Lorne Daniel, Research Director, Technology:
So here we are again in the middle of our own sequel, Lockdown II, COVID returns. At least we have the endless election to keep us entertained. That rolling refresh of the same numbers should see us through the first week of boredom. The thing about a pre-announced lockdown was that everyone rushed out to have one last dinner/booze up beforehand. My family found you could hardly get a table for love nor money on Wednesday night. One pub in my area had actually run out of food and the one we ate at ran out of first salt, then beer, a potent combination. Quite what impact that last blowout will have on COVID transmission I guess we will wait a few weeks to find out. Much like the result of the US election.
One outcome which was a lot clearer was the recent Ambition Nation Listed 50 Awards. These awards celebrate the UK’s leading small and medium UK-listed companies which offer the best blend of growth and quality - as ranked by our excellent independent research tool, The Slide Rule. It applies an internally-developed stock picking system, called QVGM+, across the small and mid cap market to identify the best 80-100 stocks. A brainchild of our Head of Research, Raymond Greaves, the system’s core criteria are Quality, Value, Growth and Momentum given appropriate weightings, plus a screen for financial quality and stress. The resultant portfolio boasts above average growth and above average ROCE. You can watch Raymond chatting about it here if you run out of Netflix boxsets during lockdown II.
What makes the tech team happy is the consistently strong performance of tech stocks in the portfolio, and it is no surprise to us that in the Ambition Nation 2020 Listed 50 Awards, the Top-ranked Technology Company, Checkit, also won Top-Ranked Company Overall.
We recently interviewed Keith Daley, Executive Chairman, and Aylsa Muir, CFO, Checkit, as part of our Driving Ambition fim series ahead of the Awards, watch it below:
The £28m market cap business specialises in connected workflow management, but is actually so much more; its solutions help customers with complex and multi-site operations optimize performance, from staff on the frontline to managing critical assets and buildings. The industries addressed range from facilities management to healthcare and manufacturing. It has shown an excellent performance since its previous incarnation as Elektron Technology. Last year it divested the Bulgin business, shed the Elektron name and added the impressive Next Control Systems to broaden the offering and become a leader in smart technology for real-time operations.
As we go into Lockdown again, we reflect an awful lot has changed for us all in 2020. And the same can be said of the old Elektron Technology. We have seen a complete transformation from a rather specialist electronics manufacturer to a Software as a Service business deploying IoT technology and that success has been reflected in the award it has received. We hope that in this case the winner doesn’t have to wait for the trophy as long as Joe Biden.