Professional investors can review published thought leadership and market updates from the Argonaut Investment Team.

‘Christmas Quiz 2012’

Carol singing, festive cheer, elegant knitwear, mistletoe and wine - and the odd quiz all make for a good Christmas. In lock-step with The Twelve Days of Christmas we have designed a light-hearted quiz of twelve questions (the answers can be found at the end). The team at Argonaut wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

The questions…

1. Based on information for the DJ Stoxx 600 analysts’ earnings estimates at the start of this year were +8.2% for 2012 and +10.5% for 2013. Currently the estimates are -3.1% for 2012 and +9.6% for 2013. Since data began for the DJ Stoxx 600 index in 1988, the median estimate of analysts’ earnings estimates for the market have been:-
a. 5% too high
b. 4% too low
c. 7% too high

2. TaylorMade is now the world’s largest golf company by sales and is owned by Germany’s Adidas. Through the acquisition of which company did Adidas acquire TaylorMade?

3. One of the following major central banks has turned on the printing presses to such an extent that its assets as a percentage of the country’s annual GDP are now greater than 70% - can you name it?
a. Swiss National Bank
b. ECB
c. Bank of Japan
d. The Fed
e. The BoE

4. The seven largest pan-European pharma companies are due to spend an estimated $240 bln between 2013 and 2018 on R&D. According to a consensus of sell-side analysts, how many blockbuster drugs (annual sales > $ 1 bln) will this R&D expenditure generate by 2018?
a. 3
b. 6
c. 7

5. The recent revolution in fracking of shale has transformed the USA’s oil sector. However the term shale oil and oil shale are often confused. One of these correctly refers to current USA production techniques, while the other is most closely associated with Estonia, which uses it to generate 90% of their electricity needs (and is the world’s second largest producer). Which is which and what is the difference?

6. The world’s population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050. At current rates of protein consumption per capita, this would imply a 40% increase in the demand for protein. Farmed salmon has the lowest feed conversion ratio (kg of feed needed to increase an animal’s bodyweight by 1kg) at 1.2 versus cattle at 8.0 (pork is 3.0 and poultry 2.0). What is the main reason for the low salmon conversion ratio?

7. At 77%, this major European country has one of the highest female employment rates. Its overall unemployment rate is the lowest in the European Union at 3%, whilst it’s expected real GDP growth rate in 2013 +2.5% - six times that of the European Union (+0.4%). Which country is it?

8. Based on UK government accounts for 2010/2011, the amount of revenues generated by income tax receipts (the mainstay of UK tax revenues) is closest to which amount?

a. The fiscal deficit of £148 bln
b. The welfare budget of £226 bln
c. The health budget of £122 bln
d. Corporate tax receipts of £43 bln

9. Europe’s richest man, Amancio Ortega, is estimated to be worth $ 56 bln. He owes his wealth primarily to his shareholding in the company he founded. Can you name this company?

10. Of the 19 listed Eurozone banks in the MSCI index, how many paid a full cash dividend in 2012 (ie: excluding scrip options etc)?

11. Europe is home to EADS, one of the two giants in commercial aerospace. On a typical day, how many people are flying in the sky globally? (to the closest million)

12. One of the larger global events in 2012 was the surprisingly close US presidential election which saw Barack Obama being re-elected, winning 26 of the 50 US states. In 1984, Ronald Reagan won re-election in one of the biggest landslide victories in US history, winning 49 of the 50 states. Who was his opponent and which state did he win?

1. 7% too high (source: UBS)
2. Salomon (source: company data)
3. Swiss National Bank (source: UBS)
4. 3 (source: UBS)
5. Shale oil USA; oil shale Estonia. Oil shale is a sedimentary rock that contains kerogen, which yields oil when heated to extreme temperatures. (source:  Citigroup; Journal of Petroleum Technology January 2012)
6. Salmon are cold blooded, so they do not have to use energy to heat their bodies (source: Marine Harvest, Salmon Farming Industry Handbook 2012)
7. Norway (source: European Commission, Eurostat)
8. The fiscal deficit; income tax receipts were £150 bln (source: UK government accounts)
9. Inditex (source: Bloomberg)
10. 3 – Intesa Sanpaolo, Raiffeisen and UBI Banca (source: Bloomberg)
11. 8 million (source: EADS company presentation)
12. Walter Mondale; his home state of Minnesota (source: Wikipedia)