The Week In Review: Bellway is a good building block for investors
Saturday 22 October 2005
The things a builder has to do to sell a house these days: cash discounts, part- exchange, throwing in fixtures and fittings, and even, according to Bellway, new carpets and curtains, too.
But, while Bellway warns investors not to expect a repeat of the level of growth reported in its latest annual results, the future looks safe as houses for the industry, and for Bellway in particular. The average price of a Bellway home is just £164,000 and half are sold for less than £150,000. Its operations are split 50-50 between north and south.
Above all, there is a housing shortage in the UK. This is the incontrovertible fact that should help investors in the building sector sleep.
It also means that the sector is grossly undervalued. Bellway, in particular, trades at barely six times annual earnings. With such solid foundations, buy.
Wise readers who took our advice to buy Sage, the FTSE 100 software group, a year ago when the shares were 172p are looking clever. The investment has grown a healthy 27 per cent and there is more to come, thanks to Sage's strong cash balances. Buy.
ST JAMES'S PLACE
Britain's worsening pensions crisis is a blessing for St James's Place Capital, the upmarket wealth management group. It can look with confidence to the future as pensions business is surging ahead of government reforms next year. Hold.
WHITTARD OF CHELSEA
Whittard of Chelsea, the tea and coffee retailer, brewed up excitement in July this year when it revealed that it was at the centre of a bid battle. Then London was bombed and the collapse in sales scared its bidders away. The group has not had a good year, with two profits warnings since January. Sell.
While wind power is now a growing part of the renewable energy mix, wave power is so far untapped. AIM-listed Ocean Power Technologies is trying to commercialise this energy and is making good progress. Buy.
Consumer debt levels remain at an all-time high - one way for investors to benefit is to back the new debt advice companies that specialise in 'individual voluntary arrangements'. Accuma floated in March, having raised £4.1m to fund marketing. Buy.
Simon Brickles, who led the successful Alternative Investment Market until 2003, has been drafted in to work the same magic at Ofex, another junior market. Now renamed Plus Markets, the shares exchange is going places again. Buy.
Oxford BioMedica is conducting trials of what could be revolutionary treatments for cancer. Its latest results for TroVax, OXB's most advanced drug, are positive, but a bigger trial is needed. It seems increasingly likely that larger commercial partners may want more data or an improved version of the drug before signing. Sell.
QXL Ricardo operates similar auction sites to ebay, and is finally making a profit. However, returns are meagre and a legal dispute in Poland is making life difficult. Take profits.
Colt Telecom specialises in the business market, but while the stock will always be a punt on future M&A activity, most investors should avoid.
The chief executive of BHP Billiton is basking in praise - another record year for sales, for profits and for dividends. The big picture is of emerging economies sucking in more commodities. BHP has cash coming out its ears - share buybacks or higher dividends could follow. Buy.
New man from the Pru is sitting pretty for the future
The former Lloyd's of London chief executive Nick Prettejohn is replacing Mark Wood, who is leaving Prudential after missing the top job when Jonathan Bloomer, the former group chief executive, was ousted earlier this year. The new UK boss is the first senior hire by Mark Tucker, who took over as chief executive in May.
Prettejohn may be pleasantly surprised by the contents of his in-tray - the insurer is in pretty good shape.
In a country in which an ageing population is forced to save more by a Government keen to trim its social security budget, the financial services sector must be a long-term winner, and the Pru's performance is improving.
The Pru is among our portfolio of tips for 2005 and the shares are up 7 per cent since the start of the year. There is more to come. Buy.
The above are recommendations from the daily Investment Column
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
- 3 Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
- 4 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 5 Paralysed man Darek Fidyka walks again after treatment by British doctors on brink of 'cure'
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
Lord Freud hangs on as MPs of all parties 'call for his head' over disability comments
iJobs Money & Business
£23000 per annum + pension and 22 days holiday: Ashdown Group: An established ...
£27000 per annum + pension, 22 days holiday: Ashdown Group: An established ind...
£23000 - £26000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: A Corporate Actions Administrator / Operations Admini...
Day In a Page
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village