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If you'd invested in: Intertek and Countrywide

Intertek, which inspects and certifies products for safety, has seen its shares rise by 55% this year. Estate agent Countrywide has had a much less satisfying 12 months.

If only

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Intertek (LSE: ITRK) inspects and certifies products for safety. So far this year it has seen its shares rise by 55%. In August it announced that sales had jumped by 13.2% during January-June, to £1.37bn. Meanwhile, acquisitions, such as Germany's KJ Tech Services earlier this year, provide opportunities to build sales and margins further. The company is expected to generate earnings growth of 11% and 7% in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Be glad you didn't

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Countrywide (LSE: CWD) is the biggest listed estate agency in Britain. In November it said that revenue was down 7% to £175m in the quarter to the end of September compared with the same period last year. In the first half of the financial year it also saw a 98% collapse in pre-tax profits, falling to £477,000 from £24.2m a year earlier. Its shares are now down by 28% in the year to date, and it dropped out of the FTSE 250 in December last year.

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