SHARES: TAKING STOCK

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The Independent Online
rUpton & Southern, the retail group, firmed to 3p as it swung back into the black with half-year profits of pounds 274,000 against a pounds 9.6 loss in the previous 12 months. Chairman Ron Trenter intends to develop the group's department store chain; a new store opens this year and negotiations to buy another are under way.

rRobert H Lowe, the packaging and textile group, is "ridiculously cheap" at 18p, believe John Siddall, the stockbroker. Analyst Audrey Carroll rates the shares a speculative buy.

rDevelopments are expected at IES, the security group traded on Ofex. Managing director RW Ricks is said to have been removed from a US blacklist and the postponed AIM move is likely to be accompanied by acquisitions.

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