There's little festive cheer for the supermarket sector. The market is bracing itself for poor numbers from Tesco (TSCO) when it issues a trading update on Wednesday (4 Dec). The shares fall 2.2% to 340.4p after several analysts downgrade their forecasts for the supermarket. Sainsbury's (SBRY) is also weak, down 3% to 395p, after news that discount food retailer Lidl plans to more than double its store numbers in the UK.
The UK software space's biggest IPO in three years hits the market with healthcare and resources services supplier Servelec (SERV) joining the main market. Valued at £122 million, investor demand is ravenous in early trading, the shares rallying from the 179p listing price to 215p. We look at the stock in more detail here.
A huge discounted fund raise makes Ncondezi Energy (NCCL:AIM) the worst performer on the market. It slumps 37% to 6p after conditionally raising £3 million via an open offer and placing at 5p per share. That's a 47% discount to Friday's closing price. Any stock not acquired through the open offer component will be taken by existing and new institutional investors. We looked at the company's coal mine-to-power generation business model recently in Shares. You can read that article here.
A running Shares Play of the Week, project management-to-technical consultancy group WYG (WYG:AIM) impressed the market with half-year results. It has moved into the black with a £1.4 million adjusted pre-tax profit of £1.4 million versus a £400,000 loss a year ago. Profits and cash flow are better than forecast by house broker N+1 Singer. The shares stay flat at 109p.
Emerging markets fund manager City of London Investment (CLIG) slips 2.5% to 232p on the back of a trading update as the firm announces that funds under management grew in the second quarter in line with the MSCI Emerging Market Index.
IT security specialist Accumuli (ACM:AIM) rises 4.7% to 22.38p after sealing the £1.9 million acquisition of analytics business Eqalis. It will add big data expertise via its partnership with US leader Splunk (SPLK:NDQ).
High-specification cameras and microscopes designer Andor Technology (AND:AIM) uses its improving outlook to try to squeeze a better offer out of predator Oxford Instruments (OXIG). Andor's orders are up 33% as revealed in full-year results.
India focused oil and gas firm Oilex (OEX:AIM) gains 7.8% to 2.83p as it secures a rig to drill a second well on its Cambay tight gas field in the first quarter of next year. The 77-H well will be the second horizontal well Oilex has drilled on the field after encountering technical difficulties with its first effort.
Specialist engineer Corac (CRA:AIM) slips 10.9% to 10.3p as investors react to the dilution implied by a £13.1 million fund raise. This includes a placing of £11 million of new shares at 10p a share and a £2.1 million open offer with the proceeds used to advance its gas compression technology.
Regeneration specialist St Modwen (SMP) slips 0.8% to 354.5p as it sells the Elephant & Castle shopping centre for £80 million cash. The property was sold above book value on a 4.25% yield to developer Delancey and fund manager APG 11 years after St Modwen and its joint venture partner Salhia Real Estate bought the 327,000 square foot property for some £30 million.
Stem cell therapy specialist ReNeuron (RENE:AIM) slips 2.6% to 3.7p as its losses increase in the first half to £3.5 million. The company remains optimistic that the £23.5 million cash it carries after raising £33 million during the six months to October will help it to build solid data and close commercial deals in the next three years.