Designer of graphics chips for smartphone makers, Imagination Technologies (IMG) saw £225 million swiped of its market value as it became the latest components supplier to feel the customer spending delays pinch. This is not a complete shock, the company flagged a possible licensing squeeze from restructuring going on at several Japanese customers back in March, but the net result is licensing revenue of £27 million likely this year, about £10 million shy of market hopes. Analysts don't see this as an impact of rival ARM's (ARM) push of its own Mali graphics chips (read our recent story here), although that doesn't make the 20% Imagination share price collapse, to 339p, any easier to swallow.
A new chief executive is being sought for Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) after incumbent Peter Voser announced plans to retire in 2014. He's been in charge since July 2009 and has been an executive director since 2004. The announcement coincided with first-quarter results. Net income of $7.5 billion beat consensus forecasts by 19%, helping to add 35.5p to the share price at £22.94.
Gold heavyweight Randgold Resources (RRS) couldn't win the market's favour with its first-quarter results, slipping 2.8% to £49.68. It has suffered lower production, less sales and higher costs, plus a lower gold price. In particular, a planned drop in ore grade and lower gold recovery rates (due to the presence of copper) in one mine meant that its three-month results were below expectations. Analysts aren't particularly worried, saying 'quarterly volatility' is normal in mining.
Third-quarter results from UK pay-TV giant British Sky Broadcasting (BSY) exceeded expectations with the stock up 1% at 854p in a market struggling to make any headway. Sales for the three months to 31 March came in at £1.85 billion, ahead of the £1.82 billion Numis had forecast while earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) was £347 million versus the £330 million pencilled in by the broker.
Medical technology company Smith & Nephew (SN.) was up 1.5% to 748p after announcing a $300 million buy-back after its first quarter earnings were below market expectations. Its trading profit for the period was $241 million, down from $252 million in the first three months of 2012. Management also revealed the acquisition of Indian trauma company Sushrut-Adler.
Pensions and insurance group Legal & General (LGEN) jumped 2% to 174.1p after reporting a strong set of first-quarter results. Sales beat estimates, increasing by 28% to £555 million. International net inflows were £6.7 billion, up from £1.2 billion a year earlier, while it had 19% more net cash at £249 million.
The market barely reacted to property services company Countrywide’s (CWD) income falling 1% to £121 million in its first quarter. It was down 0.09% to 465.7p in its first update since raising £207 million at its stockmarket float in March. Management are bullish on the housing market, believing its full-year results will hit expectations.
International satellites operator Inmarsat (ISAT) found itself under intense share price pressure, down over 8% to 686.5p, thanks to US government budget cuts. The US is driving a harder bargain on contact renewals, putting the squeeze on first quarter margins and profits.
Shares in car dealer software supplier Incadea (INCA:AIM) nudged up 1.5% to 123p after unveiling a five-year deal. It will supply software and services to a major US car maker across its Asian operations. This is encouraging news for a company we wrote about just three weeks ago.
Another new contract for insurance claims software player Quindell Portfolio (QPP:AIM), this time with a major UK, but unnamed, claims management processor. The news failed to inspire renewed buying as the shares stay flat at 13.75p. Quindell reckons the workload has a current claims run rate of £36 million a year and expects to squeeze out typical 20% to 25% margins. Click here to read our recent 'Quindell bags the big 'un' story.
Cadmium-free quantum dots technology developer Nanoco (NANO:AIM) has sealed a follow-up deal to extend development in to LCD TVs and LED lighting for a big Far East manufacturer, although it failed to move the share price, flat at 159.25p. Shares has today published an investment feature on the company (read here).
Flexible workspace provider Regus (RGU) was flat at 162.6p on an 'in-line' first quarter trading update. Turnover increased 18% year-on-year to £356.9 million from its 1,508 properties. Management expect to add at least 350 centres to its portfolio this year.
Better-than-expected production results have failed to change the market's negative attitude towards Avocet Mining (AVM). The shares slumped 10.5% to 15p after its first-quarter numbers were riddled by exceptional items.
Shares in James Fisher (FSJ) fell 1.6% to 986p after flagging that growth would be weighted towards its second-half period, citing the absence of last year's major Olympics contract and less work in its defence arm.