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4 shares the pros are buying and selling

Our regular roundup of trades by professional investors, featuring Eve Sleep, Premier Veterinary Group, Synthomer and Numis.

by David Campbell, Selin Bucak on Sep 25, 2017 at 05:00

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Key stats
Market capitalisation£127m
No. of shares out138m
No. of shares floating70m
No. of common shareholdersnot stated
No. of employees51
Trading volume (10 day avg.)1m
Profit before tax£-11m
Earnings per share-8.20p
Cashflow per share-8.19p
Cash per share3.35p

Eve Sleep

UK equity income manager Neil Woodford has increased his stake in loss making mattress seller Eve Sleep (EVEE) following a slide in its shares fourth months after its IPO.

Woodford took his holding to 25.1% of the business worth £32.3 million at a price of 93p, down 8.8% since 19 May. The shares are held in his Woodford Equity Income fund.In its maiden results since listing on the Alternative Investment Market, the business revealed that its losses trebled to £9.1 million in the first half of the year, compared to £3.2 million in the same period in 2016.

However the company pointed out that this was due to ‘rapid investment in the business’ while it reported revenue growth of 126% to £11.5 million.

Eve Sleep, which recently signed a major partnership deal with German retailer Karstadt, listed back in May 2017, raising proceeds of £32.8 million, receiving backing from Woodford.

Peel Hunt rates the stock a ‘buy’ with a 135p price target.

Key stats
Market capitalisation£7m
No. of shares out15m
No. of shares floating5m
No. of common shareholdersnot stated
No. of employees0
Trading volume (10 day avg.)m
Profit before tax£-2m
Earnings per share-17.03p
Cashflow per share-16.39p
Cash per share8.41p

Premier Veterinary Group

Citywire AA-rated small cap stockpicker Giles Hargreave managed to limit some of the damage from a crash in the shares of Premier Veterinary Group (PVGP) last week.

Shares in the business lost nearly half their value on Friday as the group warned of lower profits due to a slowdown in its US business.

Just over a week earlier, Hargreave had slashed his holding in the company, from 6.7% of its shares to 3.9%, now worth £272,325.

Shares in the business have endured a precipitous decline since hitting a recent peak of 275p in March, tumbling to 45p on Friday.

The shares are largely held in the Marlborough Nano-Cap Growth fund with the remainder held by clients of his eponymous wealth firm Hargreave Hale.

Premier has been conducting an ongoing restructure in recent years, disposing of a series of legacy units to focus on its preventative healthcare service, which is targeting US expansion.

House broker Investec rates the company a ‘buy’ on a price target of 305p.

Key stats
Market capitalisation£1,668m
No. of shares out340m
No. of shares floating262m
No. of common shareholdersnot stated
No. of employees2326
Trading volume (10 day avg.)m
Profit before tax£110m
Earnings per share32.26p
Cashflow per share52.08p
Cash per share34.54p


Citywire AAA-rated mid-cap veteran Richard Watts has upped his stake in FTSE 250 chemicals business Synthomer (SYNTS) as its share dip from an all-time record high hit earlier this year.

Watts increased his investment to just over 6% of the business worth almost £90 million at a share price of 490p, down from a June peak of 509p.

The shares are held in his £3.1 billion Old Mutual UK Mid Cap with a smaller stake in AAA-rated colleague Dan Nickols’ UK Smaller Companies fund. Synthomer produces a range of polymers used in applications as diverse as construction, textiles, printing and surgical materials. Its shares began to rocket at the beginning of the year as it upped 2017 profit expectations from an earlier high of £104 million to around £120 million.

Cannacord Genuity last month upgraded its guidance on the stock to ‘buy’ and upped its price target from 500p to 525p.

Key stats
Market capitalisation£298m
No. of shares out107m
No. of shares floating70m
No. of common shareholdersnot stated
No. of employees220
Trading volume (10 day avg.)m
Profit before tax£26m
Earnings per share22.37p
Cashflow per share23.43p
Cash per share120.84p


Citywire A-rated growth investor Greg Dean has trimmed his stake in small-cap broker Numis (NUM) as its shares retreat from the three-year high they hit earlier this month.

Dean cut his stake to just under 3% of the business worth £8.5 million at a share price of 275p, at the upper end of recent range but off from a peak of 293p.

The shares are held in his £357 million Cambridge Canadian Growth Companies fund as part of its 22% global allocation, half of which is invested in British-listed companies.

Booming stock markets helped Numis sign up five new corporate clients over the three months to September, taking its total to 195 and knocking JP Morgan Cazenove off the top of the list of most popular City stockbrokers for the first time in 13 years.

By total stock market capitalisation the company’s client list remains more modest however, at 11th most valuable in the UK.

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Look up the shares

  • eve Sleep plc (EVEE.L)
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  • Premier Veterinary Group PLC (PVGP.L)
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  • Synthomer PLC (SYNTS.L)
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  • Numis Corporation PLC (NUM.L)
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