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
Motley Fool UK
The introduction of a generic competitor in the US for asthma drug Advair is weighing on this pharmaceutical giant’s share price, with earnings forecast to fall by up to 9%. Nevertheless, a new HIV treatment and shingles vaccine Shingrix helped GSK to deliver first quarter figures “comfortably ahead” of expectations. Last year’s £9.8bn deal with Pfizer should reduce debt and secure the dividend. The stock yields a forecast 5.1%, making it a “good long-term buy”. 1,557p
The Mail on Sunday
This US-headquartered business uses state-of-the-art technology to “pinpoint and repair” water leaks as quickly as possible. More than 650 million gallons of water are lost through leaks every day in the UK, and even more in America. The group works with 250,000 households each year to find and repair leaks; swimming pools in the southern states are an especially profitable niche. UK utilities firms are also customers. With water shortages a growing problem, Water Intelligence offers substantial growth opportunities. 376p
Diversified Gas & Oil
The Sunday Times
This Appalachia-focused producer is the biggest oil and gas player on Aim, pumping more than 90,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. The share price has doubled since listing in 2017 and the market capitalisation has swelled to almost £850m. The group has kept debt under control despite a an acquisition spree. Volatile oil and gas prices are always a risk, but with a move to the FTSE 250 in the offing the stock could be re-rated. 122p
Three to sell
Shares in this car-listings website have shrugged off worries about new competition to deliver a 50% gain over the past year and “motor into” the FTSE 100. The group has grown earnings in the face of a weakening car market by squeezing more out of affiliated retailers. The success has been piloted by CEO Trevor Mather, but news that he will step down in March next year represents a good opportunity to take profits. With the price/earnings ratio up to 23, his successor will have “little room for error”. 574.75p
The Daily Telegraph
Three years ago, analysts “deeply loathed” mining company Anglo American following after shareholders had a miserable few years through to the end of 2015. However, investors who spotted that management had changed direction and bought in when all was gloomy have since enjoyed gains in excess of 100%. This is a “textbook example” of successful contrarian investing. Yet with the market now far more bullish on the stock there is little more upside. It is time to bank profits. 1,981p
Versarien boasts both a “mature” thermal and aluminium products division and a “pioneering” graphene products operation. Graphene is an exciting material, but the global market is still only worth £33m. Versarien’s graphene turnover remains “diminutive” and it keeps returning to investors for more funds to “tide it over”. Until there is “tangible progress” towards justifying the firm’s £189m valuation, keep away. 122.5p
…and the rest
The Daily Telegraph
Profitable asset sales mean that shares in investment trust 3i Infrastructure have “got ahead of themselves”, with the premium to net asset value (NAV) now up to 21.2% – sell (288.5p). A Competition and Markets Authority probe into price-fixing at equipment rental hire specialist VP Group calls for a “safety first” approach – sell (790p). E-learning business Learning Technologies has made some canny acquisitions and the shares are cheap for the tech sector (85.9p).
A new-build property shortage leaves Berlin property play Phoenix Spree Deutschland sitting pretty (363p). Game developer Team17 is a longstanding player in the video games market that is well placed to capitalise on the rise of streaming (265p).
The Mail on Sunday
Shares in Somero Enterprises, whose machines ensure that concrete floors are flat, have nearly tripled over the last three years and there is more growth to come from Latin America and the Middle East. A “strong hold” (360p).
IT seller and service provider Computacenter has an excellent record of delivering shareholder returns and will only grow as ever more businesses attempt to keep abreast of technological change (968p). Insurer Aviva is cheap compared to the rest of the sector and a 7.3% dividend yield makes it a very attractive income option (430p).
Wind farm investor Greencoat UK Wind is a green energy investment with a 5% dividend yield (138p). Apple looks risky as long as the iPhone business continues to slump ($210.52).
An American view
America’s discount retailers “occupy a rare… bright spot that has been mostly immune to Amazon’s price-cutting”, says Teresa Rivas in Barron’s. People still like going to these shops and hunting for bargains, while higher-end brands and designers are more inclined to give discounters a good deal on their leftover stock because department stores are struggling. This auspicious backdrop makes Burlington Stores well worth a look. Offerings range from shoes and clothing to accessories and baby gear. It is branching out into beauty products and home goods, while as the sector’s number three, it has more scope for growth than bigger rivals. Earnings should rise by 8% this year and 14% next.
WeWork is the next unicorn to seek an initial public offering (IPO). Its last fundraising round valued the group at $47bn, which seems a lot for a company that simply leases offices. It sells itself as a provider of shared workspaces for tech start-ups, and it seems that some of the tech-sector cachet has rubbed off on it. “The only thing that could possibly make Uber look anywhere close to profitable in the next three decades,” says Thornton McEnery on Dealbreaker.com, “is a comparative look at WeWork’s bottom line.” Last year its net loss jumped to $1.9bn from $933m the year before. Sales reached $1.8bn, compared with $886m in 2017.