Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) jumped 3.9% to 287.6p as the market speculated that Lloyds Banking (LLOY) would not be the only one to get new shareholders. As we discuss here, reports suggest a string of potential buyers are waiting in the wings for the UK government's 39% stake in Lloyds. A sale of the government's 81% stake in RBS is expected at a later date.
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) jumped 7.3% to £10.67 after management increased growth estimates for the year. They now expect the company to grow by 17% on last year, up from the initial 13% prediction after reporting strong performance across its generics, branded and injectables businesses. Read our 'Griller' article on Hikma from May.
European floorcoverings distributor Headlam (HEAD) fell 6% to 340p on a profit warning. Ahead of next month's (30 Aug) half-year figures, the £301 million cap warned first half earnings will be around 10% below last year due to worsening market conditions in the UK and on the Continent. Facing uncertainty going into the seasonally-stronger second half, Headlam 'believes it is unlikely' it will meet market expectations for the year as a whole.
Government schemes like Help to Buy have bolstered sales at housebuilder Bovis (BVS) with shares surging 4.7% to 811.5p after the group's trading update ahead revealed a 40% increase in private reservations in the six months to 30 June. The £1 billion cap has achieved a net private sales rate per site per week approximately 60% ahead of the prior year comparative period.
Talent management software minnow NetDimensions (NETD:AIM) is back in demand, jumping 12% to 46p. Its expansion investment programme ($50 million revenue in five years) has chalked-up lower-than-expected losses. The short-term outlook remains unpredictable with profits sacrificed in its bold bid to scale the business. A sensible plan, but one that implies bumps in the road, as explained in Shares.
Education software supplier to schools RM (RM.) jumped 7.5% to 69.5p after unveiling better-than-expected operating margins and cashflow. But it still faces the challenge of reshaping its strategy post the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) reverse – more information on a possible solution is expected later this year.
A trio of companies seeking to join the stockmarket have been announced today, led by pensions adviser Perspective Financial. Read our story on the latest names being lined up to join the London market over the coming weeks and reveal contenders to come in the autumn.
Despite flagging financial problems last month, investors have today been spooked by a brief announcement by gold and nickel producer Mwana Africa (MWA:AIM) about a potential near-term fund raise, sending the shares down 9.7% to 1.4p. It says an equity placing is one of the options being considered. Read our thoughts on the small cap's predicament in this feature published on 4 July.
Kurdistan oil explorer Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP:AIM) gained 3.3% to 162.9p after hitting back at shareholder M&G Recovery fund's criticisms of corporate governance and 'excessive' executive pay. M&G, which has 5.1% of the company, aired its complaints days after Gulf Keystone split the roles of chairman and chief executive officer for the first time with Simon Murray, formerly of Glencore Xstrata (XTA), assuming the chairmanship.
East African oil firm Solo Oil (SOLO:AIM) gushed up 13% to 0.3p after getting the green light from the relevant authorities to develop the Ntorya-1 discvery in Tanzania. The next step for the company is a farm-out of the asset to help meet the costs of appraisal drilling.
Ukraine and Russia based oil & gas producer JKX Oil & Gas (JKX) ticked up 0.9% to 53.5p after announcing production was in line with guidance in the second quarter, averaging 11,100 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
Diagnostic specialist Angle (AGL: AIM) jumped 13.4% to 61.2p following a successful trial of Parsortix, its cancer cell evaluation device. The system was tested on cancer patient blood by the University of Surrey and has been found to improve the detection of circulating tumour cells in smaller blood samples. A 20ml blood sample can now be processed through the Parsortix system in under an hour.
GW Pharmaceuticals (GWP: AIM) was up 1.3% to 48.8p after its Sativex multiple sclerosis product was launched in Italy.