Jarvis ain't gonna like this. The analyst that has spent the past year pouring bucket after bucket of cold water over it has been named the top tipster in construction, according to a survey in The Sunday Times.
Mark Howson of ABN Amro, for it is he, is a rather jolly chap in real life but one suspects that his constant pessimism about the prospects for Jarvis has ruffled a few feathers there.

Howson warned the market to sell Jarvis shares earlier this year and he's not been far wrong, given the calamitous tumble the price has taken. However, Jarvis execs can take some cheer from a slight recovery last week – shares rose 1.4% to reach 89p by close of play Friday.

I shall now refer to the ABN Amro star as the Howsonator – not for his Arnold Schwarzenegger-like physique, but because the nickname tickled Mrs Broker after a jug of Pimms the other day. Anyway, the Howsonator's other recommendation was that investors buy shares in firms exposed to the PFI market.

Construction’s third best analyst, David Taylor of Teather & Greenwood, says buy BSS. Worth a look

Hunch of the week

Howson pushed Balfour Beatty at 190p – it rose 4.7% last week alone to stand at 258.5p. He recommended Mowlem when it was about a quid and lo-and-behold the company is now at 197p, although this was down 2% over the week.

My apologies now to Crest Nicholson chief executive John Callcutt, as I'm going to stitch him up again. Recall how in March I informed you, dear reader, of John's rather unfortunate slip in Tallinn, Estonia, that led to a serious ankle injury? Well, I have yet more details of misadventure …

It appears that the big kid fell over during a snowball fight with his wife. Ha, Mr Callcutt! That'll teach you to go head-to-head with the Broker over a few bottles of Brouilly Chateau des Tours and Saint Veran Roger Luquet (both 2001 vintages) at the Savoy. That particular venue is my manor – and nobody outdrinks me there!

However much I have tried to spread this story among the chaps and chapettes in the City it seems to have had little impact on them. Crest Nicholson fell a measly 0.5% last week to finish at 336.75p.