Oxford-based Sophos (LSE: SOPH) develops information technology and network security products, with more than 100 million users in 150 countries. Full-year results for 2017 issued fortuitously last week in the wake of the WannaCry ransomware attack came in ahead of expectations. Revenue was up by 10.8% to $530m, though a higher level of deferred revenue hit reported profits. The share price rose sharply, and is up by more than 80% in the last year.
Be glad you didn't
HSS Hire Group (LSE: HSS) provides tools, equipment and related services to building contractors in the UK and Ireland. It listed on the stockmarket in 2015, but has had a difficult time since then. The latest results show losses widening from £13.8m in 2015 to £17.4m in the 12 months to the end of 2016. The shares have fallen by more than 73% since it floated on the market, and by almost 50% in the 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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