Two Stocks Under Spotlight: Hastings Group Holdings Plc and Avacta Group PLC

  • Oct 28, 2019 GMT
  • Team Kalkine
Two Stocks Under Spotlight: Hastings Group Holdings Plc and Avacta Group PLC
Hastings Group Holdings Plc

Hastings Group Holdings PLC (Identifier: HSTG) is a United Kingdom-headquartered data and digitally focused general insurance provider with a focus across the insurance value chain, serving the home, bike, van and car insurance market. It also provides home insurance, premium financing and ancillary products. The group's brands include Hastings Direct, which is the company's largest and best-known brand, Hastings Premier, Hastings Essential, and many more.

HSTG-Trading update

On 25th October 2019, the company released trading update for 9 months period ended 30th September 2019. The company’s gross written premiums were up by 2 per cent to £753.1 million during the period. The company’s net revenue was plunged by 2 per cent to £563.8 million due to lesser earned premiums and lesser reinsurance commissions.

HSTG-Financial highlights for H1 FY19

In the first half of the financial year 2019, live customer policies grew by 4 per cent to 2.81 million from 2.71 million in the six months to 31 December 2018, as the group reported another period of policy growth in the current market environment, while gross written premiums increased by 3 per cent. Due to the increased cost of reinsurance and lower earn through than the prior-year written premiums, net revenue declined to £370.3 million in H1 FY2019 (30 June 2018: £376.3 million). Driven by strategic investments, increased underwriting levies and increase in the calendar year loss ratio, adjusted operating profit before specific items decreased by 25 per cent on a like for like basis to £68.1 million from £90.5 million in H1 FY2018 and adjusted operating profit decreased by 43 per cent to £59.7 millionProfit after tax declined by 48 per cent to £38.2 million during the period (30 June 2018: £72.9 million). Due to market-wide claims inflation and lower earned premiums, calendar year loss ratio excluding the impact of change in Ogden rate was 79.1 per cent, while including the impact of the Ogden rate change, calendar year loss ratio was 81.1 per cent, against 73.8 per cent in the prior year.

Despite a considerable decline in the financials during the period, the company reaffirmed its outlook and guidance for the full year 2019, as it enjoys competitive advantages in the large motor and home insurance markets. The market share of the company in UK private car insurance market increased to 7.8%, from 7.5% at 31 December 2018, and without chasing volume growth at the expense of profitability, it continues to work towards its target of 3 million customers. The company is relatively immune from the volatility arising from Brexit uncertainties and is in an excellent position to profit from the customers’ push towards online sources, especially primarily price comparison websites, to buy insurance.

HSTG-Share price performance

(Source: Thomson Reuters)

On 28th October 2019, while writing at 09:06 AM GMT, Hastings Group Holdings PLC shares were clocking a current market price of GBX 183.5 per share, down by 1.55 per cent in comparison to the last traded price of the previous day. The company’s market capitalisation was at £1.23 billion at the time of writing.

On 17th April 2019, the shares of HSTG have touched a new peak of GBX 235.45 and reached the lowest price level of GBX 169.50 on 07th December 2018 in the last 52 weeks. The company’s shares were trading at 22.06 per cent lower from the 52-week high price mark and 8.25 per cent higher the 52-week low price mark at the current trading level as can be seen in the price chart.

The stock’s traded volume was hovering around 75,394 at the time of writing before the market close. The company’s 5-day average daily traded volume was 525,647.40; 30 days’ average daily traded volume- 450,687.53 and 90 days’ average daily traded volume – 562,224.58. The volatility of the company’s stock is higher as compared with the index taken as the benchmark, as the beta (2Y weekly) of the company’s stock was recorded at 1.56.

The shares of the company have delivered a negative return of 5.81 per cent in the last quarter. The company’s stock plunged by 0.27 per cent from start of the year to till date. The company’s stock has given investors 2.05 per cent of negative return in the last year. 

Avacta Group PLC

United Kingdom-based Avacta Group Plc (Identifier: AVCT) is a Biotechnology and Medical Research Company. The company offers products that include optim and sensipod. It also develops UCB celltech that is an analytical instrument. Avacta’s sensipod is an in-clinical blood testing system that delivers ELISA tests. The company offers intellectual property relating to an alternative to antibodies.

AVCT-Recent developments

The company proposed Fundraising by issuing 59,777,013 new ordinary shares at a unit price of 15 pence which shall result in gross proceeds of up to £9 million through placement and subscription.

AVCT-Financial performance for FY19

The company’s accounting reference date has been changed to 31st December from 31st July. The company released its interim results for the 12-month period that ended 31st July 2019 with comparative data of 31st July 2018. The company’s revenue was recorded at £4.12 million in FY19 as against £2.76 million in FY18. From the company's Affimer business, the revenue contribution surged to £2.60 million in FY19 as against £1.19 million in FY18. From the Avacta Animal Health (allergy & diagnostic testing business) revenues decreased from £1.57 million in FY18 to £1.53 million in FY19. The company’s Research & development costs surged to £4.20 million in FY19 as against £2.64 million in FY18. The administration costs of the company declined marginally to £8.47 million in FY19 from £8.52 million in FY18. The company’s operating loss surged to £11.18 million in FY19 in comparison to an operating loss of £10.43 million in FY18. The company’s loss after taxation surged to £9.68 million in FY19 as against £8.83 million in FY18. The company’s basic loss per share declined to 8.76 pence in FY19 from 13.49 pence in FY18. The company’s cash outflow from operations was recorded at £7.62 million in FY19 as against an outflow of £5.47 million in FY18. The company received net proceeds from shares issue amounting to £10.92 million in FY19 as against £0.05 million in FY18. The company’s net cash and equivalents stood at £6.51 million as on 31st July 2019.

AVCT-Share price performance

(Source: Thomson Reuters)

On 28th October 2019, while writing at 09:12 AM GMT, Avacta Group Plc shares were clocking a current market price of GBX 16.2 per share, up by 0.125 per cent in comparison to the last traded price of the previous day. The company’s market capitalisation was at £18.59 million at the time of writing.

On 04th February 2019, the shares of AVCT have touched a new peak of GBX 50 and reached the lowest price level of GBX 15.50 on 22th October 2019 in the last 52 weeks. The company’s shares were trading at 67.60 per cent lower from the 52-week high price mark and 4.51 per cent higher the 52-week low price mark at the current trading level as can be seen in the price chart.

The stock’s traded volume was hovering around 99,033 at the time of writing before the market close. The company’s 5-day average daily traded volume was 1,015,796.20; 30 days’ average daily traded volume- 493,031.03 and 90 days’ average daily traded volume – 326,311.10. The volatility of the company’s stock is much lower as compared with the index taken as the benchmark, as the beta (5Y monthly) of the company’s stock was recorded at 0.26.

The shares of the company have delivered a negative return of 39.05 per cent in the last quarter. The company’s stock plunged by 47.54 per cent from start of the year to till date. The company’s stock has given investors 31.91 per cent of negative return in the last year. 

With Bank of England reducing the interest rates to a historic low level, the spotlight is back on diverse investment opportunities. 

Amidst this, are you getting worried about these falling interest rates and wondering where to put your money?

Well! Team Kalkine has a solution for you. You still can earn a relatively stable income by putting money in the dividend-paying stocks.

We think it is the perfect time when you should start accumulating selective dividend stocks to beat the low-interest rates, while we provide a tailored offering in view of valuable stock opportunities and any dividend cut backs to be considered amid scenarios including a prolonged market meltdown.

To know more about these dividend stocks, click here

CLICK HERE FOR YOUR FREE REPORT!
   
x
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. OK