Jarvis had a good week, although it depends on how you define good.
The company’s share price rose from 20p to 23.5p on the back of bid rumours that simply won’t die. Which is not surprising, given that in one breath, the board says “no talks are taking place” and in the next says it is “considering all strategic options”.
The ambiguity is working and the imaginary £100 we placed at the end of February is now worth £127. (Probably best not to remember that if we had put a £100 on Jarvis six months ago it would now be worth £27.)
Elsewhere, Taylor Wimpey was carrying the can for housebuilders, falling to 122p on Tuesday afternoon, reducing our £100 to £71.
Kier had a bad week, too, falling 8% to 1,126p by Tuesday on the back of news that its housing reservations had fallen 35%. Our £100 became £81 and chief executive John Dodds was no doubt cursing the blindness of the investors who have lumped Kier in with general housebuilders.