Charles Wigoder, executive chairman of Telecom Plus (TEP), the London-based supplier of gas, electricity and broadband to residences and businesses, has sold 2.5 million shares at a price of £14.50, netting a total of £36.3 million. The sale represents approximately 3.2% of the company's issued share capital.

Telecom Plus, which trades as Utility Warehouse, has been a key beneficiary of the turmoil caused by the marked increase in wholesale energy prices.

In October alone, the gas-to-broadband utility company said 15,000 new customers had signed up, significantly more than the 3,289 new customers added in the first half of the year.

It also reported a 6% rise in revenue to £371.3 million, while pre-tax profits slipped from £21.5 million to £19.9 million.

Following its recent interim results, consensus earnings expectations for 2023 have risen from 60.7p to 69p per share, putting the stock on a forward rating of 24 times forecast earnings, which may explain the spate of recent director disposals.

According to Peel Hunt analyst Charles Hall, ‘the company has a price-competitive offer in a market that should be far more stable once the current turmoil passes.’

LEGAL EAGLES

Simon Philips, non-executive director of challenger law firm Keystone Group (KEYS:AIM), recently sold shares with a market value of £2 million.

This follows earlier share disposals by founder and chief executive James Knight and finance director Ashley Miller for a combined haul of £2 million.

In mid September the group posted interim results well ahead of estimates and said it expected its annual performance to 'materially' exceed market expectations.

For the six months to July, revenues increased 37.6% to £33.7 million while pre-tax profits were up 118% to £4.3 million.

The firm said activity levels across all practice areas had been ‘very high’ throughout the first six months of this year despite the challenges of being in lockdown for much of the period.

This strong earning performance has been reflected in the share price, which is up 27% over the last six months providing management with an opportunity to lock in profits.

Keystone's model enables solicitors to work remotely and directly keep a percentage of the fees earned. Analysts believe the model has become more appealing following the Covid outbreak, as lawyers seek a more even work-life balance.

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Issue Date: 02 Dec 2021