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Shares the pros are buying and selling
A round-up of interesting trades by professional investors in Charles Taylor Consulting (CHAT.L), NCC Group (NCCG.L), Avon Rubber (AVON.L) and Telecom Plus (TEP.L).
Charles Montanaro lifts NCC Group holding
Montanaro upped his holding in the business 3.08 million shares to 3.1 million or 9.5% worth £27.02 million at a share price of 870p.
The manager is founder, chief executive and chief investment officer of Montanaro Assset Management, a specialist in pan-European small-caps.
Group revenue for the 10 months to 31 March was 25% up on the same period of the previous financial year at £72 million, powered by both organic and acquisition growth.
The company credited its assurance arm, which provides business anti-hacking services, as the leading contributor to the result, with revenue up 31%, on increasing awareness of cyber-crime.
Broker Investec retained its 'hold' rating on the company while moving its price target from 760p to 830p, although it added that the risk to this had moved to the upside.
Gervais Williams ups Charles Taylor Consulting stake
MAM Funds’ small company specialists Martin Turner and Gervais Williams have upped their stake in insurance consultancy provider Charles Taylor.
The duo, who run the Diverse Income investment trust and the Acuim Multi-cap Income fund, purchased just over 25,000 shares in Charles Taylor, bringing their total position across the two funds up to 647,000. This equates to 1.6% of the company.
The managers believe the stock offers potential upside and highlight its healthy dividend yield, which is over 6.5%. The company posted a 3% jump to £102.5 million in revenue over the year to the end of December, while adjusted profit before tax was down 37% to £9.2 million.
Looking ahead, fund manager Martin Turner is positive about new chief executive David Marock: ‘They appointed a new CEO in 2011 who is helping reshape the business to position it for growth.’
Mike Prentis buys shares in Avon Rubber
BlackRock small cap manager Mike Prentis has bought shares in specialist engineering and manufacturing group Avon Rubber.
Prentis bought 925,852 shares in the company, or 3.01% or the firm, worth £2.63 million at a share price of 285p, 12.3% down on its six-month high of 325p.
The shares are held in his £320 million BlackRock Smaller Companies fund. Prentis works closely with the company’s head of small caps, Richard Plackett, and runs a similar value-based strategy.
Avon Rubber produces specialist components for respiratory protection masks, manufacturing, and the dairy and defence industries, among others.
The company is currently trading at a value of 9.62 times earnings, versus a FTSE All Share average of 10.28. Broker Investec rates the company a 'buy' with a price target of 330p.
Brokers trimmed full-year profit forecasts in February, following a warning that order delays would push 2012 earnings into the second half of the year.
Nigel Wray cuts Telecom Plus holding
Entrepreneur Nigel Wray has sold down his stake in Telecom Plus.
Wray, a well-known property and equity investor, reduced his position in the utility services stock, having previously held 2.3 million shares in the firm. He now holds an undeclarable stake, which is below 3% of the company’s share capital.
The trade follows a trading update at the firm, which supplies a range of utility services to residential and business customers, in which it said it had experienced a strong fourth quarter. Telecom Plus noted that half of all new customers had signed up for at least four of its core services, which include gas, electricity, landline, broadband and mobile.
Wray made his name at merchant bank Singer and Friedlander, and later launched it onto the stock market, having gone from a graduate trainee to a major shareholder.
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Look up the shares
- Charles Taylor Consulting PLC (CHAT.L)
- NCC Group PLC (NCCG.L)
- Avon Rubber PLC (AVON.L)
- Telecom Plus PLC (TEP.L)