Date: Tuesday 12 Jul 2011
Ladbrokes' shares have suffered this year, by comparison with its main quoted peer, William Hill. One reason for this is William Hill's symbiotic relationship with the gaming IT company Playtech, capitalising on its high quality online and mobile gaming services. The shares do not look expensive, says the Scotsman, which recommends buying the shares.
It may seem perverse that Michael Page International’s job placement activities, a clear indicator of the state of the local economy, should be going great guns in mainland Europe and even in countries such as Italy and Spain, while in Britain the rate of growth is slowing. But this merely replicates the performance, as reported last week, of its smaller rival Hays. The shares are on a hefty forward multiple of more than 20 times’ earnings; although they remain a core holding, that looks high enough for now after their strong gains since last autumn, says the Times.
Halma provides a wide range of safety equipment including hazard detectors and sensors. While the shares are probably fairly valued, Halma's fundamentals are solid, it has good growth prospects and its track record justifies a higher valuation than its peers'. This one will pay off for those who keep hold over the long term. Hold, says the Independent.
Received wisdom has it that in hard times people will cut their spending on their children before they make economies on their pets. Possibly so, but there is a suspicion that a decision to economise is behind a slowing in the rate of growth in sales of diet foodstuffs in the French, Dutch and Scandinavian markets for Dechra Pharmaceuticals. Dechra is an attractive way of investing in a robust sector of pharma but, with the shares on about 12 times’ this year’s earnings, the good news would seem to be in the price, the Times says.
However, the Independent says buy. The US business is performing strongly, net debt is down and group revenues are up. They are also up in Europe. Moreover, at under 14 times forward earnings for this year and around 11 times on the estimates for next year, the valuation also remains attractive.
Bglobal provides smart energy meters. Backing the shares now is risky, but they're cheap and the company is financially strong, with £4m in net cash at the bank. One for investors willing to speculate. Speculative buy, says the Independent.
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