Foods-to-fashion giant Associated British Foods (ABF) advances 8.1% to £29.44 on plans to launch its budget clothing chain Primark in the US, starting with Boston in late 2015. The news coincides with interim results that show adjusted pre-tax profits 4% ahead at £468 million, as strong performances from Primark and groceries offset a profits slump at AB Sugar, hard hit by declining sugar prices.
Insurance claims outsourcing specialist Quindell (QPP:AIM) rebounds strongly following yesterday's massive sell-off that swiped about £1 billion off its market cap and prompted a rapid response from the company. The shares rise nearly 14% to 27p, although that's still a long way shy of the 40p levels last week. Read our take on these dramatic events, including exclusive comments by founder Rob Terry.
Biomass power group Drax (DRX) gets hammered as the UK government does a U-turn and axes planned coal-to-biomass conversion subsidies on one of its units. The shares fall more than 11% to 670.5p and prompts Drax management to mull legal action.
UK microchip designs champ ARM (ARM) slips close on 4% to 944.5p despite posting a 37% jump in licensing revenue in the first quarter thanks to 26 new wins. Investors remain concerned that foreign exchange headwinds could eat into profits progress this year. We last looked at ARM back in July.
Sports Direct International (SPD) cheapens 14.25p to 815.75p despite a strong pre-close trading update. The UK's biggest sports retailer by revenue reports sales up 10.3% to £360 million and gross profit 11.5% ahead at £147 million in the nine weeks to 30 March.
Moneysupermarket.com (MONY) dips 3.5% to 180p as a first quarter trading update shows higher-than-expected marketing spend. While this may hold back profit growth short-term, analysts reckon full-year earnings forecasts still look robust. The online comparison site is a running Shares Play of the Week.
Telecoms kit tester Spirent (SPT) is in demand after telling the market that first quarter orders are up 12%, of which 9% is organic growth. The trading update also shows 16% revenue growth to £11.9 million encouraging investors to believe that capital expenditure on 4G communications is finally starting to come through after months of delays. The shares are up more than 6.5% to 103p.
Iodine producer Iofina (IOF:AIM) falls 53% to 25.75p as it announces 2014 output will be materially below expectations. Iofina’s technology extracts iodine from the brine produced from oil and gas wells on US onshore fields and fracking scheduled for the next three months is expected to reduce the brine supply to four of its plants.
Media agency Creston (CRE) nudges ahead 2.8% to 109p after saying that full-year cash generation is ahead of the board's expectations. We flagged the group's potential for a decent trading update recently in Shares, and that's been confirmed today. 'The company is well placed to benefit from the robust advertising trends in the UK, rebound in Healthcare communications in the US and the rapid growth from digital,' says Liberum Capital.
Aspiring pig iron and vanadium producer Ironveld (IRON:AIM) soars 25.4% to 11.12p after publishing the results of a feasibility study into its South African project. The study confirms the project's viability to deliver an 'exceptionally high grade iron product' that commands a premium to the normal pig iron price. We've highlighted Ironveld's potential on several occasions including this article looking at the stock's merit versus sector peer Bushveld Minerals.
Industrial conveyor belt maker Fenner (FENR) gains 2.9% to 401.2p as it signals demand for its equipment would pick up in newer markets and highlights a likely recovery in the North American coal sector. The cautiously-upbeat message accompanies a weak set of interim results, albeit broadly in-line with previous guidance. Pre-tax profits for the six months to 28 February fall to £17.6 million from £26.1 million a year earlier.
Green electric powered scooter manufacturer Vmoto (VMT:AIM), a trade on Chinese domestic consumption, rides 3.85% higher at 2.7p. News of a distribution deal for Vietnam and developments for a new electric two wheel vehicle sets investors' pulses racing.