2 LSE Stocks Under Focus: United Utilities Group PLC, Hvivo PLC

  • Sep 20, 2019 BST
  • Team Kalkine
2 LSE Stocks Under Focus: United Utilities Group PLC, Hvivo PLC
United Utilities Group PLC

United Utilities Group Plc (UU) is a provider of water and wastewater services in the North West region of England. It is involved in generating renewable energy, corporate fiduciary, provide funding, and management of the property. It serves households and business customers of about 3 million and 200,000 respectively. There are three diverse core operating segments in which the company operates, namely, water charges (wholesale), wastewater charges (wholesale), residential charges (retail).

UU-Recent News

The United Utilities Group announced the exit of its COO (Chief Operating Officer) on 29th July 2019. Mr Steve Fraser will be leaving the company, and his last day of employment was to be August 31st, 2019.

UU-Financial Highlights for FY19

In the Financial Year ending 31st March 2019, the company’s reported revenue stood at £1,818.5 million against £1,735.8 million in FY2018. There was an increase of 4.76 per cent due to an increase in the Wholesale water charges and Wholesale wastewater charges in the current financial year. The operating profit (underlying) of the company was £684.8 million for the period as against £645.1 million in FY2018. The operating profit (reported) declined by 0.23 per cent to £634.9 million for the period as against £636.4 million in FY2018, factoring a surge in the operating expenses for the current fiscal year. The reported PBT (profit before tax) of the company stood at £436.2 million for the period as against £432.1 million in FY2018. The underlying before-tax profit was up by £90.1 million from £370.2 million to £460.3 million in FY2019. The reported PAT (profit after tax) of the company stood at £363.4 million for the period as against £354.6 million in FY2018. The after-taxation profit (underlying) of the company was up by £73.8 million to £378.7 million for the period in comparison to £304.9 million in FY2018. The earnings per share (underlying) of the company stood at 55.5 pence for the period as against 44.7 pence in FY2018. The dividend per share of the company was 41.28 pence for the period as against 39.73 pence in FY2018. The cash generated (net) from operating activities for FY2019 stood at £832.3 million against £815.6 million in FY2018. The net debt of the company stood at £7,067.3 million for the period as against £6,867.8 million in FY2018. The company’s revenue surged from £1,720.2 million in FY15 to £1,818.5 million in FY19 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.4 per cent.

United Utilities Plc’s had shown decent top-line and bottom-line performance in the current financial year. The increase in the company’s financial performance was driven by the company’s allowed regulatory revenue profile changes and decline in the underlying net finance expense.

The company had consistency with its targeted gearing range of 55–65 per cent, which is measured using Net debt upon regulatory capital value. The gearing provides a stable outlook for the company related to its creditworthiness.

The company is using advanced technology to enhance the application of System thinking, and they have developed a full plan for the evolution of its key capabilities to deliver over the next five-year period. The company will need to constantly adapt to and plan for climate change in order to maintain a constant and sustainable flow of freshwater. Also, the company has made a significant capital expenditure in the financial year 2019, which will drive revenue growth in the coming years.

UU-Share price performance

Daily Chart as on 20-September-19, before the market closed (Source: Thomson Reuters)

On 20th September 2019, while writing at 10:52 AM GMT, United Utilities Group Plc shares were clocking a current market price of GBX 796.5 per share; which was less by 0.46 per cent in comparison to the last traded price of the previous day. The company’s market capitalisation was at £5.43 billion at the time of writing.

On 19th March 2019, the shares of UU have touched a new peak of GBX 879.60 and reached the lowest price level of GBX 674.30 on 15th October 2018 in the last 52 weeks. The company’s shares were trading at 9.44 per cent lower from the 52-week high price mark and 18.12 per cent higher than the 52-week low price mark at the current trading level as can be seen in the price chart.

The stock’s traded volume was hovering around 1,004,679 at the time of writing before the market close. The company’s 5-day stock's average traded volume was 2,039,515.20; 30 days average traded volume- 1,977,227.50 and 90 days average traded volume – 2,301,159.23. The volatility of the company’s stock was 32 per cent lower as compared with the index taken as the benchmark, as the beta of the company’s stock was recorded at 0.68 with a dividend yield of 5.16 per cent.

The shares of the company have delivered a negative return of 2.41 per cent in the last quarter. The company’s stock surged by 8.69 per cent from start of the year to till date. The company’s stock has given investors 15.97 per cent of positive return in the last year. 

Hvivo PLC

Hvivo Plc (HVO) is a UK based biopharma company having clinical testing capabilities. The company is a pioneer in developing a human-based analytical platform to increase the discovery and development of drug-related to respiratory and infectious diseases. The company’s platform is based on disease models in influenza (flu), RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) and other indications related to respiratory. As on May 03, 2012, shares of the HVO got admitted to the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange for trading.

HVO-Financial highlights for H1 FY19

On 19th September 2019, the company released interim results for H1 FY19. This period company saw cost cutting in research & development, administration expenses coupled with growing revenue streams. The company is well poised to drive growth in the future. The company’s revenue surged by 22 per cent to £5.9 million in H1 FY19 as against £4.9 million in H1 FY18. The company’s loss from continuing operations (adjusted) plunged by 27 per cent to £3.7 million in H1 FY19 as against £5.0 million in H1 FY18. The company’s EBITDA loss (adjusted) plunged by 29 per cent to £3.1 million in H1 FY19 as against £4.4 million in H1 FY18, which indicates profitability growth in future. The company’s cash and cash equivalents were impacted by cancellation of contracts and stood at £4.0 million at 30 June 2019 as against £13.4 million at 31st December 2018. However, the company received a tax credit (refund) of £2.4 million on 4th September 2019 (post period) from HM Revenue & Customs. The company’s research and development expenses were down by 60 per cent to £1.1 million for the period as against £2.8 million in H1 FY18. In addition, the administration expenses of the company were down by 22 per cent to £3.8 million for the period from £4.9 million in H1 FY18. The ongoing optimisations and efficiencies improvements will drive gross profit margins forward for the company.

HVO-Share price performance

Daily Chart as on 20-September-19, before the market close (Source: Thomson Reuters)

On 20th September 2019, while writing at 10:58 AM GMT, Hvivo Plc shares were clocking a current market price of GBX 17 per share; which was less by 1.44 per cent in comparison to the last traded price of the previous day. The company’s market capitalisation was at £14.27 million at the time of writing.

On 20th September 2018, the shares of HVO have touched a new peak of GBX 65.95 and reached the lowest price level of GBX 13.20 on 19th September 2019 in the last 52 weeks. The company’s shares were trading at 77.33 per cent lower from the 52-week high price mark and 28.78 per cent higher the 52-week low price mark at the current trading level as can be seen in the price chart.

The stock’s traded volume was hovering around 1,000 at the time of writing before the market close. The company’s 5-day stock's average traded volume was 95,199.40; 30 days average traded volume- 41,054.63 and 90 days average traded volume – 80,171.50.

The shares of the company have delivered a negative return of 14.81 per cent in the last quarter. The company’s stock plunged by 38.39 per cent from start of the year to till date. The company’s stock has given investors 73.05 per cent of negative return in the last year. 

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