The Week In Review: Check out facts before you leave this hotel group

Half-year numbers from InterContinental Hotels were good and bid speculation means that the shares have risen; operating profit for the first half came in at £111m, while pre-tax profits came in at £104m on the back of a 12 per cent jump in revenue to £442m.

Despite a very solid set of numbers, shares in InterContinental are far from cheap. The takeover premium in the price means that the stock is trading on a racy 22.8 times forecast 2007 earnings, falling to 19.2 times in 2008. For now, the results are just about good enough to warrant holding on. Hold.

Over the past five years, shares in DIY retailer Kingfisher have been among the worst performers in the blue-chip index. Since April they've been down almost 23 per cent. That said, first-half group sales were up by more than 7 per cent, and international sales rose by 22.8 per cent. Hold.

SMG's near 20 per cent gain in its share price in recent weeks was all but wiped out after last week's 13 per cent collapse. SMG has unveiled a major restructuring of the business to focus on its core television and production divisions and is moving in the right direction, but investors should resist buying. Hold.

Management Consulting Group
The group reported excellent interim numbers last week. Overall, first-half revenues rose 49 per cent to £100.5m, with pre-tax earnings up by 55 per cent to £10.2m. Even taking into account last week's strong rebound, the shares trade on just 7.3 times forecast 2008 earnings – far too cheap for a growth stock. Buy.

WH Smith
The poor summer weather looks to have had a big impact on WH Smith's competitors, and analysts expect full-year results to come out at the top end of forecasts. The shares trade on under 13 times forecast 2008 earnings. While there are concerns over the long-term future of some parts of the business, management's sought to bring in new revenue streams. Buy.

Celtic Resources
Severstal, the Russian steel giant, has taken a 22 per cent strategic stake in AIM-listed Celtic Resources' business, which could lead to a full takeover approach. Celtic trades on an attractive 12.3 times forecast 2007 earnings. This is a high-risk investment, but the shares are worth a punt. Risk buy.

Britvic got regulatory clearance to buy C&C's Irish soft drinks business last week. However, the core UK market has delivered disappointing sales in the past three months. But the company still expects to make its full-year expectations. The stock trades on 14.5 times forecast 2007 earnings, falling to approximately 12.2 times 2008. For now, the stock looks fairly valued. Hold.

Smurfit Kappa
Last week's interim numbers for box maker Smurfit Kappa showed a 28.4 per cent jump in pre-tax earnings to ¿514m, indicating healthy margins. Deutsche Bank is forecasting ¿2.32 of earnings in 2008, putting the stock on a forward multiple of just 6.8 times. This is an excellent set of interim results. Buy.

Border & Southern Petroleum
B&S listed in 2005 and last week confirmed it has raised £15m of capital. The proceeds will be used to accumulate 3D seismic data on its prospects south of the Falklands. However, the long-term lack of progress on Falklands oil must make this is a stock to avoid. Reluctantly, this is a sell. Sell.

British Energy
The markets were braced for disappointing first quarter numbers from British Energy, so despite last week's 40 per cent drop in operating profits to £168m, most observers viewed the results positively. Citigroup is forecasting 36.5p of per share earnings for 2008, putting the stock on a forward multiple of 11.9 times – not expensive, but given the operational disappointments of the last year, a fair price. Hold.

Northern Rock
This year has been the worst for Northern Rock since the former building society demutualised 10 years ago. No one really knows how the credit market squeeze will unfold, but if conditions stabilise in a few months, conditions could ease for Northern Rock. With the appropriate health warning that the market is in uncharted waters, the stock may start to look cheap. Hold.

Climate Exchange
Climate Exchange is the holding company for two carbon exchanges. The shares have been listed since September 2003, and have gone ballistic in the last year. But remember, this is a business in relative infancy. No one ever went bust taking a profit. Sell.

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

    £400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

    Market Risk & Control Manager

    Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...

    SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

    £320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

    Head of Audit

    To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

    Day In a Page

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam