Richard Beddard

UK share tips for 2019: six stocks for growth and income investors

This is the fourth year that I have picked my top six shares, and each year I say the same thing. Although it is customary to provide tips at the beginning of the year, I do not think about investing in one-year increments. I look for companies that should prosper for a decade or more because there is something special about them, and I spread the risk by investing in a larger portfolio.

Share Watch: Computacenter increasing profits at a steady rate

Computacenter (CCC): smart acquisitions drive revenues

Computacenter will report results for the full year to December in the new year and publish its annual report later in spring, but the signs are that the company will have followed a strong 2017 with a stronger 2018. In the first three quarters of the current year, it has reported revenue 11% higher than the same period a year ago – a figure that does not include the contributions of two acquisitions in September, right at the end of the third quarter.

Share Sleuth: some numbers tell investors more than others

I experienced one of those “Aha!” moments last Saturday, when I was reading an interview with novelist and author Matt Haig in the money section of The Times. Asked whether he invests in shares, he replied: “No. Too many numbers and indices. It seems a dull hobby and an inexact pseudoscience, like astrology. It’s like gambling without the stigma.”

Share Watch: Alumasc's winter woes make its shares an enticing buy

Alumasc (ALU): winter woes

After five years of profitable growth, Alumasc suffered a reversal of unexpected intensity in the year to June 2018. Revenue fell 6% and adjusted profit fell 25%. Without the contribution of Wade International, a manufacturer of drainage products acquired during the year, revenue and profit would have fallen further, by 11% and 38% respectively.

Share Watch: battling technology group diversifying and looks cheap

Cohort (CHRT): defensive measures

Steady performance in terms of revenue and profit growth in recent years has hidden ructions at Cohort, a group of small businesses that supply technology and expertise to the armed forces, schools, councils and the police force. Flat revenue and modestly improved profit have come at the cost of the closure of one firm, the shrinkage of another and the acquisition of a third.

Share Watch: financial risk threatens this high performing company

Motorpoint (MOTR) High performance, low margins

Independent motor dealer Motorpoint performed very well in the year to March 2018. Revenue increased 21 per cent and profit increased 34 per cent compared to the previous year, when it experienced a mini-slump after the Brexit referendum. Even that year, Motorpoint, which had only just floated on the stock market, was an impressive performer. Return on capital in the year to March 2017 was 13 per cent. In 2018 it was 18 per cent.