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
The Mail on Sunday
The travails of Neil Woodford’s fund highlight the dangers of investing in early-stage healthcare businesses, but the sector still has promise. This Aim-listed group helps with early diagnosis of kidney disease, which affects more than 850 million people worldwide. Its KidneyIntelX diagnostic system uses a simple blood test to determine which patients are most at risk of developing advanced kidney problems. Revenues should soar in coming years and city brokers have “high hopes”. 240p
The Sunday Telegraph
This defence contractor produces countermeasures such as flares, decoys and “chaff” to help jet fighters evade detection. Its also offers cybersecurity and produces equipment to detect chemical, biological and explosive threats. A “heavyweight” management team boosted the order book by a third in the first half. Shareholders have been “put through the wringer” of late, but things are looking up. 170p
The Sunday Times
Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banking Group is one of the few challengers to have made a dent in the banking sector. A “chunky” £61bn mortgage book gives it scale, which was enhanced by last year’s £1.7bn acquisition of Virgin Money. The purchase of a well-known brand is a “huge boost” to efforts to draw in more customers. Integration risks and shrinking margins in the UK mortgage market are key risks, but with shares trading below book value and £150m in cost savings anticipated from the Virgin deal, this stock is a buy. 179p
Three to sell
Shares in this video games developer have surged almost 40% since the end of November but it is now time to take profits. A deal with Chinese giant NetEase has opened access to the Middle Kingdom’s vast gaming market. Full-year revenue growth of 12% is impressive, but if you strip out the NetEase venture it becomes a pedestrian 3%. Recent good news is now in the price and, with the financial benefits unlikely to start flowing until 2020 or 2021, the “news vacuum” could cause share-price volatility. 251p
The failure of Sainsbury’s proposed deal with Asda has given the shares downward momentum. All of the big four supermarkets (the others are Asda, Tesco and Wm Morrison) have been losing market share to discounters Aldi and Lidl, but none more so than Sainsbury. Unfortunately, management has not responded to the failed merger plan with the required boldness and its determination to reduce debt levels will constrict capital expenditure, which will do nothing to reverse recent declines in market share and margins. 202p
Just Eat’s share price has been “suffering a bout of indigestion”. Amazon’s investment in arch-rival Deliveroo has put the spotlight on ferocious competition in the sector. Just Eat has responded by offering steep discounts and investing in a new delivery network but this is a low-margin business and the final bill is uncertain. On 31.5 times forecast earnings and with no dividend the shares do not look appetising. 621p
…and the rest
The Daily Telegraph
Paris-listed cognac maker Rémy Cointreau has been around since 1724 and remains under family control. This recipe for longevity looks cheap (€119.80).
Metrology specialist Renishaw has been hit by the slowdown in China but a strong balance sheet and high margins mark this out as a quality business – buy (3,908p). Countryside Properties has been buffeted by souring sentiment towards housebuilders and a connection with Neil Woodford’s Equity Income Fund, but with the shares on just seven times forward earnings there could be re-rating potential when the “shadow of Woodford lifts” (296.5p). Fewer contract wins and rising debt could drive housing services provider Mears Group towards a “tipping point” – sell (255p).
Mail on Sunday
Wales-based Creo Medical is a pioneer in stomach cancer treatment. It is loss-making, but long-term prospects are bright (194p).
Fears of slower global growth have driven shares in cruise ship operator Carnival down too far. It is a high-quality operator that has delivered £7.6bn to shareholders through dividends and buybacks since 2014 – buy (3,935p). News of record revenue and profit have sent shares in electronics equipment maker Halma to an all-time high – buy on any dips (1,941p). Premium lifestyle brand Joules continues to “confound” retail sector doom and gloom and has exciting global growth potential (279p).
“Remarkable” sales figures from Gregg’s show that investors underestimate the baker at their peril (2,234p).
A German view
Denmark’s Ambu is a hidden gem, says Der Aktionaer. Few have heard of the 53-year-old company, but its products can be found in operating theatres around the world. Offerings range from face masks and breathing bags to endoscopes and electrodes used in electrocardiograms (ECGs). The long-term outlook for medical devices is encouraging and Ambu has just announced a record quarter: sales jumped by 14% to €105m as operating earnings reached €26m. The group’s promising product pipeline includes new endoscopes, which should allow it to reach its sales target of 750,000 devices by the end of the year. A recent dip in the share price is a good buying opportunity for long-term investors.
Airtel, Africa’s second-largest mobile network operator after MTN, will float in London at the end of June. The group will have a free float of at least 25% of the equity and the price range for the initial public offering (IPO) will be 80p-100p, implying a market capitalisation of £3bn-£3.6bn. That is the sort of market value associated with mid caps in the FTSE 250 Index. Airtel, which has its headquarters in the Netherlands, will list in Nigeria at the same time. The telecoms and mobile money transfer company operates in 14 African countries and has nearly 100 million subscribers. It is owned by India’s Bharti Aitel International.