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Wednesday tips round-up: Betfair, Go-Ahead, Imagination Technologies...

Date: Wednesday 15 Dec 2010

Wednesday tips round-up: Betfair, Go-Ahead, Imagination Technologies...

After racing to the front of the pack with its autumn flotation, Betfair was all but pulled up lame yesterday. The betting exchange's shares took a hammering as its first set of a results as a quoted company missed City forecasts.

Broker concern about the decline in horse-racing revenues in the second quarter also doesn't look at all good when you consider the enormous premium the shares trade at compared with other betting companies. They sit on an astonishing 49 times full-year 2011 forecast earnings, falling to 26 times in 2012. Avoid says the Independent.

For now the Betfair bears have the upper hand and any further weakness in trading will continue to see it attract a leisure rating. Betfair remains the excellent company it was at flotation, but the momentum at the moment is negative. Avoid for now adds the Times.

Pressures remain on rail and bus group Go-Ahead's business in the short term as economic activity is not out of the woods and the network still needs substantial investment, but things are not as dire as the market feared a few months ago. The most important thing to note is that the dividend does not appear at risk – and this is the main reason to own the shares. Trading on a June 2011 multiple of 11.4 times, the shares remain a buy for the income says the Telegraph.

Imagination Technologies believes new acquisition Caustic Grahics will give its competitors — particularly ARM Holdings, which has been making waves in graphics — a headache in the future, and that prospect went down well with investors yesterday. Yet the danger for investors is that Imagination is becoming a bit of a hotch-potch in terms of the markets it supplies, but the Times still believes there is more upside to come. Buy.

It seems unlikely that software group Idox's £1m acquisition, of McLaren, will make or break the company, but it is certainly a defining moment as it makes its first tentative steps toward diversification. Yet it is almost ten years since the shares hit the 20p that brokers believe the stock merits and there are better growth prospects elsewhere in the software sector. Avoid says the Times.

Domino Printing makes machines that print "variable information" labels – things like "best before" dates for food. And a good business it is too: yesterday the company boosted pre-tax profits by 86% from £28m to £52m in the year to the end of October. At 15.4 times estimated 2011 earnings, which is only a slight premium on the sector average of 15.1, the company looks good value for it. Buy says the Independent.

The short term future for outsourcer Capita is uncertain, particularly in the context of the high hopes in the run-up to, and in the weeks and months shortly after, the general election. But hold and keep an eye on developments suggests the Independent.

Reckitt Benckiser is to buy Paras Pharma, a privately-owned Indian producer of over-the-counter treatments for £460m. This represents about eight times revenues, so the historical multiple can appear quite heady. However, revenues should be growing fast and it gives the group a strong strategic position in one of the fastest-growing global healthcare markets in the world. Trading on a December 2011 multiple of 15.7 and yielding 3.3%, buy says the Telegraph.

The world is short of infrastructure – and what it has is creaking at the edges. That's why investment in roads, bridges rail and water is near the top of agenda even in indebted western economies. 3i Infrastructure Fund has a global reach and the group's investments in India, as well as it diverse holdings in Western markets are of particular interest. The group raised its interim payment to 2.86p from 2.2p in the first half of last year. Last year's full-year payment was 5.3p, giving an historical yield of 4.4%. Buy says the Telegraph.


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