Investment Column: Odds stacked against Stanley
Thursday 15 January 1998
However, pre-tax profits rose 37 per cent to pounds 10.1m for the six months to October, causing the share price to perk up 9p to 273.5p.
Casino profits did fall 9 per cent to pounds 4.73m. However, its pounds 1.5m scheme to solve a staffing crisis is working and the business looks to have turned the corner. The bookies chain can also look forward to a big one-off boost from the World Cup. Perversely, the takeover of the Coral betting chain by Ladbroke should help business. Ladbroke is unlikely to compete with Stanley for any new sites on the market and competition authorities may even force it to put more bookies up for sale.
But Stanley's problem is that organic growth in both its divisions will be hard to come by. The Government is unlikely to allow operators new slot machines for at another year at least and probably much longer, a move which had promised to increase Stanley's revenues dramatically. As for betting, most of the growth has come from new numbers games and slot machines but the prospect of further growth here is somewhat limited. It is a worrying trend that the number of betting slips taken has actually fallen in the last six months.
Analysts forecast pre-tax profits of around pounds 24m-pounds 25m for the year to April, putting the shares on a prospective p/e ratio of 18-19.
Given Stanley's strong management team, which is armed with a pounds 40m war chest, the rating is justified but the upside looks relatively limited. Hold.
- 1 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 2 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 3 What color is The Dress, white and gold or blue and black? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 Madonna claims jokes about her age tantamount to racism: 'No one would dare to say a degrading remark about being black'
Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
Mohammed Emwazi: Nine things we know about Isis militant 'Jihadi John'
What color is The Dress, white and gold or blue and black? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Madonna claims jokes about her age tantamount to racism: 'No one would dare to say a degrading remark about being black'
Oscars 2015: Birdman beats Boyhood as Eddie Redmayne and Patricia Arquette win big - as it happened
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...
£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...
£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...