SHARE WATCH:The sell in May myth and other market movers


Cape Town - Sell in May and go away has never gained any real academic backing and I would caution investors in taking this strategy too seriously, says Overberg Asset Management analyst Kirk Swart.

This week's share watch focuses on the "sell in May" phenomenon and some worthy local newsmakers.

1. Steinhoff [JSE:SHF]

Steinhoff is forever looking to increase their foothold in Europe. Of late, Steinhoff has locked horns with the UK retailer Sainsbury over Argos and is busy fighting the French retailer Fnac over Darty. Argos is a catalogue retailer and Darty a French electrical retailer.

READ: Steinhoff backs itself into a French corner

In September 2015, Fnac proposed an all share offer for Darty at 101 pence per share. Since the offer, Fnac and Steinhoff have traded blows with Steinhoff’s latest offer at 160 pence per share. The last offer by Fnac was 153 pence per share. Before Fnac's initial interest in Darty, the company was trading at 65.5 pence per share.

For Argos, Steinhoff challenged Sainsbury with an all cash offer but was beaten by Sainsbury and had to withdraw.

With Steinhoff`s listing in Europe, we can expect more of such acquisition offers in the future.

2. Taste Holdings [JSE:TAS]

Starbucks South Africa opened their first store on Thursday last week in Rosebank. Taste Holdings are introducing Starbucks to South Africa, where the coffee market and coffee culture is growing rapidly.

READ: JHB's caffeine crowd line up for first Starbucks coffee

The South African coffee market is already familiar with brands such as Vida e Caffè, Truth, Seattle etc. Taste Holdings aim to roll out between 12 and 15 stores in the next two years. We will wait to see whether the Starbucks brand, which is famous all around the world, will find acceptance with the South African coffee market.

South Africans generally prefer their coffee roasters to be non–commercial, with that personal touch.


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4. Clicks [JSE:CLS]

Clicks are continuing to grow market share despite the challenges the economy faces. The group reported a strong set of results for the six months that ended February 2016. Group revenue increased by 13.4% and diluted HEPS grew at 15.1%. Although the results are strong, trading at a PE of 24, the share is not cheap. Management expects the trading conditions to remain tough despite Clicks spending R455m in 2016 on the roll-out of new stores.

5. 'Sell in May and go away'

Although this is technically not a share it has relevance to the share market. “Sell in May and go away” is an old phrase used by investors that infers that investors should sell shares in the month of May to avoid the seasonal decline from May to October and only get back to buying shares in November.

The strategy is based on the historical underperformance of world share markets for the mentioned period.

Sell in May and go away has never gained any real academic backing and I would caution investors in taking this strategy too seriously.

Do you agree with Kirk's stock picks? Send us yours and tell us why.

* Kirk Swart is an analyst at Overberg Asset Management, an Authorised Financial Services Provider (No 783) which specialises in the private management of local and global discretionary portfolios as well as pension products.

Disclaimer: The above article does not constitute financial advice and is not a recommendation. Investors must always seek the advice of professionals and trade with caution. Under the ECT Act and to the fullest extent possible under the applicable law, Fin24 disclaims all responsibility or liability for any damages whatsoever resulting from the use of this site in any manner.

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