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Northern Petroleum: unlocking value in 2013?

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- Tom Winnifrith

Some companies are loved by one and all and so trade at a clear premium to underlying value – Next & ARM for example. For others, the reverse is true. Northern Petroleum is in the latter camp. That is an endless source of frustration as evidenced by the stream of adverse comments on Bulletin Boards, mostly directed, rightly or wrongly, against the company’s boss Derek Musgrove.

To be fair to Musgrove – who I should say is a friend with whom I have watched West Ham for many years – when he arrived at Northern the share price was sub 10p (adjusting for consolidation) and the asset backing was more or less nothing. That was just over twelve years ago. Today the share price is 53.25p ( Musgrove having just bought 25,000 shares yesterday) and the company is sitting on £20 million of net cash and a raft of assets. Overall that is not a bad recovery – a share price gain of 450% over 12 years is, after all, better than Warren Buffett.

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