Among the London market's main risers on Wednesday is Barclays (BARC), which is buoyed 3.6% to 275.7p as it reports a £2.8 billion statutory taxable profit for the nine months to 30 September, up from £962 million a year ago. The bank, which says it will review how its currency trading operated over recent years, has decided against increasing its compensation pot for mis-selling payment protection insurance, unlike Lloyds (LLOY), which yesterday announced it has allocated a further £750 million.
Fashion retailer Next's (NXT) inexorable rise continues, with a strong third quarter trading update sending the shares 6.3% higher to £55.35 on Wednesday. Investors bid up the stock as the FTSE 100 retail star raises its full-year profits guidance. Read our in-depth news analysis here.
Insurance and pensions group Standard Life (SL.) falls 3.7% to 355.5p as third quarter asset growth misses expectations. Assets under administration (AUA) rose by 9% in the nine months to ended 30 September to £237.6 billion – 1% below consensus.
Property search website Rightmove (RMV) firms 1.5% to £26.48 after Canaccord Genuity says it may upgrade this year’s forecasts following next week’s third–quarter trading update (7 Nov). It says the company should be a beneficiary of September’s bumper mortgage approvals revealed by the Bank of England, which at 67,133 were up 37.4% on September 2012.
Cider and beer maker and distributor C&C (CCR) froths up 2.6% to €4.12 on well received half-year figures. The Dublin-based beverages business behind the Magners and Bulmers brands reports near-8% operating profits growth to €71.1 million on sales up 28% to €336.7 million and raises the half-year dividend 7.5% to 4.3 cent per share.
Car dealer Lookers (LOOK) accelerates 4p to 131.25p as a strong third quarter trading update, revealing record results in the key month of September, drives forecast upgrades. The £494 million cap, a running Shares Play of the Week, reports another strong performance from its motor division with new car sales up 19% year-on-year in the nine months to 30 September and used car sales 20% ahead.
Pawnbroker Albemarle & Bond (ABM:AIM) rallies 11.2% in early trade to 47.3p on news that today’s covenant test has been deferred until February 2014. Management confirms trading remains difficult but that progress has been made with regards to potential restructuring plans.
Marine seismic firm Thalassa Holdings (THAL:AIM), a running Shares Play of the Week, gains 4.7% to 280p on news of an £18.1 million placing to fund continued growth. Executive chairman Duncan Soukup says the raise 'significantly strengthens our balance sheet at a time when our level of order enquiry is at record levels'.
East African oil producer Aminex (AEX:AIM) slumps 5.6% to 2.1p as it reveals delays to its acquisition of privately-owned Canyon Oil & Gas. This deal, for which the deadline has been extended from 31 October to 31 December by mutual consent, brings in new management and a producing asset in Moldova.
Typically robust half-year figures from healthcare and business software supplier Advanced Computer Software (ASW:AIM) see the shares tick 1% higher to 88p. One of Shares running Plays of the Week, the stock performance has so far failed to match the excellent operational form, but we continue to see long-term growth here.
Mobile business developer Globo (GBO:AIM) has another go at clawing back losses following a recent investor bear raid. The shares jump 10% to 60.5p having crashed 30%-odd in three weeks. Shares addressed perceived cashflow issues at one of our running Plays of the Week on the website earlier this week, and Globo is set to unveil its own argument tomorrow.