Factory parts distributor Brammer (BRAM) slumps 15% to 425p after revealing that sales and profits are below expectation for the four months to 30 October. That ends a strong rally in the share price since July.
Full-year results from Fenner (FENR) trigger a positive response from the market, sending the industrial conveyor belt and reinforced polymer maker up 7.2% to 436.6p. We look at the news in more detail here.
Interdealer broker ICAP (IAP) rises 4.7% to 394p with investors taking heart that trading conditions have not deteriorated further after the company flagged it a difficult first half with its period-end update (25 Sept).
Legoland-to-London Eye operator Merlin Entertainments (MERL) is flat at 345.5p after trading in its shares went 'unconditional', meaning that anyone can now freely buy or sell its stock following last week's initial public offering. Read tomorrow's issue of Shares to discover our view on Merlin.
Given the current consumer sensitivity to energy bills, SSE's (SSE) half-year results read more like a political manifesto. But the market homes in on a likely RPI-beating dividend this year and beyond, leaving the shares 1p off at £1404. Shares looked at SSE in a web story last month.
Coal-to-biomass power group Drax (DRX) rises nearly 4% to 661p after telling the market that underlying earnings will be 'materially ahead of current market consensus forecasts.' Investec has 26.9p per share of earnings pencilled in.
Small miner Herencia Resources (HER:AIM) has delivered two excellent pieces of news. Firstly, it has secured a new cornerstone investor, a Hong Kong fund, which will pay a premium to buy a 16.4% stake. Secondly, it has scrapped a convertible finance facility with US investor Lind that saw cut-price shares regularly issued to the market. These sources of cash may keep a company alive but they are terrible for the share price, hence their nickname 'death spiral financing'. We looked at the problems facing junior miners back in July in this article. While market confidence towards junior miners has since returned, many of the remarks about financing in that article still remain valid.
Online gambling provider Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) falls 2.7% to 121.2p after yet another weak trading statement. Analysts are forced to downgrade forecasts after Greek ISP blocking which has impacted casino revenues and there's been lower-than-expected sports margin.
It's a bright start to Aim life for Swedish cloud-based electronic procurement specialist EU Supply (EUSP:AIM), up 12% to 25.25p. The £14.5 million micro cap raised £5 million of funds at 22.6p and plans to crank up expansion plans after repaying borrowings, leaving it debt-free. The company also unveils new contracts in Norway and Lithuania.
Home and vehicle insurer Esure (ESUR) jumps 5.6% to 224.2p on strong third quarter figures. Its premiums were 4.8% higher in the nine months to October than there were a year ago at £427 million, despite a tough motor market. It expects to meet market targets for the year as the cost of the St Jude storm that swept across parts of the UK are under control.
Pension and insurance provider Partnership Assurance (PA.) falls 16.4% to 344.3p ahead of expected weaker trading in its retirement business during the final quarter. But it remains confident of meeting operating profit expectations for the year as new business improved 3% to £300 million in the three months to October, driven by a 28% rise in protection cover. There was no update on the Financial Conduct Authority’s investigation into its life business.
Property developer British Land (BLND) remains steady at around 618p despite strong pre-tax profits in the first six months of the year. It made £422 million before tax, up from £109 million a year ago. The running Shares’ Play of the Week hikes its dividend by 3.2% to 13.5p. Liberum Capital anticipates a 2% net asset value upgrade to consensus after the 4.5% growth achieved in the first half was slightly ahead of expectations.
A strong interim management statement from Barratt Developments (BDEV) seems to have encouraged some profit taking with the £3.2 billion cap slipping 2% to 320.8p. The UK's second-biggest homebuilder by market value reports that advance sales leaped 47% percent on the back of improving credit conditions as the government’s Help to Buy plan increased demand for homes.
A US contract win was not enough to lift shares in Balfour Beatty (BBY) and the £1.9 billion cap construction specialist slid 4.2% to 262.9p after the group revealed that its GBBH joint venture had been recommended for a £213 million contract involving a design-build project for the city's North Metro Rail Line by the Regional Transportation District of Denver, Colorado.
Kier's (KIE) interim management statement reveals that the group remains on schedule to meet expectations for the current financial year but shares fall 5.1% to £17.16. The £988.2 million cap, which bought groundwork specialist May Gurney in July, reported £450 million of new construction work in the last four months and said new work in the market is increasing.
Galliford Try (GFRD) falls 1.7% to £11.05 after the group announced its appointment as main contractor to both regional segments of the new four-year Education Funding Agency (EFA) Contractors Framework in a contract that could be worth up to £4 billion.