After enjoying a rally on signs that the US online gambling sector could be revived this year, Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) was on a losing streak with its full-year results. A significant drop in poker revenue is behind today's 5.7% drop in the share price to 142.9p. The company has blamed migration problems in changing technology systems, causing 'user experience issues'. In turn, this has triggered Bwin.Party to warn that 2013 revenue will be lower than market forecasts, although it reckons the year will come up trumps due to cost saving measures.
A better-than-expected performance in 2012 has made rat-catcher Rentokil Initial (RTO) one of the best FTSE performers today, rising 10.5% to 100p. This puts the shares back to their highest level since May 2011, somewhat surprising given that its City Link operation remains loss making after years of efforts by management to nurse the division back to profit, as we discuss here.
Margin pressures continue to hang over pubs operator JD Wetherspoon (JDW). Sales are rising but margins are being squeezed by higher costs of labour, utilities, bar and food supplies. It reported 8.3% operating margin for the half-year to 27 January, compared with 8.9% a year earlier. The shares dipped 1.8% to 501p in response to the financial results.
Emergency power provider APR Energy (APR) surged ahead by 9.7% to 815.5p after winning its biggest-ever contract. It will provide temporary power in Libya until at least mid 2014.
Sirius Minerals (SXX:AIM) hopes to get planning permission to build its York Potash mine in May, representing the UK's biggest mining project in a long time. It has told the market that more information needs to be submitted ahead of the planning decision, but this hasn't troubled investors as the shares advanced 1.1% to 23.25p. This is despite news that the Ministry of Defence is concerned about the impact of the mine on RAF Fylingdales which is located near to the proposed mine site.
NetPlayTV (NPT:AIM) nudged up 2% to 18.75p after a new three-year broadcast deal with ITV (ITV). The interactive gaming company will increase the number of live broadcasts on ITV and get access to the media group's online services.
Clean technology kit maker Advanced Power Components (APC:AIM) left investors bemused after revealing trading ahead of the same period last year, but flagged rising borrowings. The Rochester-based energy efficiency components manufacturer saw its shares rise in early deals, only to fall into negative territory before finally levelled out flat at 30.75p. A recent £4.1 million double-your-money contract to supply LED lighting to a supermarket client is clearly good news for the second half of 2013.
Microcap service group Croma Security Solutions (CSSG:AIM) jumped 13.6% to 33.5p on its half-year results. Pre-tax profit has trebled to £90,039, albeit still only a fraction of its £6.8 million revenue.
Diagnostic specialist Mediwatch (MDW: AIM) jumped a massive 82.35% to 3.88p after signing three distribution agreements in the US. The company can now bid for purchasing group contracts after signing deals with Cardinal Healthcare, McKesson and Owens & Minor.