There are mixed fortunes in Anglo American's (AAL) third quarter production update, sending its share price down 2.3% to £15.17. It suffered a 24% drop in output from the Kumba iron ore business; copper production grew by 32%; diamonds jumped by 21%; and there's a reminder of a forthcoming $300 million impairment charge after the miner walked away from the Alaskan Pebble metals venture. This article provides a fascinating look at the troubled project.
Life insurer Prudential (PRU) jumps 3% to £12.50 as the market warms to its Asian operations following a positive update from one of its rivals in the region. AIA (AAGIY: HK) reported record results for the third quarter and a 36% rise in new business in Asia.
Pan African Resources (PAF:AIM) dips 1.5% to 16.25p after a cryptic statement regarding AngloGold's sale of the Navachab gold project. There's been rumours that Pan African wants to buy the Namibia-based asset. Today's statement doesn't confirm or deny but certain implies it is looking at the deposit. Numis securities comments: 'Would be an interesting move for the company and certainly take its project portfolio to a new level.'
Environmental services specialist RPS (RPS) dips 0.4% to 277.9p on news of an acquisition. It has bought Norwegian business OEC which broker Panmure Gordon as being 'above average' in size for the £613 million cap. The broker says: 'It should prove to be a platform for growth for RPS in Scandinavia, both in the North Sea oil sector and the wider infrastructure market.' One area of investor concern may be the price. Panmure reckons RPS has paid 12 times earnings for the business, which is more than the company normally pays for acquisitions. The broker says it still looks 'reasonable value' and upgrades its 2014 and 2015 earnings forecasts by 3% and raises its price target from 303p to 315p.
Chinese unconventional gas specialist Leyshon Resources (LRL:AIM) slips 1.5% to 8p as it continues to work towards demerging its energy assets. The new concern, Leyshon Energy, is now expected to be admitted to AIM alone, rather than both AIM and ASX as had previously been indicated.
Investors in scientific cameras and microscopes developer Andor Technology (AND:AIM) welcome the near £7 million acquisition of Canadian biology optics specialist Spectral, bidding the shares 3.4% higher to 399p. Adding software and owned intellectual property, analysts at finnCap and Investec see this as a very sensible deal. The shares have rallied over 30% since June's black eye profit warning.
Shares in internet phone calls microcap Coms (COMS:AIM) fall over 7% to 3.12p as it unveils a £5 million placing at an 11% share price discount. The fresh cash will be used to fuel value-adding acquisitions. It recently failed to convince Pinnacle Technology (PINN:AIM) to sell.