Wednesday, 17 February 2016

The Maestro's Movers: Neil Woodford's Big Buys and Sells in January 2016

Stock stalking is a weird hobby.

In general I do not "follow" any particular investor's activities. However, there are a couple that I have followed of sorts because I like their investment style. One of them is Neil Woodford

I watch Woodford's fund quite carefully to get some ideas. In particular, doing this with Woodford is comparatively easy as--I am sure many of you know this--he publishes the entire breakdown of his fund each month. Very unusual, but also very interesting.

Since launch I have been assiduously collecting this data and building a little spreadsheet to see how things are changing. I've realised that this work--which is not a tiny amount--may be of interest to some of you.

So here I will offer a little breakdown of the companies that Woodford has bought and sold in January 2016.


First, a little on my methodology. Woodford provides two bits of information each month which I use for this:
  1. The total value of all the assets in his fund (this month, £8.02 billion);
  2. The percentage weight each company has within the fund.
Using this information, I do a couple of things:
  1. Work out the value of the company holding (dividing the fund size by the company's weight)
  2. Using the share price on the day the snapshot of the fund was taken, I work out how many shares (approximately) Woodford holds in the company.
Now this provides an estimate of his shareholding in each company from month to month. It can then be used to work out what his big movers were during the month.

This is where it may be interesting to you.

Woodford's Big Buys in January

So what companies has Woodford been buying into?

Well, here is a list--according to my estimates--of listed companies that he increased his shareholding in by 3% or more. Those in bold were not in last months list of big buys. Those in italics were in last months big sells last month:

1Non-Standard FinanceLON:NSF198.17%
3Crystal AmberLON:CRS58.46%
7NewRiver RetailLON:NRR22.01%
11Oxford PharmascienceLON:OXP16.04%
15Theravance BiopharmaNASDAQ:TBPH12.56%
164D PharmaLON:DDDD11.90%
20P2P GlobalLON:P2P9.60%
21RM2 InternationalLON:RM28.87%
22Phoenix Spree DeutschlandLON:PSDL8.70%
28Legal & GeneralLON:LGEN6.16%
29Game DigitalLON:GMD5.75%
30Midatech PharmaLON:MTPH5.70%
31Babcock InternationalLON:BAB5.62%
32Breedon AggregatesLON:BREE5.04%
33Mercia TechnologiesLON:MERC4.29%
36Spire HealthcareLON:SPI3.37%
37Northwest BiotherapeuticsNASDAQ:NWBO3.17%
38P2P Global CLON:P2P3.16%
40Burford CapitalLON:BUR3.04%

Woodford's Big Sells in January

So what companies has Woodford been dropping?

Again, this is a list of those which have dropped at least 3% or more. Those in bold were not in last months list of big sells. Those in italics were in last months big buys last month:

2VPC Specialty Lending CLON:VSL-18.24%
2Imperial InnovationsLON:IMB-15.00%
4Imperial Tobacco (now Brands)LON:IMB-9.09%
5Reynolds AmericanNYSE:RAI-8.43%
9British American TobaccoLON:BATS-5.93%
10Horizon DiscoveryLON:HSD-5.33%
11Allied MindsLON:ALM-4.28%
12Tissue RegenixLON:TRX-3.61%
15BCA MarketplaceLON:BCA-3.07% 

Woodford's Moves 

January was a particularly fascinating month. perhaps the most striking for me were two of his sales: Imperial Tobacco (now Imperial Brands) and GlaxoSmithKline. Both are huge and long-standing holdings both for Woodford and myself.

Yet he trimmed positions in both quite noticeably.

Of course, they have been on a bit of a share price run of late which likely pushed him to sell down his take a little. Presumably, he now considers them near to being overpriced. It will be interesting to see whether he starts rebuilding the positions in the future. 

Some Caveats

Obviously, as with everything on this site, this list is not meant to be advice on what to buy (or sell). Also, these figures are all created from different levels of estimated data. 

The weightings are rounded as is the fund value. Share holdings are therefore estimations rather than certain figures and--as a consequence--my calculations on their changes are not supposed to be seen as 100% accurate. Of course, at this final stage (that is, the write-up) there is also an additional rounding of the percentage changes.

Also, because of the way I collate the data it does mean that full sales of holdings will likely be missed. If you notice any, give me a heads up in the comments section below. For example, this month the Essentra position appears to have been sold out of.

Finally, remember this is an open-ended fund and so has cash flowing in and out of it constantly. As a result, for those companies Woodford particularly favours--if he wishes to keep them at a similar weighting--then each month would show a growth in his shareholding in them. what this means for the true nature of the purchase (confidence, consistency, or whatever) is up to you!

As usual, Do Your Own Research (DYOR)!

What do you think?

What do you think of some of Woodford's big movers? Did you make similar purchases/sells in January? Has the list got you thinking about any of the companies listed?

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[Image reproduced from Woodford Investment Management]

1 comment:

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