A rally at indebted Premier Foods (PFD) halts on Thursday, as the Bisto and Ambrosia brands owner cheapens 9.3% to 163.25p on a disappointing trading update. The £432 million cap reveals slowing growth behind its key 'Grocery Power Brands' in the third quarter, up 2% in 'Q3' versus a 4% rise for the first half. Total grocery sales softened 4% amid increasingly competitive market conditions, with brands including Batchelors and Sharwood's affected by warm summer weather. Although the outlook for 2013 is unchanged, Panmure Gordon trims its 2014 taxable profits forecast by £2 million to £82.4 million to reflect rising marketing spend next year and reiterates its 'sell' rating.


Third quarter numbers from integrated oil and gas firm BG Group (BG.) are slightly ahead of expectations sending the shares up 1.5% to £12.65. The results, which follow a cut to production guidance last month (9 Sep), are in stark contrast to Royal Dutch Shell's (RDSB) weak figures which we discuss in detail here.


AstraZeneca (AZN) falls 2.3% to £32.50 as third quarter profits slump 32% to $1.9 billion. Sales fell 6% to $6.2 billion as the pharmaceuticals giant counted the cost of products falling off the patent cliff and investment in its drugs pipeline.


Middle East and Africa focused oil play Afren (AFR) gains 1.8% to 150.6p as it posts third quarter pre-tax profit of $427 million - up 6.2% year-on-year. The improvement is due to increased production in Nigeria. The company also says it expects full year average production to be at its upper end of guidance for between 40,000 and 47,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.


News of improved third quarter trading on the back of strong receipts over the August bank holiday weekend nudges shares in National Express (NEX) up a penny to 259.7p. Read our news analysis here.


Estate agent and lettings specialist Countrywide (CWD) climbs 2.8% to 579.2p on news of a 12% third quarter income boost to £155 million and the flagging of strong cash generation.


Central Asia oil explorer Tethys Petroleum (TPL) gains 3.9% to 40.5p as it commences drilling its AKD09 well in Kazakhstan. It is expected to take around 50 days to drill to a planned total depth of 2,400 metres and targets the 14 million barrel of oil Dexa prospect.


Profit takers move in as STV (STVG) falls 2.2% to 316p despite in-line third-quarter numbers, but perhaps understandable given the counter is up 50% since the beginning of September.


YouGov (YOU:AIM) continues its good run rising 3.1% to 82.5p, now up almost 8% in the past week despite CEO and co-founder Stephan Shakespeare selling (24 Oct) £2.6 million worth of stock.


Pan-European data centres operator Telecity (TCY) falls almost 7% to an 18-month low of 736p as finance director Brian McArthur-Muscroft announces his January 2014 departure.


Mobile business developer Globo (GBO:AIM) launches a stinging defence in the face of a recent investor bear raid, nailing down detail on its cashflow cycle and liabilities from its Greek IT business. The shares rally close on 8% to 62.75p as investors appreciate the Shares Play of the Week's bold move to put the record straight. Investors can have their chance to ask questions of chief executive Costis Papadimitrakopoulos when he presents at the Innovation & Growth Investor evening next Tuesday (5 Nov).


Internet TV streams microcap PeerTV (PTV:AIM) jumps 25% to 3.75p after confirming an order from Israeli food services company Strauss Water.

Issue Date: 31 Oct 2013