MoneyWeek’s comprehensive guide to this week’s share tips from the rest of the UK’s financial press.
Three to buy
This packaging group makes robust cardboard products for consumer goods giants such as Nestlé and Unilever. The firm has spent £500m on acquisitions in recent years and narrowly missed out on promotion to the FTSE 100 in March. It may only be a matter of time before it gets there, so investors should start familiarising themselves with the business now. Buy. 418.5p
The Mail on Sunday
Sirius is planning to dig for raw materials for fertiliser across 200 square miles of the North York Moors, in the largest mining project in Britain for years. The long wait for profits to arrive means that this is not one for the faint-hearted, but it is an opportunity for adventurous investors to buy into “one of the most ambitious industrial projects to come out of the UK in decades”. 25.25p
The Sunday Times
The Glasgow engineering firm provides the pumps used to blast sand and water underground during fracking. Weir was “on the ropes” a year ago as the oil price crashed, but an improving outlook for the industry has seen the share price more than double since early 2016. Weir is a “sitting duck” for a takeover and sterling’s weakness is only likely to tempt new suitors. 1,985p
Three to sell
The social-care provider hit “rock bottom” last year, but the share price has risen since the £379m disposal of its adult-care division in December. That will enable management to pay down debt, but Cambian is a “less impressive company” since the sale. Management has a lot of work to do to recover lost ground and competitor CareTech is breathing down its neck. Sell. 156p
London Stock Exchange
An 8% rise in real-terms revenue growth seems to confirm suspicions that the merger between the London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Börse “was rather more advantageous to the Germans than to London”. The shares have done remarkably well since the deal fell through and now sell on 24 times earnings – too expensive unless you think another bidder will come knocking. 3,348p
The Sunday Telegraph
The UK tech sector has been “pillaged” by US firms, leaving Sage as the country’s biggest listed tech firm. Sage’s software is used in three million businesses, but it “speaks volumes” that no foreign buyer has yet swooped on it. The shares are highly valued on 18 times next year’s earnings, despite a poor first-quarter trading performance. There is better value elsewhere. Avoid. 670p
And the rest
The Daily Telegraph
Profits are up and debt is down at Saga, while dividend increases take the prospective yield to 4.1% – a good income pick (209p). Laundry business Berendsen is “boring but resilient”, and a profits warning last year has left the shares undervalued (825p).
Debt collector Arrow Global boasts a growing portfolio yet the shares remain cheap (375.75p). Cyber-crime is on the rise and identity fraud specialist GB Group is well placed to profit (335p). Harworth Group owns a huge land bank, but the shares are trading on a significant discount to net asset value (100.5p). A new strategy at retailer Debenhams should see it close poorly performing stores and boost profit margins (52.5p).
Tobacco titan Imperial Brands is committed to growing dividends by 10% a year (3,833p). Eland Oil & Gas plans to increase production – a share price re-rating could follow (57p). Record first-quarter results strengthen the case for wealth manager St James’s Place (1,112p). Full-year results at JD Sports show another year of rapid growth (448p). Online retailers and banks need to back up data quickly, and WANdisco is well placed to deliver (452.5p).
Engineering group GKN has solid prospects for the year ahead (359.5p). The recovery at aerospace engineer Meggitt is continuing apace (463.25p). Online car dealer Pendragon has ambitions to double market share (35p).
A German view
Almost nine million people die of cancer every year, and the toll could reach 22 million by 2030, according to the World Health Organisation. Enter Swiss pharma giant Roche, the leading producer of anti-cancer drugs. These comprise around half of overall sales, which hit CHF51bn (£40bn) last year. The US Food and Drug Administration has just approved a new Roche treatment for ovarian cancer, and the pipeline is looking strong, as Wirtschaftswoche points out. Nine new drugs are in the advanced stage of testing, and should reach the market in the next few years. New drugs enjoy patent protection, and hence fat margins, for several years after their introduction. Roche, which has also just had a promising multiple sclerosis treatment approved, should be a core holding in an investor’s portfolio.
Kuwait Energy, which operates in Oman, Egypt, Iraq and Yemen, is planning to list on the London Stock Exchange in a flotation that could value it at $1bn, says Nathalie Thomas in the Financial Times. It is hoping to raise $250m, which it will use to accelerate its growth plans, particularly in southern Iraq. The company’s asset in Iraq’s Basra province produces around 17,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day, compared with an average of 28,000 barrels a day from its assets as a whole. Kuwait Energy had intended to list in 2014, but was thwarted by the oil price crash and the Arab Spring uprisings. Chief executive Sara Akbar said the company had shown “an exceptional ability to manage during tough times” and “deliver no matter what the geopolitical environment.”