M&A mantra: When in a hole, keep digging!

M&A in the Marketing Services sector is a bit like archeology; if you find yourself in a hole, keep digging! This is how companies such as Publicis, can propose to invest a further $4bn on another digital marketing acquisition, notwithstanding presiding over an eroding organic top line and sub market ROIC, notwithstanding splashing out over […]

Continue reading

Chevron offer for Anadarko – when cheap money meets rising oil prices

A return to ‘cheap money’ by the Fed and stabilising oil prices and it is perhaps not surprising to see a return to acquisition led growth strategies. For Chevron, its $50bn agreed offer for Anadarko looks to be broadly OpFCF neutral after $1bn of projected OpEx cost synergies from combining these two predominantly North American […]

Continue reading

ECB hopium

“substantial monetary policy stimulus remains essential to ensure the continued build-up of domestic price pressures over the medium term.” So says Sig Draghi in yesterday’s release of the ECB’s 2018 annual report and so much for any doubt that the ending of the asset purchase programme (AAP) in December would actually herald a return to […]

Continue reading

Market algos chasing Central Bank intervention, rather than anticipating it

Markets are going with the ‘flow’, because that’s the only way to trade these algo-driven markets.   The new Fed chairman flip-flops from hawk to dove while the ECB hint at following suit (ahead of its May parliamentary elections) and the Chinese unleash another Tsumani of credit. Equity valuations meanwhile recoup the Q4 lost ground, notwithstanding […]

Continue reading

Airlines – what happens when ROIC looks too good

So much for IATA’s prediction last year of “Normal profits are becoming normal for airlines”, or the thesis that airlines would again be able to pass on higher fuel prices to customers by charging higher fares. Someone must have forgotten to tell Ryanair, as they cut a further 10 percentage points from their current year earnings […]

Continue reading

1848?

BTFD or STFR depends on what game you think is really being played out there in markets. The recent bounce in equity prices on the apparent reversal in the Fed’s QT narrative together with an improving narrative on Chinese tariffs and now hopes for a reversal in Brexit, notwithstanding the resounding defeat of Theresa May’s […]

Continue reading