Friday, 10 December 2010

The barely visible arb: Associated British Food / Essilor SA

To prove there is no blind food and wine fetish going on in this space yesterday's short sale, cunningly posted today when already showing profit (inertia not conspiracy), was Associated British Foods plc (profile). Oenophiles will note that ABF own Ohly, a firm that sells wine yeast. To them I say, ferment on, ferment on - and don't take this short sale personally.

Still, as financially robust as the ABF numbers are, its equity is pricey next to some other non-cyclicals. Especially one that has nothing to do with food or wine other than helping consumers read the labels (if so inclined).

Essilor, a surprise match on the model (prompted a review of the internals) do lenses. To see with.

No, the link is not obvious. But it may at least explain why they recently appointed two Chief Operating Officers. Better oversight. Certainly one needs spectacles to deal with the font on their website.

Back on the serious front: Essilor's numbers are good enough to make the underperformance versus ABF striking (no pun, but it is a French firm).

Short ABF@£11.24 / Long EI@€41.03

Other business:
If you want it done right, do it yourself. Failing that use google docs and know it still won't be what you want. That said, a new tracker link in the right column is now up. Sticking it in as a live graph - as well as adding anything remotely visually sexy (in stat terms I'm afraid) - will have to wait.

It is at least a new start (and handles fx).

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