Why Selling Ophir Energy Plc, Man Group Plc and easyJet plc Today Could Be A Mistake

Ophir Energy Plc (LON:OPHR), MAN GROUP PLC ORD USD0.03428571 (LON:EMG) and easyJet plc (LON:EZJ) remain attractive, despite recent falls.

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Shareholders of Ophir Energy (LSE: OPHR), Man Group (LSE: EMG) and easyJet (LSE: EZJ) may be feeling a little sore.

These stocks have been the biggest fallers in the FTSE 350 over the last month, each losing around 15% while the index has stayed flat.

Despite this, I believe that deciding to sell any of these shares today could prove to be a costly mistake.

Ophir Energy

Ophir now trades at 0.9 times its tangible book value of $1.7bn, which includes $1.2bn of cash and equivalents.

Oil prices appear to be stabilising and Ophir’s cash balance means it can afford to wait for the right opportunity to develop or sell its massive African gas assets. One possibility is another partial sale, such as the $1.3bn sale to Pavilion Energy in 2013.

In the meantime, Ophir has cash flow from the producing assets of Salamander Energy, which it acquired in March.

It’s also worth noting that several major institutional shareholders have increased their holdings in Ophir recently, suggesting the firm has strong backing in the City.

Man Group

I admit that for investors who bought into Man Group as a recovery play, it might be a good time to sell. The firm’s shares have risen by 90% over the last year and it is no longer obviously cheap.

However, Man Group now trades on an undemanding forecast P/E of 12.5 and offers a prospective yield of 4.4%. Earnings per share are expected to rise by 13% in 2016, while the dividend is expected to increase by about 15%.

If you’re looking for a financial income share with reasonable growth potential, I don’t see any reason to sell Man Group.


easyJet shares have come off the boil since April, slipping back 16% from an all-time closing high of 1,915p to around 1,600p.

However, the shares now look much more reasonably priced, trading on a 2015 forecast P/E of 12.5, falling to 11.2 for 2016. easyJet’s yield remains attractive too, at about 3.75% for both years.

Although analysts have cooled slightly on easyJet recently, it’s easy to see how a continued economic recovery in the eurozone and the UK could help drive further growth. The low price of oil should enable easyJet to lock in forward sale contracts for fuel at attractive rates, too.

easyJet’s operating margin of 14% remains significantly higher than the 5% delivered by its higher-cost peer, International Consolidated Airlines. This advantage should result in superior shareholders returns over time.

easyJet has a proven ability to cut costs and delivered £21m of sustainable savings during the first half of this year. It’s this level of detail management that’s made the firm such a successful budget operator, and one of the few airline shares I’d consider owning.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

Roland Head has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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