Williams starts reconstruction

City Talk

Over the past few years, Williams Holdings (339p) has been stuck in a rut, but the disposal of its UK building products could give its shares a much-needed fillip. So will the move herald a change in fortune for shareholders? The answer is a qualified yes. If the pounds 303m in cash is re-invested wisely, Williams should be able to consolidate further its fire protection and security arms, which offer higher rates of growth.

Meanwhile, the building products arm in North America is well placed to benefit from a pick-up in economic activity. The group can also start to shake off the tag of conglomerate, and be seen as a more focused industrial group. Buy.

COULD Wainhomes (100p) - victim of a stock valuation debacle in January which involved police interest - be one of the cheapest stocks among the housebuilders? That is the view of the research desk at NatWest Securities, which believes the shares represent better than average value.

For those attracted by the prospect of a quick profit, they warn it will take time for the share price to cast off the problems of the past. Evidence of the damage is reflected in NatWest's forecasts, with the dividend stuck at 4.5p. Forthcoming interims from the group, however, are likely to convey an upbeat message. A speculative buy.

THE debate over pay-per-view TV has diverted attention away from results on the pitch, to the likely impact on the bottom line of football clubs. It is clear that clubs stand to pick up a major windfall.

Stockbroker Greig Middleton has analysed the possible effect on two of the quoted clubs, Manchester United (572.5p) and Tottenham Hotspur (579p). Using what it claims are conservative scenarios, it sees at least 250,000 people each pay pounds 9 for the privilege of watching Manchester's dozen top games of the season, with lower charges for the less popular encounters. That would bring in revenue of pounds 16m. With 750,000 punters paying to watch a game on digital TV, revenue leaps to pounds 50m. Greig Middleton says the shares are worth at least 678p - and could be worth as much as 900p.

At Spurs, they see an extra pounds 12m kicker from pay-per-view, to value the shares at pounds 7. Although it is questionable if clubs can expect audiences to consistently come in at 50,000-plus for each game, there is no doubt it will have a major impact on football's finances. Buy.

IN the week when the markets lurched, it seems to make sense to recommend a sell, if only to catch the bearish mood. With sterling still riding high, one loser will be Glaxo Wellcome. The shares, currently at 937.5p, trade on a deserved premium to the rest of the market. However, there seems to have been little recognition of the impact of a higher sterling exchange rate on the bottom line. It seems reasonable that the current strength will lop a few percentage points off this and next year's profits.

The group will also suffer from sharp declines in its sales of Zantac, the ulcer drug, and Zovirax, the shingles and herpes treatment, in the US, as these products come off-patent.

AS the Bank of England announced the biggest shake-up in the money markets for 100 years, and the abolition of the old-style discount house, one of their number, Cater Allen (384p), seems well-insulated. The group has pounds 30m to expand its retail business, which covers a growing offshore banking business on Jersey and the Isle of Man.

The group should also benefit from interest rate uncertainty in its gilts division, and has established itself in the burgeoning gilts repo market. On a 10 per cent yield, the shares are a snip.

MARSTON, THOMPSON (262.5p), the brewer, has underperformed the market by a remarkable 22 per cent since it reported respectable full-year results in July.

With the Pitcher & Piano theme bars now under its roof, having made a first time contribution of pounds 350,000, and plans to double their number to 22 by the end of next year, expansion remains firmly to the fore.

A progressive dividend policy adds to its attractions. Buy.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Lewis Hamilton walks back to the pit lane with his Mercedes burning in the background
Formula 1
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con
comic-con 2014
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
News
i100
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
people
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 Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

The benefits of being in Recruitment at SThree...

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...

Test Analyst - UAT - Credit Risk

£280 - £300 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Test Analyst, Edinburgh, Credit Ris...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Day In a Page

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride