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STOCK WATCH: Hypersonic jet hopes that cost Woodford £5m 


STOCK WATCH: Hypersonic jet hopes that cost Woodford £5m

Neil Woodford’s Patient Capital Trust is no more, but it lives on as the Schroder UK Public Private Trust after the investment firm took on the disgraced fund manager’s London-listed trust last month.

The fund was listed on the stock market in 2015 to invest in a mix of quoted and unquoted stocks.

Woodford’s vision was to hold on to them for longer than normal because they will take longer to bear fruit.

Just a month before the Equity Income Fund was shuttered, the Woodford Patient Capital Trust doubled its stake in unquoted, loss-making Reaction Engines

Just a month before the Equity Income Fund was shuttered, the Woodford Patient Capital Trust doubled its stake in unquoted, loss-making Reaction Engines

The plan unravelled when his other Equity Income Fund was suspended in June last year after becoming too exposed to smaller, unquoted companies to meet withdrawal requests by savers.

Documents I’ve unearthed at Companies House reveal the extent of his belief in these smaller firms, even as the walls were falling in around him. 

Just a month before the Equity Income Fund was shuttered, the Woodford Patient Capital Trust doubled its stake in unquoted, loss-making Reaction Engines – a firm with ambitious plans for a hypersonic jet engine that will fly us to New York in just an hour.

The move cost the trust £5million, but will take years to take off.

Tesla's founder Elon Musk

Tesla’s founder Elon Musk

Tesla 

Entrepeneur Elon Musk last week hit the $100billion mark for his US electric car company Tesla.

The question has never been whether he can sell the cars – but more whether he can sell them at a decent profit.

This week, the 48-year-old billionaire has the chance to reassure his fans and prove his critics wrong, including plenty of short-sellers, when Tesla reports its annual results on Wednesday.

How much cash Tesla has sunk into its battery and car factory in China will also be worth watching.

Unilever 

Results from consumer goods giant Unilever on Thursday could reveal a sharp drop in sales growth.

That’s according to scribblers at Deutsche Bank, who fear the performance in the last few months of 2019 was hit by a ‘rapid slowdown’ in sales in South Asia and West Africa, as well as less of a pick-up than hoped from developed markets, such as the US.

The analysts have pencilled in ‘a mere’ 1.2 per cent like-for-like sales increase for the last quarter, which would mean 2.8 per cent growth for the year. That’s off the 3 to 5 per cent target set by Unilever after it rebuffed a £115billion takeover bid from Kraft Heinz in 2017.

Meanwhile, finance firm Jefferies suggests Unilever’s strife could open the door for activist investors to shake things up – ‘a positive for shareholders in our view’.



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