Seton awakes from its slumbers

Seton Healthcare has been stuck in the doldrums since February, with its shares off 41p from a peak of 499p. The company, however, has recently emerged from a flurry of corporate activity. A placing to raise pounds 23.5m will be used to buy DePuy International for pounds 21.7m.

DePuy, which will be renamed ThackrayCare, sells incontinence products. In the UK, it is the market leader in urinary incontinence sheaths sold on prescription. It adds to Seton's existing business in this area, Simpla Plastics, bought in September 1995. House broker BZW reckons that, in total, incontinence saleswill amount to pounds 20m.

A fine set of results saw sales breach the pounds 100m barrier, coming in at pounds 102.86m - up 21 per cent, with pre-tax profits of pounds 19.81m representing a 21 per cent jump. BZW rates the shares a buy.

Peace is said to have broken out in the great Lottery war, but it could be only a temporary respite. Although the market is dismissive of the value of the Lottery to the UK shareholders - Cadbury Schweppes, De La Rue and Racal - Camelot has a hard time ahead if it is to come out of this debacle unscathed. It has already lost up to pounds 24m in revenues, paying back interest on the shortfall fund to good causes. The value of the stakes, especially to Racal and De La Rue, is not to be sneezed at, whatever utterances Racal's Sir Ernest Harrison may have made about not wanting to be associated with a not-for-profits lottery. The companies have done very well on their lottery investment; it seems short-sighted not to acknowledge that.

The big news in the stock market, however - despite what one may think about the Bank of England's decision to raise interest rates - was Cable & Wireless. After months of speculation, the company eventually confirmed it was to sell off a stake in its Hong Kong Telecom business to the Chinese.

Under the deal China Telecom, a state-owned company, buys a 5.5 per cent stake for pounds 726m. Thereafter, Cable & Wireless will transfer shares at some future date until China Telecom becomes an equal shareholder.

Cable & Wireless stormed ahead, closing up 74.5p at 572p.

In contrast, Railtrack's success is taking its toll on the company after the objections of the Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, to its recent rise in profits.

The shares closed the week at 647.5p, down 10.5p on Friday.

However, it is too soon to suppose that Railtrack will be forced on to the backfoot as a result of the Government's interventionist tendencies. Although the shares have come a long way, the long-term prospects still look enticing.

BTR is another company caught in a downswing, but for very different reasons. The share price has hit a new low of 188.5p, its lowest level in five years. There are rumours of mounting pressure for some boardroom changes, although quite what these could achieve is a moot point.

BTR is like one of those unwieldy tankers; turning it around is going to take time, whoever is in charge. Any shareholder who fails to recognise that fact should sell now. But yet more change is unlikely to hasten its recovery.

On directors' share sales and purchases, the retailer Allders had a positive nod from J Pattison, who bought 5,528 shares for his own account at 217p each. The deal takes his holding to 15,000, a sizeable addition.

Directors also waded into the market at the tobacco giant Gallaher Group, with total purchases of 171,000 shares at prices ranging from 272.5p to 280p. The management appears to be unfazed by the prospect of a higher duty on cigarettes, or an end to advertising in the UK.

Of the sales, Dr Chris Evans' decision to reduce his holding in Chiroscience by 800,000 shares to 2.535 million may be the most worrying for the market.

M&G Group, the fund manager, has been going through a tricky time and its woes may be reflected in the decision of director Richard Hughes to sell 1,191 shares at 1,280p each. His stake is reduced to 27,384 shares. M&G is renowned as the value investor par excellence in UK fund management circles.

News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
people
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Sport
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
football
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
i100
Sport
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
boxing
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Market Risk & Control Manager

Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Head of Audit

To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments