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4 shares the pros are buying and selling

Our regular roundup of trades by professional investors, featuring Driver Group, Intercede, Arena Events and Liontrust.

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Key stats
Market capitalisation£282m
No. of shares out50m
No. of shares floating47m
No. of common shareholdersnot stated
No. of employees82
Trading volume (10 day avg.)m
Turnover£52m
Profit before tax£14m
Earnings per share14.75p
Cashflow per share21.49p
Cash per share40.38p

Liontrust (LIO)

Who’s trading? Citywire A-rated Mark Slater

The trade: Slater increased his stake in fund management firm Liontrust to 5.9% of the shares worth £16.7 million at a share price of 574.8p.

How have the shares performed? Liontrust Asset Management has been a steady performer, with its shares up 28.7% over one year. However, at 566p it is down from its 52-week high of 620p.

What does the company say? The company revealed that it saw net inflows of £571 million over the three months to 31 December, an increase of 200% year-on-year. This meant that its assets under management reached £10.6 billion, driven by its sustainable investment team, making up around £3 billion of the assets.

What’s the outlook? Analysts at Numis reaffirmed their ‘add’ rating on the stock, cutting its price target from 656p to 647p.

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Key stats
Market capitalisation£62m
No. of shares out117m
No. of shares floating110m
No. of common shareholdersnot stated
No. of employees835
Trading volume (10 day avg.)1m
Turnover£110m
Profit before tax£11m
Earnings per share-2.79p
Cashflow per share1.92p
Cash per share3.75p

Arena Events (ARE)

Who’s trading? Citywire AAA-rated Ken Wotton

The trade: Wotton lifted his holding in temporary sports and convention building specialist Arena Events from 3.2% of shares to 4.3% worth £2.7 million at a price of 53p.

How have the shares performed? Arena tumbled 20% in March after warning it may face up to $8 million (£5.6 million) in fines over a US client relationship, after the client falsely claimed state subsidies. The business had previously pegged sideways at around 60p since listing in July 2017.

What does the company say? The company emphasised that it had otherwise enjoyed a ‘strong’ start to 2018 and the total revenue earned from the client in question stood at $500,000 in recent years, or less than 2% of its North American cash flow. Revenue rose 15% last year to £51.1 million.

What’s the outlook? House broker Cenkos is the only analyst to follow the Alternative Investment Market minnow, rating it a ‘buy’. The company, which delivered a number of structures at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, has expanded its historic core remit of events such as Wimbledon and Henley to higher-growth emerging markets in the Middle East and Asia.

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Key stats
Market capitalisation£14m
No. of shares out50m
No. of shares floating17m
No. of common shareholdersnot stated
No. of employees123
Trading volume (10 day avg.)m
Turnover£8m
Profit before tax£-5m
Earnings per share-7.97p
Cashflow per share-7.57p
Cash per share13.89p

Intercede (IGP)

Who’s trading? Citywire AAA-rate Julian Fosh and Anthony Cross

The trade: Liontrust’s Fosh and Cross have reduced their stake in software and services company Intercede from 5.6% to 4.9% worth £687,500 at a share price of 26p.

How have the shares performed? Intercede’s share price has significantly dropped over the past year. At 27.5p, it is down 58% from a 52-week high of 65.6p

What does the company say? The company’s chief executive and founder Richard Parris stepped down earlier this month following 26 years in the role. He has been replaced with Klaas van der Leest, who is said to have strong turnaround expertise and a track record in driving sales.

What’s the outlook? The business revealed revenues for the year to the end of March were expected to be 10% higher than the previous financial year, at more than £9 million. Following the announcement that it received a large US federal government order for $4 million its shares jumped around 10% on 4 April. Broker FinnCap reaffirmed its corporate investment rating on the group, setting a price target of 80p.

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Key stats
Market capitalisation £41m
No. of shares out 54m
No. of shares floating 42m
No. of common shareholders not stated
No. of employees 408
Trading volume (10 day avg.) m
Turnover £60m
Profit before tax £4m
Earnings per share 2.79p
Cashflow per share 5.48p
Cash per share 9.16p

Driver Group (DRV)

 

Who’s trading? Citywire AAA-rated Keith Ashworth-Lord

The trade: Ashworth-Lord continued a recent run of buys in global construction consultancy Driver Group, taking his stake from 18.7% of the shares to 19.6% worth just over £8 million at a price of 76.4p.

How have the shares performed? While well down on a post-2008 high of 131p five years ago, shares in the business have nonetheless more than doubled from a low of 33p in August 2016.

What does the company say? In a February update the business described trading as ‘significantly ahead’ of both expectations and the prior period and said full year results were likely to be ‘comfortably ahead’ of its earlier guidance, on a healthy pipeline of contracted work.

What’s the outlook? Driver clawed its way back from a £3.5 million loss to make a £1.2 million pre-tax profit last year, having slashed its debt from £9.9 million £178,000 on a ‘very challenging’ restructure and a sharp rise in overseas earnings. Panmure Gordon rates it a ‘buy’ on a target of 94p.

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Related Fund Managers

Anthony Cross
Anthony Cross
15/151 in Equity - UK (All Companies) (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 29.56%
Julian Fosh
Julian Fosh
16/151 in Equity - UK (All Companies) (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 29.56%
Keith Ashworth-Lord
Keith Ashworth-Lord
1/151 in Equity - UK (All Companies) (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 69.15%
Mark Slater
Mark Slater
6/151 in Equity - UK (All Companies) (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 39.90%
Ken Wotton
Ken Wotton
17/47 in Equity - UK Smaller Companies (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 57.04%
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