Shares: Taking Stock

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ARLEN, the electrical group, firmed to 30p, highest since January, on talk of corporate activity. It may be near to selling unwanted bits and pieces of Plasmec, taken over in an pounds 11m deal. The sales could leave Arlen with a pounds 10m cash pile. With a market capitalisation of pounds 20m and an underperforming share price,the electrical group looks vulnerable.

ASK Central, the 35-strong restaurants chain run by the Kaye family, gained 17.5p to 412.5p. It has a pounds 6.4m cash call on its menu with shares offered at 350p. Profits more than doubled to pounds 2m. Two years ago the shares were 56.5p.

SHARES of Allied Leisure, the bowling alley and fast food group, should be 45p against the 30p current price, believe Charterhouse Tilney. The investment house ponders the possibility of a takeover bid. It forecasts profits of pounds 4.4m this year, up from pounds 4.2m.