If only you'd bought...
Aberdeen-based John Wood Group (LSE: WG) provides engineering support services to the global oil and gas industry. Revenue in the first half of 2016 fell by 17%, while profits were down by 39% as the energy sector continued to experience challenging market conditions.
It's forecasting full-year earnings (EBITA) to be 20% lower than in 2015. But according to its latest interim report, it is "encouraged by early indications of recovery" in the industry, and investors are keeping faith. In the last year, the share price has risen by almost 60%.
Be glad you didn't
Capita (LSE: CPI) provides outsourcing services. In the first half of 2016 it made a pre-tax profit of £285m on revenue of £2.4bn, 46% of which came from the public sector. But in September last year it issued a profit warning, saying major customers were delaying investment because of the EU referendum result. Its shares plunged by 28% and have continued to fall. Despite a rally in the last week, they remain more than 50% lower than they were this time last year.
Ben studied modern languages at London University's Queen Mary College. After dabbling unhappily in local government finance for a while, he went to work for The Scotsman newspaper in Edinburgh. The launch of the paper's website, scotsman.com, in the early years of the dotcom craze, saw Ben move online to manage the Business and Motors channels before becoming deputy editor with responsibility for all aspects of online production for The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday and the Edinburgh Evening News websites, along with the papers' Edinburgh Festivals website.
Ben joined MoneyWeek as website editor in 2008, just as the Great Financial Crisis was brewing. He has written extensively for the website and magazine, with a particular emphasis on alternative finance and fintech, including blockchain and bitcoin. As an early adopter of bitcoin, Ben bought when the price was under $200, but went on to spend it all on foolish fripperies.
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