Carnegie Småbolagsfond rose 1.7 percent in December, the small cap index rose 0.4 percent and the wider market index fell 1.3 percent.
Catena Media gained 21 percent this month and was one of the fund’s best holdings. After an unsettled autumn, a replacement CEO and insider sales of shares, the company has gone from clarity to clarity during the winter. It presented a number of value-creating acquisitions and a strong third-quarter report. The company made its biggest ever purchase in December with the acquisition of German Baybets, and a strong platform in the German market is an important part of Catena’s strategy.
The acquisition gives a significant contribution to the company’s earnings per share. Furthermore, a well-attended capital market day was held which gave a good insight into the company. The share has now recovered most of the autumn’s losses, but given the strong profit trend and a number of earnings-affecting acquisitions, the valuation is lower today than half a year ago.
Fuel and hydraulic pump manufacturer Concentric has long performed at the highest level when it comes to earnings, and we have now seen quite a few positive signals from its end markets in trucks and construction machinery. The company has a large share of sales in the US, which is favourable in this economic environment. In late November, US agricultural machinery giant John Deere released a positive market update. John Deere is one of Concentric’s most important customers. The share price has languished somewhat in autumn and winter but rose in December by 8 percent. Well justified, we feel.
Since its IPO almost three years ago, Hoist has experienced stronger profit growth than share price growth, so although the share price has risen its valuation is now much lower that at floatation. The company has appointed a new CEO, Klaus-Anders Nysteen, who was CEO of Lindorff at the merger with Intrum. We are upbeat about Klaus-Anders and believe that he can positively contribute to the company’s communication with the stock market. The company’s outlook has never been better, with a favourable financing situation and a broad offering in the portfolio market. The valuation is low in absolute terms, and relative to its peer Intrum. The stock rose 6 percent in December.
In December, Tele2 announced something of a dream deal with plans to merge its Dutch business with Deutsche Telekom’s operations in that country. We believe concerns of regulatory opposition are exaggerated since the merger is between the numbers three and four in the Netherlands. The two market leaders have a share of 80 percent. The synergies of a merger are significant, and since Tele2 also receives a cash consideration we believe an extra dividend is likely when the deal is completed. Tele2 fell back 6 percent in December.