Investment Column: Wassall battles to please City
Thursday 18 September 1997
This year it raised pounds 462m from the flotation of 100 per cent of General Cable, the US copper wires operation it bought in 1994. Some pounds 199m of the resulting pounds 277m gain is reflected in the latest half-year results, which explains the huge jump in half-year profits. But underlying profits are still up a handy 21 per cent to pounds 29.7m.
General Cable was a piece of conglomeratisation in the best possible sense of the word, with margins jumping from next to nothing to around 9 per cent during the three years of Wassall's ownership. The group followed up the sale with a pounds 150m cash handback to shareholders.
It is hard to see what else it can do to satisfy the City, yet Wassall's shares have underperformed the FTSE All-Share index by close to 30 per cent since the General Cable purchase. Now the market is fretting over how the group will spend its acquisition firepower, put at around pounds 500m.
The Far East, where Wassall has a Singapore quote through its York trailer axle business, must be a candidate for expansion and eventual flotation, once a locally recruited chief executive is in place.
Dilution caused by the cash could see profits slip from pounds 55m this year to pounds 46m next, putting the shares, up 3.5p at 327p, on a forward multiple of 17. Hold for further action.
- 1 Games of Thrones actor Lena Headey makes emotional promise to her unborn daughter
- 2 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 3 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
- 4 Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
- 5 Picture of couple posing with beached dolphin 'that later died' causes outrage
Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
Purity balls: Girls in the US making virginity pledges as fathers vow to 'protect purity'
Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
iJobs Money & Business
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...
£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...
£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...