Well, Trump and Brexit hit the share market hard in December. Probably it affected every corner of the global share markets. Even the Swedish were I invested my money. Looking back on 2018 a few shares performed very well – and too many performed awful. In 2018, I even experienced the first bankruptcy, as CybAero had to close and the shares lost their value. The 2018 newcomer is PolarCool, a spin-off from BrainCool, who had its debut on Spotlight market at the end of November.
Losers in 2018
In general the broad Stockholm index (OMXSPI) lost 7.7 % during 2018. The average loss in my portfolio was 10.4 %. Again this year (as in 2017), my portfolio performed worse than the index.
The main culprit is of course CybAero with a loss of 100 % as the share lost its value after the bankruptcy in June.
A1M Pharma also lost a significant part of its value during the year. To make things worse, A1M announced yet another preferential rights issue shortly before Christmas. During autumn, there came a new CEO and new chairperson of the board. NASDAQ has furthermore placed the share on the observation list. Since the IPO, there have been an issue each year – 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and now 2019 – weighting the share down heavily. The share lost 90 % of its value in 2018.
In terms of investor value, PolarCool did not bring much to the portfolio. On its first day the share lost approximately 50 % of the issue price of 2 SEK. This continued through December and with a closing price of 0.56 SEK on Friday, the share is down 72 %. I hope the company will be more successful in 2019 as the product can limit the damages caused by concussions in sports.
Waystream performed almost as bad. Down 69 % during the year due to low sales. The reaction during the year was harsh, and to some extent, unjust. The present market cap is 21.1 MSEK – compared to a turnover from January to September of 57.3 MSEK. Higher sales will probably lift the share significantly. Of course, I hope it will happen soon.
Dignitana is up 79 % during 2018 despite an issue in December. If we go back two years, the price was 19.30 SEK so there still is some steps ahead before we reach the former levels. Probably Dignitana will start to generate cash in 2019.
Heliospectra is up 60 % almost recovering for the loss in 2017. During the year, the share had two peaks. One in January where it shortly went above 10 SEK and one in July where it peaked at 9.74 SEK. Lack of announced orders caused it to fall back, I think. Personally, I am a bit worried about the lack of announced orders in November and December. Right now orders seem too few.
Fortnox went up 55 % in 2018. This follows the 45 % rise in 2017. Of the shares in the portfolio, Fortnox is the most stable growing share. On several occasions during the second half of 2018, the share even has been above 80 SEK, with a top at 84.50 SEK in late august. I tend to think that a price SEK 80+ is fine, but the P/E at that share price is too high. I am sure we will see these SEK 80+ levels again during 2019 as Fortnox both extends the number of costumers and their individual spending. In Q3, the turnover growth was 38 % with an operating margin of 34 %.
It is difficult to make predictions – especially about the future
There are a number of companies where a crucial element in 2019 will be the growth in sales. In mature companies this along with the ability to earn profits are of course the main driver for the share price.
For many of the companies in my portfolio selling products and earning profits are the next step. Some still do not have products to sell. Cantargia and A1M Pharma are the best examples with years ahead before their products will reach consumers.
A number of companies have some sales, but they are still struggling to reach breakeven. This goes for AroCell, BrainCool, Dignitana, Heliospectra, Nexam Chemical, Recyctec, Phase Holographic, and PolarCool. Of these, I think Nexam, Dignitana and perhaps Recyctec are the most likely candidates to reach a positive cash flow and perhaps even breakeven in 2019.
Waystream balances on breakeven and if they manages to return to positive cash flow and earn profits, I guess we will see the share go up again.
Fortnox and Hexatronic both earn profits and grow. Their share prices have developed quote opposite, though. Where Fortnox have grown organically, Hexatronic have grown through acquisitions during 2018. I expect both companies to grow significantly during 2019. I hope that Hexatronic will resume its organic growth along the acquisition-based growth.
Then there is Trump and Brexit. Both injects uncertainty into the market – which always will make shares fall. A hard Brexit will directly affect a number of companies in my portfolio. Hexatronic have identified UK as a priority market and a number of BrainCools studies have been conducted in the UK. Nexam have production facilities in Scotland. With a weaker UK economy, they will have trouble on the UK market, and trouble moving products from UK to the rest of Europe. In truth this might be more important than individual company specific drivers.