PUNT OF THE WEEK: Small-cap logistics firm Clipper

What is it?

A small-cap logistics company with several different businesses, including one that oversees online shopping deliveries and returns.

Customers include Asos, Sports Direct, N Brown, the NHS and PrettyLittleThing.

What’s the latest?

It recently clinched contracts with Topshop-owner Arcadia and TM Lewin, while annual results this week showed group revenue rose 9 per cent to £501million in the year to the end of April.

Clipper recently clinched contracts with Topshop-owner Arcadia and TM Lewin

Clipper recently clinched contracts with Topshop-owner Arcadia and TM Lewin

Clipper recently clinched contracts with Topshop-owner Arcadia and TM Lewin

Who backs it?

Executive chairman Steven Parkin is the largest shareholder with a 25 per cent stake, while chief information officer Sean Fahey owns 6.3 per cent. Institutional investors include Liontrust Asset Management.

Why should you invest?

Nicholas Hyett, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, says the e-fulfilment and returns management business will be a big earner.

And why shouldn’t you?

But, Hyett adds: ‘If we have a gripe with Clipper it’s that not all of the group’s businesses are uniformly attractive – such as a commercial vehicle dealership hidden away in the depths.’

Popular shares: Barratt Developments 

The housing market has bounced back since the shutdown earlier this year.

Last week that prompted housebuilder Persimmon to restore the dividend and on Wednesday investors will hope for more good news from rival Barratt Developments.

That is proving tricky so far, however, with Barratt’s shares still trading below where they were a year ago amid fears that a recession could pour cold water on the market.

Barratt’s shares ARE still trading below where they were a year ago

Barratt’s shares ARE still trading below where they were a year ago

Barratt’s shares ARE still trading below where they were a year ago

The company is also grappling with the fallout of shutting down its construction sites during lockdown, with the number of completions down 30 per cent in the financial year. Previously, Barratt revealed average selling prices had dropped by around 2 per cent to £311,000.

Analysts will also want to know what Barratt is doing to protect profit margins, which could be hurt by delays and rising costs to keep staff safe from Covid-19, and what it expects the housing market to do in the coming months.

Experts have warned that sales could be hit later this year due to rising unemployment, when the Government’s furlough scheme ends. But for now, according to mortgage lender Nationwide, house prices have enjoyed a ‘mini-boom’ in the summer. 

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