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STOCKS TO WATCH: Canny couple’s £80m oil gusher from Serica

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STOCKS TO WATCH: Britain’s savviest investment couple sitting on shares price greater than £80m after excellent news from Serica Energy

Britain’s savviest investment couple are sitting on shares price greater than £80million after excellent news last week from Serica Energy. 

David and Debbie Hardy, who run a Midlands constructing firm, are the most important shareholders within the North Sea energy producer, which pumps five per cent of the UK’s gas output. 

The AIM-listed firm’s share price had nosedived ahead of Rishi Sunak’s confirmation of an additional 25 per cent levy on the profits of oil and gas producers. 

Savvy: David and Debbie Hardy are the most important shareholders in North Sea energy producer Serica, which pumps five per cent of the UK’s gas output

But last week, Serica reassured investors it will use investment incentives built into the levy to cut back its tax bill. 

This has boosted Serica’s shares to £2.90, sending the worth of the Hardys’ 10.4 per cent soaring to £82million. 

David, 63, and Debbie, 58, bought into the business for as little as 3p a share. Can it get any higher? Yes, it could. They will even enjoy a near-£1million payout after Serica increased its dividend by 18 per cent. 

Informa a bellwether for the way economy is performing 

Informa rarely gets the pulses racing, but it surely is a superb bellwether for the way the economy is performing. 

The corporate has been run for a decade by Stephen Carter, who back in 2008 was drafted in by Latest Labour as an adviser to try to save lots of Gordon Brown’s dismal premiership. 

Unsurprisingly, the tenure didn’t last long and he was back within the business world two years later. 

Informa runs international conferences in addition to the Monaco and Fort Lauderdale boat shows. 

Shares have recovered because the pandemic, but now the corporate has to take care of soaring inflation and more belt-tightening. 

WHSmith well place 

With online shops struggling and high streets back in vogue (relatively speaking, in fact), WHSmith seems well placed. 

Not only that, the country seems determined to get travelling again despite all those flight cancellations – perfect for the retailer’s airport shops. 

The shares are well below pre-pandmeic levels. 

However the model has traditionally shown resilience through tough times. 

Peel Hunt says control next week’s trading statement for evidence the ‘green shoots of recovery’ proceed to grow after the chain’s promise in April of ‘meaningful profit’ in 2022. 

US expansion is one other string to the group’s bow.

‘There may be, in our view, an out of doors likelihood of an upgrade here, which might buck the trend in retail,’ the broker says cautiously. 

Tough time for fast fashion

Even Love Island has turned its back on the industry with contestants this yr wearing second-hand clothes from eBay fairly than outfits from Missguided, which was recently snapped up by Frasers Group after running out of money. 

Now Boohoo will issue a trading statement on Wednesday. Optimists can be hoping it could money in on its rival’s demise. 

The opposite chink of sunshine is that the vacation season is upon us – a time when young women often splash out on swimsuits and a dress or two. 

But costs are rising and the Boohoo share price has been punished over the past yr. 

More of the identical is probably going. 

                                                                                                                            Contributor: Patrick Tooher 

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