It is a quiet end to the week for the market with no corporate news from the blue chips. The FTSE 100 dips 22 points to 6,543. Yet there's plenty of news from the smaller end of the market to keep investors happy.
Cadmium-free quantum dots technology developer Nanoco (NANO:AIM) sees investors slice 4% off its shares to 172.25p after renegotiating its Dow Chemical deal for lower royalties but zero capex. We'll publish a news analysis story on Nanoco later today.
Hyder Consulting (HYC) nudges ahead 0.5% to 500p despite a trading update that flags current year results will be affected by the Australian dollar exchange rate. Liberum Capital has slashed its earnings per share forecasts by 6% for 2014 and 1% for 2015 but remains a 'buyer' of the stock.
Dixons Retail (DXNS), a running Shares Play of the Week, nudges ahead 0.6% to 47.36p as the tablets-to-televisions seller confirms the sale of its French online arm PIXmania to German turnaround specialist Mutares (MUX:GR).
Shareholders may be disappointed at the takeover offer for Indonesia gold miner Archipelago Resources (AR.:AIM). Majority owner Rajawali is paying 58p per share to gobble up the remaining holding, a mere 18% premium to yesterday's price.
Sportech (SPO) is paying £3.1 million for Data Tote, a UK betting operator, technology and services provider for the European greyhound and horseracing betting market. The deal means Sportech will exclusively provide betting services to 41 of the 43 greyhound tracks in the UK and Ireland. The acquisition is expected to be earnings enhancing in its first full year of ownership. This news sends the share price up 0.2% to 84.13p.
Synectics (SNX:AIM) jumps 3.1% to 505p after winning a major contract with transport operator Go-Ahead (GOG) worth in excess of £5 million over a minimum three-year period. The running Shares Play of the Week will provide surveillance technology to Go-Ahead's 4,600 buses.
Petropavlovsk (POG) rises 3.2% to 81.25p on rumours that chairman Peter Hambro is looking to take the business private. We've heard this talk so many times before, one must take the gossip with a pinch of salt.
Investors are heartened by Avanti Communications' (AVN:AIM) latest fund raise, the company successfully pulling off a $370 million bond issue. That'll come in handy in the expensive business of putting mobile communications satellites in space, and sees the shares nudge 4.25p higher to 249p.
Buy and build software queen Vin Murria gets her Advanced Computer Software (ASW:AIM) to pluck struggling Avia Healthcare (AVIA:AIM) from the jaws of collapse. This adds to the overall healthcare proposition but is no surprise hence the modest 1.5p rise to 87p. The deal has been on cards since Advanced pumped £300,000 to prop-up Avia in March. Murria rates a couple of Avia top brass highly.
Toye (TOYE:AIM), the maker of military regalia, medals and badges, tumbles 16.4% to 48.5p on dire half-year figures and a downbeat outlook statement which is effectively a profits warning. The £1.3 million cap swung from £528,000 profits to £266,000 losses in the six months to 30 June as sales slumped to £3.4 million (2012: £5.5 million), albeit with last year’s top line figure boosted by one chunky contract. Chief executive Fiona Toye says trading in the group’s traditional UK market continues to be reduced and doesn’t expect ‘a significant change in trading conditions in the second half of the year’.
Unloved Chinese orange plantations owner Asian Citrus (ACHL:AIM) sours 5% to 21.38p as it produces disappointing annual numbers to end-June. Sales and profits reduce significantly as winter and summer orange production falls due to a replanting drive and an outbreak of citrus canker, an infection which orange leaves and fruit, causing ‘premature fruit drop’. Asian Citrus also says lower selling prices hit the fruit processing business. It is expanding with grapefruit, bananas and pineapples.
Drug developer ImmuPharma (IMM) falls 5.3% to 70.2p as its progress in the six months to July underwhelms the market. Losses remain flat at £1.8 million, while its cash shrinks to £7.7 million from £10.1 million.
Business publisher UBM (UBM) ticks up 0.35% to 727p on news it is to sell another print title, Property Week, to Metropolis International. This follows news earlier this week that Informa (INF) is to migrate its iconic Lloyds List publication online after 279 years in print.
Chatter that ITE (ITE) will publish a strong year-end trading update on Tuesday (1 Oct) fails to reverse the international exhibitions group’s poor run of late as it slips another half a penny to 273p.