MIDAS SHARE TIPS: Billions up for grabs from training 

MIDAS SHARE TIPS: Billions up for grabs from training

Learning Technologies Group may also see sales rise, as companies and governments reflect on the impact of coronavirus.

The company provides digital training courses for businesses and government bodies around the world, including Royal Dutch Shell, Hertz, Visa, L’Oreal and much of the UK civil service.

The company has grown fast both organically and via acquisition, since it was established just seven years ago. Midas recommended the shares a year later – in 2014 – when they were just over 20p.

Today, they are £1.35 having been £1.56 at the beginning of January.

Digital training course provider Learning Technologies Group may see its fortunes grow

Looking ahead, the stock should recover that lost ground and continue to rise, as chief executive Jonathan Satchell is ambitious, the business is well run and its services should become increasingly appealing in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Today, companies spend around £280 billion a year training staff. Half of that cash is spent on face-to-face, class-based courses.

At times, there is little to beat personal interaction but such courses are expensive, they often involve travel and cancellation rates are high.

Digital courses, by contrast, can be completed at employees’ convenience and they can be downloaded on to mobile phones, tablets, laptops and desk-based computers.

Many companies already use digital training courses for a variety of reasons. They are cheaper. They can be distributed quickly, if staff need to learn something at the last minute. They are highly interactive and often involve games and quizzes.

And they are more environmentally sound because no travel is involved.

Critically, too, they can be carried out at home. This is particularly advantageous now, as increasing numbers of workers are either sent home or choose to self-isolate.

Many companies are explicitly advising staff to access digital training modules, while they stay away from the office. Others are likely to follow suit.

Learning Technologies has also developed software that allows companies to monitor their training courses so they know who has completed the training, how individuals performed and what else they need to do progress up the ladder.

Last week, Satchell acquired an American business, Open LMS, which offers similar technology under a so-called Moodle platform, where tech geeks collaborate to develop programmes, largely designed to help schools and universities monitor students. The acquisition was well received by the market, adding another line of business to Learning Technologies’ growing range of services.

The group reports 2019 figures later this month and brokers expect a 38 per cent increase in revenues to £130million, with profits up 62 per cent to £39.5million.

Satchell expects to deliver sales of £200million and profits of more than £50million by the end of next year and he has a track record of meeting and exceeding targets.

Midas verdict: Learning Technologies shares have risen sixfold in the past six years as the company has expanded and developed a reputation for innovative coursework and clever management of workers’ progress. With so many shares losing ground, investors may be tempted to bank some profit at £1.35 but they should not sell out completely. Prospects for this business are sound – and coronavirus may well encourage more firms and government departments to take up digital learning. New investors may even consider acquiring some shares, after the recent dip in the price.