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Citywire Top Stocks: one miner scrapes back in

There is one new entrant and four departures from Citywire Top Stocks this month.

by Harry Brooks, Caelainn Barr on Nov 19, 2012 at 11:28

Citywire Top Stocks: the latest moves

Citywire Top Stocks® is a unique compilation of the main share holdings of five leading UK fund managers whose stock picking skills we rate highly.

The fund managers on our panel are:

Each month we update the list using new data showing the top 10 holdings of the managers' funds, as recorded at the end of the month before last. This month one new entrant has been added and four have been dropped leaving a total of 31 stocks. The change in line-up reflects movements in the funds' portfolios at the end of September.

Key stats
Market capitalisation£3,003m
No. of shares out273m
No. of shares floating97m
No. of common shareholdersnot stated
No. of employees32179
Trading volume (10 day avg.)1m
Turnover8,812m USD
Profit before tax38m USD
Earnings per share0.14 USD
Cashflow per share5.99 USD
Cash per share15.88 USD

*Correct as at 12 Nov 2012

Vedanta Resources

Mining company Vedanta Resources (VED.L) re-enters Top Stocks as a top holding in Edward Legget’s Standard Life Investments UK Equity Unconstrained fund this month.

The miner reported a sharp rise in first-half profits this month with a 49% increase in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation as its Cairn India business and a weaker Indian rupee pushed up profits.

Analysts were positive on the stock after the results beat expectations. Amos Fletcher, analyst at Barclays, said: ‘The Vedanta investment case remains a balancing act between attractive valuation metrics, high leverage and constantly changing Indian legislation. The benefits of leverage have been seen in the last month with the shares gently outperforming a rising sector. Importantly, this has been assisted by increasing capital discipline/degearing as evidenced in these results.’

The stock has featured in the portfolio’s top 10 holdings many times since last September and made up 3.2% of Legget’s portfolio at the end of September. It has a price-to-earnings ratio of 23 and a dividend yield of 3.3%.

Key stats
Market capitalisation£5,772m
No. of shares out268m
No. of shares floating235m
No. of common shareholdersnot stated
No. of employees4262
Trading volume (10 day avg.)1m
Turnover£1,396m
Profit before tax£260m
Earnings per share97.53p
Cashflow per share168.43p
Cash per share20.31p

*Correct as at 12 Nov 2012

Aggreko

Temporary power provider Aggreko (AGK.L) has been dropped from the top 10 holdings of Thomas Dobell’s M&G Recovery fund this month. The company issued a profit warning in October as currency fluctuations and bad debts are expected to hit full-year profits by 2.5% despite a 13% sales increase in the third quarter.

However, the group benefited earlier this month as it stepped in to provide power to areas affected by Hurricane Sandy on US East coast and the company supplied the London Olympics this summer as part of a £37 million contract.

Mike Murphy, analyst, at Numis Securities, commented: ‘The warning reminds investors of the above average risk in the business and although we only have minor downgrades to our numbers the perceived higher risk results in a lower valuation and target price. However, we remain positive about the longer-term outlook due to the power demand/supply imbalance on a global basis.’

Aggreko entered Top Stocks for the first time in August before falling out during September. The shares have gained 16% in the past year and trade at 20 times forecast earnings with a dividend yield of just 1%.

Key stats
Market capitalisation£603m
No. of shares out82m
No. of shares floating76m
No. of common shareholdersnot stated
No. of employees4230
Trading volume (10 day avg.)0m
Turnover£1,504m
Profit before tax£49m
Earnings per share59.71p
Cashflow per share63.95p
Cash per share117.04p

*Correct as at 12 Nov 2012

Galliford Try

Housebuilder Galliford Try drops out of Top Stocks having left the top holdings of Edward Legget's Standard Life Investment UK Equity Unconstrained fund.

The group recently published an upbeat first-quarter trading update, showing sales reservations up 7% year-on-year. Peel Hunt analyst Robin Hardy reiterated his 'buy' stance on the shares.

'The Q1 IMS shows continued positive trading in both housing and construction with a strong housing sales rate through the autumn selling season,' he said.

'The construction industry remains challenging but the group is finding plenty of opportunities, especially in affordable housing. We still see Galliford as offering the only substantial value in the sector and, with our recently raised target price of 900p, we still see this as our main pick in the sector.'

The shares trade at 11.5 times forecast earnings and yield 4.3%.

Key stats
Market capitalisation£3,127m
No. of shares out1,267m
No. of shares floating1,219m
No. of common shareholdersnot stated
No. of employees8123
Trading volume (10 day avg.)2m
Turnover£1,080m
Profit before tax£110m
Earnings per share12.92p
Cashflow per share18.18p
Cash per share28.46p

*Correct as at 12 Nov 2012

Melrose

Industrial turnround specialist Melrose has dropped out of Top Stocks, having previously featured as a top holding in Derek Stuart's Artemis UK Special Situations fund.

A few months back the group became one of Stuart's biggest holdings after he snapped up more shares in a two-for-one rights issue that was launched to fund the acquisition of German meter-maker Elster. The acquisition more than doubled the group's revenues, and propelled it into the FTSE 100.

However, recently things haven't been so positive. The shares plunged almost 15% last week after its interim management statement that ‘initial indications point to current revenue trends having slowed’.

Analyst Chris Dyett of Investec said of Melrose's statement: 'The only clarity is that there is not any.'

Nonetheless, Dyett added that the Elster acquisition still promises growth. 'Longer term, we still expect Melrose to offer above average revenue growth with the prospect of margin upside (predominantly from Elster).'

Melrose shares trade at nearly seven times forecast earnings for next year and offer a dividend yield of just over 3.1%.

Key stats
Market capitalisation£5,894m
No. of shares out164m
No. of shares floating154m
No. of common shareholdersnot stated
No. of employees28685
Trading volume (10 day avg.)0m
Turnover£3,441m
Profit before tax£434m
Earnings per share251.48p
Cashflow per share320.73p
Cash per share40.83p

*Correct as at 12 Nov 2012

Next

Fashion retailer Next exits Top Stocks having left the top holdings of Nigel Thomas's AXA Framlington UK Select Opportunities fund.

Last month the shares dropped about 7% after the group warned of disappointing sales in the previous two months, but they've since recovered, with the third-quarter update at the start of the month narrowing full-year sales guidance towards the top end of the previous range.

Seymour Pierce analyst Kate Calvert raised her target price from £33.50 to £35 on the back of the encouraging update. 'While the share price performance is slightly behind the sector over the last one and three months, it has outperformed the All Share year to date by 20% driven mainly by a re-rating,' Calvert said.

'We believe the shares will consolidate around this level given the greater than expected slowdown in Directory and so maintain our hold recommendation.'

Next has a 12-month price-to-earnings ratio of 12.8x, and offers a 12-month dividend yield of 2.63%.

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Look up the shares

  • Vedanta Resources PLC (VED.L)
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  • Galliford Try PLC (GFRD.L)
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  • Next PLC (NXT.L)
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  • Melrose PLC (NYN.L)
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  • Aggreko PLC (AGGK.L)
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