Today I am considering the investment case for three Footsie newsmakers.
Lock in smashing returns
Shares in Lok’N Store Group (LSE: LOK) shot 4% higher in start-of-week business, after the self-storage specialist released blockbuster trading numbers.
Lok’N Store saw revenues leap 4.7% in the six months to January to £7.99m, with like-for-like revenues surging 8% during the period. This sterling result helped propel pre-tax profits 156% higher from the corresponding six months last year, to £3.79m.
The space provider continues to benefit from Britain’s growing ‘hoarding’ culture, with occupancy rates rising 2.4% during July-January on a like-for-like basis. And I expect Lok’N Store to remain in vogue as strong economic conditions boost Britons’ demand for extra space.
This view is shared by the City, and Lok’N Store is expected to see earnings shoot 34% higher in the year to July 2016. A subsequent P/E rating of 29 times may be expensive on paper, but I expect this figure to topple as earnings explode — indeed, a predicted 33% bottom-line rise in 2017 pushes the rating to a much-improved 21.7 times.
On the march
Insurance play Randall & Quilter (LSE: RQIH) also headed for the stars on Monday after releasing solid financials of its own, the firm recently trading 15% higher from last week’s close.
Randall & Quilter announced that it had swung back into the black in 2015, reporting a £2.8m profit versus the previous year’s loss of £1.6m. The company put this improved performance down to the impact of recent acquisition activity.
And the insurer is upbeat about its prospects for the year ahead — indeed, chairman and CEO Ken Randall advised that “the board has a positive outlook for the current year” before adding that “the pipeline of potential legacy acquisitions is very promising with a diverse range of opportunities.”
The number crunchers expect Randall & Quilter to keep its strong momentum going with profits of £8.3m in the current period. Like Lok’N Store, I reckon the financial business could be in line for broker upgrades in light of today’s positive release.
Mining and energy leviathan Glencore (LSE: GLEN) was faring less well in Monday trade, however, with its shares currently 3% lower from Friday’s close.
The business has moved lower in lockstep with falling commodity prices. Investors are taking the opportunity to cash in on heady-looking resources values, with bellwether copper, for instance, slumping back below the $5,000 per tonne marker.
Like its industry peers, I believe Glencore is in serious danger of a colossal share price correction should data from China turn lower again. All major commodity sectors remain in a state of chronic oversupply, a situation that is steadily worsening as mining capacity across the globe increases.
The City expects Glencore to move back into the black in 2016 with earnings of 3.4p per share. This figure results in a mega-high P/E rating of 54.6 times, and I consider such a reading unfathomable given the operator’s murky profits outlook. And Glencore’s massive reading certainly leaves plenty of scope for a serious retracement.