Five lesser-known companies worth watching

Graham Spooner, investment adviser at The Share Centre, highlights five lesser-known FTSE 100 companies worth watching.

Aberdeen Asset Management

You may not invest in one of Aberdeen's funds but that doesn't mean you're not exposed to this investment house. The company was promoted to the FTSE 100 in March last year and paid a 11.5p dividend, up by 28% on the previous year.

Spooner says: "While others in the sector have struggled, Aberdeen has continued to see solid demand for its products. Money has poured into the group's emerging market and Asia equity funds."

ARM Holdings

The largest supplier of semi-conductor intellectual property isn't a household name, nonetheless its processor technology is used in 95% of the world's mobile phones and more than 25% of electrical devices.

Spooner says: "Despite the company's strong cash flow and capital structure, we're cautious of the risks posed by Intel and the health of the global economy."

Croda International

Spooner says this company's products are "highly specialised but used in every day products, such as suncream, deodorants and face creams, giving a defensive element to the business".


This is the world's largest primary producer of silver and its share price performed strongly in the last six months of 2012.

"Industrial demand for silver is likely to come from manufacturers of solar panels, plasma televisions and batteries and should offset the decline experienced from the photography sector," says Spooner.

Shire Pharmaceuticals

This pharmaceutical company has grown and diversified its product portfolio and geographic reach. Spooner says: "Sales of medicines for rare diseases have been benefiting the group and keeping it on track with its sales growth targets."