One 5% yielder I’d buy and one I’d sell after today’s news

These two companies have mixed outlooks and one looks to be a much better investment than the other.

| More on:

The content of this article was relevant at the time of publishing. Circumstances change continuously and caution should therefore be exercised when relying upon any content contained within this article.

A bull outlined against a field

Image source: Getty Images.

Despite management’s best efforts, toymaker Character (LSE: CCT) has been unable to avoid the headwinds facing the broader retail sector over the past year.

The firm was hit particularly hard by the demise of Toys R Us, one of its largest customers. The bankruptcy forced Character to warn last year that results for the year ending August 2018 would be “significantly lower than market expectations” following the loss of income from the UK’s largest brick and mortar toy store.

Major setback 

The Toys R Us demise is already having a significant impact on Character. Today, the company published its financial figures for the half year ended February, showing a 36% decline in operating profit and similar contraction in pre-tax profit. Basic earnings per share for the period fell 38% year-on-year, and after including the impact of adjustments on foreign currency derivative positions, basic earnings per share declined 92% year-on-year. Group net cash was £14.3m, down from the £18.6m reported at the end of the same period last year, but up from the £11.5m reported at the end of August 2017.

However, despite Character’s dismal performance during the first half, management is upbeat on the outlook for the rest of the year as the Toy R Us fallout dissipates. 

We continue to have great strength and depth across our brands and a wide range of long-term customers and suppliers,” the half-year update noted, continuing, “the directors remain optimistic that the business will see a return to its previous growth pattern during the second half of this financial year.

Still, despite management’s optimism, I’m wary about Character’s outlook as the group has disappointed on growth several times in the past. With this being the case, even though the shares might look attractive today, trading at a forward P/E of 11 and supporting a dividend yield of 5.1%, I’m in no rush to buy the stock.

Slow and steady wins the race 

On the other hand, I’m more optimistic about the outlook for financial services business Chesnara (LSE: CSN)

This is a holding company engaged in the management of life and pension books of businesses in the UK, a relatively stable and predictable industry. The enterprise buys life insurance funds closed to new customers and then manages them to maximise profit for investors

So far, Chesnara’s strategy has produced fantastic results. The dividend has grown at a steady rate of 3% per annum over the past five years and including the dividend, the shares have produced a total average annual return of around 16% per annum since 2012, smashing the FTSE 100 over the same period.

As the company continues to consolidate its position in the market, by buying up unwanted pension businesses, I believe that this performance is set to continue. 

With this being the case, compared to struggling Character, which will remain at the mercy of consumer trends, Chesnara, with its more stable and predictable business model (as well as the long-term income stream from pension management) looks to be the better investment. The shares currently support a dividend yield of 5.1%.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be considered so you should consider taking independent financial advice.

Rupert Hargreaves owns no share mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

More on Investing Articles

Young woman working at modern office. Technical price graph and indicator, red and green candlestick chart and stock trading computer screen background.
Investing Articles

Using the price-to-earnings metric to find the cheapest UK shares to buy now!

There’s certainly no shortage of value UK shares right now. I'm finding the cheapest stocks for my portfolio using the…

Read more »

Man changing battery on electric bicycle
Investing Articles

Stock market recovery: my top 2 FTSE 100 shares to buy this month!

The UK index might be trading above 7,500, but many FTSE 100 shares still haven't recovered. In fact, plenty trade…

Read more »

Arrow symbol glowing amid black arrow symbols on black background.
Investing Articles

4 of my best shares to buy for an autumn stock market bounce

Jon Smith explains which are his best shares to buy depending on different scenarios behind a potential market rally.

Read more »

Risk reward ratio / risk management concept
Investing Articles

Is the GSK share price good value after the 13% fall last week?

Jon Smith considers the reason behind the sharp fall in the GSK share price last week, and wonders if now…

Read more »

Young black woman in a wheelchair working online from home
Investing Articles

At under 5p, are Woodbois shares a no-brainer buy now?

I didn't buy Woodbois shares when they were up over 8p. Now they've fallen back, I'm wondering if I'm seeing…

Read more »

Business development to success and FTSE 100 250 350 growth concept.
Investing Articles

Are we about to see a raging bull market for shares?

Investor sentiment looks like it's changing and we could be in the early stages of a bull market for shares…

Read more »

Black father holding daughter in a field of cows
Investing Articles

I’m investing just £5 a day in income stock to aim for £8,000 a year in passive revenue!

Income stocks form the core part of my portfolio, offering me passive income with minimal effort. But I'm reinvesting my…

Read more »

Young mixed-race couple sat on the beach looking out over the sea
Investing Articles

3 dividend hero stocks for a monthly passive income

This Fool discusses the investment trusts capable of paying him a lifetime of growing passive income to supplement his portfolio…

Read more »