Well, what a month that was! July 2016 will surely go down as one of the most exciting months in recent stock market history. Today I’m going to have a look at three shares that have made it big since the EU referendum.
All that glitters
Shares in Fresnillo (LSE: FRES) soared by 56% from the vote to the end of July, closing at 1,931p. An upbeat production report a few days before the decision didn’t do any harm, but the real driver for the world’s largest primary producer of silver and Mexico’s second largest gold producer is the rising price of the metals — silver and gold have both spiked since the eventful day.
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I think chasing the prices of gold and silver up and down is a mug’s game, myself. And though there’s a good argument that these prices will remain high while there’s so much political and economic uncertainty, I see it as a poor approach to long-term investment.
After the rise, Fresnillo shares are now valued at a massive 60 times forecast earnings, dropping only to 40 based on a predicted 50% rise in EPS in 2017 — and dividends of only around 1% are barely worth talking about. There’s a lot more profit growth built into that kind of valuation, and it will take considerable further gold and silver price rises to justify it. I see that as gambling, not investing, and it’s a no from me.
Glencore (LSE: GLEN) looks like a more rational long-term investment. And though we haven’t seen any sustained recovery in metals prices yet, Glencore has been cutting costs, and has disposed of assets and used the proceeds to reduce its massive debt hole.
That’s led to a 38% rise in the share price since 27 June, to a month-end 187p — a 162% rise from February’s low. But has the recovery been a bit too enthusiastic or is there more to come? With the shares on a forward P/E of 38, the climb might look a bit overdone. But that would fall to 23 in 2017 based on the 60% EPS rise predicted for that year, and we’d be looking at a PEG ratio of only 0.4.
That’s typically considered an attractive growth indication, though it really doesn’t mean much unless that growth is going to be sustained. But though I do think we’re likely to see short-term volatility in the share price, Glencore should be a solid long-term investment.
A quick takeover
One of the biggest stories of the month was the recommended takeover approach from Japan’s SoftBank for chip designer ARM Holdings (LSE: ARM), which gave shareholders an overnight profit of 41% and took the shares up 64% since EU referendum day. While the fall in the value of sterling following the vote definitely made a lot of UK companies look attractive as takeover targets, the speed of this one was surprising — though I’ve been saying I think ARM shares have been undervalued for quite some time.
The bid of 1,700p per share represented a premium of 43% on the previous closing price, and today the shares stand at 1,672p — there’s still a tiny bit of uncertainty. A takeover at a P/E of 46 looks superficially attractive, but I think shareholders are selling too cheaply — and I’ll be sad to see this British success disappear from the FTSE.