Previous Close: 131.25p* (real time prices at ADVFN) Previous Range:131.25 - 131.25* Previous Volume:15434 shares (down on average)* Trading:above the 50 day M.A. (128.778) & above the 200 day M.A. (115.788)*
Hello, recently acquired a position in FRP. Noticed two trades of 1,000,000 shares each, showing as sells, went through on Friday. Suspect they are not unrelated to the change of Chairman... anyone got any insight? Cheers. By TooBigToFail
MIDAS SHARE TIPS: Boss steers debt group Fairpoint back onto growth path
By JOANNE HART, FINANCIAL MAIL ON SUNDAY
PUBLISHED: 22:18, 28 September 2013 |
Before the financial crisis, borrowing money was as easy as winking. It is rumoured that even a dog was once given a credit card by an absent-minded bank.
Now credit is harder to come by, but careless lenders are still out there so much so that about seven million people in Britain are thought to be under financial stress.
Many try to deal with their problems by borrowing more from credit cards, store cards and payday loan firms. Eventually, they need help.
Expansion: Chief executive Chris Moat hopes to move into legal advice
Fairpoint Group aims to provide it. It prides itself on helping customers make their money go further and its approach finds favour with consumers and investors. The shares, 1241⁄2p, should rise steadily in the next few years.
Founded in 1997, Fairpoint focused solely on individual voluntary arrangements, a form of bankruptcy for consumers that became popular under the last Government. The group did well at first, but its focus on a single product left it vulnerable.
It hit a blip in 2007 and Chris Moat, a former managing director at insurer Direct Line, was parachuted in as chief executive in 2008. At the time, Fairpoint had just expanded into debt management programmes, which are less draconian than IVAs but tend to last longer.
A marketing man by training, Moat quickly recognised that Fairpoint needed to develop this side of the business and from scratch five years ago it now has more than 15,000 customers. There are also just over 20,000 IVA customers and the group is a clear market leader.
IVAs and debt management programmes sound frightening and firms that peddle them have been the butt of criticism. But Moat tries to distinguish Fairpoint from rivals by providing sound advice rather than just trying to sell the most profitable products.
Would-be IVA customers typically owe £30,000 to £35,000 on a take-home pay of about £21,000. Fairpoint talks them through their situation, looking at how much they earn and spend and who their creditors are.
It then assesses whether they should enter into an IVA, start a debt management programme or just be more canny with their cash. IVAs last for five years and consumers typically repay about 40 per cent of the debt they owe. Debt management programmes are often twice as long.
However in both cases, interest is frozen and Fairpoint takes charge so consumers no longer have to deal with angry creditors. If callers do not need any formal plans, Fairpoint staff are encouraged not to bamboozle them into programmes unnecessarily.
So in some cases, the firm just offers guidance. It can also provide advice on switching to cheaper energy suppliers under a service called Moneyextra and Moat recently added claims management to the roster. This tends to be offered to existing customers as a way of reducing their debt levels.
When Moat arrived, the business had just reported losses and a dividend of 4p was considered by some to be irresponsible. This year, the company is expected to deliver profits of £8million and a dividend of 6p, amply covered by earnings.
Economists expect an increase in IVAs and similar plans when interest rates go up. Meanwhile, Fairpoint is growing by winning market share, buying rivals and cutting costs.
Moat also hopes to move into legal advice.
Midas verdict: Some investors may baulk at making money from other peoples distress. But Fairpoint does aim to help customers rather than add to their woes. It is expected to grow solidly over the next three years and is committed to a generous dividend policy. A strong long-term investment.
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook By Harkins1950
Accumulation divergence plus strong fundementals equals a rising price. Brightside is another. I use market in out.com to find shares diverging and then use Zulu principle fundemental criteria. Another good one is undervalued shares with strong fundementals. See my message history to find out how. By IAmShareCrazy
First bought into this in May and have topped up recently. Low PE, PBV, PCF and also low debt. Good dividend yield. My current estimates are this should be at about £2.20. Just my opinion of course By wulfrunnut
Just bought into this stock, as a result of ST's write up in Friday's IC. Seems to make a lot of sense to me: low rating, good growth prospects, strong cash generation, good yield, and possibility of re-rating after half-year results in September. Has anyone any thoughts at which price the shares would be fair value? By Gwynfryn1
One fact omitted from Simon Thompson's recent evaluation of Fairpoint in the Investors Chronicle was that a significant stake is held by Hanover Investors and that one of the founding partners of Hanover is Fairpoint's executive chairman, Matthew Peacock. This is one of the reasons why I invested in Fairpoint some time ago as it would appear that Hanover has a pretty good record with turn around situations. I was also attracted by the fact that the business may continue to do OK in a recessionary environment owing to the nature of its work. I am going to hold on to these shares as I think the business is quite lowly rated (I don't think consumer finance is a very popular area with investors) and I think the perfomance is improving under the influence of Hanover. Another of my AIM investments, Regenerisis, also has a significant stake held by Hanover and the share price of that has rocketed recently. By pharmaspecialist
By ozzyg Mon, 11 Feb 2013 09:24:00 GMT
Investors Chronicle's Simon Thompson tipped as one of their under valued shares of 2013. By ozzyg
By ozzyg Mon, 11 Feb 2013 09:23:00 GMT
Investors Chronicle's Simon Thompson tipped as one of their under valued shares of 2013. By ozzyg
But, for any casual readers, Cleardebt announced in their results this week that from a £750k VAT refund, after distributions to creditors, they were taking accrued revenue of £338k - i.e. revenue more than likely to occur.
An indication for FRP though there may be differences between the two.
It's not so much the one off revenue that catches my attention, but the one off cash boost it translates into that can then be used to support the dividend, grow earnings through acquisitions etc.
Just think this is not priced in at 80p. By Lavenonews
Could be a good buy moment - latest insolvency stats show broadly stable conditions, but more importantly at some point in the next 2 months we'll get clarity on how much fee income and cash FRP actually generates from the VAT refund. They said in interims it would be done by year end, FRP normally updates in the first 2 weeks of January but they might choose to do an update on this issue earlier. Just my opinion, but i reckon this pullback offers a decent moment in advance of some more hopefully good news. By Lavenonews
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For the love of all things velvet, please always check financial data from more than one source before entering a trade. For live prices scoot on over to Share Price. If you know what's good for you, you'll check out: Investor Soirée, Gold Soirée and LSE Soirée. Our cocktail of the day is Gimlet Fizz - a snappy, gin-doused number that'll take out a vital organ given the chance.
-has been one of the top risers in the iii Financials.Might be worth a look ? Profits,and debt are in the several £millions compared to a higher Mcap.Though they give a dividend forecast to be about 5%.Growth has been steady,not spectacular,but several small T/O's done this year.Nice recent charts too...
Debt advisor Fairpoint Group reported a first half profit compared to a loss the same half a year earlier helped by a strong recovery at its IVA services division and as it continued to diversify its income streams.
The group reported a pre-tax profit of £2.1m in the six months ended June 30th 2012 compared to a £2.1m loss the same period a year before.
Revenue for the period rose 19% to £14.1m after a £2m increase in financial services revenues, mostly from its claims management services after strong growth for PPI claims. Debt management revenues grew by 11% to £2.8m.
At its IVA services division the group posted adjusted pre-tax profits of £1.4m versus a £700,000 loss previously following cost cuts and robust demand. IVA revenues were unchanged at £8.7m.
"Fairpoint has continued its strategy of growth through diversification with strong financial, operating and cash flow improvements during the first half of 2012. Early progress in the development of claims management services has been strong and additional products are under development to ensure continuing momentum in this area," the group said in a company statement.
"We are also well positioned to continue to play a leading role in the ongoing consolidation of the debt solutions market, as and when value-enhancing opportunities emerge to consolidate our market position and diversify our income streams."
Amid less than ideal IVA conditions, Fairpoint has done well to reduce its reliance on that business and to cut costs. While the IVA operation looks well placed for growth once interest rates begin rising again. Adjust for last year's one-off charges and broker Shore Capital expects earnings to rise over 80 per cent in 2012 to 12.8p. The shares are still rated on a mere five times that earnings forecast and trade below the group's reported net asset value. Add that to a hefty prospective dividend yield of nearly 8 per cent, and the fast-diminishing debt pile, and such a rating is too lowgood luck all
Fairpoint also offers debt management plans (DMP) – for people who can make repayments in some form, but need flexibility on the repayment schedule and the interest that accrues on the borrowings. Revenue here grew by a robust 29 per cent last year, to £5.3m, and the division has also received a boost after Fairpoint made four DMP back book acquisitions, taking the total number of schemes under management up to 15,838.
Tight cost control has helped the group to bring down borrowings rapidly – they've fallen from £6.4m at end-December to £1.6m last month. And that's before the receipt of proceeds from a successful effort to reclaim VAT – management reckons that could be worth around £4.5m. Moreover, the group's £8m debt facility with Royal Bank of Scotland, originally due to expire in December, has now been increased to £13m and extended to 2016.
In fact, Fairpoint's attempts to diversify away from IVAs is progressing well and, last year, income from the financial services arm more than doubled to £2.4m. Much of the improvement came from commencing a programme of payment protection insurance reclaim activity with the existing IVA customer base. The financial services business also includes a venture into pay-day lending under the group's Loanextra banner – a potentially promising source of growth. Although the weaker credit profiles of borrowers in this market makes this a risky area for newcomers and any credit control glitches could mean bad news for bad debts. Fairpoint's background in the IVA sector, however, should help it avoid such pitfalls.
Recessionary conditions usually mean good news for Fairpoint because its core business involves the provision of debt management solutions for people that can't repay borrowers. Admittedly, today's very low interest rates, and a more accommodative stance by creditors, has meant that the usual increase in distressed borrowers associated with an economic downturn hasn't yet materialised. But investors should be patient – while management reckons that interest rates are unlikely to rise before 2104, when they do start rising, the resulting squeeze should see more consumers seeking financial help.
Fairpoint has also been successfully adjusting to current conditions by cutting costs – annualised savings of £1m were made in 2011 – and through diversifying its revenue stream. Revenue generated from activities unconnected to individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs) rose from 17 per cent of group revenue in 2010 to 30 per cent last year. That's just as well – new IVAs written last year fell by 30 per cent to 5,840, and fees per customer dropped a little to £2,083.