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2 companies to beat the Brexit blues

With fears still high over the consequences of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, many investors are turning their eyes to those companies and stocks that have zero or relatively small exposures to any fallout from the Brexit.

Here are two companies that could meet that need…

Xenith IP Group Ltd (ASX: XIP) is a patent, trademarks and intellectual property law firm, tracking under the radar on the ASX. Despite a recent earnings upgrade, the share price has hardly budged.

In lunchtime trading, Xenith’s share price was up just 1% at $3.99.

Friday afternoons on the ASX are typically reserved for profit downgrades from companies trying to hide the bad news, but Xenith went against that trend and released good news last Friday.

Xenith announced that it expected pro-forma earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to be between $8.8 million and $9.0 million for the 12 months to end of June 2016 (FY16).

In the company’s prospectus, Xenith was forecasting EBITDA of $7.5 million for FY16, so this is a decent upgrade (19% to be exact) of expectations. The company says it was primarily due to an 8% increase in revenues over prospectus forecasts.

Xenith says growth has been supported by: legislative changes in the US, favourable exchange rates and an increase in Australian patent examination intensity.

The much bigger increase in earnings compared to revenues also shows how the company employs substantial leverage, with new revenues virtually dropping through to the bottom line.

Focusing on Australia predominantly as well as Asia means Xenith has very little exposure to Europe and the UK.

IPH Ltd (ASX: IPH) also operates in the same sectors as Xenith and has a strong and growing market share. IPH too has very little exposure to the UK and Europe, but still saw its share price hammered down more than 4% last week. The share price is also down 27% in the past six months, after hitting a high of $9.43 in January this year.

That followed what the market thought was a disappointing half year result. Despite reporting a half year net profit of $23.4 million – up 75% over the previous year – markets were obviously expecting much more.

Two acquisitions – Pizzey’s in September 2015 and Callinans in November 2015 – should see earnings rise strongly again for the full 2016 financial year, as well as further expansion into Asia. Pizzey’s opened an office in Singapore in February 2016, and Spruce & Ferguson opened an office in Thailand at the end of May 2016.


At the current share price of $6.54 and using consensus forecasts, IPH is trading on a prospective P/E ratio of 24x. Xenith is trading on a prospective P/E ratio of ~23x based on forecasts. For relatively safe, stable and strongly growing companies with exposure to a growing Asia, that doesn’t appear too unreasonable.

Foolish takeaway

Xenith and IPH are unlike Slater & Gordon Limited (ASX: SGH) or Shine Corporate Ltd (ASX: SHJ) and have no “Work In Progress” on their balance sheets that are ‘open to management’s interpretation’.

Recent falls in the share prices of both companies could be an opportunity for astute investors.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn't own shares in any companies mentioned. You can follow Mike on Twitter @TMFKinga

The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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