Pay-TV giant British Sky Broadcasting (BSY) helps the FTSE 100 higher, the blue-chip index 30.92 points up at 6,708.44. The satellite group sees its shares rise 2.5p to 860.5p as investors give the group's acquisition of the Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland stakes the thumbs-up. Numis analyst Paul Richards tells clients, 'we can see the strategic rationale for the transaction, as it provides headroom for expansion across attractive markets.’ Ricahrds has a 982p target price on the shares.
Aerospace and defence firm Meggitt (MGGT) falls 6.2% to 472.4p as it announces interims short of expectations and modestly downgrades guidance for the full year. Pre-tax profit was down 20% year-on-year to £98.2 million due to a weak contribution from its military division and currency headwinds.
LED module designs microcap ProPhotonix (PPIR:AIM) leaps 73% to 4.12p after securing a major 26.3% stake investment by engineering minnow 600 Group (SIXH:AIM). The deal, struck at 5p per share, represents a 111% premium to yesterday's 2.37p ProPhotonix closing price.
Rugged electronics manufacturer Solid State (SSP:AIM) rallies 23% to 595p after sealing a massive £34 million contract with the Ministry of Justice. The agreement covers the supply of monitoring hardware for GPS offender tagging kit.
Flow management product maker Rotork (ROR) gains 3% to £28.36 on first half numbers which show order intake up 2.9% year-on-year at £302.7 million. The impact of the strong pound sees pre-tax profits fall 3.3% but the company says it is confident of 'achieving further progress in the full year.'
Motor retail giant Pendragon (PDG) accelerates 4.45% higher to 32.38p on well-received interim results, driven by strong performances across new, and motor after-sales. Shares investigated the prospects for the listed car retail sector in our recent piece on challenger companies series.
Technology marketing communications group Next Fifteen (NFC:AIM) advances 3.5p to 114.5p on the back of a better-than-expected first-half trading update. Analysts at Edison have increased both their 2015 and 2016 numbers.
Niche non-lif insurer Novae (NVA) improves 1.8% to 531.7p as it hikes its interim dividend 10% to 6.6p per share despite flat premiums. This is part of strategy to improve profit margins rather than top line growth, as outlined by Shares earlier this year.
Cough cold medicine developer Vernalis (VER:AIM) gains 3.6% to 32.1p as management reaffirms plans to for a US product launch in 2015.