5 stock moves that Wilson Asset Management made recently

Nick Sundich Nick Sundich, December 5, 2023

Wilson Asset Management is one of the most prominent institutional investors on the ASX. It was founded by, named after and is still led by Geoff Wilson, one of the most famous investors in Australia.

Wilson is also one of the easiest to follow stock movements because, as it has 8 Listed Investment Companies (LICs) on the ASX, it has to disclose its movements to the Australian bourse – at least in respect of holdings listed on the ASX that it holds 5% or more of. We outline 5 recent dealings that this fundie has undertaken in recent months.

 

5 stock moves that Wilson Asset Management made recently

 

Selling out of Dug Technology (ASX:DUG)

Dug is a High-Powered Performance maker and seller. You may be thinking of quantum computing, and while it is similar in its objective of fulfilling tasks that cannot be done by conventional computers. The company is based in Perth and has processing plants in Kuala Lumpur, London and Houston.

Dug is currently close to its IPO price after lagging for several months but making up lost ground. The company’s revenue improved from US$33.8m to US$50.9m, its cash position from US$1.8m of net debt to US$5.2m of net cash and profit from a US$9.3m loss to a US$4.9m profit.

Wilson had 8.4m shares worth 7.14% of the company, as at mid-October. Come November, it sold out most of its shares in the company.

 

Selling Select Harvests (ASX:SHV)

When you’re an agriculture company, you’re heavily dependant on commodity prices, especially if you specialise in just one commodity. This couldn’t be more true with resect to this company, which is a seller of almonds. Select Harvests made a $114.7m loss as it sold smaller volumes at lower prices. It suffered a 30% decline in the 2023 crop of 19,771 metric tonnes as cooler and wetter conditions hit all growing regions. It reaped $6.42 per kilogram, $1.03 below the 2023 crop price.

A stake of 8.2m was held by Wilson, last topped up in early July. Most of these shares were sold in November, despite the company having big plans for expansion in the next year.

 

Buying more of Tyro (ASX:TYR)

Tyro has had plenty of struggles in recent years, particularly fluctuating volumes, terminal outages and takeover talks occurring but breaking down. Wilson increased its holdings from 5.6% to 6.7%, buying nearly 6m more shares. 

In its monthly update to investors, Wilson confirmed to investors it liked the outlook and chose to increase its holdings. It acknowledged the market was disappointed given the lack of information around the impact of competition in the space, but noted this posed the chance to buy more at a bargain price.

 

Buying more of Austin Engineering (ASX:ANG)

Wilson bought 10m shares in Austin Engineering, increasing its stake from 7.1% to 8.75%.

Austin is a 40-year old engineering business that has had a good 2023 in the Australian and US markets. It is expecting a $10-12m profit for 1HY23 (double the prior corresponding period, $120-140m in revenue (up 14%) and to reach a zero net debt position.

 

Buying more of Generation Development Group (ASX:GDG)

Wilson bought 3.5m shares, taking its stake from 5.13% to 6.42%. This company, founded in 1991, manages and markets life insurance and life investment products and services to the retail sector in Australia

GDG closed FY23 with $2.6bn in FUM (up 22%), a $7.2m profit (up 35%) and $515m in investment bond sales, with the latter figure representing the second highest year on record. The company is set to continue to benefit in the years to come as superannuation assets continue to rise, Baby Boomers enter retirement and now need a stable income, so need stable annuity products that GDG can help insure.

 

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