The unveiling of a brace of contacts worth £177 million by heavy construction specialist Kier (KIE) is a poke in the eye for its critics. The group's construction business has bagged two Procure 21+ framework deals; a £63 million redevelopment of Birmingham Women’s Hospital and a £26 million emergency and pediatrics wing for Scarborough Hospital.

This should act as an important mind-settler for investors down the line, even if the shares barely nudged the needle higher, up just 4p at £16.60.

Through 2014 the stock slumped about 18% thanks to concerns over Kier's ability to close new business. That mood was sparked in part by the string of profit warnings issued by rival Balfour Beatty’s (BBY).

Alastair Stewart at Westhouse Securities reckons Kier’s decline last year was 'unwarranted'. The analyst went to explain why he believes that the shares remain an attractive investment, highlighting the conservative nature of Kier’s contract bidding and profit recognition.

More contract wins over the coming months will certainly do no harm in proving Stewart right.


Issue Date: 13 Feb 2015