Mobile phone giant Vodafone (VOD) is attempting to woo Kabel Deutschland (KD8Gn:DE) shareholders ahead of its Wednesday deadline for fear of the €7.7 billion takeover collapsing. Failure could hurt the UK group's quad-play attempts in Europe, but the shares stay flat at 210.75p with its own investors firmly focused on the 45% Verizon Wireless stake sale, which Shares looked at online last month.
FTSE 100 energy firm BG (BG.) falls 4.7% to £12.22 as it disappoints with 2014 output projections as we discuss here.
African Mining & Exploration (AME:AIM) soars 26.3% to 3p after buying a mineral sands project. Read our news analysis here.
Foods-to-fashion giant Associated British Foods (ABF) slips 38p or 2.05% to £18.13 on a mixed annual pre-close update. The £14.7 billion cap flags a strong finish to the year from budget fashion chain Primark, which grew sales an impressive 22% year-on-year, as well as better-than-expected year-end net debt. However a profits warning for sugars for 2014, with EU sugar prices falling fast and pricing negotiations with EU customers proving 'challenging', unnerves investors.
Oil explorer Chariot Oil & Gas (CHAR:AIM) gushes up 4% to 19.5p as independent consultant NSAI provides an independent audit of the prospective resource potential of its 90%-owned Central Area blocks, offshore Namibia. Prospect B, Chariot's principle drilling candidate, is assigned an unrisked gross prospective resource of 469 million barrels of oil and chance of success of 22%, with NSAI noting additional follow-on potential.
UK shale gas play IGas Energy (IGAS:AIM), discussed in detail here, adds to its roster of conventional assets with a £9 million paper bid for North Sea producer Caithness Oil. The market appears unsure on the merits of the deal with the shares down 1.6% at 109p. Part of the agreement sees Trap Oil (TRAP:AIM), up 1.7% to 11.7p, receives £4.8 million in IGas shares for its Knockinnon and Lybster prospects.
City of London Investment (CLIG) recaptures all of the past week’s gains, up 5.3% to 225p on reassuring full-year numbers. Assets under management may have collapsed 17% in the past year, but some point out the counter may look oversold as its share price has fallen by 20% in the past three months as emerging market assets have taken a hammering in the run up to monetary tightening in the US. As a signal of confidence in the future the fund manager has reopened its core emerging markets closed-ended fund strategy.
A great set of full-year results from fuel efficiency expert Ricardo (RCDO) puts the share price up 4.7% to 504p. Earnings have certainly been driven by the acquisition of AEA in a pre-pack from the administrators, accessing a decent business but avoiding the liabilities of a big pension deficit. Yet the results also show decent organic growth when excluding AEA. A 13% hike in the dividend is twice what it normally pays, a reflection of the big increase in earnings.
Recruiter Hydrogen (HYDG:AIM) dips 1.5% to 97.5p on half-year results. The key performance benchmark for the sector, net fee income, is up 2% but overall pre-tax profit is down as a result of investment in people and offices.
Ongoing failure to secure a strategic investor leaves coal miner Strategic Natural Resources (SNRP:AIM) in freefall, today losing another 3.5% to 10.25p. An undisclosed coal trader had an exclusivity period but that's now lapsed, so the miner is talking to other potential investors. It needs a slug of cash to repay a bridging loan by the end of the month. If it can't get money from a strategic investor then shareholders should brace themselves for a heavily-discounted share placing or the miner will have to take on more debt to repay debt – and that always ends in tears.
Commodities and energy trading software supplier Brady (BRY:AIM) gets a market kicking on poor first-half trading, The shares slump over 15% to 61.5p as profits get eaten by capitalised research and development.
A handful of new contracts bolsters compliance software specialist Ideagen (IDEA:AIM), the shares rallying over 4% to 22p. The company looks increasingly well-placed in this niche space, as Shares spelled out in a Play of the Week last year (see page 10 of PDF), and again in May.
Russian women and child healthcare provider MD Medical (MDMG) falls 5.2% to 13.2p as its first half operating profits dip 43% to RUB448 million. This was despite revenues rising 31% to RUB2.5 billion and is the result of management funding two acquisitions and the construction of a hospital as well as an IT upgrade.
Healthcare concern Futura Medical (FUM: AIM) jumps 14.5% to 76p as management receive solid feedback from the regulator for its erection-boosting condom. Management expect clearance for sale in Europe by the end of the month.
Diagnostics company Epistem (EHP: AIM) falls 8.1% to 505p as distribution agreement talks with Becton Dickinson break down. A deal with the US manufacturer to expand the supply of its TB test would have added up to £1.2 million to its annual sales. The two have also ended their existing agreement, details of which we reported in April.