MoneyWeek’s comprehensive guide to the best of this week’s share tips from the rest of the UK’s financial pages.
Three to buy
This games developer and publisher’s franchises boast huge fan bases and “bags of future revenue upside”. Codemasters owns the exclusive rights to the Formula 1 game franchise, while a strategic revenue-sharing partnership with Chinese tech business NetEase could prove “game-changing” by offering a route into the world’s biggest gaming market. Strong Christmas trading could “turbocharge” forecasts. Investment bank Liberum’s price target is 310p. 182.5p
The Mail on Sunday
Flooring specialist Halstead makes everything from utilitarian tiling for public sector customers such as schools and hospitals to deluxe offerings for top fashion labels. Tokyo’s Narita airport, Madrid’s El Corte Ingles department store and Wetherspoons in the UK are among its clients. About 70% of manufacturing is done in Britain. The one-time family business has delivered 42 years of uninterrupted dividend growth. Don’t expect “fast and furious” expansion, but the firm offers something “strong and steady”. 372p
The Daily Telegraph
This little-known American tech business offers a way to bet on the burgeoning “internet of things”. New cloud communication technology enables manufacturers to fine-tune production and call-centres to keep customers up to date. Twilio creates apps to facilitate the handling and transmission of all that data. The business is the “de facto standard” in the sector and sales are growing by more than 50% per year. $75.89
Three to sell
The Sunday Telegraph
This engineer heat-treats metals and alloys so they are tough enough to be used in cars, aeroplanes, oil rigs and excavators. The automotive industry accounts for 30% of sales but rising commodity prices and Donald Trump’s trade war look set to hit car-makers hard. The shares have lost more than a quarter of their value in the past four months and are currently trading at around 21-month lows. Boss Stephen Harris is in the red after buying £100,000 of the shares in September at 890p. Given the risky outlook, investors should not follow his example. 740p
The Sunday Times
Hopes that this housebuilder had got its mojo back after a series of scandals have been dashed thanks to Brexit uncertainty. Veteran fund manager Neil Woodford is among those who say the housebuilders are “ludicrously cheap” but we think that the shares have “hit the roof”. Analysts’ forecasts have been pumped up by the Help to Buy scheme, but fears of a disorderly Brexit will hit consumer confidence in the year ahead. Avoid. 959p
Motley Fool UK
This ground-engineering specialist says the outlook for 2019 is “somewhat mixed”. That is an understatement after a profit warning last month that saw the share price plunge 25%. Growth in core European and North African markets has remained solid, but those gains are offset by problems in Brazil and South Africa. Some may be tempted to bet on a stock with a forward yield of 5.8% after the price falls, but it is better to “dodge this falling knife”. 595p
…and the rest
The Daily Telegraph
Shares in OneSavings Bank have been battered by Brexit blues but will rally in the event of a deal. A 4.1% yield is good compensation for riding out the current turbulence (350p). Shares in Vodafone have rallied following unexpectedly good dividend news, but the business is in trouble in several key European markets – avoid (155.82p). Heat treatment engineer Bodycote is exposed to a slowing car industry and the shares have already shed 25% of their value in the past four months – avoid (740p).
The Mail on Sunday
Investors may be tempted to take profits in SSP Group, which operates Upper Crust and Yo! Sushi outlets among other brands, but there is still ample growth potential. A recent share-price dip may be a buying opportunity (645.7p).
Investors should wait for signs that a turnaround plan at electronics and software supplier Ultra Electronics is bearing fruit before buying (1,468p). Questions about accounting practices have weighed on shares in debt purchaser Arrow Global but risk-tolerant investors may spy upside potential (205p). With the semiconductor industry under pressure, expect compound-wafers designer IQE to keep struggling (57.3p).
Aberdeen-based Faroe Petroleum is a “compelling” independent North Sea operator, even if its share price can resemble a roller-coaster ride (128p). Avoid Caledonia Investments: the £2bn trust is too exposed to private equity and has underperformed the FTSE All-Share index in the past decade (2,835p).
A German view
The global pet care industry is worth around $100bn and continues to grow as people lavish more and more care and attention on their furry friends. In Germany alone, households spent €4.8bn on pets last year, up from €3.7bn in 2010, notes Börse Online. One way to play this worldwide trend is to buy shares in Nasdaq-listed Idexx Laboratories. It provides vets and the livestock industry with laboratory equipment and testing kits to diagnose and analyse animal diseases. Sales are expected to jump from $1.97bn in 2017 to $2.45bn in 2019, with roughly 42% of revenues coming from overseas. Analysts see scope for earnings to expand by an annual 18.8% over the next five years.
Tencent Music Entertainment, the music-streaming division of China’s internet giant Tencent, plans to list in New York next month. It had originally hoped to launch its initial public offering (IPO) in October, but decided to postpone owing to market turbulence. The firm could delay its flotation again if the US-China trade war undermines global investors’ confidence further, say Louise Lucas and Emma Dunkley in the Financial Times. The group will now aim to raise $2bn rather than $4bn, implying a valuation of roughly $30bn. However, the group’s prospects look compelling. China’s online music market, worth $4.7bn, is set to expand by 37% a year over the next five years.