The Investment Column: Rage

AS THE latest hot number to crack the fast growing market for computer games, Rage shares have undergone a substantial re-rating since early summer. Yesterday's full-year results, which saw pre-tax profits jump nearly four-fold to pounds 3.12m and sales rise 59 per cent to pounds 8.85m, justify the faith investors have put in the stock.

Yet there are clear indications that Rage can develop much further. Last year, three games, including its football title, provided the vast bulk of revenue. Now, however, it has nine titles in production, including three out of the 10 initial titles for the imminent European and North American launches of Sega's Dreamcast console.

Deals with Microsoft and the two largest PC manufacturers, Compaq and Dell, should also underpin growth prospects. With world computer game revenue expected to grow 20 per cent plus to pounds 11bn this year, Rage's tightly managed expansion should continue to reward investors. With a prospective year to June 2000 p/e rating of 25.5 the shares are a buy.