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‘Billions’ - UK Housebuilding Sector - Q2: Summer 2016
12 Jul 16
The pilot episode of the much-hyped new TV series ‘Billions’ raked up almost three million viewers on debut in January of this year, which was a new record for Showtime. It is a sort of ‘Wall Street’ for a post Global Financial Crisis (GFC) audience. Damian Lewis heads the cast together with Paul Giamatti - and, the often parsimonious, IMDb has awarded the programme a premium 8.4 score. Lewis’s character Bobby Axelrod is an ambitious hedge fund manager and the sole survivor of the part-eponymous, Axe Capital, during the 9/11 attacks. Bobby is clever, charismatic and charitable (but not whiter than white). He is also very rich, lives in a nice house and knows what ‘billions’ is/are - and has a few himself; albeit these billions tend to slip in and out of his grasp, as is their wont. The UK Housebuilding Sector is also ambitious and survived the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the ensuing Global Financial Crisis. Similarly, it is smarter and wealthier than it has ever been; and, yes, charitable but not atramentous. It is also in award- winning form, which is a good job as it acts out another palpable crisis - the Brexit vote - and a £9 billion loss of value in six trading days. But do not despair.
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UK Housebuilding Sector: Q3 2016 - “I am Steve McQueen”
11 Oct 16
Steve was street savvy, but he was not the smartest knife in the drawer, which makes his Delphic comment to Robert Vaughn all the more surprising. What Steve was saying is that “it’s not over yet”; that there is still a lot more to come (sadly for McQueen, who died in 1980 aged 50, it was a future that was not his). The same is true of Brexit and the collateral undulations that it has riven in the UK Housebuilding Sector. Immediately post-the-Brexit-vote, the UK Housebuilding Sector tanked 36% in value in two trading days (24 and 27 June with a weekend in between); and at one stage was off almost 40%.
Safe as houses
17 Oct 16
Telford Homes is in as strong a position as it has ever been in the 15 years since flotation. The company has a strong balance sheet, with an expanded equity base and significant headroom on its banking facilities, a large development pipeline and impressive forward sales position, and good levels of demand for its product and geography from a diverse group of buyers.
N+1 Singer - Morning Song 21-10-2016
21 Oct 16
Xaar has announced that its FD, Alex Bevis, will be leaving to pursue other opportunities after almost 6 years with the group. A search is underway for his replacement and Alex will remain with Xaar until 24th March 2017. While Alex’s departure is disappointing, Xaar’s strategy remains on track, with new product launches expected to drive near term organic sales growth and a target of £220m sales by 2020. This reflects stronger leverage of Xaar’s innovative technology into a broader spread of end products and markets, with the £220m expected to be composed of broadly equal contributions from ceramics, packaging & product printing, Thin film/P4, and partnerships/M&A. Prospects for the group are exciting, with positive news flow on product launches and end markets anticipated over the year ahead.
“Encouraging”Q1: Positive transformation momentum continues
24 Oct 16
“Encouraging” AGM/Q1 (July-Sept 2016) FY17 trading update should reassure further as it builds on the strong momentum of the recent FY16 results. Management’s self-help initiatives appear increasingly sure-footed. Reflecting the balance of this encouraging Q1 outcome and the highly uncertain backdrop (e.g. raw material prices/input cost inflation, currency movements, and other macro pressures), we think it prudent to keep our FY17 forecasts unchanged for now, not least as there are another 3 financial quarters to navigate. That said, so far so good. We therefore retain our BUY.
AGM trading update
20 Oct 16
While current trading is a beneficiary of Sterling weakness, near-term FX volatility prevents us from upgrading our FY forecasts at this stage. In the event, however, that Euro and Yen exchange rates remain at current levels or lower, existing forecasts have considerable upside risk.