Wednesday 14 January 2015

Ocado (OCDO) ... Obfuscation

Wednesday 14th January 2015

You can sometimes tell more from what a company doesn't tell you than what it does. Take for example, Ocado's (OCDO LN, mkt cap £2.4 bn) trading update for the Christmas 2014 period, released this morning.  

Ocado Trading Update for Christmas 2014
Source: Ocado
Now compare this to the trading update released around this time last year for the Christmas 2013 period. 
Ocado Trading Update for Christmas 2013
Source: Ocado
  • Last year's update contained a lot more information, particularly helpful information in pounds, shillings and pence. This year's not so much.

  • Last year's update mentions "several days of over £5 million sales" in the 7 days leading up to Christmas. This year "On our biggest day leading up to Christmas, sales were nearly £6m." Does that mean only one day out of the seven achieved sales of over £5 million as compared to "several days" last year?

  • Last year's update included helpful data on average orders per week and average order size. This year's did not.  

  • Last year Ocado indicated it was expecting "to continue growing broadly in line with, or slightly ahead of, the market." This year no mention whatsoever. 

Such obfuscation is usually employed for a reason. Either way, sales are slowing, its valuation is preposterous, and so I sold a few short at 402p/shr.     

Ocado share price
Source: Bloomberg
Ocado forward consensus EV/EBITDA multiple
Source: Bloomberg
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