Maiden results from highly-rated appliances retailer AO World (AO.) fail to inspire the market, sending the shares down 2.3% to 255.38p. Sales are up 40% to £385 million and underlying EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) rises 10.9% to £11.2 million, slightly ahead of consensus. Yet a lack of upgrades potentially accounts for the share price fall at the highly-rated fridges-to-televisions seller, a running Shares Play of the Week, on which we have a negative view.
Global online fashion store ASOS (ASC:AIM) hurries out a surprise profit warning reflecting growing promotional activity and currency headwinds. Shares in the web-based fast fashion seller slump more than 30% to £31.20, demonstrating the significant de-rating risks involved with highly-rated growth stocks. Read our in-depth analysis here.
Supply chain solution specialist Wincanton (WIN) jumps 9.7% to 130.5p after the Chippenham-based company posts final results that reveal a 6% increase in underlying operating profit to £48 million and a 39.7% fall in net debt to £64.9 million. We'll take a closer look at the news in a web story later today on the Shares website.
Construction equipment hire group VP (VP.) rises 2.8% to 655.25p as full-year results beat expectations. The excavation-to-rail specialist sees pre-tax profit jump from £16.4 million in 2013 to £18.9 million for the financial year ending 31 March 2014. Broker N+1 Singer says the latest result exceeds its previous forecast for the 2015 financial year.
Electronic components specialist Acal (ACL) has announced a 176p per share rights issue to raise £55 million for an acquisition that will take the business into Asia and the US. It is buying Norwegian group Noratel for £29.2 million and assuming £43.5 million debt. Acal, which is a running Play of the Week, reckons the deal will be 'immediately significantly accretive to underlying earnings per share'. Despite the significant discount on the rights issue pricing, the market seems to like the deal as the shares only dip 0.6% to 343.13p. We recently compared the fortunes of Acal to rival electronics group Electrocomponents. You can read that story here.
Utilities broker-to-efficiency adviser Inspired Energy (INSE:AIM) rises 5.3% to 12.5p on a bullish trading update. It reports 'significant growth and development' in all of its divisions in the first five months of the year. Like its rival Utilitywise (UTW:AIM), Inspired is reaping the benefits of hiring more sales staff.
Chemicals giant Johnson Matthey (JMAT) edges 0.3% lower to £32.49 despite final results for the year to 31 March 2014 revealing a 4% rise in revenue to £11.15 billion and 17% hike in pre-tax profit to £406.6 million.
Housebuilder Bellway (BWY) nudges 1.7% higher to £14.29 after the group's interim management statement points to strong sales with an 11% increase in the weekly reservation rate to 177 per week between 1 February and 31 May.
Zoopla Property's forthcoming initial public offering has been priced at between 200p and 250p, which values the business at £940 million (at the mid point). It will list on June 24.
OneSavings Bank (OSB) rises 4.4% to 177.75p on its first day on the stockmarket.
North Sea oil explorer Independent Oil & Gas (IOG:AIM) slips 12.4% to 25.2p on delays to its flagship Blythe development. A field development plan will now be submitted in the final quarter of this year and first gas is expected by the middle of 2016.
South East Asian oil and gas producer and bid target Salamander Energy (SMDR) ticks up 0.6% to 143.9p as it agrees to sell 40% of the Indonesian Bualuang field and surrounding exploration acreage to SONA Petroleum for $280 million. Following closure of the deal, the company will return 11p a share of cash to shareholders and retire $200-$250m of current debt – Oriel Securities says the transaction may lead some shareholders to take some profit off the table given 'the company is not selling itself'.
Chinese coal bed methane play Green Dragon Gas (GDG:AIM) gains 3.6% to 510p as it issues the second tranche of a convertible bond facility first announced in December 2013. The $50 million issue has been fully subscribed by GIC, a Singapore state sovereign wealth fund. The convertible bond is unsecured, has a 7% coupon, a 36 month maturity, and is convertible into ordinary shares at a conversion price of $9.34 per share.