Watchdog’s review casts a shadow but this pawnshop just increased its divi by 41pc

Even better, net shareholders’ equity of £137m compares to a market value of £122m, so the shares are trading at a discount to net asset or book value. Even if we remove £20m of goodwill and intangibles, the shares are trading roughly in line with tangible book value and this will hopefully protect the share price.

Patience can still pay off at H&T. Hold.

Questor says: Wait

Symbol: HAT

Share price at closing: 313p

Update: Inspections

Looking back, this column has, in all fairness, recently missed its chance to make big profits in names like IP Group, GB Group and Strix, and watched them fall back.

While guessing market sentiment and trying to time-split sales and purchases perfectly is child’s play – and events in Ukraine are impossible to anticipate – the themes of rising interest rates and rising inflation may continue to play against consumer stocks or those companies that trade on high ratings thanks to their perceived long-term growth potential.

In that vein, it may be time to very reluctantly count the profits of the eyewear specialist Inspecs, especially as we made a nearly 72% gain from our July 2020 tip.

This does not mean that something is wrong with the company. A trade statement last month reported a surge in sales, boosted by the 2020 acquisition of Eschenbach, a German rival. The end of Covid restrictions should help opticians provide their full range of services and cement demand for branded or private label eyewear, sunglasses and safety wear, while new deals from Sweden and Germany will increase Inspecs’ range of brands and distribution reach.

However, the shares have performed well and Inspecs has yet to step into the black on a statutory basis, so its £336m market value already provides a good degree of future growth.

Moreover, rising interest rates are rarely a good thing for high-priced growth stocks, no matter how well managed. This is because “discounted cash flow” models that can be used to value secular growth stocks must use a higher discount rate as interest rates rise.

A higher discount rate decreases the “net present value” of future cash flows and thus decreases the theoretical value of equity and therefore of shares. It’s just a function of mathematics.

It’s time (reluctantly) to take profits and look elsewhere. To sell.

Quaestor says: Sell

Symbol: SPEC

Share price at closing: 335p

Read Questor’s latest column on telegraph.co.uk every Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 5am.

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