Hanging on for a WLD ride

Hanging on for a WLD ride


Opinion
The Punter has decided not to sell his Wellard shares despite fund managers admitting they were nervous about the current level of share prices.

The Punter has decided not to sell his Wellard shares despite fund managers admitting they were nervous about the current level of share prices.

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It was cold comfort to The Punter to hear a couple of leading fund managers admit last week that they were nervous about the current level of share prices, and so were sitting on mounds of cash and being very cautious about what they invested in.

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IT WAS cold comfort to The Punter to hear a couple of leading fund managers admit last week that they were nervous about the current level of share prices, and so were sitting on mounds of cash and being very cautious about what they invested in.

The remarks were made during a Wilson Asset Management presentation in Adelaide for their Future Generation funds (ASX codes FGX and FGG).

Not that Wilson or any of the fund managers they use to run the funds would be seen dead with any of the ha’penny horrors that make up most of the Punter’s portfolio.

The Punter, of course is a chronic pessimist, and the comments made him take another hard look at his holdings, especially the cattle exporting group Wellard (WLD).

Having read Butt Nominees’ comments on Wellard  and Wellard’s somewhat lacklustre response, he has wondered if his investment in WLD as a recovery stock was at best premature.

Butt, a direct competitor of Wellard in the cattle export business, is urging shareholders to replace Greg Wheeler, the Wellard director mainly responsible for Wellard’s disastrous entry to the ASX last year. Butt wants to put its own man in, Butt director Tyrone Dennison.

Butt has been a big buyer of WLD shares and will have 14.4 per cent of the votes at the AGM. 

Not enough to guarantee success, but with the shares down around 80 per cent since last year’s float, there must be many disgruntled shareholders out there.

However, WGH Holdings, the still privately controlled part of the Wellard empire,  still has 21 per cent and can probably count on the support of the China-based Fulida Group, with nearly 17 per cent. 

The Punter would love to be a dung beetle at the AGM today.

He has decided not to sell, at least at this stage. Partly because Wellard has now appointed an additional independent director, John Klepec, a finance professional who has an impressive record with Hancock Prospecting, where he was responsible for developing that company’s substantial agricultural portfolio. 

And partly because the Butt group, which knows the cattle trade, would hardly have spent several million dollars on Wellard shares if it didn’t expect to make a buck or two.

• The Punter has no financial qualifications.

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