The Week In Review: Growth from all over the world


INMARSAT

Inmarsat's first annual results since coming to market were well received by the City and its potential growth is exciting. It recently launched broadband global area network, giving users access to the internet from pretty much anywhere in the world and the group also continues to pursue talks with US mobile and fixed line operators about allowing them to use its satellites to fill holes in their networks. Buy.

JOHNSTON PRESS

Revenues for recruitment advertisements at Johnston Press's newspapers were down 24 per cent in the second half of last year. On the plus side, this company should benefit from chances to buy more papers as the industry consolidates. Hold

CARILLION

Given the money the government is spending on the Private Finance Initiative, it's no surprise Carillion is doing well. The construction group has announced a 15 per cent rise in profits to £55.5m and advised a 7 per cent rise in its dividend to 8p a share. Buy.

RESTAURANT GROUP

In the past year Restaurant has sold its Caffé Uno and Est Est Est restaurants and gobbled up the Blubeckers gastropub chain. It is much better placed for further growth than many of its high-street peers and has a higher dividend yield. Buy the shares.

CRH

Irish building materials giant CRH has unveiled a 16 per cent rise in annual pre-tax profits to €1.2bn (£820m). The shares have made good progress since this column tipped them in the summer, and they still trade at a discount. Hold.

INTERNATIONAL POWER

When times are good they tend to be electric at International Power. Profits are up from £145m to £299m and investors are to receive an 80 per cent rise in the dividend. But the shares trade at a little less than 15 times forward earnings, a slight premium to the wider FTSE 100, and the company is relatively risky. Hold.

DMATEK

Dmatek sells electronic monitoring devices that will allow authorities to track a person's every movement once a tag has been attached to their body. Given the company's growth rate, from a rational perspective the stock is a buy. But from a moral point of view, it's probably best avoided.

MATALAN

With rumours of a private equity offer, bid speculation once again surrounds the discount retailer Matalan, where a succession of chief executives have failed to reverse its decline. But at 16 times earnings, Matalan shares are overvalued. Sell

.

CENES PHARMA

CeNeS Pharmaceuticals is edging closer to launching its morphine-based pain-killer, but if it fails, CeNeS has little to fall back on. One for the brave only.

ROYAL & SUNALLIANCE

Although this stage in the insurance cycle might not seem be the ideal time to increase your exposure to the UK's largest general insurer, the group has been severely undervalued over the past few years. With the major risks now behind it, and the share price beginning to climb, RSA is a buy.

UMBRO

2006 is going to be a good year for Umbro. The World Cup in Germany is set to be a major money spinner for the sports wear group with sales of England replica shirts to be key. Yet the shares trade at just 12 times forward earnings. Hold

IMI's restructuring engineers a steady growth in earnings

IMI, the Birmingham-based engineer, seems to be doing the right things. Management, led by the respected chief executive Martin Lamb, has spent the past four years restructuring operations to focus on producing valued-added products rather than commodity goods.

Lamb has also done a great job taking costs out of the business. This has been achieved primarily by moving production to lower-cost countries including Mexico and China. Since 2003, IMI shares have more than doubled, thanks to steady earnings growth. IMI's stock trades at 15 times forward earnings. For a quality outfit that is not expensive. Buy.

The above recommendations are taken from the daily Investment Column

m.jivkov@independent.co.uk

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