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Cash-rich Cohort in favour with Charles Stanley

Broker Charles Stanley remains keen on Cohort, citing a positive set of interims by the defense specialist at the end of last year.

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Broker Charles Stanley restated its buy rating on defence specialist Cohort today (LON:CHRT), citing a positive set of interims backed by acquisitions at the end of last year.

The AIM-quoted technology group works primarily for defence, wider government and industry clients via its four subsidiary firms -  systems house MASS, communications specialist MLC, advisory business SCS and surveillance group SEA.

In December, it posted a 34% rise in adjusted operating profit to £2.5mln in the six months to 31 October, while revenues were 13% higher at £37.6mln.

Meanwhile, order intake was £64.5mln - up 80% - and the order book closed at £146.6mln.

The group completed two acquisitions during the period - Marlborough Communications (MCL) and J+S  - for a combined total of £16.6mln.

MCL became the fourth division within the group and J+S was being integrated into SEA, its systems engineering and software business.

Peter Ashworth, analyst at Charles Stanley today described the acquisitions as “highly complementary", adding that the group has maintained its progressive dividend policy, raising the interim payout by 14% to 1.6p.

“The group enjoyed strong cash generation with net funds of £6.7mln, after the acquisitions.

“We have maintained our full-year 2015 profit before tax forecast of £9.9mln, earnings per share of 17.3p and a dividend of 4.7p.

“We reiterate our Buy recommendation and price target of 300p, upside of 27

Shares are currently trading at 237p.

Quick facts: Cohort PLC

Price: 585 GBX

AIM:CHRT
Market: AIM
Market Cap: £239.61 m
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