Confirmation that US telco AT&T (T:NYSE) will not bid for mobile network giant Vodafone (VOD) sends shockwaves around the market and slices 4.8% off the UK group's shares to 221p. The US company is now prevented from making an offer for six months, although the bar would be lifted if a third party swoops.
FTSE 100 oil and gas firm BG (BG) falls 14.9% to £10.68 as it downgrades expectations for 2014 and 2015 output thanks to Egyptian turmoil. Read our article looking at the potential hit to earnings forecasts.
F&C Asset Management (FCAM) rises 14.3% to 106.9p after receiving a takeover approach from BMO Financial. The suitor is willing to pay 120p cash per share and F&C's board has indicated it would recommend an offer at that level.
Premier Foods (PFD) softens 3.7% to 138.5p despite forming a joint venture with US private equity firm Gores for its Hovis bread business. The £345 million cap is keeping a 49% stake in the joint venture in a deal designed to revive the Hovis brand and providing a short-term cash inflow for investment in Premier’s grocery division.
Following November's shock accounting problems which prompted the resignation of Speedy Hire (SDY) chief executive Steve Corcoran, the construction equipment rental group has appointed a successor in Mark Rogerson. He joined as chief operating officer in December, having previously worked for construction and service heavyweights Costain (COST) and Serco (SRP). Rogerson's promotion was widely expected, yet investors don't seem that happy as the shares fall 3.1% to 63p.
Life insurer Hansard (HSD) falls 11.1% to 82.3p on a warning that new business in the second half of the year will be ‘significantly’ below expectations. This followed a 24.2% drop in new business in the first half following the loss of a large distribution deal in Asia. It claims the dividend remains safe thanks to cash reserves.
Explorer Faroe Petroleum (FPM:AIM) falls 4% to 119p after announcing its Novus well in the Norwegian North Sea is an oil and gas discovery but will not be commercial on a standalone basis. Neverthless in combination with nearby prospects the find could be worth developing and Faroe has a number of other exploration wells scheduled.
Contract extensions lift field management software microcap ServicePower Technologies (SVR:AIM) close on 6% higher to 6.88p. The £13.8 million cap has been rallying strongly since appointing new CEO Marne Martin in September.
Maritime navigation kit developer Software Radio Technology (SRT:AIM) issues another profit warning following order delays. The company has a habit of trading shocks with orders notorious for their unpredictability, perhaps explaining the fairly modest 6.3% share price decline to 22.25p.