Sunday, June 27, 2010

LONDON Sunday tips round-up: Resolution, Halma, Berkeley

Date: Sunday 27 Jun 2010
It's fair to say that Resolution brings a little bit of glamour to an industry best known for grey-suited number crunchers. The insurance buy-out vehicle first emerged in 2008 and was set up to drive consolidation in the UK life industry. 

The company, which was founded by the colourful entrepreneur Clive Cowdery, raised £600m from institutional investors when it listed its shares on the London Stock Exchange in December 2008. However, it was not until last summer that it fully captured the City's imagination when it agreed a deal to buy Friends Provident for £1.86bn. One year on and with a deal to buy parts of Axa's UK business firmly in the pipeline, the Telegraph's Questor believes Resolution remains a gripping proposition for institutional investors, but one that all but the wealthy small investor should avoid. Take rights or sell, says the Telegraph.
Halma shares were 206p two years ago. Today they are 34 per cent higher at 2761/2p. Some investors may think this is a good time to sell but Andrew Williams believes the best is yet to come. The group has cash in the bank, is actively looking for acquisitions and profits are forecast to grow steadily over the next few years. This stock is a good hold for those who bought in, says the Daily Mail.
Berkeley operates in something of a niche market, focusing on regeneration projects in the South East and London – the UK's most robust housing markets – especially with the depth of public spending cuts on the way. Its strategy is about growth and, given the record of management, is worth backing. Trading at 13 times forecast 2011 earnings, Berkeley looks cheap. Buy, says the Telegraph.
Daisy Group has been set up in 2001 by young Lancashire entrepreneur Matthew Riley. Daisy focuses on small and medium-sized businesses, delivering all their communications needs. The group's shares are 991/2p. They have done well since joining Aim, but provided Riley retains his drive and focus, there should be plenty more mileage in the stock. Buy, says the Daily Mail. 

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