Date: Friday 01 Jun 2012
Questor in The Telegraph is not keen on Thomas Cook, despite its 87 per cent share-price slide tempting a few analysts into a buy recommendation. Yes, the firm has restructured its massive debts and increased revenues (through acquisitions), but losses are growing and Eurozone headwinds are awful - not least Greece, which usually provides a tenth of revenues but is not exactly a destination of choice at the moment. Questor wishes the new Chief Executive, Harriet Green, luck, but says sell.
Tate and Lyle doesn’t make sugar anymore, as the Tempus column in the Times kindly reminds us. Its corn-based sweetener products do, however, benefit when the sugar price is high because they look cheap by comparison. But the company has been hit with some annoying one-offs and could face further charges if it decides to reopen a mothballed facility in Alabama. Trading at something like 11.5 times forward earnings, Tempus says hold for now.
Tempus is equally reluctant to take a swig from brewing and pub chain company Fuller, Smith and Turner. There’s nothing wrong with the business: beer sales are strong, especially abroad, while both tenanted and managed pubs are delivering decent like-for-like sales growth. But the shares are trading at 17 times earnings, too much for a buy right now, the paper says.
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