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(Sharecast News) - In this Sunday's round-up of newspaper share tips, there was Serica Energy in the Sunday Times, Greene King in the Mail on Sunday and CMC Markets in the Sunday Telegraph.
Serica Energy, the AIM-listed oil and gas producer, was tipped as a 'buy' in the Sunday Times' Inside the City column. In late November, a year after first agreeing the deal, the company tied up a tricky deal to buy stakes in the Bruce, Keith and Rhum fields in the UK North Sea from BP, Total and BHP. Instantly becoming one of the largest mid-tier exploration and production companies in the region in a deal that constituted a reverse takeover under AIM rules, Serica acquired operating rights on the three fields, with a 98% interest in Bruce, a 100% interest in Keith and a 50% interest in Rhum.
Bringing these fields into the group means Serica is producing around 26,000 barrels per day, more than FTSE 250-listed Cairn Energy. The North Sea portfolio is over 85% weighted towards natural gas. Annual profits are forecast to jump from a predicted $9m in 2018 to $175m for 2019, according to broker Peel Hunt, as revenues rise from $41m to close to $400m.
Elsewhere in the portfolio there are exploration and development interests in the Rowallan, Columbus, Skerryvore and Ruval fields of the North Sea, plus an existing 18% non-operated interest in the Erskine field. Drilling has begun at Rowallan, while the 50% operated interest in the Columbus field is scheduled to start development in 2019 and expected to begin producing from 2021.
Shares in Greene King were tipped as a tasty investment tipple by Midas in the Mail on Sunday, saying buying now gave access to an "undervalued" stock paying a 6% dividend.
As well as brewing the likes of Abbot Ale and Greene King IPA, the company is the UK's largest managed pubs operator, with its chains including English Inns, Loch Fyne eateries, family pubs under the Hungry Horse and Wacky Warehouse brands, and the Spirit portfolio of pubs under the Chef & Brewer and Taylor Walker brands.
First-half results in early December showed a 2.7% increase in like-for-like sales in the pub company, which was well ahead of rivals such as Marston's and EI. Progress was also made on boss Rooney Anand's priorities of improving underlying sales growth and efficiency and refinancing the debt taken on from the Spirit acquisition in 2015.
Anand steps from behind the bar in April, with analysts at Liberum suggesting that the announcement of a successor could be a "positive catalyst" for sentiment towards the stock that will draw the line under a period of acquisitions.
Questor in the Sunday Telegraph said CMC Markets "could be a doubled in a year or two". With spread-betting firms tending to do well when markets are volatile, CMC's shares "look cheap".
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