Ladbrokes (LAD) continues to bounce back from its recent profit warning with a 4.6% gain to 188.1p, following significant trading volumes yesterday. This has sent the market speculators into overdrive with guesses that either digital partner Playtech (PTEC) or its founder Teddy Sagi have been buying stock in the troubled bookmaker. Private equity have also been suggested yet that's probably just a recycled rumour that happens every time the shares look weak. Numis suggests that Labrokes could be broken up by splitting the shops from the online business.
Energy prices hikes might be causing a right old brouhaha among consumer groups and politicians but it barely registers for SSE (SSE) investors. The shares remain steadfastly flat at £14.55. Energy business margins are more important, as we'll discuss in a web story later today.
WH Smith (SMWH) rises 5.2% to 878.5p on well-received full-year results including 6% rise in pre-tax profit to £108 million. We'll take a look at the numbers in more detail later today on the Shares website.
Global defence firm BAE Systems (BA.) is up 1.8% to 448p as it reassures the market its financial performance has seen no material impact from the US government shutdown. However it does warn a protracted shutdown in Washington could impact its American operations.
Investors are impressed by rapid growth progress in the machine-to-machine (m2m) space for specialist kit supplier Telit Communications (TCM:AIM). The shares are bid up nearly 3.5% to 113p, levels not seen since April 2011. Typically lumpy orders mean Telit could still beat or miss full year forecasts to December, although managed remains upbeat.
Struggling nickel producer Talvivaara (TALV) slumps 19.6% to 6.88p after a financial warning. It says the weak nickel price and operational problems have left the group's 'liquidity position' weaker than expected. It is now assessing all available funding options. Given its string of problems over the past four or five years, will anyone really stump up more money should there be yet another cash call?
A long-term favourite at Shares, construction dispute expert Driver (DRV:AIM) says year-end net cash will be 'materially better' than expected. That sends its share price up 4.9% to 128p. Read our previous stories on the small cap here and here.
A heavily-discounted fundraising leaves Sula Iron & Gold (SULA:AIM) down 22.6% to 2.13p. That's the share price adjusted to new stock that is being issued at 2p, which is 27% below yesterday's closing price. The company has raised £800,000 for exploration at its Ferensola project in Sierra Leone. We looked at the stock when it joined Aim a year ago. The assets certainly looked interesting but the company has seen a steadily-declining share price, not helped by endless director changes and failure by Sula to properly communicate its story.
Gold producer Minera IRL (MIRL:AIM) falls 11.9% to 13.88p after its mooted takeover by LionGold falls flat on its face. LionGold blames its volatile share price for having to end bid talks. Analysts aren't surprised given LionGold's shares fell 85% in a matter of days after admitting it was trying to make an acquisition.
Kurdistan oil firm Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP:AIM) advances 2.5% to 176p as it announces a resumption of output from its Shaikan field. Production was temporarily suspended on 4 September by the regional government 'for reasons not connected with the company.'
Investors appear unconvinced by promises to improve performance from Cameroon-focused gas supplier Victoria Oil & Gas (VOG:AIM) with the shares down 10.2% to 0.97p. The company has pushed back a 12 million cubic feet per day production target for its Logbaba project until next year. It is looking for a replacement for chief executive officer John Scott who resigned at the of last month (30 Sep), with chairman Kevin Foo filling in in the interim, and also aims to secure a new lending facility.