Date: Thursday 22 Sep 2011
LONDON (ShareCast) - Shares in Imperial Tobacco have lost almost 10% of their value since mid-May, mainly because of fears of a price war in Spain. The good news yesterday was that the war — Imperial prefers the word “skirmish” — is over. The shares, up 10p to £20.12½, are yielding 4.7 per cent for the current year, which is the main reason for holding them, says the Times.
The Independent is a buyer. We are fans of Imperial Tobacco from an income perspective, although we also note the £500m share buy back underway, the paper says. In May, the company raised its interim dividend by 16 per cent to 28.1p and it committed itself to growing its dividend per share ahead of adjusted earnings per share after 2011. Oh, and don't forget its shares currently yield a juicy 5 per cent. So overall, we think Imperial Tobacco is a stock for troubled times, it adds.
A rare positive note in all the gloom: when the economy last turned down, one of the first businesses to notice was Clear, M&C Saatchi’s brand consultant. The work disappeared very quickly in August 2008, Saatchi chief executive David Kershaw says, only to bounce back fast by the end of 2009. The shares, up 8p at 125p, stand exactly where they were when the company floated in 2004 and profits were little more than a quarter of their present level. On less than nine times’ earnings, this looks like a good entry point for the long-term investor, says the Times.
The Independent agrees. The company has £14.8m in cash on the balance sheet and upped its dividend yesterday up 15% to 1p. As for the shares, the consensus price is 8.1 times estimated full year earnings, falling to 7.4 times the following year. As Charles Stanley analyst Richard Nunn points out, this is against a sector average of 10 times, and with a strong outlook. Buy, the paper says.
Much of the bread and butter work for the old St Ives has disappeared. The company was best known for printing City circulars such as IPO prospectuses and magazines. Instead, the company has been reinventing itself as a marketing business through four acquisitions, two over the past week or so. St Ives shares sell on a multiple of less than five times’ current year’s earnings, which looks pretty cheap, though it could take a while in today’s climate for this to become apparent, the Times says.
Telit specialises in technology that allows machines to wirelessly communicate with each other. This is a growing market, boasting a strong outlook, not least because of legislative moves such as the EU push to have safety boxes in cars from 2015. The stock is affordable, trading on multiples of 7.7 times forward earnings for 2012, according to Northland Capital Partners. Given the growth prospects, and the strong results, the Independent says buy.
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