Empresaria – 52.25p

14 November 2019 – director share purchase

The international specialist staffing group has announces that Chief Financial Officer Tim Anderson has purchased 25,000 shares at an average price of approximately 50.5p.  Following this lead should prove to be a sensible move.  BUY.

Volex – 119p

14 November 2019 – interim results

The global provider of complex assemblies has announced interim results for the 26 weeks to 29 September 2019.  Revenue was US$195.7m (2018: US$182.4m).  Underlying profit before tax was US$15.3m versus US$9.0m in the same period last year, with statutory profit before tax coming in at US$9.7m, up from US$4.9m.  Basic earnings per share almost doubled to 5.3c (2018: 2.7c) and underlying diluted earnings per share were 8.5c (2018: 5.8c). An interim dividend of 1.0p per share (2018: nil) was declared.  The shares are a BUY.

Norcros – 237p

14 November 2019 – interim results

Interim results, covering the six months ended 30 September 2019, have been released.  Revenue for the 27-week first half was £181.2m (2018: £162.6m), which 11.4% higher than the prior year 26-week period on a reported basis, 12.8% higher on a constant currency basis, and 0.9% higher on a like-for-like basis.  This performance reflected strong organic domestic revenue growth in the UK as well as additional revenue from the new South African acquisition, House of Plumbing.  Pre-IFRS 16 underlying profit before taxation increased by 14.1% to £16.2m (2018: £14.2m).  Pre-IFRS 16 profit before taxation was £13.9m (2018: £15.2m).  Pre-IFRS 16 diluted underlying earnings per share was 12.9% higher at 15.7p (2018: 13.9p).  Pre-IFRS 16 underlying operating cash flow was £17.5m (2018: £11.4m).  Net debt was £41.1m as at 30 September 2019, £12.4m lower than at 30 September 2018.  An interim dividend of 3.1p per share was declared (2018: 2.8p).  The dividend is payable on 10 January 2020 and the ex-dividend date is 28 November.  The shares have crept higher in recent months but remain a BUY.

21st Century Technology – 3.9p

13 November 2019 – share reorganisation and name change

The company has announced a share reorganisation which will effectively see holders of 4,000 shares or more receive 1 new share for every 16 held.  Those holding less than 4,000 shares will receive cash instead.  The company also wishes to change name to Journeo.  A general meeting to approve the changes is set for 2 December with these taking effect the following day.  The shares are a SPECULATIVE BUY.

Parity Group – 7.5p

13 November 2019 – agreement with Integumen

Heads of Terms have been signed with Integumen to enter a multi-year Framework Agreement to be completed on or before the 18 December.  The agreement will give Parity access to Integumen’s Artificial Intelligent software which it can supply across its client base including the National Health Service, Central Government and Private Institutional clients.  The agreement accelerates Parity’s transformation from a predominately commoditised recruitment business to a data consultancy service provider of intelligent data management systems.  This is an exciting development and the shares remain a BUY.

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