Tour operator Thomas Cook (TCG) falls 1.4% to 182.5p despite the group reporting a £10 million reduction in losses to £56 million in its first quarter trading update. A 1% reduction in revenue is being blamed on disruptions caused by ongoing political uncertainty in Egypt. These headwinds were offset by the group’s ongoing cost reduction programme which delivered £28 million in the first quarter and a year-on-year 30 basis points gross margin improvement to 22.1%. Investec analyst James Hollins says he finds no reason to upgrades his earnings forecasts for the travel and leisure stock.
A sharp devaluation of Kazakhstan's currency has triggered a 24.6% rally in one of the country's big copper miners, Kazakhmys (KAZ) to 220.6. Around three quarters of its cost base are in the local currency, so there's good news for its profit margins. The stock has been heavily shorted, so today's rally will have forced bearish traders to 'buy' the shares amid margin calls. We look at the implications of the devaluation on miners in this news analysis.
Shareholders in Barclays (BARC) will not receive a pay rise through higher dividends despite the bank's staff sharing £2.3 billion in bonuses, two thirds collected by investment bankers. The shares fall 1.3% to 271.4p. We look at the full-year results in more detail here.
FTSE 100 support services group Babcock International (BAB) rises 3% to £13.82 after revealing a bullish outlook. Its order book stands at £11.5 billion and it is bidding on £18.5 billion of work. It says one of the big opportunities is greater work with Defence Support Group the Ministry of Defence's equipment repair and maintenance arm. That's a mixture of tendering for work and bidding to buy the unit outright (as a way of securing long-term contracts).
Glencore Xstrata (GLEN) managed to increase production at 10 of its 13 mining commodity streams in 2013 with copper, cobalt and ferrochrome seeing the biggest increase in volume. Despite the company being best known for base metals and bulk commodities like coal, Glencore actually produced just over 1 million ounces of gold in the year, which far exceeds most other UK-listed precious metal miners. Oil reserves have increased by 129%. The market likes the update, sending the shares up 0.9% to 328.83p.
Worcestershire engineer Tricorn (TCN:AIM) dives 25.4% to 22.95p as it warns profit for the year to 31 March will be materially below market expectations with second-half revenue down around 15% on the first half's £13.3 million. Its energy division is hit by weakness in the mining and power generation sectors and the transportation business is also weak. In response house broker Westhouse moves from 'buy' to 'add' and slashes its price target from 50p to 35p.
Patent translation group RWS (RWS) falls 3.2% to 982.75p after warning that unfavourable exchange rates have caused reported sales since October to be 'marginally behind' management's expectations. Yet it believes that there's enough new business opportunities to keep full-year earnings forecasts on track. We have explored RWS' investment proposition in detail here and here.
Highly-rated homewares retailer Dunelm (DNLM) rises 16.25p to 924.75p on reassuring half-year results and a positive update on its growth strategy. Despite a previously flagged 0.9% first-half revenue decline, pre-tax profits grew 2.9% to £61.6 million in the six months to 28 December with a 90 basis point gross margin rise to 50.4% helped by tight cost control and sourcing gains. As Shares has previously outlined, Dunelm is one of the retail sector's highest quality stories, generating copious amounts of cash and with significant headroom for UK expansion and online sales growth.
Private label shower gels-to-shampoos developer McBride (MCB) gives up 0.87p to 104.13p on lacklustre interim results and news that finance director Richard Armitage is off to pastures new. The results reveal sales off 3% to £380.3 million at constant currency and a 10.5% drop in operating profits to £10.2 million, reflecting heavy promotions in the UK market as well as McBride's deliberate withdrawal from contract manufacturing business.
Housebuilder Bellway (BWY) rises 1.5% to £16.36 as the group's trading update reveals that the £2 billion cap continues to benefit from the continued strength in the UK housing market in the six months to the end of January.
Investors continue to respond to positive interims (4 Feb) from sensor technology play Transense Technologies (TRT:AIM) up 18.1% to 9.15p. The company, which also presented at last week's Shares/Cenkos Innovators & Investors Forum, reported a maiden underlying profit of £200,000 for the six months to 31 December. It makes innovative sensors that can be used to detect changes in pressure, temperature or torque across a range of specialist industrial equipment.
UK onshore oil and gas firm Egdon Resources (EDR:AIM) falls 7.5% to 27.1p as it completes a £3 million placing at 25p to boost its working capital. Egdon tapped the markets after a stellar run following the entry of Total (FP:PA) into its shale gas licences in Lincolnshire.
Talk of new product lines coming on stream fails to offset declining sales and falling forward orders at engineered components maker Elektron (EKT:AIM). The shares fall more than 9% to 6.12p, valuing the Cambridge-based coming at just 13% of its 2011 £56 million value. Recently appointed finance director Andrew Weatherstone has a job on his hands.
Marketing automation specialist DotDigital (DOTD:AIM) once again demonstrates its marketing hotspot, although the shares edge up a modest 1.6% to 30.75p after previously steering towards today's upbeat half-year results showing 13% revenue growth.
Motor dealer enterprise software supplier Incadea (INCA:AIM) rises more than 2% to 108p after securing a global roll-out with Fench car giant PSA Peugeot Citroen.
Innovative retail products developer LiteBulb (LBB:AIM) brightens 0.5% to 1.09p on a bullish year-end trading update, flagging a 167% sales leap to £8 million and dramatically reduced losses of £600,000 (2012: £1.4 million). Transformed via acquisitions, Shares recently highlighted the momentum behind the micro cap.