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Sunday share tips: N Brown Group, Foxtons

Mon 18 January 2021 15:34 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - The Financial Mail on Sunday's Midas column touted a raft of shares which it expected would benefit from the fight against obesity as well as the associated, and sometimes fatal, health risks.

N Brown, which tailors to the more rounded and oft-ignored consumer, was the first of those, with the tipster noting that Lord Alliance, the person responsible for the retailer's success during its heyday, had recently taken back financial control.

Midas also called attention to healthy ingredients maker Treatt, which it said would benefit as interest in natural flavourings grew.

Indeed, the company was set to open a new site in Bury St Edmunds which should bolster production and help sales efforts with multinationals.

Not lost on Midas either, the firm had notched up rising dividends for 31 consecutive years.

Optibiotix shares were also worth hanging onto, despite the more recent slump in the shares.

"Investors who have hung on should probably stick with it a little longer. Gut health is a hot topic, better understanding could have a significant impact on waistlines and wellbeing and OptiBiotix is one of the few UK-listed firms in this area," Midas said.

For those suffering or at risk from diabetes, EKF Diagnostics and Renalytix AI were well placed to help too.

The former manufactures the kits used to test for diabetes while the latter - from which EKF was spun out in 2018 - helps test for those most at risk before they reach a critical stage.

EKF's shares were likely to continue to rise with the same holding true for Renalytix, although it was now awaiting regulatory approval in the States.

So for Renalytix Midas recommended taking some profits, given that the stock had more than tripled since 2019, but also told readers to "retain a good chunk, as the business has long-term potential, provided that approval comes good."

For the Gym Group on the other hand, Midas told readers to "hold" onto the shares.

"This is not the time to sell. The Government is keen to promote exercise, the Gym Group offers cut-price access to equipment and classes and its finances are sound."

'Avoid' Foxtons Sabah Meddings told readers of the Sunday Times's 'Inside the City' column.

The London-focused real-estate developer was likely to be less affected than rivals should the Chancellor not extend the stamp duty holiday, she said.

That was because most of Foxtons homes were priced at above £600,000, whereas the stamp duty holiday only applied to properties sold for less than £500,000.

Covid-19 had also seen landlords hit by falling demand for short lets shift to Foxtons, which the firm hoped to retain as long-term clients.

Foxtons was also snapping up smaller rivals in the rental market.

So too, a post-Covid boom and its focus on London might provide a boost to the company in the longer-term.

Yet in the short-term, Meddings surmised, Foxtons also faced continued stiff competition from the likes of less expensive rivals, such as Purplebricks, as well pressure on sales.

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