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Friday Email: 02 December 2016

Every Friday morning our lead analyst Mark Riding sends out his weekly run-down and upcoming events in the investor calendar, like this one:

The FTSE 100 has fallen over 100 points this week in lacklustre trading with little to encourage investors who have their eye on the Italian referendum this Sunday. The Richmond by election was won by the Liberals on an anti Brexit ticket to narrow the governments slender majority further. The process of Brexit is going to be very messy indeed. The pound has strengthened significantly and this will take the shine off the earnings and dividends of many dollar denominated stocks in the FTSE 100. However, there is still a long way to go before that happens.

The past week has been good for dividend increases with double digit rises coming from Cranswick, VP Group, Park Group, Brewin Dolphin, BCA Marketplace, Zoopla, RPC and Grainger. Berkeley Group showed this morning that the housebuilders remain in very good shape in spite of Brexit as it maintained its promise of returning a further £10 per share to shareholders by means of dividends or share buy backs by September 2021. Meanwhile a second possible bidder for Lavendon emerged this past week. in spite of the additional 10% gain, they still remain a hold. Old favourite Ashtead have made no move yet and can still go much higher than the current Lavendon share price and it would still be earnings enhancing.

Roger Clark, a non exective director of TalkTalk spent just under £3.2 million to acquire 2 million shares in the company. It did not help the share price though as JP Morgan Cazanove joined the other brokers by downgrading the company on Thursday. I remember Ashtead getting this treatment from the brokers about 10 months ago, but they all turned out to be wrong. Ashtead are a better run company in my opinion than TalkTalk it should be said.

The week ahead is less busy on the corporate earnings front as the Christmas wind down begins. However we will see numbers from OPG Power ventures who have promised their maiden dividend with the results. We also will see first half numbers from Photo Me International which should deliver a currency boost and we will get an update on the fast growing laundry business.

This email was originally sent on Friday 02 December 2016

The Friday email is delivered to over 20,000 subscriber’s every week, and remains a widely read run-down of recent events and what investors can expect in the week ahead written by our chief analyst Mark Riding.

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