News of a special dividend helps to revive market interest in Aggreko (AKG) which jumps 8.3% to £17.03. The emergency power provider is to pay shareholders 75p per share and analysts are relieved that the outlook for 2014 is not as bad as feared. The market had been worried about a repeat of recent earnings downgrades and the imminent departure of chief executive officer Rupert Soames who is going to run Serco (SRP).
Pensions and insurance giant Aviva (AV.) improves 7.3% to 500.5p as it posts a £2.1 billion pre-tax profit, up from the £2.9 billion it lost in 2012. Sentiment is certainly improving towards the company as we discuss in this article.
Fund manager Schroders (SDR) rises 6% to £27.46 on the back of better-than-expected full-year results which reveal pre-tax profit up 41% in the period. While assets under management finished the period (31 Dec ’13) at £262.9 billion, light of analyst forecasts, performance fees exceeded expectations, as a reflection of the manager’s bettering of its benchmarks.
Photobooths-to-laundry machines operator Photo-Me International (PHTM) puts a smile on investors' faces, skipping 7% higher to 149.75p on a stunning trading update. Buoyed by a strong third quarter with profits up over 80% year-on-year, the running Shares Play of the Week says full-year pre-tax profits will beat market expectations 'by at least £1 million'.
Electronics repair group Regenersis (RGS:AIM) advances 8% to 367.25p after announcing a slug of new business wins.
Central Rand Gold (CRND:AIM) soars by 42% to 21.25p despite the absence of any news catalysts. Its Chinese investor has the right to buy a further 32.5 million shares at 8.78p by the end of March which could give the company a further £2.9 million cash. Investors may be speculating this extra money is coming soon. The stock is very illiquid as evident by today's spike on fairly low trading volumes. There's also the fact that a pump station due to tackle acid mine water issues in the region is due to be built by the end of this month, which is likely to make investors more confident about the miner's prospects. We looked at the company's situation in more detail late last year - read that article here.
Balfour Beatty (BBY) tumbles 7.8% to 296.5p after the heavy construction specialist reveals that revenues only rose by 2% over the year to 31 December while underlying pre-tax profit fell 32% to £187 million.
Pumps manufacturer Hayward Tyler (HAYT:AIM) gains 3.6% as it completes new £14.2 million banking facilities with RBS and says results for the year to 31 March will be 'at least' in line with expectations. The company reports a number of material contract wins – including its first boiler circulating pump contract in Europe for eight years with a Polish power station worth £650,000.
Fuel technology firm Quadrise Fuels (QFI:AIM) gains 7.6% to 37p despite announcing a £10.7 million placing. Management had signalled they might tap the markets to give them greater breathing space as they pursue a number of routes to commercialisation for their patented MSAR fuel.
Student accommodation builder Unite (UTG) slips 2.3% to 441.7p after revealing a discounted share placing. It is raising £100 million to accelerate regional growth. Unite also reports full-year results which slightly beat market forecasts.
Meat retailer Crawshaw (CRAW:AIM) rises 15.7% to 31.25p on another nourishing trading statement. Having guided profit expectations higher in January following an excellent Christmas, the expansionist butcher flags strong recent sales and margins and says year-to-January profits will be 'further ahead' of upwardly-revised forecasts.