The FTSE 100 trades 47.77 points lower at 6,250 in early trading thanks to aircraft engine maker Rolls Royce (RR.) taking a tumble after warning that its earnings outlook for 2015 and next year has weakened. Shares in the £9.9 billion cap plunged 19.7% to 535.8p after an interim management statement showed 2015 guidance unchanged but with profit expected to be at lower end of range.
Oil major Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) is down 2% to £16.34 as its shares trade ex-dividend.
There was better news from BAE Systems (BA.). The £13.9 billion cap is among the FTSE 100's top risers, adding 2.9% to 451.1p after informing the market that 2015 earnings would be flat after it reduced the rate of production of Typhoon aircraft and said it would cuts jobs in Britain and Australia.
Beer and soft drinks behemoth SABMiller (SAB), which yesterday unanimously recommended the terms of a £71 billion takeover by AB Inbev (BUD:NYSE), adds 10p at £40.60 on robust half-time figures including a 9% dividend hike and news that growth accelerated in the second quarter.
Luxury leader Burberry (BRBY) edges 1.2% higher to £13.51, as the trench coats-to-cashmere scarves seller flags an improved third quarter sales trend. Interims reflect the tougher luxury goods market, with sales flat at £1.1 billion, though adjusted pre-tax profit is up 3% to £153 million and there’s a 5% interim dividend increase to please investors too.
Motoring and cycling products purveyor Halfords' (HFD) poor run continues. The shares are down 8.6% to 393.2p on interims showing lower taxable profits caused by weak summer cycling sales. New CEO Jill McDonald strategic review has also concluded the turnaround is not yet complete, and investment to drive growth will cause flat profits next year.
A profit warning sends private hospital operator Spire Healthcare (SPI) 11.2% lower to 318.9p. Revenues are now expected to be no higher than £888 million in 2015, down from the previous £890 million to £907 million guidance. Analysts have placed earnings forecasts under review. Lower private medical insurance and NHS Local Contract revenues are blamed.
Don’t be alarmed by the 75% fall in GP surgery-landlord Primary Health Properties’ (PHP) price to 111.1p. Investors are not losing money. The company has issued more shares by giving investors three additional shares for each one they own. This is known as a share split in that the value of each investor’s shares remain the same in monetary terms, but they each own four times as many shares. We highlight Premier Health Properties in our latest sector report.
Profit taking shaves 4.3% off FTSE 250 bank Aldermore’s (ALD) shares to 274.5p following an upbeat third quarter report. Mortgage lending improves 22% to £3.1 billion since the end of 2014, while it took 20% more cash on deposit to £5.4 billion.
South East-focused pub group Young & Co's Brewery (YNGA:AIM) gains 2% to £12.59 on a 10.3% rise in pre-tax profit to £20.3 million in the 26 weeks to 28 September, with revenues 8.3% higher at £126.3 million. Managed like-for-like sales are up by 5.5%, the fourth consecutive year it has been above 5%, with food sales outperforming drink sales.
Blood monitor-maker Deltex Medical (DEMG:AIM) advances 6.1% to 4.3p on installing its machines in a US hospital, which has agreed to buy 100 probes a month from the company. It now has 13 accounts in the US.
Online gambling marketer XLMedia (XLM:AIM) is up 10% to 72.4p as it reveals it will top market expectations for 2015, delivering annual revenues of at least $88 million and adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of at least $27.5 million representing year-on-year growth of 73% and 62% respectively. The EBITDA number is more than 15% ahead of the previous consensus forecast.
Engineer IMI (IMI) dips 7.8% to 899p on a 5% amid weakness in demand among oil and gas-facing clients as well as the food and beverage industry. Orders from rail, vehicle and life sciences customers are holding up, management says in a trading update.
Ceramics and carbon manufacturer Morgan Advanced Materials (MGAM) slides 12.4% to 234p after warning reported revenue in the second half will be 7% lower than the first half with EBITDA around the lower end of analyst expectations due to deteriorating demand in North America and China. The outstanding order book at the end of October was 5.3% below last year and the group says it's cautious about the trading and macro-economic environment for the rest of the year.
Indian unconventional gas play Oilex (OEX:AIM) slumps 21.8% to 0.43p as its listing in Australia is suspended. This follows the news one of its key financial backers Zeta Resources is failing to settle a subscription for convertible notes and is launching legal action against the company alleging it 'failed to disclose material information to it prior to its initial investment and has contravened statutory provisions relating to misleading or deceptive conduct and continuous disclosure and rights issue disclosure requirements'.
Small cap communications specialist Communisis (CMS) warns profit will be a little lower than expected, sending shares tumbling 13.5% to 45p. The profit miss is a result of lost and deferred contracts in a shopper marketing agency acquired in January 2015.