City File: Lucas

THERE is a growing belief in the City that Lucas could be worth investing in for fundamental reasons rather than as a bid target. Shares started motoring from 78p last year on takeover talk. But recent rises have a lot to do with a number of fireside chats between directors and the City.

Analysts are almost convinced that Lucas could achieve profits of pounds 70m, covering a 7.6p dividend. The restructuring is taking shape, and shares rose 6p to 149p on Friday on the back of the Saudis' Tornado order.

If a predator does not strike quickly, there is a danger the price could run out of reach. The critical time could be around the interims in early March.

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