Balfour Beatty – Brief Share Price Analysis

So, my web coding skills are gradually progressing and I hope to make some progress with the company tables (mentioned in previous posts) over the next few weeks. In the meantime, and as Balfour Beatty have been prevalent in the trade press over the last few months, I thought it may be useful to have a quick look at some historical share prices.

Recently, BB have undertaken a major restructure (a realignment which is likely to yield substantial savings at the loss of around 650 jobs), and a supply chain consolidation exercise. Earlier this month they released a profit warning after reporting a lower profit forecast for 2012. As one would expect, this caused a steep decline in share price, but not below the key support zone of around the 245 level. More recently, contract wins in mid-November have set the bulls back in motion, although, BB’s price seems to be struggling to break through the resistance zone at around 253. BB’s average share price so far this year comes in lower than that of 2011 but the lowest price in 2012 has not sunk below the 2 year low of 214.6 posted last November.

You can read BBs Q3 Interim Management Statement here:

http://www.londonstockexchange.com/exchange/news/market-news/market-news-detail.html?announcementId=11389501

We are hoping to undertake lots more analysis of performance over in the future. Once per month, we will have a detailed look at the performance a chosen company, including:

–          History

–          Fundamental analysis

–          Technical analysis

–          Recent and noteworthy news such as contract wins, restructuring, etc.

–          Speculation on future developments

We will also be home to tables of high-level statistics on all listed construction, support services, and real estate companies, updated weekly.

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Great British Period on Period Construction Output Falls for Fifth Consecutive Quarter

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics today show a fall in output in 7 of the 9 defined sectors. The largest fall being in the private commercial sector.

As the graphic below illustrates, the infrastructure sector has been one of the few growth areas over the past quarter although, output is still a way off the same period a year previous.

Here is a link to the ONS publication and dataset if you want more detail:

 PUBLICATION

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/construction/output-in-the-construction-industry/september-and-q3-2012/stb-construction-output-2012-q3.html

DATA

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/re-reference-tables.html?edition=tcm%3A77-262512

 In other (equally dismal) news, my progress is slow with the construction share price data presentation and insight. I have a fully functioning spread sheet including charts, heat maps, interactive tables, etc. (which I use to aid trading decisions), yet its translation to the web is fraught with difficulty, mostly thanks to my lack of coding knowledge! I will persevere and hopefully it will be up within the next couple of months. In the meantime, I will start to post more regular Construction Company market insight and analysis in the form of charts and commentary which will become more interactive once I get the hang of this coding business.

UK Constuction Industry Market Analysis Sources

These headlines have become commonplace and reflect the current shabby state of the wider economy and the sentiment of many construction firms. Indeed, many of us can feel the diminution of positive sentiment in our everyday roles but for many firms it seems to be business as usual. The turmoil of the economy means different things to different companies. For some it may even provide business opportunity. So how do we measure the economic health of the whole construction industry with any accuracy?

To answer my own question…..we use the best data available to us.

This post documents some of the sources of data that I use every week to keep track of construction industry trend and sentiment. Much like an investment analyst or trader tracks key data and news feeds relating to the wider economy, particular company performance, or a specific currency pair, I like to keep up to date on the economic health of the industry within which I practice the most. I don’t have multiple screens running stochastic simulations on construction indices but I do take the occasional look at some of data provided by the following sources.

As you will see, I have listed some pros and cons of each source and attempted to assign each a crude score. Comparison is a tricky one – each medium is very different and often serves a unique purpose (how do you compare the ONS to Construction News?) so I have scored them based on four common criteria in an attempt to demonstrate usefulness by highlighting strengths and weaknesses.

These are subjective views and comments are, of course, very welcome.

Structure of the UK Construction Industry – August 2012

It’s been a while since my last post- I have been wholly consumed with work and other obligatory life commitments, but a poor show none the less. So as some kind of recompense, I thought I would take a look at some of the most recently published ONS construction data in some detail and upload some interesting charts.

The rather messy charts below (click on it to enlarge) represent data from the ONS Construction Statistics No. 13, 2012 Edition published 24th August 2012. Let’s start by looking at a snapshot of our industry constituents – total firms by trade and civil engineering firms (the field I work in most) in more detail…..

UK Construction Industry Structure 08/2012

UK Construction Industry Structure 08/2012

It would be interesting to visualise how the industry has changed shape over the years but having read some of the background information, it would seem that any shift would merely represent changes in the registers (the Builders Address File (BAF) pre 2010 and the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR) from 2010). It should also be noted that the size of firms will not be entirely accurate – ‘firms’ are recognised as ‘reporting units’ so larger companies may report through a plethora of separate operating companies/regional units/divisions/etc.

The moral of the story…..don’t take all data and statistics at face value, especially summary headlines – context is everything.

Next post I’ll do a summary of the most useful construction industry indicators that I personally use on a monthly basis. Something to look forward to right?! I will try to provide some more interesting visualisations too!

Construction Trade Survey Q2 2012

The latest Construction Trade Survey, published today, makes for bleak reading. The survey reports an industry wide decline across all measures including construction workloads, new orders and tender prices.

A good summary of the latest publication can be found on the Construction Index via the link below:

http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/no-olympic-feelgood-factor-for-construction

These results reiterate the sentiment of recent publications such as Volume of Construction Output and GDP collated by the ONS. Increasing pressure is being applied to the government to ‘enable’ more publically funded construction starts to inject some much-needed stimulus into our dwindling sector andthe UK economy.