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New star at Jupiter

RESULTS: Jupiter has driven down debt, hiked the dividend and reported a decent rise in funds under management. Moreover, the combination of ongoing strong investment performance, stronger investment markets and cash generation makes for a decent investment case.

Jupiter Fund Management's (JUP) results for last year are better than those of many of its peers as there was an, albeit modest, £965m net inflow of funds to take the total to £26.3bn. But there are two more important factors that investors need to note. For starters Jupiter is now net debt free so may not have to ask the looming Financial Conduct Authority for another waiver in June 2015; a waiver for the capital adequacy directive is needed because goodwill including intangible assets is a big proportion of net asset values. No waiver means better control of where money is invested in terms of dividends and acquisitions.

IC TIP: Hold at 327p

And then there is Maarten Slendebroek, who in September was appointed to the board to push sales overseas. He's a bigwig, having been head of Blackrock's international retail business. And what does Jupiter not have? Yes, you've guessed it: not much in terms of international sales - indeed, revenues are decidedly puny. Mr Slendebroek's first and probably easiest task is to translate sales literature into German and promote the most successful Jupiter European fund there; then he has to bulk up marketing businesses in German-speaking areas and Asia.

To its credit Jupiter knows it has to expand sales overseas now it has the wherewithal. The second task must be to sell its excellent Merlin range of fund-of-funds more aggressively. Broker JPMorgan upgraded 2013 adjusted EPS estimates by 6 per cent to 23.3p and its 2014 forecast by 4 per cent to 26.1p.

JUPITER FUND MANAGEMENT (JUP)

ORD PRICE:327pMARKET VALUE:£1.5bn
TOUCH:326.5-327p12-MONTH HIGH:347.7pLOW: 197p
DIVIDEND YIELD:2.7%PE RATIO:22
NET ASSET VALUE:100p*NET CASH:£70m

Year to 31 DecTurnover (£m)Pre-tax profit (£m)Earnings per share (p)Dividend per share (p)
2008237-15.9-16.1nil
20092157.210.6nil
201027142.410.84.70
201134770.315.67.80
201234673.614.98.80
% change-+5-4+13

Ex-div: 6 Mar

Payment: 23 Apr

*Includes intangible assets of £406m, or 89p a share