London's blue chips begin the week's session on a weak footing again, although much could change with a deluge of corporate earnings and economic data both at home and abroad expected this week. London's blue-chip's start trading down 13 points at 6,636.
High street bank Virgin Money is expected to confirm its £2 billion initial public offering this week, a float featured in Shares’ cover story last week, and first flagged on our dedicated IPO microsite.
Construction group Balfour Beatty (BBY) collapses by more than 20% to 178p as it issues another profits warning. Balfour, being courted by peer Carillion (CLLN) over a possible merger, reports a £75 million profits black hole in its construction services division, and has instructed audit group KPMG to launch an investigation.
A desperate call for cash sends London Mining (LOND:AIM) down 46.9% to 13p. Its financial position has been shattered by falling iron ore prices and cash flow problems. The business today reveals talks with a potential strategic could lead to material share price dilution, spooking the market.
Ukraine and Russia focussed hydrocarbons producer JKX Oil & Gas (JKX) leaps 10.7% to 49.25p as it completes phase one of the upgrade of its production facility at the Elizavetovskoye development and wins a 20-year production licence for the field.
One-click mobile payments developer Bango (BGO:AIM) is back tapping investors for more cash as it attempts to shore up its balance sheet amid long-running losses. The company is raising £6 million through a placing and open offer at 96p, a 4% discount to Friday's 100p close, sparking the stock to sink 3% to 97p in today's trading. Analysts at IT consultancy Megabuyte point out that this is the company's sixth cash call since Bango's 2005 IPO and, 'at 96p per share, the second lowest price at which Bango has raised money in that time, and way down on the 174p IPO price, and less than half the 200p fund raise from February 2013.'
Insurance claims outsourcer Quindell (QPP:AIM) remains miffed by the recent 20%-plus slump in its share price. The stock has fallen from 179p to 136.5p as of Friday's close, but investors are relieved at the absence of bad news, bidding the stock 4% higher today to 142p. The company earlier this month won a libel claim against little-known trader Gotham City Research, which failed to even provide a defence for its 'highly defamatory' bear-raid note in the summer.
Drug developer Verona Pharma (VRP:AIM) leaps 16.3p to 1.2p as research indicates positives for its respiratory disease treatment also having benefits in the treatment of cystic fibrosis.
Drug improvement specialist Oxford Pharmascience (OXP:AIM) gains 2.3% to 4.3p on a positive outlook overshadowing an 183% rise in losses to £1.7 million in the six months to July.
A ‘gradual but sustained recovery’ in general construction and housebuilding helps equipment rental specialist VP Group (VP.) jump 8.1% to 616p. House broker N+1 Singer upgrades its earnings per share forecasts for the third time since June on the back of the unscheduled pre-close announcement, citing trading momentum in VP’s UK Forks and Hire Station businesses.
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) trades 9p higher at 409p (2.4%) after a better than feared third quarter interim management statement. Net outflows, where clients withdraw money from funds, moderated slightly to stand at £15.3 billion for the 11 months to end-August. This was offset partially by existing clients moving money into higher margin products, analysts at Liberum say.
Healthcare and industrial products distributor Diploma (DPLM) confirms revenue and margin guidance for the full year, with results expected 17 November. It expects to report underlying revenue growth of 7-8% and says margins are between 18 and 19%. The stock eases 10p to 676p (1.4%).