One to watch: Flybe

I HAVE never much liked airlines. They are exposed to erratic fuel costs and economic cycles, not to mention mother nature in the form of erupting volcanoes.

Still, I think Flybe could be worth a look. It came to the market in December at 320p and its share price trajectory, if it was an aircraft, would be causing considerable alarm for its passengers.

However, at these low levels things seem to be stabilising. In a recent trading update, Flybe confirmed that it expects underlying pre-tax profits, before exceptionals, ran to 22 million and that forward ticket sales were doing well. It has introduced a fuel surcharge of 3 per passenger for bookings over the summer, but this would be removed if the Brent crude price fell below $75 a barrel for a 28 consecutive days.

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At current levels, the shares now trade on a prospective price-to-earnings ratio of around seven and, as European business activity picks up, so should passenger volumes; this element represents some 50 per cent of its traffic. For those prepared to accept the possibility of an occasional air pocket, Flybe shares could be a trading "prospect".


165p -3p

Scotsman says BUY

• The value of your investment could fall and you may get back less than you invested. Take professional advice if you have any doubt about the suitability of this company for your portfolio.



247.7p -3.3p

Broker says BUY

AHEAD of tomorrow's full-year results, Peel Hunt has a "buy" rating on Perth-based Stagecoach. The broker said: "We believe Stagecoach is well positioned to replace its Virgin joint venture in 2012, it generates the best regional bus margins in the industry and it has a very exciting opportunity in the US."