5 stocks that Fools have recently sold

Three complete exits and one partial sale of a shareholding — why did these five Fools sell these particular UK-listed stocks?

Image source: Getty Images

When investing, your capital is at risk. The value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you put in.

Read More

The content of this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, any form of personal advice. Investments in a currency other than sterling are exposed to currency exchange risk. Currency exchange rates are constantly changing, which may affect the value of the investment in sterling terms. You could lose money in sterling even if the stock price rises in the currency of origin. Stocks listed on overseas exchanges may be subject to additional dealing and exchange rate charges, and may have other tax implications, and may not provide the same, or any, regulatory protection as in the UK.

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More.

Whether it comes down to valuation concerns, risk exposure, changes in strategy, or any other reason, it’s inevitable that there will be times when investors ought to consider selling all or part of their holding in stock.

AB Dynamics

What it does: AB Dynamics designs, manufactures and supplies advanced testing, simulation, and measurement products to the global transport market. 

By Paul Summers. Having had my finger over the ‘sell’ button for several months, I’ve now disposed of my position in vehicle testing firm AB Dynamics (LSE: ABDP).

To be clear, this isn’t because I think the company is doing anything wrong. Indeed, it’s been a profitable business for many years and continues to boast a robust balance sheet. Conceivably, AB could also do very well as autonomous driving becomes a reality.

No, the reason I’ve sold is purely down to the valuation. Despite only growing revenue by 5% in the first half of FY24, the stock still trades at an eye-watering 31 times earnings at the time of writing. In the absence of a near-term catalyst for trading to improve, I can’t see the share price moving significantly higher for a while.

Whether I come to regret my decision remains to be seen. As things stand, however, I can see far better value elsewhere in the market. 

Paul Summers has no position in AB Dynamics.

Close Brothers Group

What it does: Close Brothers is a UK merchant bank providing motor finance, business lending and asset management services.

By Roland Head. I recently sold all of my shares in Close Brothers Group (LSE: CBG). The bank’s share price has slumped this year as a result of the UK financial regulator’s investigation into historic motor finance commission payments.

The outcome of this investigation and any potential liability is not yet known, but Close Brothers has already suspended its dividend as part of a plan to raise £400m in additional surplus capital.

While I believe the company will recover from the impact of this investigation, I think it may take longer than expected.

Looking further ahead, I wonder if regulatory changes will put pressure on the future profitability of motor lending, which is a major part of the bank’s loan book.

After this year’s falls, I think the business might be cheap at current levels. However, increased uncertainty and the lack of a dividend mean that it’s no longer a good fit for my portfolio.

Roland Head does not own shares in Close Brothers Group.


What it does: Greencore is a leading international manufacturer of convenience foods.

By Alan Oscroft. I sold my shares in Greencore (LSE: GNC), and it might sound like it’s for a dumb reason.

Essentially, it’s because I can’t remember why I bought them.

And now I look again, I can’t make a good enough case to buy them. And if I wouldn’t buy a stock, I don’t think I should hold it. Especially when I see others I like better.

The Greencore valuation isn’t so bad. But a forecast price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio for 2024 of 14 doesn’t look that cheap, and I’d say it doesn’t offer much safety margin.

And the dividend yield of around 1.5% doesn’t exactly make it look like a top income stock.

Admittedly, forecasts would lift the dividend above 3% by 2026, and would drop the P/E to 10. But when there are plenty of FTSE 100 yields of 6% and more, it doesn’t appeal.

So, now the stock has recovered a bit, it was time for me to find somewhere else for the money.

Alan Oscroft has no position in Greencore.


What it does: ITV is a broadcaster operating terrestrial and digital channels in the UK and also provides production facilities and services.

By Christopher Ruane

Sometimes even a cheap-looking share can get cheaper. ITV (LSE: ITV) had long looked cheap to me. But as it fell to around 56p per share in February I added to my existing holding.

Annual results including a maintained dividend and share buyback helped lift the shares up to 75p over the following months.

I decided to sell a few of my shares to lock in some profits. I continue to hold most of them as I still think the business is undervalued considering its profitability, extensive audience and ongoing high demand for production facilities.

So why did I sell some of my shares?

Potential is one thing but tying money up for years on end has a cost. ITV does face real risks, from a traditional business in long-term decline to increasing digital competition. By taking advantage of a post-results jump in the share price, I was able to turn some paper gains into actual ones.

Christopher Ruane owns shares in ITV.

Supermarket Income REIT

What it does: Supermarket Income REIT owns and leases retail properties. Around 75% of its rent comes from Tesco and Sainsbury’s. 

By Stephen Wright. I’ve recently made the decision to sell my stake in Supermarket Income REIT (LSE:SUPR). There are a couple of reasons for this.

Chief among them is the firm’s rapidly growing share count. The number of shares outstanding has increased tenfold since 2018. 

That’s not a good thing – it means each share’s ownership in the company has decreased by 90%. And as an investor, I want to own more of a business over time, not less.

To some extent this is understandable. REITs often use equity as a means of financing, so I’m not surprised the share count has gone up.

I haven’t sold the stock just because the share count has increased, though. I’ve moved on because of how much it’s increased.

Over the same time period, Primary Health Properties – another UK REIT – has seen its share count roughly double. That’s much less dramatic, which is why I’ve moved my cash to there.

Stephen Wright owns shares in Primary Health Properties.

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 assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

The Motley Fool UK has recommended Ab Dynamics Plc, Greencore Group Plc, ITV, and Primary Health Properties Plc. 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 Top Stocks

ESG concept of environmental, social and governance.
Investing Articles

5 sustainable UK stocks that Fools love

Five completely different stocks, all listed in the UK, that tick a wealth of ESG boxes as well as looking…

Read more »

Top Stocks

4 stocks Fools love with a long history of increasing dividends

Familiar with REITs? You may want to be after reading this, with two of the four dividend stocks falling under…

Read more »

Mother and Daughter Blowing Bubbles
Investing Articles

5 stocks that Fools have been buying!

Our Foolish freelancers are putting their money where their mouths are and buying these stocks in recent weeks.

Read more »

British Pennies on a Pound Note
Investing Articles

3 penny stocks Fools actually love for the long term!

Many speculate on which penny stocks might rapidly soar in price. But it’s worth reiterating that our favourite holding period…

Read more »

The flag of the United States of America flying in front of the Capitol building
Investing Articles

Best US stocks to consider buying in May

We asked our freelance writers to reveal the top US stocks they’d buy in May, which included a cybersecurity leader…

Read more »

Bearded man writing on notepad in front of computer
Investing Articles

Best British growth stocks to consider buying in May

We asked our freelance writers to reveal the top growth stocks they’d buy in May, which included a Share Advisor…

Read more »

Entrepreneur on the phone.
Investing Articles

Best British stocks to consider buying in May

We asked our writers to share their ‘best of British’ stocks to buy this month, including a broadcaster and a…

Read more »

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

7 stocks that Fools have been buying!

Our Foolish freelancers are putting their money where their mouths are and buying these stocks in recent weeks.

Read more »