Tullow Oil is feeling misunderstood. The company is generally thought of as an Africa-focused oil explorer, but it has interests elsewhere, most notably in French Guiana and in the North Sea. Production comes from one large field off Ghana, which accounts for about a third of it, and smaller ones elsewhere. The market had been worried that to bring the latter into production would require some hefty cash-raising by issuing new equity.
Worry no more, says Tullow. The money from the oil now being produced is sufficient to fund its exploration programme, which will soak up about $1bn this year, and much of that future development will be paid for by others as the company farms out stakes in those assets as they become more mature. Tullow, oddly, pays a dividend, total payment held at 12p, though this offers a negligible 1 per cent yield. The company is in the FTSE 100 index, which suggests a high hope element in the valuation. The shares, as the graph shows, were poor performers last year. Further good news flow should provide some impetus, but this is still a highly speculative stock, says The Times´s Tempus.
Paragon Group is the second company, after the North Sea oil producer EnQuest, to announce a retail bond on the London Stock Exchange's Orb market this week, as that market celebrates its third anniversary. The seven-year retail bond is expected to raise between £50m and £100m and it offers a coupon, or initial yield, of 6%, at the top end of what is available on the market.
Paragon had its own problems when the financial crisis hit, having to raise £287m in a rights issue to repay a syndicate of banks, but this had little effect on its ability to cope with its debt. The problem with such bonds is that their attractiveness is swiftly eroded when interest rates rise. The return from Paragon is undeniably attractive, but investors should ensure such instruments are not too large a proportion of their portfolio, The Times says.
Housebuilder Crest Nicholson is re-listing on the London Stock Exchange in another positive development for the house building sector. Although the shares
soared on their first day of trading in the institutional - or "grey" - market, private investors will not be able to buy the shares until they start trading with a full listing on Monday. Questor remains positive on the sector as a whole, despite being nervous that the current broad-based rally could come to an end.
Long-term prospects for the whole sector remain sound as the UK is structurally short of housing and the population continues to rise. It looks like Crest's float will get off to a good start and Questor keeps a buy rating on the major players. Persimmon is particularly interesting for income seekers as it plans to return £6.20 a share in the form of special dividends over the next nine years. Questor thinks investors keen on Crest should wait and buy on any dips.
Please note: Digital Look provides a round-up of news, tips and information that is impacting share prices
and the market. Digital Look cannot take any responsibility for information provided by third parties. This is for your general information only as not intended to be relied upon by users in making an investment decision or any other decision. Please obtain a copy of the relevant publication and carry out your own research before considering acting on any of this information.