Companies

We ignore market sentiment and look for businesses we believe are undervalued. We sell them when they reach our estimate of fair value. Here we provide our views on a selection of companies and sectors. 

Articles in "Companies"

Reflecting on our top equity holdings

By Leonard Krüger on 28 Oct 2019

reading time: 8 mins

The performance of the Allan Gray Equity, Balanced and Stable funds has been disappointing over the past couple of years. Low single-digit returns from...

Prosus marches forward: What should investors be looking out for?

By Nshalati Hlungwane on 10 Sep 2019

reading time: 5 mins

Naspers, the world’s sixth largest internet company by market capitalisation, will list its foreign internet assets separately via Prosus NV, a newly created...

An opportunity in television?

By Jacques Plaut on 29 Apr 2019

reading time: 8 mins

The Top 40 got a new member this quarter when MultiChoice was unbundled from Naspers. MultiChoice owns the dominant pay-TV business in South Africa, DStv, wi...

Our Tencent(s) on VIE structures

By Radhesen Naidoo on 11 Mar 2019

reading time: 3 mins

As at 28 February 2019, Naspers made up just over 18% of the FTSE/JSE All Share Index. Because of its dominance, including or excluding the share will have a...

An investment case for Naspers

By Ruan Stander on 17 Oct 2018

reading time: 9 mins

As at 30 September 2018, Naspers made up 18.2% of the JSE. Whether you are for or against the stock, adequate time needs to be devoted to considering the...

Steinhoff class action

By Rob Formby on 28 Sep 2018

reading time: 1 min

Allan Gray, along with other South African institutions, is participating in a class action case being run in the Netherlands by Dutch law firm BarentsKrans ...

Corporate democracy: Moving beyond box-like thinking

By Ricardo Semler on 18 Jul 2018

reading time: 4 mins

At the 2018 Allan Gray Investment Summit, keynote speaker Ricardo Semler challenged delegates to find new solutions to problems: “We have become box people w...

How Allan Gray values a stock

By Andrew Lapping on 18 Jul 2018

reading time: 6 mins

Allan Gray is a strong proponent of value investing, the mantra famously championed by Warren Buffet. Put simply, value investing is the concept of buying...

How has your investment been impacted by the fall in the price of Steinhoff?

By Andrew Lapping on 11 Dec 2017

reading time: 2 mins

Global retailer Steinhoff International Holdings NV’s share price had fallen 86.9% by close of trade on Friday 8 December, following CEO Markus Jooste’s...

Woolworths: Value investing in action

By Andrew Lapping on 23 Nov 2017

reading time: 4 mins

It can be difficult for investors to choose an investment manager when many of us seem to sound and look the same. Using Woolworths as an example, Andrew...

The benefits of being counter-cyclical in a cyclical world

By Rory Kutisker-Jacobson on 24 Oct 2017

reading time: 13 mins

“Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.” – Niels Bohr. In cyclical industries, understanding where we  are in the cycle and acting...

Allan Gray welcomes new Group Five board

By Leonard Krüger on 24 Jul 2017

reading time: 1 min

Allan Gray welcomes the results of today’s Group Five shareholders’ meeting, where eight individuals were elected to serve on Group Five’s board as...

Barclays Group Africa: Seizing the opportunity

By Simon Raubenheimer on 20 Jul 2017

reading time: 9 mins

Earlier this quarter our clients had the chance to participate in a rare opportunity: on 31 May 2017, UK-based Barclays PLC announced the sale of 33.7% of BG...

Allan Gray condemns Net1 CEO severance payment

By Andrew Lapping on 31 May 2017

reading time: 1 min

Allan Gray notes with outrage the financial settlement claimed by Serge Belamant upon his retirement as CEO of Net1.  We are very surprised that Mr Belamant...

Net1 announces Serge Belamant’s retirement

By Andrew Lapping on 25 May 2017

reading time: 1 min

Net1 has announced that Serge Belamant will retire as chief executive officer (CEO) and director of the company at the end of this month and Herman Kotzé,...

Net1: Do the right thing

By Andrew Lapping on 17 Mar 2017

reading time: 3 mins

We are very concerned about the situation surrounding Net1 – both the immediate need to ensure that 17 million beneficiaries receive their payments on time a...

Clarifying our position on Net1

By Rob Dower on 09 Mar 2017

reading time: 6 mins

There has been a lot of press coverage on Net1, the parent company of the current social grants payment provider Cash Paymaster Services (CPS), much of which...

An investment case for Life Healthcare

By Ruan Stander on 31 Dec 2016

reading time: 8 mins

Recent news about private hospital operator Life Healthcare’s international investments has created negative sentiment about the company’s ability to allocat...

Ownership responsibilities: Focus on remuneration policy

By on 27 Jul 2016

reading time: 1 min

As we discuss in detail in our Policy on ownership responsibilities, we believe that a company’s remuneration policy should aim to attract and retain compete...

Commodities: Opportunity or risk?

By Mark Dunley-Owen on 31 May 2016

reading time: 4 mins

We are ‘bottom-up’ investors who pay more attention to valuations than to macroeconomic forecasts. We do extensive research to calculate what we believe is...

Africa ex-SA Equity Fund: Finding value in Nigeria

By Andrew Lapping on 01 Apr 2016

reading time: 4 mins

The first quarter of the year was particularly volatile. The Africa ex-SA Equity Fund closed unchanged for the quarter, masking substantial intra-quarter mov...

Top quality

By Jacques Plaut on 31 Mar 2016

reading time: 8 mins

Richemont is one of the world’s top luxury goods companies. It sells watches, jewellery, pens, clothes, and even guns. Its most well-known brand is Cartier....

South African Banks: Do valuations support the risks?

By Mark Dunley-Owen on 31 Mar 2016

reading time: 9 mins

There has been much volatility in the banking sector over the last few months: Barclays is exiting Africa, Old Mutual may be selling its stake in Nedbank,...

Manufacturing in meltdown

By Simon Raubenheimer on 30 Jun 2015

reading time: 13 mins

The manufacturing sector is currently in a woeful state. Simon Raubenheimer discusses why we are where we are. 'The Board of Directors has taken the decision...

The sentiment pendulum

By Andrew Lapping on 01 Apr 2015

reading time: 4 mins

Investor sentiment is a delicate thing, which changes with surprising rapidity. Kenyan banks… Three years ago Kenya and the Kenyan banks were very out of...

Deconstructing the investment case for property

By Jacques Plaut and Yusuf Mowlana on 31 Mar 2015

reading time: 9 mins

The South African property sector has been a huge winner over the last decade, returning 22% per year compared with 18% for the FTSE/JSE All Share Index...

Platinum and palladium: Low-risk opportunities

By Tim Acker on 31 Mar 2015

reading time: 7 mins

Investing in platinum or palladium directly is taking a view that the prices of these commodities will increase. Tim Acker explains why we currently prefer...

Building confidence in construction

By Rory Kutisker-Jacobson on 31 Dec 2014

reading time: 12 mins

'Success in investing is not a question of what you buy, it is a question of what you pay.' Howard Marks Buying above-average companies at average or hopeful...

Changing the odds

By Duncan Artus on 30 Sep 2014

reading time: 6 mins

Sun International, South Africa's second largest casino and resort operator, is undergoing significant change after a number of years of underperformance....

Astral Foods: Unappreciated Quality

By Leonard Krüger on 30 Jun 2014

reading time: 5 mins

Good quality companies at decent prices are hard to come by these days on the local market. Leonard Krüger explains the investment case for Astral Foods.

Diamonds in the rough

By Leonard Krüger, Ian Liddle, Birte Schneider, Victor Seanie and Ruan Stander on 31 Mar 2014

reading time: 10 mins

Small- and mid-cap companies make up 16% of the FTSE/JSE All Share Index, but 25-30% of our clients' South African equity holdings. Although many of these...

Gold and platinum mines: 'Eating sardines' or 'trading sardines'?

By Ian Liddle on 31 Dec 2013

reading time: 12 mins

"There is the old story about the market craze in sardine trading when the sardines disappeared from their traditional waters in Monterey, California. The...

Standard Bank: Has anything changed?

By Mark Dunley-Owen on 30 Sep 2013

reading time: 7 mins

Standard Bank is a Top Five holding in the Allan Gray Equity and Balanced Funds. Mark Dunley-Owen discusses why we believe it is an attractive investment for...

Sasol: A history of underestimation

By Rory Kutisker-Jacobson on 30 Jun 2013

reading time: 10 mins

Sasol is our clients' largest equity investment. Founded in 1950 and listed in 1979, Sasol's core business is to produce synthetic liquid fuels and chemicals...

Buy OUTsurance

By Ruan Stander on 31 Mar 2013

reading time: 6 mins

In capitalism it is most often the case that competitive advantages do not last. One only needs to think about the ongoing competition between cellphone...

Tobacco economics

By Ruan Stander on 30 Jun 2012

reading time: 8 mins

Most industries have a single factor that helps investors to understand them better. Unfortunately for investors looking for easy wins, it does not necessari...

Insurance: better than you think

By Duncan Artus and Leonard Krüger on 31 Mar 2012

reading time: 7 mins

We have previously set out the reasons Sanlam has an above-benchmark position in our clients’ portfolios (see Quarterly Commentary 1, 2010). On a...

Anglo American: Getting what you pay for?

By Rory Kutisker-Jacobson on 31 Dec 2011

reading time: 9 mins

As contrarian investors we are always on the lookout for assets which we can buy for less than our estimate of their intrinsic value. As a result, much of ou...

Money for everyone

By Jacques Plaut on 30 Sep 2011

reading time: 7 mins

Microlending has a history that can be traced back to 3 000 BC. Throughout this period people have shown a tendency to become over-indebted, and when this...

An alternative view of commodity demand and supply

By Mark Dunley-Owen on 30 Jun 2011

reading time: 5 mins

In Quarterly Commentary 1, 2011 Sandy McGregor discussed how high commodity prices are being supported by the mining sector's inability to keep pace with...

The investment case for Royal Bafokeng Platinum

By Rory Kutisker-Jacobson on 31 Dec 2010

reading time: 7 mins

On a relative basis, we believe Royal Bafokeng Platinum represents the most attractive value in the platinum sector. Upon listing, the Royal Bafokeng Nation...

You win some...

By Delphine Govender on 30 Sep 2010

reading time: 11 mins

Building and managing a portfolio of investments inevitably includes shares that will prove to be winners but also those that will fail to deliver on their...

The investment case for BAT

By Simon Raubenheimer on 30 Jun 2010

reading time: 9 mins

British American Tobacco provides the rare opportunity to invest in a superior quality business in a stable industry at a discount to the average company. Wi...

Sanlam justifies heavy weighting

By Ruan Stander on 31 Mar 2010

reading time: 7 mins

The recent financial crisis was a stark reminder of the impact that management has on the wellbeing of a financial services business. With complex products a...

Why Sasol is our preferred resource share

By Andrew Lapping on 31 Mar 2010

reading time: 8 mins

Sasol's share price has fared poorly over the past year compared to the 28% appreciation of the FTSE/JSE All Share Index (ALSI). Going forward, Sasol will be...

South African banks - Not just a bad debt story

By Jacques Plaut on 30 Sep 2009

reading time: 7 mins

Record-high bad debts are currently weighing on the banking sector. Typically, an industry experiencing depressed profits due to cyclical factors is a good...

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