The stock of Desire Petroleum has spent the year lurching from lows of 36p to highs of almost 180p as the fortunes of the AIM-listed oil exploration company continue to fluctuate. This week’s news that drilling off the Falklands had been unsuccessful served as a hammer blow to the stock but the subsequent rebound cannot be overlooked either. If past performance is anything to go by, further significant swings in price will be seen in response to each release of news as we move into the New Year. The current IG Index price is 68.33p-69.92p.
Transport group Stagecoach issued its half year report yesterday showing a 44 per cent hike in pre-tax profits to £108.3m. The group reported strong organic growth across its portfolio including sector-leading profit margin and organic passenger volume growth at UK Bus. The group has a war chest for further acquisitions and is ideally placed to benefit from the new longer rail franchises, say analysts at Galvan Research. Galvan believes the combined growth story puts Stagecoach in pole position as the best listed UK transport play, and at 215p the shares are a solid buy for a return to year highs of 226p and beyond. Spreadex has a rolling spread of 211.4p-212.8p.
Mining group Xstrata has been going from strength to strength on the back of a surging copper price. S&P Equity Research analyst Johnson Imode has raised his 12-month target price to 1,700p from 1,500p to reflect higher commodity price estimates and sector multiples. “The group faces a number of challenges to complete its growth programme but in the near term we believe Xstrata is well placed to benefit from growing supply constraints for its key commodities,” he added. IG Index quotes Xstrata at 1,450p-1,453p.
After decades of being mired in debt, Groupe Eurotunnel is financially out of the woods after a massively dilutive debt to equity swap. Its grand plans for multiple projects may be derailed by staff constraints, points out Alphavalue, adding that competition has not disappeared, capacity is still under-used, and insurers still have to compensate the firm for the 2008 fire. With all these headwinds, it might be worth a sell. IG Index quotes €6.923-€6.957.