Stocks in Balfour Beatty weather storm best

The average decline in the share prices of listed building firms is more than a quarter so far this year, according to new research.

Stockbroker Cenkos said that in the period to 19 May, the average decline in quoted contractors’ share prices was 27%.

kx Google

The Google HQ site at King’s Cross, pictured this week, remains shut

The country’s biggest contractor Balfour Beatty was off by just 8% but several others including Costain and Mears have seen significant drops.

But Costain’s share price has recovered 128% from its year low of 32p. The firm is next week due to formally confirm that its £100m capital raising plan, announced in March, has been approved by shareholders and will see Dubai-based contractor ASGC become its largest shareholder with a 15% stake.

Speaking about the share prices of the country’s listed builders, Cenkos analyst Kevin Cammack said: “Most contractors have maintained some level of business throughout the covid-19 lockdown and this has helped mitigate the downside.”

Severfield will be the first of the listed contractors to report covid-hit financial results when the firm publishes its results for the year to 31 March on 17 June.

The steelwork firm has already warned that the impact of the coronavirus crisis will hit the group’s profit.

The firm is carrying out the steelwork contract on the Google headquarters building at King’s Cross but the job has been shut by the client since the end of March.

Contractors shares - Cenkos