First trading puts Abacus at premium

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The Independent Online
SHARES in Abacus, a distributor of electronic components, ended their first day of trading yesterday at 153p, a 13p premium, writes Russell Hotten.

A total of 10.71 million shares, 37 per cent of the enlarged capital, were placed at 140p, valuing the company at pounds 40.6m. The placing price put Abacus on a p/e of 18.9, a good discount to its rivals.

The company, which has 25 distribution franchises, said it was very pleased with the issue given the sluggishness of the market.

It said at least two large institutions bought into the company on the back of reports that the sector was growing at 10 per cent a year.

Abacus made taxable profits of pounds 2.98m ( pounds 1.76m) in the year ended September. Earnings per share were 7.4p (4.3p) on turnover of pounds 30.9m against pounds 23.4m.

The company was formed from a pounds 3.4m management buyout in 1989 led by Brian Murdoch, now managing director, and three colleagues.

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