Market Report: Search on for shares to weather the cold

 

The City's weather-watchers yesterday said it was time for shares in pothole fillers, travel companies, funeral providers and coat sellers to warm up on the back of the freezing conditions. The extended winter climate gave Peel Hunt's scribblers a chance to pick likely success stories. The Scottish road mender Breedon Aggregates, holiday groups Thomas Cook and Tui Travel, funeral provider Dignity and fashion company Supergroup were among their predicted winners.

Peel Hunt's analysts think "road surfaces already weak from under-investment will suffer substantial damage … cold and wet weather tends to increase death and … after nearly 12 months of poor weather in the UK, the prospect of guaranteed sunshine has to have an increased attraction for many".

Shares in Tui were top of the tree after the group said it was confident that it would hit the upper end of profit guidance for 2013, helped by a strong finish to winter holiday trade and a rise in summer bookings. In a trading update, the world's biggest tour operator said UK and Nordic bookings were ahead 9 per cent. The shares travelled up 8.8p to 319.1p but Thomas Cook dipped 1.5p to 114.2p.

The aggregates specialist Breedon was static at 22.5p, while Dignity edged down to 1,405p. Peel Hunt said Supergroup was also likely to benefit because of its focus on "high levels of denim, hoodies and outerwear". The shares were down 12p to 599.5p for now.

Cautious investors watching the ongoing Cyprus bailout situation amid persistent eurozone fears were distressed by confirmation that the UK's gross domestic product contracted by 0.3 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year. The FTSE 100 index recovered some of its earlier losses during the day, but finished down 11.81 points at 6,387.56.

The Scottish oil and gas services group John Wood agreed a three-year North Sea contract extension from CNR International, which allows Wood to secure employment for 200 offshore and 250 onshore staff, from offices in Aberdeen, Runcorn and Hull. The shares built up a 7p gain to 863.5p.

Berenberg Bank rated the taxpayer-owned Royal Bank of Scotland a sell and said it is "overvalued and, until the capital structure/government shareholding is simplified, it is hard to argue why investors would want to own the shares". The market viewed the Financial Policy Committee's decree on capital requirements as bad news for RBS and its shares slipped 8.9p to 277.1p.

Deutsche Bank upped its share price target for the supermarket group Tesco to 440p from 394p, and the shares checked out an increase of 4.45p to 377.7p.

The struggling credit-card protection group CPP got a 1p-a-share bid from its founder and majority shareholder, Hamish Ogston. Small cap-listed CPP announced earlier this year that it must find £40m to avoid going into administration. The group, which has been hit by massive Financial Services Authority fines for mis-selling, last week warned that there is "significant uncertainty" as to the value of its shares. The shares lost another 0.1p to 2.97p yesterday – a far cry from the 235p a share that they listed for in March 2010. Mr Ogston now has until 5pm on 24 April to say whether he intends to proceed with his offer.

The construction group Costain is buying the road maintenance and bin collection group May Gurney in a £177m deal. Liberum Capital's scribes think the deal adds significant risk, but they admit that the "economics look attractive". They reiterate their buy recommendations. Costain's shares fell 23p to 280p, while May Gurney's rose 65.5p to 250p.

Nigel Wray, the Serial entrepreneur and Saracens chairman, has upped his stake in the Aim-listed cab maker Eco City Vehicles to 15.27 per cent. The shares drove up 0.08p to 1.75p.

Bellzone Mining's shares slumped 5.25p to 6.25p after it admitted that there are limited iron ore resources at its flagship Kalia Mine Project in west Africa.

The oil group Iofina jetted up 7p to 185p, pushed by day traders.

The retail property group NewRiver Retail signed up new tenants for its redevelopment of The Forum in Newcastle, and the shares were 3p better off at 202p.

Panmure Gordon's Philip Dorgan issued a more cautious view on the handbag maker Mulberry after its profit warning last week. He downgraded his 2014 and 2015 pre-tax forecasts by 15 per cent and 21 per cent, and reduced the target price for the shares to 950p. He retains his hold rating and the shares bagged another 10p loss to 999.75p.

Central Asia Metals, a copper producing group with a focus on base metals in Asia, reported full-year results and its shares shone 19p to 128p.

Buy

Sweett group

Snap up shares in Sweett Group, Charles Stanley insists. The analysts like the only UK-listed quantity surveyor as it has a "contracted order book" of more than £100m "for the first time in its history" with 67 per cent generated overseas and 33 per cent from the UK. The analysts rate it a buy with a 34p share price target and its shares were 23p.

Sell

Icap

Flog shares in the broker Icap, Canaccord Genuity urges. Analysts there point out that its full-year 2013 pre-close statement yesterday reminded investors that "trading conditions for the nine months … were extremely challenging." They rate the shares, which are currently 302.3p, a sell with a 300p target.

Hold

Antofagasta

Hang on to shares in Chilean copper miner Antofagasta, Fox-Davies suggests. Its analysts have upped their rating to hold from sell, with a share price target of 1,015p, up from 981p. The miner's results earlier this month were good but it has a major feasibility study under way, due for completion in early 2014, so hold the shares for now, they say. The shares were 1,025p.

Suggested Topics
News
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
people
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister
news

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
Northern soul mecca the Wigan Casino
fashionGone are the punks, casuals, new romantics, ravers, skaters, crusties. Now all kids look the same
Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

News
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
i100
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

Customer Service Executive / Inbound Customer Service Agent

£18 - 23k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Customer Service Executiv...

ASP.NET Web Developer / .NET Developer

£60 - 65k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a ASP.NET Web Developer / ....

Operational Risk Manager - Asset Management

£60,000 - £80,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is an leading Asset Manager based...

Project Coordinator - 12 month contract

£27000 - £32000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our large charity ...

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past