4 AUGUST 1939, Page 36

Venturers' Corner Since I drew attention, a few weeks ago,

to the merits of Richardsons, Westgarth convertible debenture stock, the price has risen by stages from 93 to 101. At this level it is fairly valued for the present in relation to the 5s. ordinary shares which are still quoted a few pence under par. These shares, at 4s. 71d., look an attractive speculation in the light of the latest earnings figures. For the year to March 31st net profits rose sharply from £13,272 to Lio4,432, and after covering all charges, including £32,844 for depreciation, the board paid a 74 per cent. ordinary dividend out of available earnings of 234 per cent. A sum of L5o,000 went to reserve, the cash position in the balance-sheet is quite healthy and there has been a considerable growth of orders in hand.

On the basis of these figures the 5s. shares yield about 26 per cent. on earnings and about 81 per cent. on the dividend, so that a buyer is beginning on what seems a very reasonable level. With its interests centred mainly in ship- building and marine engineering, this company should be on a good wicket for some time ahead, and although the capacity as enlarged by last year's merger scheme is not yet fully occupied, the order-book is larger than at this time last year. I imagine, too, that further benefit has still to be derived from the policy of centralisation now being carried