Sunday Long Reads: Liverpool's Data Success, Con who didn't die, Fake Meat, Brexit Party, Sewage Viruses
Hello, Share Revellers. It might be tempting, without doing any research at all, to compare Balfour Beatty (BBY) to Carillion and the dire problems there were there. But not all construction engineers are in trouble. Balfour Beatty looks set fair, in my humble opinion, for an increased share price and dividends...
Hello Share Stripers. How's this for an encouraging set of results? Balfour Beatty (BBY) has announced that underlying operating gains for the first half of 2018 are up 69%. That brings them to £66 million. And what makes that mighty jump even more impressive is that it was achieved on less revenue.
Hello Share Scraggers. Infrastructure is a buzz word at the mo. Companies which supply it (if that’s the right word) are seeing their share prices rise. You’ll recall that Big Donald climbed into power by saying he would spend a lot more on roads and other public projects in the USA. Not to mention that laughable Mexican wall. And Blighty’s government has also said it will be spending more on infrastructure.
I was somewhat surprised to see the share price of Balfour Beatty (BBY) rise significantly off of the back of its final results yesterday. The UK based construction company had already issued several profit warnings during 2014, so it probably came as no real surprise to investors that it reported a £59 million loss for the year ending December 31 2014.
A key element of dispute in its rejection of advances from Carillion, Balfour Beatty (BBY) has announced the prospective sale of its professional services division, Parsons Brinckerhoff, to WSP Global Inc. for a cash consideration of $1,352.5 million (£820 million). I review in the following, with this set to see up to £200 million returned to shareholders in Balfour and the shares having nudged ahead to a current 243.60p in response.
Having announced “preliminary discussions in relation to a possible merger” with Carillion PLC (CLLN) on 25th July, Balfour Beatty (BBY) has now announced that it has terminated the discussions after “Carillion's wholly unexpected decision to only progress the possible merger in the event that (US-headquartered engineering consultancy business) Parsons Brinckerhoff remained part of the potential combined entity”. Below I analyse this strange twist of events, after the prospective merger was originally described by the companies as having “the potential to create a market leading services, investments, and construction business of considerable depth and scale”
Profit warnings are never good for a company, but they also often cause an over-reaction and give investors a chance to buy at a bargain price. This may well prove to be the case with infrastructure services company Balfour Beatty (BBY). The company issued just such a warning a couple of weeks back and saw its share price drop from around 285p, before settling at the current level of 223p. Is now the time to swoop on this weakness?
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