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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  London Stock Exchange  >  Ashtead Group    AHT   GB0000536739

ASHTEAD GROUP (AHT)
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Delayed Quote. Delayed  - 09/21 05:35:02 pm
2357 GBp   +1.90%
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Commodity strength drives FTSE higher, Weir Group and Carillion lead mid-caps

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07/17/2017 | 06:04pm CEST
FILE PHOTO: A worker shelters from the rain as he passes the London Stock Exchange in London

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's major share index started the week with solid gains driven by basic resource firms, while a government contract win by crisis-hit construction firm Carillion gave it some respite from heavy losses sustained last week.

Miners pushed the FTSE 100 up 0.4 percent, while mid-caps outperformed, rising 0.6 percent with Weir Group and Carillion shining. British shares easily beat Europe's main index which edged up 0.1 percent.

Fresnillo, Antofagasta and Glencore led miners higher, supporting index gains as metals prices rose to multi-month highs on an upbeat second quarter for China's economy and a weaker dollar.

ITV was a top blue-chip gainer, up 1.4 percent after the broadcaster said it had appointed Carolyn McCall, boss of airline EasyJet as its next chief executive.

"For ITV, we think the move suggests the company is comfortable with its strategic direction but her strong personal links should be helpful in several areas," said Liberum analysts.

Software company Micro Focus led later gains on the index, up 3.5 percent. Northern Trust analysts reiterated their "buy" rating on the company, helping the shares recover ground for a third straight session after a disappointing results update last week resulted in an 8 percent fall.

"I think people are buying the dip in the share price, looking for value," a trader said.

Mid-cap Weir Group was up 8.4 percent and hitting its highest level since May, after the firm said it expected its oil and gas unit performance to beat analysts' expectations due to strong drilling activity in North America.

Industrials sector peer Ashtead also rose 3.4 percent on the blue-chip index as traders read across to its likely performance.

Leading the mid-caps was troubled construction and support services firm Carillion, whose shares gained as much as 20 percent after its joint venture with Eiffage and Kier was awarded two contracts worth 1.4 billion pounds for high speed rail project HS2.

Carillion shares had lost 70 percent of their market value last week.

"Our view remains that the business will survive but the ownership is likely to change significantly," said Liberum analysts.

Balfour Beatty also won two HS2 contracts among the $8.6 billion worth of contracts awarded by the government, sending its shares up 3.2 percent.

Pearson, meanwhile, fell 0.6 percent after Berenberg trimmed its target price on the stock after the company partially sold its stake in Penguin Random House.

In a note titled "robbing Peter to pay Paul", Berenberg analysts said: "Unlike Pearson's prior disposals of the FT and the Economist, there was no upside value surprise, reflecting the fact that there was only one bidder, and one with a constrained balance sheet."

(Reporting by Helen Reid; Editing by Alison Williams)

By Helen Reid

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ASHTEAD GROUP 1.90% 2357 Delayed Quote.18.32%
BALFOUR BEATTY -0.28% 288.2 Delayed Quote.-2.96%
CARILLION 0.00% 14.2 Delayed Quote.-17.68%
EASYJET -2.00% 1394.5 Delayed Quote.-4.75%
EIFFAGE 0.35% 96.9 Real-time Quote.6.09%
FTSE 100 INDEX 0.28% 7234.11 End-of-day quote.-5.90%
HUNTING PLC -0.86% 807 Delayed Quote.33.39%
ITV -0.36% 151.35 Delayed Quote.-8.55%
KIER GROUP PLC -0.10% 1038 Delayed Quote.-4.60%
MICRO FOCUS INTERNATIONAL PLC 7.55% 2264 End-of-day quote.4.31%
PEARSON 2.06% 883.2 Delayed Quote.20.00%
TULLOW OIL -0.08% 246.8 Delayed Quote.19.46%
WEIR GROUP -0.95% 1780 Delayed Quote.-16.16%
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Financials (GBP)
Sales 2019 4 165 M
EBIT 2019 1 180 M
Net income 2019 763 M
Debt 2019 2 654 M
Yield 2019 1,54%
P/E ratio 2019 14,84
P/E ratio 2020 13,15
EV / Sales 2019 3,38x
EV / Sales 2020 3,01x
Capitalization 11 423 M
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Technical analysis trends ASHTEAD GROUP
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Income Statement Evolution
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 17
Average target price 25,3  GBP
Spread / Average Target 7,3%
EPS Revisions
Managers
NameTitle
Geoffrey Drabble Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director
Paul Ashton Walker Chairman
Brendan Horgan Chief Operating Officer & Executive Director
Michael Pratt Finance Director, Treasurer & Executive Director
Ian Calvert Sutcliffe Senior Independent Non-Executive Director
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