Last Friday's profit warning by Jarvis, the fourth terrible confession made by the firm this year, left me a blubbing mess. A bit like Manchester United wunderkind Cristano Ronaldo after the Portuguese were pasted in the final.
Unsurprisingly the stock has taken an almighty kicking since the pre-weekend statement, languishing at around the 22p mark as of Tuesday this week. If only I'd sold in the heady days of £5-plus back in 2002 … I'd be able to retire to that beautiful Tuscan villa I've been eyeing up. Oh well, it looks like I'll have to content myself with the chalet in Bognor for the imminent future.
I suppose I can content myself with solid and, thankfully, less dramatic trading statements by surer footed contractors and housebuilders this week.
Rok – Having failed in its bid for Galliford Try, surely another buy is imminent
Hunch of the week
I must say, I have hopes for Carillion, which went up 7p to 192p at the end of last week following its trading update. John McDonough's crew have tinkered with the business for some time but the firm now seems to be settling on a model of PFI and facilities management. Having flogged off some PFI contracts for £100m and disposed of M&E arm Crown House to Laing O'Rourke it now has some cash in the bank. Perhaps an acquisition is imminent?
I just hope the likes of Carillion and the other contractors that have put in an improved performance on the stock market avoid getting swiped with Jarvis' tarry brush.
It was good to see housebuilders Redrow and Bovis putting out cheery trading statements (see page 19). Unfortunately the City was not so keen – Redrow's stock was down 9p to 363p, while Bovis' fell 8.5p to 520.5p earlier this week.