However, events last week might be the turning point. Buoyed by the announcement of a £200m contract with Network Rail and a sound trading statement, the firm's share price rose 7.8% to 168.5p. By the middle of this week it was breaking the 170p barrier, and although a return to the dizzy heights of nearly £5 seems unlikely, the contractor may yet prove right the senior City analysts who are suggesting that the firm could well be in for a good year.
The question on other analysts' lips this week was, could it get any worse for Amey? Given the company's recent history, the answer was obvious – yes, of course it could.
Its announcement on Tuesday that it was going to sell eight of its PFI contracts for barely £29m to Laing failed to impress the market. After the announcement, its share price remained below 30p.
For Laing, however, such a well-priced acquisition could have the opposite effect, going some way to make up for the embarrassment of the sale of its construction division to Ray O'Rourke for £1 in October 2001.