Quindell shares back on the up as fellow PI ABS reports strong results

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17 May 2013

Terry: million new shares

Alternative business structure (ABS) Quindell Portfolio plc has seen its share price recover ground after it fell by more than a half in less than a week.

The AIM-listed company, which is building an end-to-end outsourced personal injury service for insurers, suffered on the back of concerns about a financial instrument used in the purchase of Accident Advice Helpline and as a result of ‘active shorting’.

It was forced to issue two ‘clarifications’ to the market in a bid to stem the share price collapse. From trading at 13.25p when Quindell announced its annual results on Tuesday 7 May, shares plummeted to 6p by the end of last week.

The first clarification made no difference, but the second appears to have helped – along with analysts recommending investors to buy the shares – and by the end of yesterday, the price had climbed to 9.86p.

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The website Interactive Investor quoted Sophie Blandford, analyst at Daniel Stewart & Co, predicting that the number of small law firms in England and Wales could halve in light of the Jackson reforms.

“The subsequent reduction in the number of legal firms operating in the industry will be an advantage to Quindell, enabling them to take a larger market share and resource their growth at minimal cost, and hence increase their revenues,” she was quoted as saying.

A filing with the Stock Exchange this week also shows that Quindell chairman and chief executive Rob Terry bought a million shares at 8p, to add to the 683m he already held, representing 16.8% of the company. Finance director Laurence Moorse bought 250,000 shares, also at 8p, and now has nearly 18m shares.

Meanwhile, ABS and leading personal injury firm Fentons has announced record turnover of £26.3m for the year ending 30 April 2013, an increase of 14%, with profits of £6.2m.

Senior partner Kieran Maguire said the firm – which has offices in Manchester and London, and became an ABS in February – was now looking to expand into other regions. “We will continue to diversify our work areas without compromising the outstanding level of client service on which we have built our reputation.

“Our aim now is to handle more of the complex, high-quantum serious injury work as we continue to expand into niche areas such as military claims work and industrial disease cases.”

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