Insurer RSA (RSA) falls 7.5% to 119.4p on a warning that profits will be hit by the storms and floods in Northern Europe and Canada this year. Premiums improved 7% in the nine months to October, but RSA reckons it could lose up to £65 million in Europe from weather events. Panmure Gordon analyst Barrie Cornes reckons ongoing rumours of a 190p per share takeover bid for RSA are 'pure puff'.
Security group G4S (GFS) fails to impress with its third quarter trading and outline of today's big presentation to investors, sending its share price down 3% to 246.5p. Read our analysis of the situation here.
InterContinental Hotels (IHG) dips 0.3% to £17.88 after a fine but not outstanding third quarter trading update. Revenue per available room has increased by 3.3%, driven by a strong turn in Asia, Middle East and Africa. A deal with its UK pension plan will save £70 million of cash this year and next year. We published a lengthy article on the hotels sector last week in Shares which you can read here.
Pharmaceutical group Shire (SHP) rises 1.5% £28.64 after moving a step nearer to launching a binge eating treatment. A successful placebo-controlled phase III clinical trial proved the efficacy and safety of Vyvanse, which will now be submitted to the US regulator.
Insurance giant Legal & General (LGEN) falls 3% to 211.3p despite it generating slightly more cash than expected in the third quarter at £740 million. The 20% year-on-year increase was due to rises in income-protection products and annuities sales.
Foods-to-fashion expert Associated British Foods (ABF) falls 3.1% to £21.86 despite delivering strong full-year figures. Investors are likely to be taking profits after a strong run. Taxable profits rise 12.5% to the best part of £1.1 billion at the Primark budget fashion chain owner, although declining sugar profits weigh on sentiment.
Promotional products group 4imprint (FOUR) impresses the market with its third quarter trading update, sending the shares up 5.7% to 650p. Stockbroker WH Ireland raises its price target from 640p to 690p saying there's still opportunities to grab more market share. The stock is up 82.1% since we featured 4imprint as a Play of the Week just under a year ago (15 Nov '12).
Mears (MER) jumps 4.2% to 439.25p after agreeing to sell its troubled mechanical and electrical business to various members of staff. This is a relief to investors as the division has been the only weak point of Mears for some time. Coinciding with the news is a trading update which shows solid progress for its core social housing repairs and care services operations. Read our view on Mears in our look at income stocks, published 24 October.
After rising 6% in early trading, Firestone Diamonds (FDI) has retreated back to a flat position of 3.88p following an updated feasibility study on its Liqhobong mine in Lesotho. The internal rate of return has slightly improved if you factor in the potential income from large stones. To date the miner has struggled with inappropriate equipment, so large stones were broken in the processing stage. It needs to raise $185 million to build a new plant so it can recover the larger stones that Liqhobong is assumed to contain. That's multiples of its £29 million market cap to raise, yet it seems there could be a solution fairly soon. We looked at how Firestone could raise this money a few months ago - read that story here.
One-click mobile payments specialist Bango (BGO:AIM) soars 21% to 157p as it opens for business in Canada with Google Play. Its platform continues to roll out with mobile network operators across the globe, the Middle East, Asia, yet today's update is again light on financial detail.
First-half results from video search specialist Blinkx (BLNX:AIM) show strong revenue growth and a 93% hike in adjusted pre-tax profit of $15.2 million. That sends the shares up 10% to a record 184.75p.
Connectivity chip designer CSR (CSR) falls 7% to 507p as it lowers expectations for the fourth quarter on weaker cameras and gaming volumes. Yet investors should note the progress with its low-powered Bluetooth Smart suite and forecast-beating core gross margins of 61.7%, underscoring CSR's strategy to concentrate on higher margin platform business in consumer electronics.
Costain (COST) adds 1.1% to 284p after saying it is on track to deliver results in line with expectations. The running Shares Play of the Week reports a record order book and high levels of tendering activity across all of its markets.
Balfour Beatty (BBY) sheds 1.6% to 279p despite the group reporting a substantial uplift in its regional contracting businesses. This progress is largely being offset by a lack of orders at its major projects division. The group expects the performance of continuing businesses in the fourth quarter to exceed current market expectations for 2013. We currently have a negative stance on the stock.
Irish airline Aer Lingus (AERL) rises 4.2% to €1.37 after revealing growth in both operating profit and margins, achieved despite tough market conditions. Third quarter operating profit was up 4.4% year on year at €94.9 million while margin edged up 0.7% to 20.4%.
The unveiling of a new growth plan has boosted plastic packaging firm RPC (RPC), up 2.1% to 518p. The 'Vision 2020' strategy will see the group look to consolidate the European plastic packaging market and establish a 'meaningful presence' outside Europe. RPC also plans to sell its Cobelpast sheet business and disposables stockist Offenburg as part of it ongoing 'Fitter for the Future' project.