LONDON (ShareCast) - Investors do not look to water companies for short-term thrills, and the sector does not disappoint. Yesterday's half-year trading update from United Utilities is a case in point.
It confirmed that the company is trading in line with forecasts. For investors moving into utilities from elsewhere, there may be better options. But for existing holders of United Utilities, the outlook is reliably stable, so hold says the Independent.
Group NBT provides domain names and internet-related services to major corporations. NBT boasts companies such as British Airways, The New Statesman and Centrica among the clients for which it hosts web operations. Later this year, the Internet Corporation for Assigned names and Numbers (ICANN), which is responsible for assigning domain names, is expected to approve a new raft of suffixes for the internet. These will include ".xxx", ".eco" and ".gay" – as well as for cities such as .london and .paris. Companies will also be able to have their own name as a suffix later this year. The shares remain a buy because of their excellent cash generation and growth opportunities over the next few years, suggests the Telegraph.
It is a tough time for radio group Immedia. The radio industry has been struggling for a while and the retail environment still bears the scars of recession. Immedia reported yesterday that its first-half operating loss had widened from £40,615 in the first half of 2009 to £100,375 this year. The company says it has slashed its costs and was looking forward to the launch of a new service before the end of the year. That mystery launch may be Immedia's salvation but the Independent remains sceptical. Sell.
Shares in Canary Wharf owner Songbird Estates fell by about 7% last night following the release of the property company's half-year figures, but the slide had more to do with fresh plans for a cash call. The shares continue to trade at a chunky discount to NAV. A buy says the Independent.
Shares in funeral services group Dignity are now at a level not seen since before the credit crunch hit in 2008 and the Telegraph feels that the shares are a hold for now. They are likely to fall after the return of £1 to shareholders and, as one analyst said: "It's better to travel than to arrive." Therefore the rating on the shares is now hold says the newspaper.
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