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Press tips & headlines: Carillion, Wandisco, Vodafone

In recent times construction and support services firm Carillion (CLLN) has been reducing its UK construction business so as not to have to take on just any low-margin work going. While sensible that resulted in cash outflows and a fall in its share price towards its dividend level, potentially signalling for some that its pay-out might be in danger. Yet that was not the case, as it turned out. As well, the Middle East market has improved since the collapse of the Dubai property bubble and in other hot-spots, with more work around now in the run up to the World Cup in Qatar and the possibility of the Expo being held in Dubai come 2020.

Support services contracts for the public sector are also picking up ahead of the end of the year and the pre-election purdah. Hence, now that the obvious possible sources of worry around the stock have been resolved,and given its stable debt level and high dividend yield the stock should continue advancing over the rest of the year, writes The Times’s Tempus.

Big data firm Wandisco (WAND) may be at an inflection point. Following the recent share price correction in the stock much of the froth has come off. Interestingly, despite the above it just announced the acquisition of OhmData. The three-man San Francisco-based team makes software that lets companies write computer programmes which outfits such as Facebook use to search their vast databases of personal information.

That comes amid increasingly high demand for big data software from companies ranging from the likes of Tesco (TSCO) to social networking sites or Walmart in the US, with whom it just renewed a contract for its Asset Liability Management products. However, for the time being this early stage company continues to burn off cash. Hence, the stock is still risky, “but worth a punt with this positive momentum. Buy,” says The Daily Telegraph’s Questor column.

BUSINESS PRESS HEADLINES:

Regulators are under pressure to open an investigation into the suspected manipulation of the closing prices of ordinary shares traded in London after it was claimed in Parliament yesterday that attempted market abuse was rife. Andrew Tyrie, the Chairman of the Treasury select committee, said all committee members were “amazed” that no one at the Financial Conduct Authority appeared to have looked at the issue in spite of widespread rumours of manipulation. - The Times

Financial markets will be subject to more frequent cycles of boom and bust in the future despite banks becoming less risky, the Bank of England’s chief economist has warned. Andy Haldane claimed the development was a consequence of risk being passed from traditional banks to “non-banks”, such as insurers and pension funds, in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Risk has not been removed from the system, he said, it is simply “migrating off the balance sheet of banks on to the balance sheet of non-banks in the form of market illiquidity risk.” - The Times

The City regulator has “no clear evidence” that banks are rigging the price of gold, although the process to set it is open to abuse, an official at the watchdog has said. David Bailey, the head of market infrastructure and policy at the Financial Conduct Authority, told MPs on Wednesday that participants in the 95-year-old gold fix could potentially manipulate it. “It is possible, but I have no clear evidence that that has actually happened,” Mr Bailey told the House of Commons Treasury select committee. -The Daily Telegraph

Swathes of Ireland’s broadband infrastructure will be better than Britain’s within a few years, after Vodafone (VOD) signed up for a €450m (£358m) joint venture to string fibre-optic cables along power lines. Alongside the Republic’s state-owned electricity board, ESB, it will create a broadband network providing download speeds of between 200 and 1,000 megabits per second to half a million homes and businesses in 50 Irish towns. That represents roughly a quarter of premises nationwide and there is scope in the plans for further expansion. - The Daily Telegraph

The wholesale price of electricity should remain flat and could even fall, according to new research from the rating agency Moody's which will be welcomed by government and consumers. New offshore wind farms, better insulated houses and the possibility of weaker gas prices are likely to combine to help halt what many expected to be a steady rise in retail prices. – The Guardian

Violent clashes erupted in Jerusalem over the killing of an Arab teenager that Palestinians blamed on Jewish settlers, raising fears of a spiral of vengeance spurred by the earlier killings of three Israeli teenagers. The body of Mohammed Hussein Abu Khdeir was found in a wooded area of the city on Wednesday, a day after the burials of three Israelis who were killed in the West Bank. The three went missing on June 12 and were found dead on Monday after a nearly three-week search. Israel has blamed the Palestinian Islamist militant group Hamas. - The Wall Street Journal Europe

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