I have been busy conducting field research into the returning pub industry (I see Paul has been doing the same!).

Last night I went out for a pint with a colleague to experience first-hand the new world of sanitizer gels, staggered entries, and table service. It turns out the lady that served us was the pub tenant - she said the unit had opened on the 4th of July and was currently tracking at around 60-65% of last year’s sales.

This must be a good initial result. She also said the name of the game for now is short-term survival, with longer term hopes pinned on a normalisation of trade into 2021. I wish all the best to these small business owners and I think she can make that happen. It could be a rough ride though, with many still on furlough.

Does anybody have any similar stories, or is it still too early to venture out?

There are other parts of the economy where shares have been similarly hit. In some cases it is fair but other deratings might present an opportunity for investors. We’ve heard Boris Johnson, in full hard hat mode, repeating another three-word slogan recently like a newfound toy: ‘Build, build, build!’

Additionally, the UK Transport Secretary has said that ‘nearly £2bn’ of extra spending has been allocated to fund infrastructure projects to ensure the UK can ‘bounce back’ from the coronavirus crisis

Is this hot air or are we set for an infrastructure spending boom to kickstart the economy? And if the latter, which stocks might benefit? It seems reasonable to anticipate some expansionary fiscal policies.

On that note, I’ve taken a look at two stocks with infrastructure exposure: Sigmaroc (LON:SRC) and Billington Holdings (LON:BILN).


Sigmaroc (LON:SRC) - quality obscured by acquisitions

Market cap: £105.3m

Enterprise value: £155.1m

Style: Turnaround

1y relative strength: +13.5%

Sigmaroc is a rapidly developing company. Since 2016, there have been nine acquisitions.

In these instances, the StockRanks can miss out on the company-specific story, and I think that might be happening here. Note how the Quality Rank drags down the overall StockRank down.

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There are legitimate concerns here but it also reflects harshly on a company that is led by an experienced management team busily assembling a portfolio of high…

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