Some Interesting Meetings – Palace Capital, Dunelm, NCC

There are some interesting meetings in prospect for investors. Firstly, I notice Simon Thompson has tipped Palace Capital (PCA) in this week’s Investors Chronicle. He suggests this property investment company’s half year results at the end of November “are likely to make a good read”. Now it just so happens that Palace Capital are presenting at two ShareSoc events in November (in Richmond and in Manchester). So that would be a good opportunity to learn more about the business. See this web page for more information and links to the individual events registration pages:  http://www.sharesoc.org/events.html .

The first one is on the 1st November so please register soon if you wish to attend.

The Dunelm (DNLM) Annual General Meeting is coming up on the 22nd November. At the last AGM there was considerable debate about the remuneration scheme including the LTIP. Otherwise it was not a particularly useful meeting with the Chairman hurrying through the formal business. There is a full report on it on the ShareSoc Members Network. However it was held in London, albeit at the somewhat inconvenient time of 9.30 am. This year they have gone one better to discourage investors from attending. It will be held in Syston at 9.00 am. Syston is near Leicester for those not familiar with the location of Dunelm’s Store Support Centre. I don’t personally object to such locations and in this case it may help staff to attend. But the timing is abominable.

NCC (NCC) is another company who likes to hold their AGM at remote locations at inconvenient times (in this case in Manchester at 11.00 on the 22nd September this year). The company also missed talking about the bad news they issued on the 20th October in a “first four months” trading statement (why not a few weeks earlier for the first quarter?).

The statement caused the share price to abruptly fall and at the time of writing is down 39%. The announcement indicated three large contract cancellations and other difficulties. But the odd thing is that although “the growth in profitability will now be more biased towards the second half” it also says that it “remains in line with the Board’s expectations”. It would seem at least one analyst has reduced their forecast however. I am sure a few investors might like to have quizzed CEO Rob Cotton on this apparent anomaly. It will now have to await the next AGM.

The writer holds shares in some of the above.

Roger Lawson

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