Three FTSE 250 Stocks Under The Spotlight- FXPO, 3IN and HILS

Ferrexpo PLC

Ferrexpo Plc (FXPO) is a Swiss-based iron ore mining company. It involves in the production, processing and export of iron ore pellets. The company’s assets are established in the Poltava region of Ukraine. The company serves customers in Europe and Asia, including Slovakia, Austria, China, South Korea, Germany, Czech Republic, Taiwan, Turkey, Vietnam and Japan. Ferrexpo also carries out ore processing and logistics operations. Presently the company is the third-largest exporter of Pellets. The company is in the business of processing, mining and selling top-notch iron ore pellets to the worldwide steel industry for more than 40 years. The company is having an employee base of 11,157, including contractors.

FXPO-Recent News

On 30th September 2019, Mr Zhevago CEO of the group responded to the allegations made against him on social media. Based on the allegations he has been serving suspicion notice involving an investigation relating to a business owned by him till 2015 in Ukraine. In Response, Mr Zhevago denied any allegations and said he had not received any suspicion notice.

FXPO-Financial highlights for H1 FY19 period ended 30th June 2019

In the first half of the financial year 2019, the company’s sales volume increased by 4 per cent to 4,990 kt as compared with the corresponding period of the last year. The total pellet production surged by 5 per cent to 5,353 Kt in H1 FY2019 from 5,096 Kt in the H1 FY2018. The group’s reported revenue increased by 28 per cent to US$787 million as compared to US$617 million in H1 FY18. The group’s underlying EBITDA margin stood at 47 per cent in H1 FY2019 versus 38 per cent in H1 FY2018. The company’s operating profit for the H1 FY2019 stood at $329,548 thousand versus $200,459 thousand in the first half of the financial year 2018. The Profit before tax and finance stood at $332,530 thousand in H1 FY2019 versus $202,935 thousand in H1 FY2018. The PBT (Profit before tax) stood at $317,848 thousand in H1 FY2019 versus $179,075 thousand in H1 FY2018. Profit after tax for the period increased by 78 per cent to US$270 million against US$152 million in 2017. The PAT (Profit after tax attributable to the shareholders) stood at $269,435 thousand in H1 FY2019 versus $151,666 thousand in H1 FY2018. Basic earnings per share (EPS) increased to US$45.9 cents as compared to US$25.9 cents in H1 FY18.  The interim dividend per ordinary share rose by 100 per cent to US$6.6 cents, due to increased capital investment and continued debt reduction.

FXPO-Share price performance

On 01 October 2019, at 01:35 PM GMT, while writing, Ferrexpo Plc shares clocked a price point of GBX 162.25 per share; which was up by 0.68 per cent as against the previous day trade closing price point. The company’s market capitalisation was around £948.65 million.

FXPO shares have clocked a high of GBX 305.60 (as on 16 April 2019) and a low of GBX 157.25 (as on 27th September 2019) in the past year.

The stock’s volume before the market close was fluctuating around 3,913,028 while writing. Stock’s average traded volume for 5 days was 2,531,028.60; 30 days- 2,319,805.20 and 90 days – 1,945,113.30. The company’s stock beta (5y monthly) was 1.67, which makes it more volatile as against the benchmark index.

The average traded volume for 5 days surged by 9.11 per cent as against 30 days average traded volume. The shares of the company were clocking a price level below the 30-days and 60-days simple moving averages (SMA) while writing.

In the past 1 month, FXPO shares have delivered a negative return of 20.26 per cent. Also, on a YTD (Year-to-Date) time interval, the stock surged by approximately 17.21 per cent and was up by 41.89 per cent in the last three months.

3i Infrastructure Plc

Saint Helier, Jersey headquartered 3I Infrastructure Plc (3IN) invests in infrastructure businesses and companies, with an aim to deliver sustained long-term return to shareholders from investing in infrastructure and to maintain a diversified, balanced portfolio of infrastructure assets and focus on delivering a mix of income yield and capital appreciation to the shareholders. The group is a closed-ended investment company. As on March-13-2007, its shares got listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange for trading.

3IN-Pre close update

For the period 1 April 2019 to 27 September 2019, the company’s portfolio performance was good as it generated good income. The company’s portfolio income and non-income cash total amounted to £57 million during the period. The company looks forward to declaring a dividend of 9.20 pence per share for FY20 ending 31st March 2020. The company had cash balances of £17 million on 27 September 2019. On 26th July 2019, the company acquired 95 per cent of lonisos for €210 million, which is a leading provider of cold sterilisation facilities in the realm of pharmaceutical & cosmetics.

3IN-Performance Update for Q1 FY20

During the quarter under consideration, the group completed an acquisition of 100% stake in Joulz for €220 million. In the first quarter of FY20, the group’s portfolio performance was in line with the management expectation and total portfolio and non-income cash during the three months ended June-30-2019, stood at £28.2 million. As on June-30-2019, the group’s cash balance stood at £53.1 million, and undrawn credit facility of the group stood at £283 million.

3IN-Share price performance

On 01st September 2019, at the time of writing (before the market close, GMT 1:41 PM), 3I Infrastructure Plc shares were hovering at GBX 297Stock’s 52 weeks High is GBX 306.50, and 52-weeks Low is GBX 240.95. The group’s stock beta stood at 0.30, reflecting lower volatility from the benchmark index.

Hill & Smith Holdings PLC 

Hill & Smith Holdings PLC (HILS) is the United Kingdom-based industrial engineering company. The group is involved in the supply and manufacturing of infrastructure products and galvanising services. The operations of the group are differentiated in three operating divisions: Infrastructure Products -Roads, Infrastructure Products -Utilities, and Galvanizing Services.

HILS-Recent News

On 30th September 2019, the company acquired UK based Parking Facilities Limited for £12.4 million financed by existing debt facilities. Parking Facilities is focused on designing, manufacturing and distribution of parking equipment and access control products.

On 7th August 2019, the company announced the appointment of Chairman of the Board, Alan Giddins, with effect from 1st October 2019.  Alan Giddins will replace Jock Lennox.

HILS-Financial Highlights for H1 FY2019

In H1 FY2019, the company’s reported revenue increased by 15 per cent (AER basis) to £339.5 million as compared with the corresponding period of the last year, while on a constant currency basis, revenue surged by 13 per cent. The revenue increased because of the strong performance in the US and UK. Underlying operating profit rose by 16 per cent to £40.2 million against the 34.6 million in H1 FY18, while reported operating profit surged to £36.6 million. The underlying operating profit includes a contribution from the acquisition of £2.7 million and benefits from currency translation of £1 million. The organic underlying operating profit surged by 13 per cent. Underlying operating margin was 11.8 per cent, an increase of 10 bps from the same period in 2018.

The underlying profit before taxation climbed by 12 per cent to £36.9 million as compared to £33 million in H1 FY18, while organic underlying profit before taxation surged by 8 per cent. The reported profit before taxation stood at £33.4 million, an increase of 16 per cent against the £28.9 million in H1 FY18. Underlying earnings per share increased by 14 per cent (AER basis) to 37.5 pence against the same period in 2018, while organic EPS surged by 10 per cent. The basic earnings per share were 33.9 pence, an increase of 20 per cent from the previous year same period.

The company invests in the expansion of temporary road safety barrier fleet of £32.4 million and the acquisition of ATG. The company had strong cash generation and the net debt, excluding IFRS 16, stood at £169.5 million, and net debt to underlying EBITDA was 1.6x. Interim dividend per share increased by 6 per cent to 10.6 pence against the 10 pence in H1 FY18.

HILS-Share price performance

On 01st September 2019, at the time of writing (before the market close, GMT 1:43 PM), Hill & Smith Holdings PLC shares were hovering at GBX 1,235. Stock’s 52 weeks High is GBX 1,319.00, and 52-weeks Low is GBX 877.50. The group’s stock beta stood at 0.22, reflecting lower volatility from the benchmark index.

A comparative chart of FTSE250 versus Ferrexpo PLC, 3i Infrastructure Plc and Hill & Smith Holdings PLC.

(Source: Thomson Reuters)