A disastrous set of full-year results from African Barrick Gold (ABG) saw the Tanzania-based metals producer slump 10.5% to 305.1p. Coming off the back of a failed takeover approach, the FTSE 250 miner has now declined by 40% in the past three months. Today's poor results were 9% below consensus which is shocking considering that production numbers were released last month.
Natural resources featured at both ends of the leader board with stock market pantomime villain Bumi (BUMI) leading the large caps higher, jumping 9.5% to 442p. Investors see a trading opportunity within the management/shareholder squabbling following last night's new proposal to break up the company.
Amid a wealth of economic data due today, oil driller Tullow Oil (TLW) posted 2012 revenues up 2% and a 4% rise in pre-tax profits. But more importantly, an average $108 price tag per barrel which, as Spreadex trader Shavaz Dhalla points out, 'demonstrates that UK companies can perform well despite the fact that the UK reported a contraction in GDP during the last quarter of 2012.' Tullow shares are running 5.5% up at £12.44.
Docklands-based co-location data centre operator Telecity (TCY) has investors grinning from ear to ear, the shares leaping nearly 7% to 880.75p after 2012 results edged marginally beyond analyst hopes. Revenues of £283 million equate to earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of £129.5 million, thanks to increasing floor space by 18.5%. The extra capacity did mean that utilisation rates eased off, while there's the typical forex jiggery-pokery to manage, but prices are up 10% and margins are 9% better.
Equity trading software supplier Fidessa (FDSA) is also a strong runner today, over 7.5% up at £17.81. That means the shares have jumped over 15% since Monday's 2012 full-year figures that showed sharp cost base management and hint at improving prospects into 2013. Add in the 45p per share special dividend, there's plenty to please investors.
The collapse of fashion retail chain Republic has dealt the British high street another blow, with speculation doing the City rounds that the company is headed for administration. Ernst & Young are mooted for appointment to that sad task, which would add another recognisable brand to the growing list of retail failures (Jessops, HMV and Blockbuster). Shares own retail guru James Crux just last week warned of more retail pain, read his sector report here.
Digging down among the small caps, little ATM and displays advertising specialist i-Design (IDG:AIM) has snapped the hand off Canadian's Cardtronics' £8.5 million takeover. Pitched at 60p per share, a massive 160% premium, you could understand why, although it seems a shame given the growth potential of the business. Cardtronics will bolster the UK microcap's ad estate at a stroke and provide the financial muscle and scale to drive future growth, something it had struggled with as an independent business.
Packaging firm API Group (API:AIM) is no longer up for sale, sparking an 18% share price collapse to 57p. The Stockport-based specialist foils and packaging materials firm has removed the ‘for sale’ sign after offers for the company failed to come up to scratch. An accompanying shock profits warning will have investors wondering if management has botched trading while sale talks were ongoing. Read the full story here.
Among the micro caps, oil driller Nostra Terra Oil & Gas (NTOG:AIM) spells out promising news from the wild west, where its Chisholm Trail prospect in Oklahoma is beating production hopes. Nostra shares rose 4% to 0.58p. Also in Oklahoma, Northcote Energy (NCT:AIM) has bet on success at its Horizon project by exercising an option to up its stake from 28.5% to 37.5%. The Horizon project currently has nine working wells and Northcote has pulled the trigger on an 18 million share issue and $192,500 promissory note. The shares slump over 9% as investors mull the implied dilution.