Fast moving consumer goods powerhouse Unilever (ULVR) rises 3.6% to £25.25 on well-received full-year results which allay recent fears over slowing emerging markets progress. The Knorr stock cube-to-Hellmann's mayonnaise maker, a highly-rated defensive cherished for its reassuring profit profile, reports 8.4% organic sales growth in emerging markets for the fourth quarter. This is a step-up from the 5.9% growth generated across developing economies in the previous three months.
A modest expectations beat sparks a 12% jump to 379.75p for translation and market intelligence software supplier SDL (SDL). That's on twice-cut forecasts following a couple of profit warnings, the last in October. Read our view on the stock following today's news.
Beer brewing behemoth SABMiller (SAB) slips 59.75p (1.93%) lower to £30.34 as its third quarter trading update highlights mixed global trading and the negative financial impact of the depreciation of a number of key currencies including the South African rand against the US dollar. Growth at the Grolsch-to-Peroni Nastro Azzurro maker was driven by pricing and volume growth in Africa, Latin America and China, although weak consumer sentiment hit its European and North American businesses.
Pubs operator Marston's (MARS) nudges up 0.5% to 154p after a better-than-expected trading update reporting 4.1% like-for-like sales growth in the 15 weeks to 18 January for its 'destination and premium' business.
Real estate investor NewRiver Retail (NRR) falls 3% to 285p on news that it is to raise some £75 million through a 265p a share placing. It has received commitments of more than £50 million in its bid to raise fresh growth capital. The company also announced a special interim dividend of 10p a share, although it is worth noting there will not be a dividend at the end of the financial year.
Gold producer Medusa Mining (MML) has been forced to stop operations at its Co-O project in the Philippines after bad weather has caused flooding, slippages and landslides in several areas around the mine. Its shares drop 4.1% to 118p.
Epi-wafer developer IQE (IQE) rises close on 7% to 27.75p on news that earnings will be up more than 30% for 2013 on £126 million revenue. This performance owes much to its increasingly diversified business model with solar particularly encouraging, as we recently flagged in Shares.
Billings might be on the mend but investors focus on Corero Network Security's (CNS:AIM) soaring near 50% hike in EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) losses and cash burn concerns. That twin threat sees investors head for the hills, sending the shares into a 13% tailspin to 18.25p.
Microcap Touchstone Gold (TGL:AIM) slumps 29.2% to 0.85p after warning that it may lose exploration interests if it cannot raise further cash. We said last year in a review of the mining sector that failure to renew licences was one of the biggest risks for junior exploration companies. We also said last month that Touchstone's decision to stop all work left it vulnerable to becoming a cash(less) shell or even a candidate to delist from the stockmarket.
Nascent energy play Rose Petroleum (ROSE:AIM) gains 47% to 0.58p as it acquires assets in Germany from Aim-quoted peer 3Legs Resources (3LEG:AIM). Rose, formerly known as mining firm Vane Minerals, is paying to €400,000 to acquire the Konstanz and Biberach licences in south western Germany which have both conventional and unconventional potential. Chief executive officer Matthew Idiens tells Shares the company is working on a number of other deals.