Stobart shares are up nearly six per cent after a non-executive director tripled his stake in the firm.
Shares were trading 5.67 per cent up at the time of writing, following David Blackwood’s decision to increase his number of shares from 15,534 to 44,534, with each share purchased for 107 pence.
Read more: Stobart’s wings are clipped as losses surge
Analysts at Jeffries recommended a Buy rating for Stobart, saying it was “evolving from a hodgepodge of businesses into an easier-to-value and, in our view, highly valuable, pair of key businesses: Aviation and Energy” .
Last month Stobart’s pre-tax profit plummeted 144 per cent to a loss of £58.2m in the 12 months to the end of February, down from a £23.9m loss the previous year.
It blamed a court battle with former director Andrew Tinkler for £5.2m of the loss, as well as other factors including a £4.8m loss in its rails and civils division after Stobart reassessed the value of contracts, and £10.2m spent in aviation and energy marketing costs.
Stobart also lost £15.5m from discontinued operations, including its disposal of Stobart Air. The huge loss came despite year-on-year revenue growth of 39 per cent to £146.9m on the back of passenger numbers growing by a third to 1.5m.Net debt also more than doubled to £83.1m, from £36.6m in the 2018 financial year.
Stobart, along with hedge fund Cyrus Capital, is part of the Virgin-led consortium Connect Airways, which bid for Flybe earlier this year.
Shareholders accepted the sale, which valued Flybe at 1p per share.The sale is currently in the hands of EU regulators who will decide in July whether to approve it. Aside from the Flybe bidding war, Stobart has been in the headlines this year over its high-profile court-room wrangles with its former boss Andrew Tinkler.
In February, Stobart claimed victory against Tinkler after a judge found that he had acted in breach of his fiduciary duties during his campaign to oust the outgoing chairman Iain Ferguson, from his position.
Stobart has since appointed David Shearer, a former executive board member of accountancy firm Deloitte, to succeed Ferguson and has said the boardroom battles are now behind it.