Emerging markets fund manager Ashmore (ASHM) dives 8.7% to 310.4p after unfavourable foreign exchange rates leave half-year earnings below consensus forecasts. Emerging markets turbulence has continued into 2014.
With group operating profit falling by a third in 2013 and no growth in the dividend, investors' patience is really being tested in Ladbrokes (LAD). Yet the shares rise 2.4% to 154.6p for reasons discussed in this news analysis. High rollers' contribution to profit has fallen by 80% to £5.9 million and 2014 has got off to a poor start. The turnaround story is dependent on Ladbrokes' new online technology systems luring in the punters, particularly around the summer's World Cup football tournament.
FTSE 100 automotive and aerospace engineer GKN (GKN) slips 3.7% to 399.5p despite posting 2013 profits marginally ahead of expectations and guiding for further progress this year. We explain the reasons behind the negative market reaction in this news analysis.
Media group UBM (UBM) dips 0.6% to 712p after poaching De La Rue (DLAR) boss Tim Cobbold to be its next chief executive officer. Investors are no doubt scratching their heads at the appointment, given little similarities between running a media business and bank note printing. De La Rue falls 1.3% to 808.75p; it will be run by chairman Philip Rogerson until a new CEO has been recruited.
Wealth manager St James’s Place (STJ) rises 4.5p to 830.7p on a 50% hike in its dividend to 15.9p a share, as revealed in today's full-year results. Pre-tax profit jumps 42% rise to £190.7 million and there is a 25% hike in net asset value per share to 575.3p.
UAE hospital operator NMC Health (NMC) improves 1.7% to 455.1p as full-year results include news of a 7.3% dividend hike to 4.4p on a $85.5 million gross profit, 15.7% higher than a year earlier.
Animal medicine maker Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH) advances 1.8% to 690.7p on a 20% rise in pre-tax profits to £22.3 million in the six months to December 2013. The running Shares Play of the Week has increased its dividend by 9.4% and cut net debt to £10.5 million from £80.8 million last June.
Services exchange Blur (BLUR:AIM) is back in demand after revealing a hefty $3.2 million pan-European marketing project up for grabs across its platform. Investors are attracted by the group's 20% commission it earns on project value, pushing the shares 5.5% higher to 482.5p.
Call centre technology supplier Netcall (NET:AIM) delivers very solid underlying 8% revenue growth in the first half, after stripping out slowing non-core business. The £67 million cap is also driving a social media project aimed at expending its customer engagement, although investors resist buying the shares, which ease 0.5p to 54.5p.
Foods-to-flavours group Kerry (KYGA) cheapens €0.2 to €51.8 despite delivering full-year figures which prompt modest upgrades to 2014 forecasts. The Richmond sausage maker pleases with news of a 9% increase in adjusted pre-tax profits to €532 million and record free cash flow of €412 million (2012: €344 million) for a testing 2013.
Convenience stores-to-newsagents operator McColl's (MCLS) is marked down to 184p on its first day as a listed company, having priced its shares at 191p. The company has raised £133 million, including £83 million as a partial exit for existing shareholders including McColl's directors and Cavendish Square Partners, as it seeks to exploit growth opportunities in the convenience sector. We looked at the investment case in more detail last month in this article.
China-based food preservatives minnow Sorbic International (SORB:AIM) fattens up 3.1% to 8.25p after trading for the first quarter to December was significantly ahead of management expectations.
Stellar Resources (STG:AIM) jumps 22% to 0.58p after buying a processing plant to treat ore from its Clogau gold mine in Wales. The shares have been in the doldrums since last summer due to investors' concerns about Stellar potentially becoming a classic resources stock that starts too many projects and fails to see them through; as evident by slow progress in Wales and recent expansion into oil and coal projects.
Investors react to potential dilution at AIM-quoted oil & gas play Enegi Oil (ENEG:AIM), down 4.4% to 8.25p, as it announces £2 million of equity-based funding to advance the development of its Fyne field in the North Sea. The Manchester group hopes to use advanced buoy technology to develop Fyne.