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Market Watch


SHARES in Carillion predictably fell last week after the firm unearthed a £90 million black hole in the accounts at Mowlem, the contracting rival it bought out earlier this year.

The deal was completed on February 23 and some traders were despondent at the extra costs, although others took on board extra savings to be squeezed out of the takeover.

David Taylor, an analyst at brokers Teather & Greenwood, said: 'Mowlem was known to be a problem company ? indeed we had studiously avoided researching it, fearing black holes in its accounts.

'We have considerable faith in Carillion's management, who are veterans of sorting out the old Tarmac Construction.' McCarthy & Stone was also marked down after unveiling a slip in interim profits last week, although investment bank UBS did raise its target price on the retirement home builder's shares by 20p to 825p.

UBS is sticking with a 'hold' rating on McStone ? a stance shared by analysts at Citigroup.

Elsewhere, MJ Gleeson gained as T&G reiterated a 'buy' rating, social housing contractor Connaught was the subject of buying ahead of next week's results and plant outfit Ashtead firmed as UBS raised its target price 25p to 295p.

Among the consultants, Mouchel Parkman ticked up on strong interims, although brokers Seymour Pierce are sticking with a 'hold' rating.

Another consultant, Tribal, was marked on a positive trading statement that was well received in the City.

Brokers Panmure upgraded the stock to 'buy' from 'hold' and raised its target price by 40p to 245p, while rival brokerage Bridgewell reiterated a 'buy' rating on Tribal.