Life has moved quickly in the last six weeks and that is particularly true at the bus and train operator FirstGroup (FGP) which back in early March I was excited about the potential for either the company's organic efforts to create value...or the company's big activist shareholder to force it.
I quite like working on a Sunday as it gives me a chance to feel fully prepped when markets start moving about come Monday morning. However I am sure there was some spluttering over the cornflakes and coffee for anyone associated with Vodafone (VOD), BT Group (BT/A) and FirstGroup (FGP) given the various mentions all three corporate names garnered in the deadwood press. Looking at it dispassionately though from the perspective of shareholders, I think we can characterise the news out there as the equivalent of the good, the bad and the ugly.
The train operators certainly do make it easy to invest in them. I read in the business pages of one of the deadwood press publications today that 'a £2.6 billion standoff over pensions threatens to derail a string of train franchises' which could well hit hopes to award long-term franchises in some parts of the country including the West Coast mainline which I live close to. Another problem for that top performing politician Mr Grayling to deal with. Why is his name never mentioned as a future Prime Minister?
I read in today's Sunday Times that: 'An activist hedge fund has opened fire on the boss of Mr Kipling cakes maker Premier Foods (PFD), accusing him of leading the company into a "zombie-like state" through "five years of failure" '