On a day in which London's FTSE 100 eases back 14.87 points to 6,573, following on from a 32.5 points fall to 6,587.95 in the previous session, integrated energy firm BG Group (BG.) advances 1.7% to £12.05 on better-than-expected second quarter numbers. We previewed the results here earlier this month. The slight beat on consensus, allied to a 10% hike in the dividend and confirmation the core Queensland liquefied natural gas (LNG) and Brazilian offshore oil projects were on track means the market is prepared to look past any fears over the impact of regime change in Egypt. The £40.3 billion cap has significant LNG operations in the country and chief executive officer Chris Finlayson says while Egyptian offshore operations continue unaffected, 'higher than agreed gas volumes were diverted into the domestic market during the quarter'.


Friday is proving an interesting day for media sector watchers as Pearson (PSON) leaps 7.1% to £13.36 on the back of a reassuring half-year report. Read our story here.


Heading in the opposite direction is pay-TV giant British Sky Broadcasting (BSY), where a 3% retreat to 824p appears to be more down to profit taking than anything else. The company’s full-year figures to the end of June came in ahead of consensus with revenues up 7% in the period and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation ahead by 8%.


Record quarterly profits from Samsung (SMSN) are failing to tempt investors, with its London-traded GDRs marginally lower to 586.5p, down 2.5p. Net profit for the April to June three months hit 7.8 trillion won (£4.5 billion), a 50% jump from a year ago, but the market continues to fret over slowing smartphone handset sales through the rest of 2013.


Prices being squeezed and ongoing R&D investment hold industrial controls group Spectris (SXS) in check. Half year revenues dipped 1% to £566.2 million, but that feeds through to a 13% profits decline. But that's seen as steady by the market, which edges the shares 23p higher to £21. Trading in Asia is encouragingly recovering though, an area of growth concern Shares flagged in April.


Family-controlled mechanical and refractory engineer Goodwin (GDWN) gains 225p or 10% at £25 on strong full year figures. The Stoke-on-Trent based firm's taxable profits powered ahead by 65% to £20.3 million in the year to April and investors like news of a 10% hike in the shareholder reward to 35.3p as well as a 17.65p special payout on top.


Specialist electronics supplier Acal (ACL) advances 4.7% to 245p on an upbeat trading update highlighting a strong start to the year. The £73 million cap says the pick-up in orders reported alongside full year figures last month (4 June) has continued into July and total electronics orders are 20% higher than last year.


Still under investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority over possible mis-selling of policies to cover home emergencies, Homeserve (HSV) edges ahead 5p to 280p on a soothing, in-line first quarter trading update. The £907.2 million cap highlights an improving UK customer retention rate and growing numbers of customers in its international businesses in the USA, France and Spain, while net debt of £26 million is slightly lower than expected. With a 'hold' rating and 250p price target for the stock, broker Liberum Capital is sticking with its full year forecasts of £84 million taxable profits, earnings of 17.9p and year-end net debt of £57 million. Read our March 2013 story here.


A bullish trading update from Northbridge Industrial Services (NBI:AIM) helps support a modest 0.8% rise to 380.5p. The group says it sees first half results substantially ahead year-on-year with full-year results at least in-line with expectations. Our latest take on the business can be found here.


Packaging business Straight (STT:AIM) is up 25.9% to 34p after its AGM statement confirms the group is now profitable after posting losses of £240,000 in 2012. The £3.2 million cap says first half sales totalled £13.9 million with earnings before interest, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) exceeding £1 million.


Field management software microcap ServicePower Technology (SVR:AIM) sees a demand boost driving a 35% rise in year-on-year revenues. That sparks a near 12% hike in the shares to 4.75p, although the axing of chief executive Mark Duffin is a surprise.


Lifecycle software microcap Sopheon (SPE:AIM) manages to nail some of the last minute business needed to hit half year expectations. But accelerating costs need watching, and that threat drags on the shares, down 4.6% to 104p.


Biotechnology firm Scancell (SCLP:AIM) falls the best part of 5% to 35p as investors don't like news of a £4.5 million placing priced at a heavily discounted 22.5p.

Issue Date: 26 Jul 2013