Industrial services specialist Cape (CIU) is ahead 8.2% to 245p as it bucks the negative trend in the oil services sector by beating expectations with its 2014 results.
Perhaps even more significant is the fact that it gives relatively upbeat guidance on 2015 with performance expected to be broadly flat – some feat in the current environment.
Although it is classified as an oil services firm only half of its business is directly exposed to the oil price – the remainder allocated to mining, power and steel. Around 70% of Cape's business involves maintenance which comes out of opex budgets which are not as pressured as capex pools.
Its resilience is reflected in a full-year earnings per share of 29.9p, up 26% year-on-year and ahead of the 27.5p pencilled in by Canaccord Genuity. A maintained full-year dividend of 14p reflects confidence in the outlook. Drilling down into the numbers a bit further order intake is up 22% to £765 million with the order book 15% higher year-on-year at £746 million.
Canaccord maintains its 'buy' take and 300p price target. Analyst Alex Brooks comments: 'We have written previously of Cape's long term superior free cash generation, and despite headwinds in 2014 the group still generated over £10 million in free cash.
'Cash flow should improve in 2015, simply from normalization of working capital, and at our unchanged price target of 300p, the stock would trade at just over 10x P/E for 15/16E but at a free cash yield of over 8% for 16E - which compares very well with free cash at larger peers.'
Numis also stays at buy with a 303p price target – though it cautions that two major contract re-negotiations will be key if margins of 7.5% posted in 2014 are to be maintained.