Intelligent move to raise pounds 6m on AIM


Another day, another AIM flotation. This week the Intel-ligent Environments Group announced it intends to launch on the Alternative Investment Market later this month. Details are sketchy at present, but the group specialises in developing software applications for Microsoft Windows 95, Windows NT and the Internet. Its main hit is AM: a software tool that allows programmers to develop complex business applications on PCs. IEG already boasts a healthy blue-chip client list, and with half its sales in the US, it must be doing something right. If plans to raise pounds 6m in new money go ahead, the group will be worth pounds 20m. The new market is now a year old. In that time, it has grown to accommodate companies with a combined value of more than pounds 3bn. IEG sounds just the sort of company AIM was devised to assist.

Securicor is one of the growth stocks on the market - not because of its security business, but because of its stake in Cellnet, the mobile telephone network. Since March, when the company announced details of a capital reconstruction, its shares have outperformed the market by a hefty 21 per cent. According to stockbroker BZW, that represents a 13 per cent premium to the business's asset value of 275p a share. The broker has also trimmed its forecasts for 1996, from pounds 126.5m pre-tax profit to pounds 118m to reflect higher marketing and subscriber costs. At 24 times current-year earnings, the shares are overvalued. Sell.

Floated at 133p last December, shares in Unicorn International, now 153p, have performed reasonably well. Valued at pounds 50m, the company is a specialist engineer that produces abrasives, mainly for the automotive industry but some 15 per cent goes into the aerospace and power generation industries. The abrasives are used for grinding engine components and turbine blades. Analyst Roger Brocklebank, of stockbroker Albert E Sharp, sees the group lifting profits by 20 per cent to pounds 7.2m, which translates into earnings per share of 13.9p. The resulting multiple of 10.9 is significantly below the sector, while the yield is a healthy 5.1 per cent. Buy.

Will Celsis become one of the first biotech stocks to produce profits? It will be an irony if it does, as its shares are among the lowest rated in the sector. That is partly because its business is concentrated on the low-tech end. It produces bacteria detection kits for blue-chip companies like Colgate Palmolive, using a technique called bioluminscence, based on the firefly enzyme. It is much more accurate than conventional methods. The company is confident it can reach break-even by the end of 1997, with profits thereafter beginning to flow in earnest in 1998. With pounds 10m cash in the bank, it has no immediate funding needs on the horizon. If you want biotech with less risk than elsewhere in the sector, the shares (111p) are a buy.

Quarto, a co-edition book publisher and packager, last week announced the acquisition of a 75 per cent stake in Design Eye Holdings for up to pounds 5m. Design Eye made pounds 313,000 on sales of pounds 7.3m in 1995, and should be, says Laurence Orbach, Quarto's chairman, earnings enhancing in the current year. It will also allow Quarto (306p) to branch out from co-edition publishing for children to adult books in arts, crafts and hobbies. Broker Merrill Lynch expects pre-tax profits to rise to pounds 8.3m this year, from pounds 7m in 1995. Buy.

Results due tomorrow from Wagon, the engineering to car components and storage group, could prove to be make-or-break. NatWest forecasts pre- tax profits of pounds 27m (pounds 24.2m) but argues that the current depressed share price suggests deep-seated problems. The group is struggling to bring its new automotive business up to speed, and is finding that car makers are tough taskmasters. In engineering, loss-making units have been sold off, but the remaining ones must take up the slack left from retail systems and storage. A strong balance sheet, however, suggests the dividend should be safe, but the shares (374p) are not ones to over-enthuse about.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
Jonny Evans and Papiss Cisse come together
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
Arts and Entertainment
The beat is on: Alfred Doda, Gjevat Kelmendi and Orli Shuka in ‘Hyena’
filmReview: Hyena takes corruption and sleaziness to a truly epic level
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.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Evening Administrator

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established early...

Guru Careers: Executive Assistant / PA

£30 - 35k + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Executive Assist...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Application Support Analyst

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Reach Volunteering: External Finance Trustee Needed!

Voluntary post, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Would you ...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis