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.

Kingfisher
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
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
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.

a.dewson@independent.co.uk

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

Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
PROMOTED VIDEO
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
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

    Carlton Senior Appointments: Private Banking Manager - Intl Bank - Los Angeles

    $200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer – Office...

    Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advisor – Ind Advisory Firm

    $125 - $225 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advi...

    Sheridan Maine: Commercial Finance Manager

    Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

    Sheridan Maine: Regulatory Reporting Accountant

    Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas