I hadn’t expected this after the November statement, but you can never got too many trading updates! And it says things are in line with the November statement, but there is a little more detail given.
Incoming orders have been strong with £900m in v sales of £770m, so we have an increased order book at year end.
They are raising the dividend, albeit modestly, and companies facing Armageddon don’t do that, so it shows confidence that this UK blip is likely to be a short term blip only.
Operating profit this year will be just under £120m. last year it was just under £90m, so a 33% rise. That’s not bad is it? Admittedly the number of shares has increased, but only by 10%. So last year’s EPS was around 83. A 33% increase in earnings and a 10% increase in shares would give us an EPS around 100 - a PE of 12.5.
Full year dividend is likely to be 49.6
2018 is likely to show modest improvement on 2017 (although it’s early stages.)
So I think a business growing modestly with a good international coverage & a PE around 12.5 & yield of nearly 4% merits a weak buy recommendation.