief executive said: 


"We are very pleased to be able to announce these two transactions, both of which underline the Group's focus on growing and broadening its core pawnbroking business and investment in the store estate.  


We are also delighted to have further diversified and enhanced the Group's funding arrangements through the relationship with Pricoa.  


We look forward to updating the market further on the 12th March, when we announce our results for the year ended 31st December 2023." 


Analyst Gary Greenwood at Shore Capital Markets considers the Maxcroft deal to be moderately earnings accretive. 


His estimates for the year to end-December last, are for adjusted pre-tax profits to have risen to £26.6m (£19.0m), with earnings of 48.4p (37.2p) easily covering a dividend of 17.0p (15.0p) per share. 


For the current year underway he goes for £33.5m profits, 57.4p earnings and a 19.0p dividend per share. 


I still rate very highly the prospects for this £165m-capitalised business – as far as I can see its shares, which touched 389p yesterday, are a real bargain at last night’s closing price of just 370p. 


Having broken through my 500p Target Price in late October last year, before easing back significantly, I now feel that the shares are ready for another upward climb. 


(Profile 06.07.22 @ 332.5p set a Target Price of 400p*) 

(Profile 30.01.23 @ 429p set a Target Price of 500p*) 


Time Finance (LON:TIME) - broken through the 40p barrier 


I was pleased to see the shares of the £38m capitalised Bath-based alternative finance group going through my Target Price yesterday, no doubt helped by new investor interest following a Corporate Presentation on Monday of this week. 


The recently announced Interim Results to end November 2023 declared continued strong growth in the group’s activities, particularly with its Lending Book standing at record levels. 


Analyst Andrew Renton at Cavendish Capital Markets has current year estimates to end May for £30.8m (£27.6m) revenues, with adjusted pre-tax profits of £5.7m (£4.4m), lifting earnings up to 4.6p (3.7p) per share. 


He is already looking for an even better outcome for the coming year at £33.1m, £6.7m and 5.4p respectively. 


Non-Executive Chair Tanya Raynes stated that: 


"These results show that our focus on own-book lending continues to deliver a strong trading performance.  


This is particularly encouraging given the wider economic headwinds and demonstrates UK SMEs' robust demand for funding from a truly customer-focussed, multi-product provider of finance like ourselves. 


The strategic positioning of the Group within the market has enabled it to generate increasing levels of demand whilst also maintaining control of credit and spread risk. 

 

As a result, the Group is well-positioned to deliver further growth and increased value to our shareholders.  



We look forward to being able to report on further progress at the year-end." 


It is quite possible that we will get a Q3 Trading Update out in the next couple of weeks or so, perhaps the anticipation of more good news will help to drive the shares even higher. 


It is well worth noting that Cavendish Capital Markets currently have a Price Objective out on the shares at 71p. 


A very Strong Hold at the current 41.70p. 


(Profile 23.12.20 @ 21.5p set a Target Price of 30p*) 

(Profile 20.11.23 @ 32.5p set a Target Price of 40p plus*) 


Team Internet Group (LON:TIG) - another couple of weeks 


The Share Buyback programme continues to help to push this group’s shares higher, with purchases of around £200,000 worth of stock being made each day, the latest being 150,573 shares @ an average 140.12p per share. 


At the current progress rate, it should be completed by the end of the first week of March, just ahead of the company publishing its audited annual report for the financial year ending 31 December 2023 on Monday, 18th March. 


After hitting 141.80p yesterday, the shares closed last night at 138p. 


Hold very tightly to the shares, I feel that my next Target Price could soon be achieved. 


(Profile 17.04.23 @ 123p set a Target Price of 150p) 

(Profile 18.01.24 @ 124.60p set a Target Price of 156p) 

 

(Asterisks * denote that Target Prices have been achieved since Profile publication) 

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