Keller Jumps to Six-Year High on U.S. Construction: London Mover

Keller Group Plc (KLR), the U.K. builder that drilled foundations for the Chicago Trump Tower, rose to the highest price since 2007 as a recovery in U.S. construction provided more profit than it had forecast, prompting analysts to raise their share predictions.

Keller gained 7.7 percent to 934 pence at the close of trading today in London, for the third-biggest gain among stocks in the FTSE 350 Index. Jefferies raised its target price 28 percent today to 1,050 pence, while Numis Securities and Investec both boosted their predictions to 1,000 pence.

At the Suncoast unit in the U.S., “revenue and profit in the year to date are well ahead of both last year and budget” because of residential construction growth, Keller said today in a statement. In Canada, it expects “significant business benefits” from cooperation between Geo-Foundations Contractors Inc., acquired in January, and the Hayward Baker unit.

“The general message is that difficult markets are no worse than previously and strong growth areas have improved,” Chris Millington, an analyst at Numis, said today in a note.

U.S. housing prices rose 9.3 percent in February from a year earlier, the fastest pace since May 2006. The recovery is “key for European building materials companies” to perform well and reduce debt this year, Moody’s Investors Service said in a May 8 report.

In Europe, there has been “no further deterioration in market conditions since the start of the year,” Keller said, though economic difficulties are still holding back a construction recovery.

Of nine analysts who report their recommendations to Bloomberg, six advise buying the shares, while three have a hold recommendation. Keller’s stock has more than doubled in the past 12 months, valuing the London-based company at 601 million pounds ($913 million.) Share trading today was more than double the three-month daily average.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patricia Laya in Madrid at playa2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Risser at drisser@bloomberg.net

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