London shares lose early gains to drift into negative territory in early trade on Monday on a mixed bag of rising utilities and some miners gradually losing the battle with assorted financials and banks in the red. This after Friday's gains on Wall Street and a mixed Asia this morning.
The FTSE 100 index fades 35 points, or about 0.6%, to 6,048, managing to keep its head above the 6,000 water mark, albeit just.
The big news on the corporate front comes from telecoms giant BT (BT.A). Its shares rally 3.2% to 500.2p – topping the blue-chip leader board – as it posts a 'standout quarter' on the consumer side in the third quarter to 31 December. The group also lays out plans for a new organisational structure, effective from April, after its acquisition of mobile network EE.
Among the big movers, E&P Premier Oil (PMO) is up 102% to 38.6p as it resumes trading following a two-week suspension initiated when it agreed to buy the North Sea assets of Eon. Premier says it has agreed a $15 million discount to the price originally agreed on the deal, taking it down to $135 million.
Mobile gambling company Nektan (NKTN:AIM) tumbles 35% to 70p after warning a delay in the acceleration of a £7 million contract will have a significant impact on full year group revenue and EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation). Its EBITDA loss widened from £2.4 million to £3.7 million in the six months to 31 December, while revenue rose from £250,000 to £1.6 million.
Cash-strapped branded product development minnow LiteBulb (LBB:AIM) loses 48.2% at 1.75p on an alarming financing update. Looking to refinance existing convertible loan notes, LiteBulb expects a proportion of the £6.6 million liability will be converted in to equity (with the remaining balance to be rolled into a new loan note) and also flags the need to raise another £2 million.
Diversified food business Real Good Food's (RGD:AIM) warning profits for the year to March will fall short of expectations sees the shares sour 17% to 37p. Real Good Food, which recently sold sugar subsidiary Napier Brown for £44.4 million, blames the costs of an investment and reorganisation drive across continuing bakery, cake decoration and food ingredients operations for a short-term margin squeeze.
Software minnow IS Solutions (ISL:AIM) jumps 20% to 113p as it spells out its confidence on full year expectations, with both revenue ahead and profitability significantly ahead of current market views.
Cancer-fighting technology company Advanced Oncotherapy (AVO:AIM) charges 7.7% higher to 7p after a report published over the weekend claimed that proton beam therapy is as effective as other cancer treatments and has fewer side effects. Advanced Oncotherapy plans to open a proton beam centre in London’s Harley Street in 2017.
Science and technology investor Allied Minds (ALM) rises 5.3% to 297.3p on its subsidiary Federated Wireless raising $22 million. The funds, $5 million of which came from Allied Minds, will be used to get its technology to market. Fund manager Neil Woodford invested $15 million in the deal.
Investors raise a glass to alcohol wholesaler Conviviality (CVR:AIM), bid up 2.6% to 205.25p as positive interim results and news of a strong post-acquisition performance from transformational acquisition Matthew Clark (7 Oct '15), combine to trigger upgrades.