Blue collar jobs specialist Staffline Recruitment (STAF:AIM) soars 16.3% to 898p after raising £16 million at a premium to yesterday's share price to help fund the 'significantly earnings enhancing' acquisition of Avanta, a company that helps long-time benefit claimants prepare to get back into work. Finncap upgrades its 2015 earnings per share forecast by 45% and raises its target price by 35% to £11.78. 'The acquisition of Avanta will propel Staffline from having a single contract in the UK government’s Work Programme to being the third-largest provider, with involvement in nine contracts. This puts the group in a much stronger position for bidding for future government contracts,' says Finncap analyst Guy Hewett.


After rising early on, European electricals specialist Dixons Retail (DXNS) dips 3.2% to 49.27p despite announcing its hotly-anticipated, recommended all-share merger of equals with Carphone Warehouse (CPW), off 1.9% at 321.65p. Further details can be found in this news analysis.


FTSE 100 explorer Tullow Oil (TLW) slides on a mixed Kenyan drilling update. The shares fall 2.4% to 862p as news that the Twiga-2 sidetrack appraisal well has confirmed an additional area for future development was overshadowed by an underwhelming result from the Ekunyuk-1 exploration well.


A decline in average selling prices and bookings for the summer season triggers a 5.4% decline in Thomas Cook (TCG) to 169p, despite achieving cost efficiencies.


Fashion retailer French Connection (FCCN) falls 11.7% to 77.5p as news of weakness in the North American retail and wholesale businesses thwarts forecast upgrades. The FCUK brand owner's first quarter trading update is strong overall, with UK retail like-for-like sales up 5.6% aided by self-help measures and the UK/EU wholesale order book progressing.


A month after floating, formalwear tailoring provider Bagir (BAGR:AIM) collapses 68.5% to 20p on a severe profit warning, caused by a sharp drop in orders and a margin pressure from its biggest customer.


Heavy construction specialist Kier (KIE) jumps 4.6% to £17.21 as a trading update confirms that an improving environment, a strong cash position and ongoing benefits from the May Gurney acquisition mean the company remains on course to deliver results at least in line with expectations.


Eye scanner-maker Optos (OPTS) leaps 14.4% to 192.6p on a strong first half, which saw its pre-tax profits more than double. We take a closer look at the news here.


Marketing services group Communisis (CMS) dips 5.4% to 65.25p after saying that declining direct mail volumes mean job cuts are necessary at its Leeds facility, triggering a £1.5 million one-off charge to cover redundancy payments.


Pubs operator and brewer Marston's (MARS) rises 1.5% to 152.2p after a solid set of half-year results with underlying pre-tax profit up 9.4% to £29 million. Trading in the five weeks to 10 May sees like-for-like sales rise 4.1% in its main pubs estate.


Decontamination specialist Bioquell (BQE) falls 14.8% to 106.5p on expectations of a weak first half in its bio-contamination division, resulting in a £1 million pre-tax loss and hitting the group’s overall profits.


Animal genetics specialist Genus (GNS) falls 3.8% to £10.53 as earnings are hit by by falling pork prices due to a virus hitting herds in North America and Mexico.


Shopping centre investor NewRiver Retail (NRR:AIM) improves 1.3% to 307.5p as its adjusted profits improves 80% to £9.2 million in the year to April. The real estate investment trust’s net asset value was held at 240p a share, leaving the dividend unchanged at 16p a share.

Issue Date: 15 May 2014