What's on at Eureka Report and model portfolio updates

Don’t miss our webcast on income investing, plus hear from Ardent Leisure chief executive Deborah Thomas.

At Eureka Report we have been offering webinars (audio only) and later webcasts (full video) long before any of our rivals were even aware the technology existed. However, we learnt early on that it was the targeted webcasts which looked at particular areas (such as income investing) rather than macro areas (such as the future of Europe… or whatever) that worked best with our subscribers.

No surprise then to see that our income analyst James Samson has had another tremendous response to his last webcast for the year which is on Tuesday (December 1) at 12.30pm. The session will be hosted by brightday’s Kirstie Spicer. I’m sure there will be plenty of questions for James who has managed to steer his portfolio through thick and thin including this week’s disappointing downgrade from DSH. It’s also worth noting that James has a substantial 34 per cent of his holdings in cash – we will all be very interested to hear what he plans to do next?

Later in the week Alan Kohler will be interviewing the chief executive of Ardent Leisure group Deborah Thomas. When she took the top job earlier this year after a long and successful career in publishing Thomas faced a backlash from fund managers. Six months later with a strongly performing share price the murmurs of discontent are fading. This is a fascinating company with interests stretching from theme parks to fitness centres (audio only). Hear the interview live on Wednesday (December 2) at 10.30am.

At 2pm on Wednesday, hear from Circadian Technologies chief executive Megan Baldwin. The company is developing a treatment for age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness in the western world – don’t miss this interview.

Meanwhile, here’s what our analysts have been up to during the last week:

Income First model portfolio

This week the Income First model portfolio gave up a little ground, in line with the broader market’s more subdued performance. Unfortunately, DSH announced a write down this morning, and has fallen further, meaning that the portfolio as a whole is now only slightly ahead of the broader market since inception – the portfolio is outperforming the market by around 1 per cent since inception (price performance). Thankfully, high levels of diversification and a strong cash balance have limited the negative impact of DSH on the portfolio overall. At open tomorrow morning, the Income First model portfolio will sell its holding in DSH. You can read more here.

On the bright side, last week closed out with some strong performance from Virtus Health (VRT). The strong performance was attributable to a positive trading update from peer Monash IVF (MVF) at its AGM. The market was also buoyed by solid Medicare data regarding IVF cycle commencements. My view is that the MVF train update is a positive, but reading too much into the Medicare data is unwise, as the data can be volatile month to month. 

Overall we remain confident that the portfolio is on track to achieve its objectives of an above market dividend yield and some capital appreciation over the long term.

-- James Samson

Growth First model portfolio

The Growth First model portfolio has banked another reasonable week. The stocks in the portfolio gained just over half a per cent last week against an S&P/ASX 200 index which sank by more than one per cent.

NetComm Wireless (NTC) was, again, the big mover. NTC gained nearly 18 per cent over the week as it announced it had clinched an attractive contract in the US. NetComm’s brilliant performance has again pushed the stock to a disproportionately high weighting in our model portfolio. With that in mind, at tomorrow’s open we will trim our position in NTC by three percentage points.

Portfolio balance is especially important when investing in growth stocks. This action bolsters our war chest to add attractive investments from outside the tech sector.

You can read our update on NetComm Wireless, along with our positive report on Ridley Corporation (RIC), right here.

-- Tim Dohrmann

LIC model portfolio

There are no changes to the LIC model portfolio this week. Last week the AGM for WAM Research was held and a portfolio update given. Management reported the portfolio is up 13.2 per cent for the financial year to November 23 with the market flat. The portfolio retains its typical healthy cash balance at 40.1 per cent of the portfolio. 

Looking forward the management team are continuing to seek out growth stories, looking for exposure to innovation and technological developments as well as stocks that benefit from a low Australian dollar and China's thirst for Australian health products. 

This week I reported on three growth stories coming out of the Thorney Opportunities Limited AGM. Click here to read

International model portfolio

There are no changes to the International model portfolio this week. However, in Wednesday's edition (December 2) I will be providing a comprehensive review of my portfolio – and my thoughts on all of my chosen stocks which have appeared in Eureka Report over the last year. As readers may know Eureka Report is in the process of closing out its international stocks portfolio (see today's Inside Line video for further details). 

-- Clay Carter