Derek Pain: Olympics security firm jumps ahead after sluggish start

No Pain, No Gain

City analysts have provided welcome – and unexpected – support for two constituents of the no pain, no gain portfolio. One, the security giant G4S, had experienced a rather sluggish time this year; the other, Hargreaves Services, a coal to transport group, had shown distinct signs of coming off the boil.

The sprawling UBS securities group provided the fillip for G4S. The shares were below 240p around the turn of the year and, in spite of satisfactory profits and a 10 per cent increase in the dividend, they had displayed at best hesitant progress; that is until the securities giant pronounced. Its decision to lift its target price to 330p inspired a jump to 275p, not far below the12-month high. G4S is never still for long. The stock market's biggest employer, with 625,000 workers on its books, has won the accolade of guarding next year's Olympic Games and has continued its seemingly endless pursuit of add-on acquisitions with the up to £10.2m take over of a surveillance and investigation business, Cotswold.

Hargreaves, after interim figures in February, raced ahead to a 985p peak. But profit taking and, I suspect, a feeling that the group had entered an uneventful period prompted the shares to drift to around 900p. Then the Arbuthnot securities house intervened. Its analysts lifted their target price by 50p to 1,200p, a level I still regard as undemanding. The price has not yet attained its former glory but the upgrade pushed it above 950p.

Arbuthnot has not included the proposed Tower Colliery development in South Wales in its calculations. Hargreaves, hoping it could produce up to seven million tonnes of coal over six years, had expected a planning decision to be forthcoming by last month. But it has had to curb its enthusiasm. The result of its application is now expected in the summer. Delay ndicating dismay? Arbuthnot doesn't appear to think so.

After the portfolio's misfortunes with Clarity Commerce Solutions (a profit warning) and Mears (bear raiders), which I discussed last week, the revival at G4S and Hargreaves comes as a relief.

The share performance of two other constituents making waves is also a welcome Easter bonus. Rivington Street Holdings, taken on board at 27.5p in November, is now 45.5p on the Plus fringe market. The deal-hungry group, with interests from fund management to quarrying, has unveiled heady interim profits.I have written about Rivington frequently in the past year and make no apologies for descending on it again. It is certainly a company on the move.

Underlying profits come out at £1.07m against £386,000. The "true" pre-tax figure, after stripping out amortisation and non- recurring charges, emerges at £398,000 up from £87,000. Chairman Jim Mellon and chief executive Tom Winnifrith are not indulging in forecasts but they point out that the group – paying a maiden interim dividend of 0.25p a share – normally enjoys more strength in its second six months than in its first.

One area where Rivington has performed particularly well is fund management. It has several funds and, I suspect, some additions lurking up its corporate sleeve. Although the group is outside the City's inner circle and therefore does not get the appreciation it deserves, its investment display has been outstanding. Funds under management reached £56.6m against £18.7m a year ago. Mr Mellon observes that "objective data" proves Rivington has "the best track record in the UK".

Capital Pub Co, recruited in January, is the other constituent spreading cheer around. In an upbeat trading bulletin it says revenue in the year ended March jumped 24 per cent compared with the previous year. It continues to expand its estate, in and around London, and with two pubs due to resume trading in the next few months after improvements and an acquisition on the verge of completion, Capital should be set for another rousing round this year. Recruited at 120p, the shares, as I write, approach 150p.

The pub chain intends to resume dividend payments. It forecasts a 2.1p a share payment, the level of its last dividend, paid in 2008. Chief executive Clive Watson says: "The time is right to resume paying ividends." Shareholders will agree.

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

Arts and Entertainment
Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones
tvSeries 5, Episode 3 review
News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

    £24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

    Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Services - City, London

    £50000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Service...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is the o...

    Day In a Page

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

    Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
    Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

    Aviation history is littered with grand failures

    But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

    Fortress Europe?

    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
    Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

    Never mind what you're wearing

    It's what you're reclining on that matters
    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence