Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
Mears Group LSE:MER London Ordinary Share GB0005630420 ORD 1P
  Price Change % Change Share Price Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  +1.25p +0.26% 478.50p 478.50p 478.75p 495.00p 478.50p 495.00p 6,967 15:42:57
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Support Services 881.1 25.9 12.7 37.8 490.59

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Date Time Title Posts
21/9/201607:42A pure Jim Slater Stock1,863
12/11/200818:01Merrill Lynch5
14/2/200808:02 Mears Group-
30/1/200709:48MEARS - Reaching for a new high.95

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Mears Group Daily Update: Mears Group is listed in the Support Services sector of the London Stock Exchange with ticker MER. The last closing price for Mears Group was 477.25p.
Mears Group has a 4 week average price of 468.36p and a 12 week average price of 446.48p.
The 1 year high share price is 510p while the 1 year low share price is currently 349.25p.
There are currently 102,526,212 shares in issue and the average daily traded volume is 101,359 shares. The market capitalisation of Mears Group is £490,587,924.42.
spacecake: Steady progress from the company and the share price.
mdrans1: Mears are not in the residential care business, but it's been a week of very bad p.r. in that sector and the knock-on effect could be enough to have reversed the spike in Mears' share price.
rivaldo: dnfa75 has been wasting time on his one-liner negativity ever since the share price went down to 230p - let's hope he continues :o))
rivaldo: Excellent news whilst on my hols about CNT going into administration. Today's FT notes that MER are taking great care about the proposed acquisition of contracts from CNT, which is good to see. MER are paying almost nothing for them, but in the usual cautious MER style are making sure that the contracts won't be albatrosses. Exciting times - hopefully there's about to be a Morgan Sindall-style jump in the share price when the deal is formally announced: "Connaught agreement with Mears unclear By Alistair Gray Published: September 13 2010 00:18 | Last updated: September 13 2010 00:18 Uncertainty has emerged over Mears' agreement to acquire contracts from Connaught, its collapsed rival, as the social housing maintenance group scrambles to finalise the details. Investors in Mears had expected to be told on Monday morning that the company picked up about eight of the former FTSE 250 company's contracts after Bob Holt, executive chairman, said on Friday night he had sealed the deal. Although the agreement still stands, it appeared on Sunday night that Mears was unlikely to make an announcement when the stock market reopened. It was not clear whether or not KPMG, which was appointed administrator of Connaught last week, intended to do so. A person familiar with the matter said Mears was unlikely to update the market until it had "properly determined the various constituent parts of each contract" and had "a detailed understanding of the cost structure of each contract". The agreement was complicated by the fact that Mears was expected to re-employ some of the 700 workers made redundant by KPMG, people familiar with the matter said. Mears is expected to pay a nominal fee to take on the work, which involves about 1,000 workers, although it is not clear which contracts it has acquired. Before its collapse, analysts had raised concerns about how Connaught accounted for its contracts. They were particularly concerned about "mobilisation costs", or expenses incurred at the start of a contract. Connaught had drafted in Deloitte to review its accounting practices at the company, which was audited by PwC since 2006. Mr Holt said on Friday that the contracts Mears was acquiring did not include work for Norwich City Council. Connaught had won a £125m five-year "integrated services" contract with the council but it became subject of a dispute."
nfs: I am delighted to be able to invest in a quality company on a modest rating,with excellent management,a strong focus on cash flow,long term contracts,great defensive qualities,pays a dividend and where a major competitor has got fundamental looking problems.Enough water seems to have passed under the 'company specific' bridge re Connaught to feel comfortable investing here. Congrats to all who got in at 25-30p and are still here/I think it's time the trading raneg was broken,earnings have grwon an awful lot without any share price advancement
cambium: Might stormy times for UK public sector spending beget a ray of sunshine - creating value out of weak sentiment? Related shares have taken a pounding since the aims of the coalition government became clear, although there will be winners besides losers because outsourcing is inherent to local authorities containing costs. Mears (MER), mainly in social housing repairs and maintenance, is a good example. This is a long-established growth company, having listed on AIM in 1996 and won awards such as "best performing share over five years". So there is a track record although even with a full listing it is possible for such a share to come under a cloud of generally weak sentiment. The FTSE SmallCap shares fell from a 2010 peak of 313p last May to 226p by end-June; also as FTSE 250-listed Connaught (CNT) experienced contractual problems. Mears has sought to distance itself from the Connaught affair, issuing a bullish trading update on 28 June which asserted: "strong trading across all divisions... not experiencing any downward pressure on spend in its social housing business". About 80% of Mears' revenue is tied to tenancy agreements or safety rules and is therefore secure. This reassurance helped the shares recover to about 260p, capitalising the group at about £220 million, although wariness towards UK public spending and the example of Connaught has still affected a modest rating. Mears' price-earnings multiple is only about 10 times 2010 forecasts, falling to nine times for 2011, relative to averaging in the mid to late teens during 2007-09 and in a twenties range in prior years. Yet double-digit earnings growth is forecast for each of the next two years, underpinned by a high level of visibility on contracts. Company REFS shows the brokers' consensus looking for a jump in normalised pre-tax profit from £18.5 million to £30.4 million this year, and £35.1 million in 2011, which on the face of it hardly squares with Britain in austerity. It is being helped somewhat by acquisitions, principally Supporta plc (which has introduced personal care services to people at home) although the main social housing side shows a modest split between overall and organic revenue. Mears' first-half results, announced on 17 August, proclaimed a 42% rise in pre-tax profit to £13.2 million on group revenue up 9% to £252.6 million; although organic revenue growth was about 5%, and profit was "pre-amortisation of acquisition intangibles" and also before acquisition costs (of Supporta). From the income statement, interim pre-tax profit was effectively flat at £70 million while basic normalised earnings per share edged up from about 10.0p to 11.6p. Brokers' analysts are looking for about 25p for the full year and 28p in 2011. The second half onwards should be bolstered by Mears' order book, which has risen from £1.8 billion to £2.6 billion, like for like, with 92% visibility of revenue claimed this year, and 81% for 2011. With a conversion rate of operating profit to cash of 94%, it represents the kind of financial profile the stockmarket is likely to warm to during challenging times. Such a cash conversion rate enabled net debt of £13.5 million at end-June despite average borrowings of £45 million for the first half and the acquisition of Supporta plc introducing net debt of £18.4 million. Balance sheet net assets worked out at £135.2 million although as typifies this kind of acquisitive service group, £94.3 million of this comprised goodwill and £24.1 million intangibles. Besides noting in his interim results' outlook statement, that social housing and domiciliary care are 'defensive sectors where spend is largely non-discretionary, Mears' chairman hinted at "a number of opportunities with existing and prospective customers to unlock significant additional revenue" - so it will be interesting to keep watch for news of what they comprise. So the order book and dropped hint both lend confidence in the brokers' growth forecasts for second half 2010 onwards, these projections being made before the 17 August interims. It will also be worth keeping a lookout for further forecasts being reported as REFS cites three brokers currently with new notes 'embargoed'. Mears' prospective yield is just over 2.5% so the emphasis here is on the risk/reward profile for capital growth, with the dividend possibly aiding institutional involvement. The top three shareholders are Schroder, Majedie and Artemis, as asset managers, each with about 7% and respectable records in equities. It would be encouraging to see some director buying, to affirm the sense for value, as there has been no purchases this year despite Mears' share price fall. Possibly, awareness of additional contracts soon to be announced limits the directors' trading despite the company having just released results. Otherwise, the chairman/chief executive owns 500,000 shares, the finance director 50,000 shares and the vice-chairman 23,300 shares. Admittedly, these are not as substantial like some PLC directors. Sticklers for corporate governance may raise eyebrows at a combined chairman/chief executive, an issue that has tended to coincide with 'problem companies' in the past, especially where acquisitions are involved. In its defence, Mears has a good long-term record and arguably an executive chairman can work effectively on a smaller company board. In conclusion, Mears is interesting as a sound and proven business with its shares currently trading on a modest rating due to sector worries. If the P/E multiple improves to just 12 times, this would imply a share price of about 300p - where it has already traded this year - hence useful upside of about 20%. The shares therefore look attractive for serious small cap investors looking to compound funds annually at around this rate.
rivaldo: Thx for that pstubbs50, will try to listen to it tonight. Looks like the share price is breaking upwards now.
cwa1: Agreed, good sharp work. For the record:- Statement re Price Movement Mears notes the announcement made by Connaught regarding the delays in contracts within Social Housing and reflective share price movements. Mears is pleased to announce that they have not experienced such delays as a result of the Emergency Budget, and current trading remains in line with management expectations. Mears is continuing to deliver strong trading across all divisions with an order book which currently stands at GBP2.5 billion with secured revenues of 91% of consensus forecast for the current year.
rivaldo: TAM, you probably know more about MER than I do - I only bought this year at 231p so managed to catch the low for a change. But I'd say that in the current market MER has actually performed well in holding on to most of its recent gains. I also believe that the City loves all that recurring and visible earnings - how many companies have forward visibility of 90% or so future revenues? So I'd hope that the share price will continue to consolidate and move upwards nice and steadily, especially: - with the move into social care - with the likelihood of more contract wins - and with the likelihood that MER will actually benefit from government spending cuts via outsourcing etc (and see post 1413 above re increased capital investment in social housing).
rivaldo: Hi jimmer. The recent news is of course great for MER over the long-term, but the share price is a function of the market, and that in turn reflects demand and supply of shares. Who knows - perhaps a larger shareholder is profit-taking/top-slicing? Today's RNS indicates that Lloyds have been doing exactly that. Perhaps they'll stop selling soon and demand will push the price higher. The markets are a bit stagnant at present - perhaps MER is doing relatively OK in holding present levels and will rise in a pre-Xmas/New Year rally? Then there's the old chestnut about the market-makers (MMs) - perhaps they're holding the price down to enable a buyer to accumulate a holding (it does happen!). There's always a variety of factors to consider as to why a share price is going up, down or is merely stable within a range.
Mears Group share price data is direct from the London Stock Exchange
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