There was news from Sirius Minerals(LSE: SXX) this morning. No, not the announcement of the stage-one financing of the company's North Yorkshire polyhalite project that everyone's waiting for. Today's news was about an off-take agreement.
This is a small positive in the grand scheme of things, but one that shows Sirius's ability to sell the project to potential customers, and the eagerness of those customers to lock-in future supplies at this early stage.
The agreement announced today is a replacement and upgrading of a previous contract to supply a Chinese agricultural firm. The new deal is for a period of 10 years, compared with the previous three years with a seven-year extension option.
Meanwhile, the market awaits that big financing news I mentioned. Sirius is aiming to secure $1.63bn of first-stage funding from a combination of equity and debt. Thereafter, there should be no need to raise further equity -- if all goes to plan. The shares, currently trading below 20p, are likely to head higher once funding is secured. And this appears to be one of the better speculative buys in the market at the moment, given that Sirius has a world class project with an extremely long potential life.
Fast-fashion e-tailer Boohoo(LSE: BOO) released a positive update this morning, but the shares -- which have more than doubled over the last 12 months -- are little changed in early trading.
The company reported Q1 revenue up over 40% year-on-year, a 30% rise in active customers and cash of £61m on the balance sheet at the period end. Management upgraded its previous full-year guidance for sales growth of "c. 25%" to "between 25% and 30%", and maintained its guidance of EBITDA margin in line with last year (9.6%).
Based on the mid-point of revenue guidance, we're looking at a top-line number of about £250m, with EBITDA of £24m. The shares are currently trading at 57p, giving Boohoo a market capitalisation of £640m, and -- taking cash into account -- an enterprise value (EV) of £579m. The EV/EBITDA is 24. While this is well up on the 14 of this time last year when I thought the shares were great value, they don't yet seem overvalued (given that earnings growth is running at 25% to 30%) and could still be worth buying in my opinion.
Land, property and construction firm Henry Boot(LSE: BHY) had a pleasant surprise for shareholders this morning in an unscheduled trading update less than two weeks after its AGM statement.
The company said that since the AGM it had concluded two further land sales, one of which was ahead of original schedule. Furthermore, this latter sale "results in a materially higher total profit on disposal than had been previously anticipated".
As a result of completions in the year-to-date and second-half work in progress, the board anticipates ("irrespective of the EU Referendum result"!) that profit for the full year "will be comfortably ahead of current market expectations".
Ahead of today's update, analysts were forecasting earnings per share of 18.9p for the year. If we bump that up an un-extravagant 5%, we get 19.8p (a 13% increase on last year), and an undemanding P/E of 11. This long-established, conservatively-run business looks an attractive buy on that rating, and there's a well-covered forecast 6.8p dividend, giving a useful yield of 3.1%.
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G A Chester has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.