7th November 2014
National Grid shares have outperformed the market this year but solid half year results show there is still more to come.
The Share Centre recommended National Grid as a ‘buy’ following results this morning that showed pre-tax profit was up 12% to £1.18 billion although revenues fell 5.4% in the six months to the end of September to £6.36 billion.
The company is still on target to raise the full year dividend by 35% and the interim dividend was increased 0.22p to 14.71p.
National Grid also announced that it would be releasing brownfield sites in the South East for housebuildng as part of a joint venture with Berkley Group. The ‘St Williams Homes’ project will see unused gasometers torn down and the land used for 7,000 new homes, including affordable housing. The land has a value of £500 million.
Graham Spooner, investment research analyst at The Share Centre, said good results were ‘becoming the norm’ for National Grid and the figures were in line with expectations.
‘Investors will be pleased to hear the group is on track to deliver dividend growth, asset growth and strong overall returns this year. Despite rising costs in its US business due to the very bad weather conditions last winter, the group is increasingly positive on the outlook for the region,’ he said.
‘The share price has had a good run recently, significantly outperforming the market this year. However, we continue to recommend National Grid as a ‘buy’ for investors for its longer term prospects. The shares offer a slightly lower risk investment for an income orientated portfolio. The company has an attractive yield and the interim dividend has been announced at 14.71p per share.’