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STOCKS TO WATCH: JD Sports is UK's second most valuable


STOCKS TO WATCH: Riding high after five-for-one share split, JD Sports is Britain’s second most valuable shops group after Tesco










They say every dog has its day – and surely that must include one-time stock market underdog JD Sports. 

Riding high after last week’s five-for-one share split, the company is Britain’s second most valuable shops group after Tesco. 

JD is now worth £11.2billion – more than Lord Wolfson’s Next, enough to buy The Hut Group five times over, or Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group three times. 

A good sign: JD is now worth £11.2billion – more than Lord Wolfson's Next

A good sign: JD is now worth £11.2billion – more than Lord Wolfson’s Next

City scribblers tell Stocks To Watch that JD’s cumulative splits mean shareholders would now hold 100 shares for each one bought at the time of executive chairman Peter Cowgill’s arrival back in March 2004. 

It means a share bought back then is now worth more than £200. 

Not a bad track record for a man who has unarguably done things his way but – unlike certain mavericks – has left shareholders feeling they’ve enjoyed the ride rather than been taken for one.

Deadline for National Express 

National Express has until December 14 to lay down a firm offer for rival transport operator Stagecoach after talks were extended last month. 

First-half results for Stagecoach, valued at about £445million, could embolden National Express.

Industry data suggests that bus passenger numbers have reached new post-pandemic highs of late and, assuming Omicron doesn’t puncture the momentum, demand is expected to rise further. 

Toot, toot!

Simpson remembers ghost of Christmas past

This Christmas may bring back painful memories for Stuart Simpson. 

The former Royal Mail interim chief executive was blocked from receiving just over £1million of awards after service failures, including festive chaos last year. 

Simpson has since landed a gig as interim finance chief at cyber security firm Avast, which is being taken over by America’s NortonLifeLock for $8billion (£6billion). 

On top of his $100,000- a-month salary, Simpson can land a $500,000 bonus if he hits targets and stays until the end of next year. 

There’s also cover for relocation and flight costs if he moves to Prague, where Avast is headquartered. 

No sign of nightmares before this Christmas. 

Hester building up easyJet stake 

Ex-RBS boss Stephen Hester is quietly building up a stake in easyJet. 

On Wednesday, as he started as the airline’s chairman, Hester bought about £140,000 of the budget airline’s stock – adding to more than £500,000 of shares acquired in September in easyJet’s £1.2billion rights issue. 

His commitment is a bright spot for easyJet, which announced a bruising £1.13billion loss last week and suffered from the Omicron propelled market sell-off. 

‘He is just building a stake, aligning himself with other shareholders,’ says my source. 



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