Stocks To Watch: HAS, JDW, AHT, PTEC

Stocks To Watch: HAS, JDW, AHT, PTEC

Hays PLC

Hays PLC (HAS) is a London, the United Kingdom-based recruitment company. The company’s geographical business is differentiated in four segments: Australia & New Zealand, Germany, United Kingdom and Ireland and Rest of World. The group has its operations across 250 offices in 33 countries.

Q3 update for period ending March 31st, 2019

On an LFL basis, the company’s net fee surged by 6 per cent, due to an increase of 7 per cent in the International business and surge in the temporary and permanent segment. In Australia & New Zealand region, net fee rose by 3 per cent against the previous year same period data, due to an increase in temporary net fee but decrease in permanent net fee and a tough Construction & Property market. In Germany business, the net fee increased by 6 per cent from the same period last year data, driven by an increase in temporary and permanent net fee but also facing tough comparatives and a more challenging macroeconomic backdrop. In UK & Ireland region, net fee climbed by 3 per cent as compared with last year same period data, due to an increase in temporary, permanent and public sector net fee but decreased in private sector net fee. In ROW (Rest of World) region, the net fee was up by 9 per cent against the corresponding period of the last year, driven by mainly increase in the France and Spain region.

Financial Highlights – H1 FY2019 (£, million)

The company’s net fees surged by 8 per cent to £568 million as compared to £525.8 million in H1 FY18, while net fees on an LFL basis increased by 9 per cent. On an LFL basis, the profit from operations surged to £124.1 million as compared with the corresponding period of the last year, due to an increase in Temporary and Permanent segment in the International business markets and 20 countries delivered record net fees. On an actual basis, the operating profit rose by 7 per cent to £124.1 million.

Profit before tax climbed by 8 per cent to £122.6 million against the £113.9 million in H1 FY18. Basic earnings per share stood at 5.86 pence, an increase of 9 per cent from the last year same period data.

Cash generated by operations surged by 6 per cent to £78.5 million as compared to £74.1 million in H1 FY18. The board announced the interim dividend per share of 1.11 pence, a surge of 5 per cent as compared to 1.06 pence in H1 FY2018.

Share price performance

Daily Chart as at July-11-19, before the market close (Source: Thomson Reuters)

On July 11, 2019, at the time of writing (before the market closed, at 12:53 PM GMT), Hays PLC shares were trading at GBX 146.7, down by 0.74 per cent against the previous day closing price.

Stock’s 52 weeks High and Low is GBX 208.17 /GBX 134.60. At the time of writing, the share was trading 29.52 per cent lower than the 52w High and 8.98 per cent higher than the 52w low.

Stock’s average traded volume for 5 days was 3,693,512.20; 30 days – 2,960,389.33 and 90 days – 3,395,153.63.

J D Wetherspoon Plc

J D Wetherspoon Plc (JDW) is an owner and operator of pubs. The company was incorporated in the year 1979 and provides alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, food items and coffee at its pubs. Its portfolio of food items includes deli deals, small meals, pub classics, chicken and ribs, breakfast club, Sunday brunch, gourmet burgers and dogs, beef steak club, chicken club, curry club, sides, desserts, salads, pasta, pancakes and sausages among others. The company offers real ale and beers of various brands in pints, spirits, craft cans and prosecco and sparkling rose.

Trading Update released on July 10, 2019

The company’s sales (like-for-like) surged by 6.9 per cent, and the total sales were up by 6.6 per cent for 10 weeks ending 7th July 2019. The Year-to-date sales (like-for-like) surged by 6.7 per cent, and the total sales were up by 7.4 per cent.

The company had opened five pubs and closed 9 pubs during the last one year. The company spent £71 million on buying pubs’ freeholds for the year to date. The company remained in a good financial position with an expected net debt of around £745 million.

Financial Highlights – H1 FY19, (£)

 In the first half of the Financial Year 2019, the company’s sales before exceptional items adjusted for 26 weeks, surged by 7.13 per cent to £889.6 million (H1 FY2018: £830.4 million). Like-for-like bar sales increased by 5.9 per cent, food sales by 7.1 per cent and slot/fruit machine sales by 5.7 per cent.

Hotel room sales climbed by 0.3 per cent. Operating profit, before exceptional items, decreased by 14.2 per cent to £63.5 million as compared with £74.0 million during the same period of the last financial year 2018The operating margin, before exceptional items, was 7.1 per cent (H1 2018: 8.9 per cent).

Profit before tax and exceptional items was down by 18.9 per cent to £50.3 million as compared with £62 million during the H1 FY2018, due to cost increased in the areas including labour, repairs, utilities, interest, and depreciation.

Diluted earnings per share, including shares held in trust by the employee share scheme, and before exceptional items, decreased by 18.2% to 37.4 pence as compared with 45.7 pence during the H1 FY2018.

The management team announced an interim dividend of 4 pence per share for the present interim financial period ending January 27, 2019 (H1 2018: 4.0 pence per share).  As on January 27th, 2019, the group’s net debt, including bank borrowings and finance leases, but excluding derivatives, was £724.0 million, down by £2.2 million, as compared with that of the prior year-end (H1 2018: £726.2 million).

Share price performance

Daily Chart as at July-11-19, before the market close (Source: Thomson Reuters)

On July 11, 2019, at the time of writing (before the market closed, at 01:04 PM GMT), J D Wetherspoon Plc shares were trading at GBX 1,452.5, up by 0.58 per cent against the previous day closing price.

Stock’s 52 weeks High and Low is GBX 1,466.00 /GBX 1,051.00. At the time of writing, the share was trading 0.92 per cent lower than the 52w High and 38.20 per cent higher than the 52w low.

Stock’s average traded volume for 5 days was 85,937.80; 30 days – 96,764.60 and 90 days – 120,708.17.

Ashtead Group PLC

Ashtead Group PLC (AHT) is a British multinational with headquarters in London, United Kingdom.  The company rents a variety of construction and industrial equipment for a myriad of applications to a wide range of customers, ranging from non-residential construction markets to climate control and disaster relief. The company operates in the US and the UK and Canada. The company’s business model includes buying a variety of equipment from leading manufacturers and renting it on a short-term basis to customers through the company’s platform.

Financial Highlights – FY2019 (£, million)

On an Underlying basis, the rental revenue surged to £4,138 million this year as compared with the financial year 2018 of £3,418.2 million. EBITDA stood at £2,106.6 million, an increase of 19 per cent against the £1,733.1 million in FY2018. Profit before taxation surged by 17 per cent to £1,110.2 million as compared to £927.3 million in FY18. Earnings per share rose by 33 per cent to 174.2 pence as compared with the financial year 2018 of 127.5 pence.

On a Statutory basis, the company’s revenue surged to £4,499.6 million this year as against £3,706 million in FY18. Profit before taxation stood at £1,059.5 million, an increase of 20 per cent as compared with the previous data. Post-tax profit reduced by 20 per cent to £796.9 million as compared to £968.8 million in FY18. The company’s Earnings per share stood at 166.1 pence this year.

Capital invested in the business increased to £1.6 billion as compared with the financial year 2018 of £1.2 billion. The board proposed the final dividend per share was 33.5 pence and the full year dividend per share increased by 21 per cent to 40 pence against the 33 pence in FY18.

Share price performance

Daily Chart as at July-11-19, before the market close (Source: Thomson Reuters)

On July 11, 2019, at the time of writing (before the market closed, at 01:11 PM GMT), Ashtead Group PLC shares were trading at GBX 2,239, down by 0.13 per cent against the previous day closing price.

Stock’s 52 weeks High and Low is GBX 2,461.00 /GBX 1,572.50. At the time of writing, the share was trading 9.02 per cent lower than the 52w High and 42.38 per cent higher than the 52w low.

Stock’s average traded volume for 5 days was 1,028,975.00; 30 days – 1,511,003.83 and 90 days – 1,381,185.96.

Playtech PLC

Playtech Plc (PTEC) develops software to facilitate web-based gaming. It develops pay to play gaming apps for the land-based terminal for gambling, mobiles and live gaming.

Recent News

Susan Ball has decided to quit the board of the company. She is presently working as a Non-Executive Director in the company.

Financial Highlights for FY18 (€, million)

The company’s revenue stood at €1,240.4 million in FY18 as against €807.1million in FY17. The revenue was 54 per cent more than the previous year. The company’s adjusted EBITDA stood at €343 million in FY18 as against €322.1 million in FY17. The company’s net profit stood at €256.2 million in FY18 as against €231.4 million in FY17. The company’s adjusted net profit was 11 per cent higher than the previous year. The company’s adjusted diluted EPS stood at 72.9 cents in FY18 as against 66.8 cents in FY17. The company’s total dividend this year stood at 24.1 cents per share as against 36 cents in FY17.

Share price performance

Daily Chart as at July-11-19, before the market close (Source: Thomson Reuters)

On July 11, 2019, at the time of writing (before the market closed, at 01:18 PM GMT), Playtech PLC shares were trading at GBX 448.1, up by 0.65 per cent against the previous day closing price.

Stock’s 52 weeks High and Low is GBX 580.80 /GBX 357.10. At the time of writing, the share was trading 22.84 per cent lower than the 52w High and 25.48 per cent higher than the 52w low.

Stock’s average traded volume for 5 days was 777,731.00; 30 days – 1,370,977.20 and 90 days – 1,534,277.50.

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