After a "wild ride" for Ocado shareholders, the company faces further uncertainty, Danny Fortson argued in the Sunday Times. Its agreement to deliver groceries for Morrisons cheered investors but it has not signed any more deals.
There is a lot to be said for value-based investment strategies as the year-to-date performance of The Daily Telegraph Questor column's six picks for 2014 show. They have held up despite market turbulence. The old stock market saying "never sell Shell" held true once again, with the shares delivering a total return of 16%, well ahead of the market. Bellway's performance has been less impressive, but the builder is growing earnings and dividends by more than 20% and offers a yield of 3.2%. The shares remain a buy.
Take profits at Rightmove, Westhouse Securities recommended investors on Friday after the recent rally in the stock, downgrading its rating from 'add' to 'neutral'.
Ashtead Group: Berenberg raises target price from 1110p to 1145p maintaining its buy recommendation.
Broker Liberum Capital says Dutch engineering consultancy Arcadis may have delivered a knockout blow to its Japanese rival in a takeover battle for UK engineering group Hyder Consultancy.
A bid battle has broken out for design and engineering group Hyder Consultancy after a Dutch group trumped a £268.1m bid by Japanese engineering consultant Nippon Koei.
Admiral Group: Goldman Sachs downgrades from buy to neutral with a target price of 1440p.
UK mergers and acquisitions activity is stubbornly subdued, but broker Liberum says this is not expected to persist and has polled its sector analysts to qualitatively identify the most likely targets.
Hyder Consulting, a design and engineering consultancy, disappointed with its full-year results on Wednesday, which came in below both its original expectations and the prior year.
After warning on profits in February, engineering consultant Hyder Consulting said the remaining weeks of the year passed as expected, with the UK recovery providing encouragement.
Associated British Foods: Citi increases target price from 2350p to 3000p, while its neutral rating remains unchanged.
African Barrick Gold: Citi increases target price from 120p to 179p, but still recommends selling.
Don't try to please everyone, at best you will only please some of them some of the time. The advice given to most children holds true for Barclays Chief Executive Antony Jenkins. Since taking the helm in 2012 he has undertaken measures to please most stakeholders in the lender: government (regulators); government (politicians); shareholders (through dividends); and staff (via higher bonuses).
Energy minister, Ed Davey, may have hit on something when he suggested that Centrica's business model should be analysed - although perhaps not exactly what he thought. The company's business model, which in essence piles a gas exploration and production (E&P) business atop a utility may have less merit than one might think. Yes, it does help the firm hedge against rising gas prices. However, the business case from 'good' cash-flow generation is growing increasingly untenable.
Goldman Sachs has downgraded its rating for Admiral from 'buy' to 'neutral' ahead of the car insurance group's annual results next month after the stock's recent outperformance.
A whole host of analysts lowered their recommendations for Hyder Consulting on Monday after the surprise profit warning from the design and engineering consultancy group.
Expects to miss full-year after contract delays; Bidding activity high but slower than expected; Encouraging UK trading
Qinetiq on Thursday unveiled a sharp drop in pre-tax profits as operating margins shrank by a third. Yet investors goosed the shares higher by seven per cent after learning that net cash was up by two thirds and that full-year guidance had been maintained. Clearly, some shareholders believe they are due a return of cash. Nevertheless, the company is still in the midst of a restructuring which will probably see it hive off its low-margin US business - perhaps for an amount north of 200m pounds.
Afren: Liberum Capital raises target price from 197p to 232p and maintains a buy recommendation.
Engineer Hyder Consulting confirmed lower profits on flat revenues in the first half of the year, but said its key Australian business was enjoying significantly stronger activity since the general election.