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The Expert View: Rolls-Royce, Capita and Babcock

Our daily roundup of the best analyst commentary on shares, also including WS Atkins and Petrofac.

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Key stats
Market capitalisation£18,850m
No. of shares out1,880m
No. of shares floating1,867m
No. of common shareholdersnot stated
No. of employees55200
Trading volume (10 day avg.)5m
Turnover£15,513m
Profit before tax£1,367m
Earnings per share72.44p
Cashflow per share115.47p
Cash per share229.27p

*Correct as at 12 May 2014

Downgraded Rolls-Royce to stay in the doldrums for two years

Barclays analysts have significantly downgraded Rolls-Royce (RR) as they warned the ‘pause in growth’ cited by management was expected to extend into 2016.

Analyst Nick Webster downgraded the stock from ‘overweight’ to ‘underweight’ and cut the target price 24% from £12.25 to 930p. Yesterday shares were trading down 2.6p, or 0.3%, at £10.04.

‘Following a detailed analysis of Rolls-Royce’s civil and defence aerospace businesses we conclude that the “pause in growth” cited by management for full-year 2014 will likely extend into 2015 and 2016,’ he said.

‘Whilst we recognise the significant order backlog of around £72 billion, we consider the short-to-medium term to be less attractive. Slow growth over the next two years, high exposure to a single yet-to-enter service aircraft, significant cash and margin headwinds, accounting concerns, and questions over capital allocation lead up to our "underweight" rating.’

Webster predicted three years of ‘low-to-mid single digit’ earnings per share and no ‘compelling reason for the share to rerate to prior levels over the next 12 months’.

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Key stats
Market capitalisation£6,106m
No. of shares out501m
No. of shares floating493m
No. of common shareholdersnot stated
No. of employees26000
Trading volume (10 day avg.)2m
Turnover£3,029m
Profit before tax£190m
Earnings per share46.25p
Cashflow per share74.64p
Cash per share24.50p

*Correct as at 12 May 2014

Babcock’s Network Rail deal fails to excite analysts

News that engineering support services company Babcock (BAB) has been appointed preferred bidder for Network Rail’s track works has done little to excite Peel Hunt analysts.

Analyst Christopher Bamberry retained a ‘buy’ recommendation and a target price of £13.53 despite the work being worth £200 million over five years. Shares yesterday shed 1.6p, or 0.1%, to £12.21.

‘The lots are worth £200 million over five years – April 2014 to March 2019,’ he said. ‘Network Rail’s conventional plain track renewals programme is worth £375 million in total. Therefore Babcock has gained a 53% market share,' he said.

‘At £40 million per annum, the work equates to 1.1% of March 2014 revenues. We are not changing our forecasts as the volumes are similar to the current frameworks.’

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Key stats
Market capitalisation£1,352m
No. of shares out100m
No. of shares floating93m
No. of common shareholdersnot stated
No. of employees17407
Trading volume (10 day avg.)0m
Turnover£1,705m
Profit before tax£85m
Earnings per share84.74p
Cashflow per share105.67p
Cash per share237.14p

*Correct as at 12 May 2014

Atkins upgraded on potential to bid for Balfour arm

Design and engineering company WS Atkins (ATKW) is being tipped by Numis as a potential bidder for Balfour Beatty’s professional services division.

Analyst Will Wallis upgraded the company from ‘add’ to ‘buy’ and placed a target price of £16.50 on the shares, which jumped 80p, or 6.3%, to £13.47 yesterday.

‘We think the financials stack up for Atkins to buy Balfour Beatty’s professional services division,’ said Wallis. ‘Management will need to make a judgment on cultural fit, and obviously Atkins is not the only possible buyer. However, with the potential for a more geographically balanced business, and we estimate 10% to 15% earnings per share enhancement, we expect management to give it close scrutiny.’

Given the opportunity he said the current share price was ‘an attractive entry point’.

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Key stats
Market capitalisation£4,170m
No. of shares out346m
No. of shares floating249m
No. of common shareholdersnot stated
No. of employees18000
Trading volume (10 day avg.)2m
Turnover3,756m USD
Profit before tax386m USD
Earnings per share1.12 USD
Cashflow per share1.53 USD
Cash per share1.63 USD

*Correct as at 12 May 2014

Petrofac share price fall is overdone, says Investec

Oilfield services company Petrofac (PFC) has issued a ‘gory profit warning’ leading Investec to cut its target price by 11%.

Analyst Neill Morton retained a ‘buy’ rating but cut the target price from £14.75 to £13.15. Shares yesterday rose 18.6p, or 1.6%, to £11.96 after tumbling in Friday’s trading on news that net income for 2014 had been cut 13% to $80 million (£47 million) and 2015 net income had been reduced by 5% to 6%.

‘Following relatively uneventful results, a degree of calm seemed to have returned to the euro oil services sector. However, Petrofac has now surfaced with a gory profit warning. The good news is that it looks company-specific with little obvious read-across, other than the hit to sentiment,' he said.

‘We have reduced our forecasts below company guidance and cut our target price by 11%. However, the share price fall looks overdone. We still see valuation upside, although we understand if investors choose to stay on the beach [for the time being].’

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Key stats
Market capitalisation£7,365m
No. of shares out661m
No. of shares floating651m
No. of common shareholdersnot stated
No. of employees56468
Trading volume (10 day avg.)1m
Turnover£3,896m
Profit before tax£177m
Earnings per share26.74p
Cashflow per share56.05p
Cash per share92.73p

*Correct as at 12 May 2014

Capita’s good start is already factored into the price

Organic growth forecasts at outsourcing giant Capita (CPI) are already close to being hit but the good news has already been factored into the price, according to Liberum.

Analyst David Brockton retained a ‘hold’ recommendation and a target price of £11.00, despite a trading statement stating the company had already secured 7% organic growth, having forecast 8% for 2014. Shares were yesterday trading up 9.8p, or 0.9%, at £11.12.

Brockton said the ‘bid pipeline’ meant the same growth could be achieved next year. Capita has already made two significant acquisitions in the last quarter at a combined cost of £50 million.

‘Capita is well placed to deliver another year of good organic growth as a result of secured wins. However, this positive is already reflected in the valuation,’ he said.

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