Mothercare (MTC) slumps 30% to 292.63p on a profit warning. Over the 12 weeks to 4 January, the mother and child retailer's international sales were crimped by currency deflation and weaker-than-expected conditions in key markets. In the UK, where Mothercare remains loss-making, like-for-like sales softened 4% amid sluggish high street footfall over Christmas, while heavy promotions hit margins. Fretting over consumer spending and currency deflation, Mothercare guides analysts' annual profit estimates lower.
Domino's Pizza (DOM) rises 1.3% to 509.5p after saying that UK and Ireland profit will beat expectations, although German losses are worse than previous guidance. We look at the news in more detail here.
Sainsbury's (SBRY) softens 2.9p to 366p despite posting a third quarter update for the 14 weeks to 4 January which shows the company continuing to outperform the wider UK grocery market. Like-for-like sales excluding fuel edged up 0.2%, ahead of consensus, while the UK's third biggest supermarkets group flags strong growth rates in its convenience and online operations.
Long-term retail winner Majestic Wine (MJW:AIM) loses some of its fizz, off 8p to 540p despite delivering a solid Christmas trading statement. The wine warehouse chain's total UK store sales grew 5.9% for the 10 weeks to 6 January, while like-for-like sales were up 2.8%. Chief executive officer Steve Lewis highlights strong festive sales of fine wine priced at £20 per bottle and above, although slight slippage in the store expansion push leaves full-year consensus profit estimates looking optimistic, says stockbroker Panmure Gordon.
Delayed lighting orders mean LEDs specialist Dialight (DIA) will miss profits expectations, news that the market takes very badly. The shares collapse 23% to 650p, although most City analysts see this as a short-term blip and retain buy recommendations, albeit while tapering share price targets.
Services exchange platform business Blur (BLUR:AIM) delivers record-breaking key performance indicators for the last quarter of 2013, with project value up at astonishing 1,509% year-on-year. This drives investors to grab a slice of the fast-paced digital business enabler, pepping the shares 2.5% up to a record 588p. Shares flagged the company's attractions several times in 2013, most recently on 24 December.
Troubled insurer RSA (RSA) improves 2.2% to 99.8p on its confidence that tomorrow’s report will show the financial and claims irregularities uncovered in November are limited to its Irish business, costing the group no more than £200 million.
Recruitment provider Robert Walters (RWA) nudges ahead 0.5% to 330.5p after revealing strong UK growth in the fourth quarter of 2013. It says the gains have been seen in the regions, rather than London where it has yet to see any notable growth in the financial services sector dominating the capital. It continues to see good business in Japan but these gains have been lost once it converts from the yen to sterling, its reporting currency.
Marine seismic firm Thalassa (THAL:AIM) gains 6.4% to 306p as it says 2013 earnings per share will beat expectations by more than 20%. The running Shares Play of the Week, whose results will be published in the week beginning 17 March, has approved a 2014 capital expenditure budget of $10 million as it aims to meet higher demand for its services.
Fuel technology play Quadrise Fuels (QFI:AIM) slumps 10% to 39p as it announces it plans to turn to the market for funds before the end of March. The announcement overshadows updates on the various initiatives it is pursuing to bring its patented MSAR technology to market. Here's our latest view on the stock.
Medicine improvement specialist Oxford Pharmascience (OXP:AIM) climbs 3.4% to 3.8p despite its losses rising 86% in 2013. The company has £9.6 million cash and revenues improved 122% during the period as it embarks on clinical trials on ibuprofen salt products.
Lombard Medical Technology (LMT) rises 1.3% to 182.5p on a 25% increase in sales of its Aorfix device, which treats angulations at the neck of up to 90 degrees. It is also planning a NASDAQ listing to fund further Aorfix’s sales in the US.
Italy-focused explorer Sound Oil (SOU:AIM) gains 3.1% to 6.6p after signing a letter of intent with contractor Hydro Drilling to drill a second appraisal well on its Nervesa discovery. A formal rig contract is expected later this quarter. The €5 million well is scheduled for the first half of 2014.
South East Asia oil firm Salamander Energy (SMDR) slumps 3.6% to 109.9p as it announces production from its Bualuang oil field in the Gulf of Thailand has been suspended due to damaged equipment. It reassures that output will resume on 25 January and adds there will be no impact on its 2014 production guidance of 13,000 to 16,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd).