CPP Group's Incredible 672% Return

LONDON -- The shares of CPP Group (ISE: CPP.L) jumped 6 pence, or 14%, to 48 pence during early London trade this morning to cap off an amazing week for shareholders of the troubled small cap.

CPP, which provides insurance for mobile phones and credit cards, saw its shares rally 28% on Monday, 40% on Tuesday, a further 40% on Wednesday, and then 42% on Thursday.

Alongside a 34% advance last Friday, the total compound gain during the past week or so has been 446%. Indeed, the price has surged an incredible 672% since hitting a 5.5 pence low just three weeks ago.

The zooming share price has been driven by a combination of a rock-bottom valuation and the company becoming a bid target.

Prior to this week, CPP's shares had largely been a disaster. After floating at 235 pence during 2010 and quickly hitting a 329 pence high, the price has since slumped 98% after the Financial Services Authority investigated the firm's sales practices.

Subsequent discussions with the FSA involved overhauling the group's compliance systems, limiting its future borrowing capacity, and calculating customer compensation for product mis-selling.

The stock market clearly thought the game was up for CPP, having pushed its market cap from a high of more than 500 million pounds down to as low as 10 million pounds.

However, that low valuation was in contrast to half-year results published in August, which showed underlying first-half earnings of 13 million pounds and a net cash position of 8 million pounds.

An update last week then confirmed the business had continued to trade profitably, while a statement this week revealed a tentative bid approach from marketing firm Affinion.

Whether CPP can continue its incredible recovery is difficult to say. Certainly if the bid comes to nothing and the final orders from the FSA prove extreme, this week's price gains could evaporate quickly.

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