Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
Mears Group Plc 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
  9.00 3.66% 255.00 247.00 250.00 250.00 237.00 237.00 86,262 16:35:10
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Support Services 869.8 28.4 23.1 11.1 282

Mears Share Discussion Threads

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DateSubjectAuthorDiscuss
24/8/2010
07:36
Exciting times ahead for Mears - thanks for posting those links...
pstubbs50
24/8/2010
07:33
more here http://www.times-series.co.uk/news/8347307.Housing_group_ends_contract_with_troubled_firm/ http://www.building.co.uk/5004529.article?origin=bldgdailynewsletter
cambium
24/8/2010
07:25
Great spot Cambo - the first of many to be re-tendered no doubt.... MER must be the frontrunner for any re-tendering - and of course ROK are hardly in much of a position to compete either at present.
rivaldo
23/8/2010
14:29
Have Mears been approached for the Barnet contract which they have terminated from February? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/article-1304899/Council-winds-contract-Connaught-revealed-owns-money-Travis-Perkins.html
cambium
23/8/2010
14:27
Mears are in a very strong position here, take ROK whilst it's still cheap putting it well ahead of all competition. Connaughts lost customers will then inevitably go to Mears, either by Connaught going under or because confidence is lost in them honouring contracts.
celeritas
23/8/2010
10:32
Last two trades for over 130,000 seemed like institutional buys (not sells) as listed on level 2.. bit missleading that... but I'm happy Mears continue to progress slowly rather than in wild swings.. going all the way to £3 IMO DYOR
tom.b
20/8/2010
14:28
Should be a few snapped up at these levels before closing....
tom.b
20/8/2010
09:50
yes sorry should of attributed that to him.
cambium
20/8/2010
09:28
Thx Cambo - from Edmond Jackson on i.i.i I see. I'd hope for a re-rating to around 330p, i.e the broker valuation. Lots of stories around re CNT clients talking to competitors about moving their business away from CNT, and about the problems at CNT being deep-seated and business-wide, especially as regards the poor carrying out of services on the social housing side, the late payment of suppliers etc etc. I wonder who will get all that new business :o))
rivaldo
20/8/2010
07:24
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.
cambium
19/8/2010
12:05
Thx for that pstubbs50, will try to listen to it tonight. Looks like the share price is breaking upwards now.
rivaldo
18/8/2010
13:41
pst, thanks for the link, interesting that they also have 70% of the 2012 revenue in place. Suspect not many companies can say that.
edale
18/8/2010
12:26
Here's the report & interview with Bob Holt on cnbc http://classic.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=1568148121&play=1
pstubbs50
18/8/2010
12:22
Look at the movement pattern over the last 5 years. Contant swinging. It's now hopefully time for the next move up and the results should reinforce that. The difference this time is the view you take: (a) the sector is in poor shape with the current economic situation therefore Mears is a poor co to invest in (b) Mears will take advantage of the demise of Connaught and other poor players in the sector, and will benefit. For me, Mears are one of the strongest companies around. They constantly deliver. I know which option I'm backing.
pstubbs50
18/8/2010
11:56
Onwards and upwards to £3.00 over the next few weeks.. maybe sooner.. it's a nobrainer...but dyor...
tom.b
18/8/2010
11:32
Good stuff - nice to back the winner. Holt said : "Once again I can confirm that Mears is not experiencing, nor do we anticipate, any downward pressure on either our social housing or domiciliary care revenues. The 'nor do we anticipate' I see as very re-assuring giving the forward looking nature of the market - should encourage new inst and PI investors into MER.
melody9999
18/8/2010
11:30
Collins Stewart have a 335p valuation: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/markets/article.html?in_article_id=512271&in_page_id=3 "Leading social housing and geriatric care group Mears reported yet another set of record half-year results and closed 10p higher at 260.25p. First-half pre-tax profits soared 42pc to £13.2m and the dividend is hiked 19% to 1.9p. Analysts forecast £30.5m pretax for the full year. The current order book stands at £2.6bn with a sales pipeline of £3bn and operating cash conversion at 94% of profit. Collins Stewart's target price is 335p."
rivaldo
18/8/2010
06:53
MER's excellent results are enabling them to put distance between them and not only CNT, but also ROK given ROK's own problems.... http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/mears-revels-in-connaughts-woes-as-cuts-fuel-demand-2055319.html "Mears revels in Connaught's woes as cuts fuel demand By Sean Farrell Wednesday, 18 August 2010 Mears Group took a swipe at its ailing rival, Connaught, yesterday as it announced record first-half profits and unprecedented demand for its services. The social housing and home care provider was forced to reassure investors in June after Connaught warned that public spending cuts had hit its business. But Mears' finance director, Andrew Smith, said Connaught's woes were of its own creation and that Mears was hoping to take advantage of the problems to win more business. He made his comments as Rok, another rival, said first-half profit halved after warning last week that accounting problems would hurt earnings. "There has been a lot of commentary around more than one of our competitors but as more news comes out they appear to be company-specific issues," Mr Smith said. "If a client is looking to provide services through a single provider then financial stability becomes more important." Pre-tax profit rose 42 per cent to £9.3m in the first half. The interim dividend rose 19 per cent to 1.9p a share. Mears maintains hundreds of thousands of homes owned by housing associations and local councils. Mr Smith said 80 per cent of revenues were for maintenance governed by tenancy agreements or safety rules and could not be cut. The other 20 per cent was from capital spending already in place. The company said tight public finances drove record contract wins as local authorities outsourced work to cut costs. Connaught said its relationships with customers had not been affected by recent events. Rok said it also hoped to take business from Connaught."
rivaldo
17/8/2010
14:10
I expect a slower but steady rise towards the £3 mark over the next few weeks as events at Connaught unfolds and institutions and pension funds take a larger slice of a stable, sound, profitable company... it's a no brainer... DYOR..
tom.b
17/8/2010
10:45
Bob Holt is on CNBC in a couple of minutes, for anyone interested.
essentialinvestor
17/8/2010
09:26
In for a few this morning on the back of results and the secured order book. I would have thought that MER is just the kind of low risk play, institutions would be looking for in uncertain times, so I think they ought to make progress from here. Looks like some interest is developing, which bodes well.
daz
17/8/2010
08:31
Social housing specialist Mears has shrugged off the troubles seen by some of its rivals to deliver interim pre-tax profits up 42% at £13.2m. Announcing half-year results, chairman Bob Holt said the financial crisis at Connaught would offer Mears even greater opportunities going forward. He also predicted the Government's proposed changes to housing benefit would drive more people into social housing in coming years. Holt said : "Once again I can confirm that Mears is not experiencing, nor do we anticipate, any downward pressure on either our social housing or domiciliary care revenues. "The well publicised problems in the sector provide a great opportunity for Mears as market leader. "We continue to be highly selective on our bidding approach looking to only work on long term partnership situations," stressed Holt. In the six months to June, Mears revenues grew 9% to £253m with strong profit growth pushing margins from 4.2% a year ago to 5.8%. Holt said: "Our order book is solid and stands at £2.6bn with a sales pipeline of £3bn and operating cash conversion at 94% of profit." Divisions at a glance Social Housing: Revenue £185m (£176m); Op profit £10m (£8.2m) Domiciliary Care: Revenue £47.8m (£29.1m); Op profit £3.6m (£1.6m) Other Services: Revenue £20.1m (£27.6m); Op profit £1.3m (£0.7m) Holt said the opportunities for Mears, which has delivered 15 years of successive growth, have never looked better. He said: "The proposed changes to the system for housing benefit will in our opinion promote the migration away from private dwellings towards social housing. "The changes to the housing finance system will also provide local authorities opportunities for further investment in their housing stock which can only be positive for a leading provider like Mears." He also believed changes to the housing finance system will give local authorities opportunities to further invest in their housing stock.
cambium
17/8/2010
08:29
sorry but it just came up in my google news thought it might be of interest, heyho.
cambium
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