BHP Billiton (BLT) dips 3.4% to £18.89 as its full-year results fall short of market forecasts. Revenues were $66 billion versus consensus of $66.9 billion. The dividend is 1c below expectation at 59c. Numis says the market won't be overly concerned about the small miss, saying BHP is still 'the stand out stock' in the sector. Possibly contributing to the share price decline today is news that a further $2.6 billion will be invested in its Canadian potash project, Jansen. Several shareholders are understood to have put pressure on BHP to delay or scrap the project in light of recent changes to the potash industry which dampens the outlook for the price.
Fellow FTSE 100 miner Glencore Xstrata (GLEN) falls 2.7% to 293.8p despite interim results hitting the top end of its lowered guidance. Pro forma revenue falls 2% to $121.4 billion; adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) is in line at $6 billion. Net debt was $34.8 billion as of 30 June. Glencore has written down the value of assets inherited from buying miner Xstrata by $7.7 billion. The stock is trading on nearly 17 times forecast earnings for the year which looks really expensive given macroeconomic uncertainties hanging over commodity prices.
Construction sector bellwether CRH (CRH) drops 5.47% to £13.48 after telling investors it expects challenging trading conditions in Europe for the remainder of 2013 and US infrastructure is also likely to lag in the second half. The FTSE 100 Irish building supplies company is now loss-making but maintains its dividend.
We discussed the risks presented by over-supplied North American markets in last month's review of the oil services sector and Wood (WG.) appears to have fallen foul of this trend. It slips 7.5% to 834.9p after guiding for weakness in its Canadian business this year and next year. The warning accompanies interim results which show group-wide earnings before interest tax and amortisation (EBITA) up 18.6% year-on-year to $243.2 million.
Shares in housebuilder Persimmon (PSN) slide 0.8% to £11.58 despite strong half-year results which saw pre-tax profit jump 40% to £135.3 million on the back of a 12% hike in revenues. Persimmon’s operating margin widened to 15.1% in the six months to 30 June compared to 12.1%. in the same period a year earlier.
Cineworld (CINE) may have to sell three sites to satisfy the Competition Commission's worries about December 2012's acquisition of Picturehouse making the enlarged cinema group too dominant in certain parts of the UK. The shares fall 2.4% to 394.75p. Investec reckons 2014 earnings per share could be cut by 1.5% if the three targeted regions must see either a Cineworld or Picturehouse unit sold.
There's no real surprises in John Menzies' (MNZS) half-year results, the shares slipping 1.4% to 748.5p. Aviation is good, distribution is weak. The former business arm is expanding geographically with ground/cargo handling acquisitions being made in Australia and Colombia.
Electronic kit supplier TT Electronics (TTG) again underlines plans for operating margins of between 8% and 10% by 2015, but has its work cut out. Equivalent figures for the half year drifted from 5.6% to 4.9% year-on-year as components sales were squeezed, knocking 3.2% off the shares to 182p. Investors have a 6.7% payout increase while Numis remains upbeat despite top slicing estimates, as does Shares, which flagged scope for a re-rating in June at 151.75p.
Marine services specialists James Fisher & Sons (FSJ) rises 5.1% to £10.49 after half-year pre-tax profit goes up 15% and the dividend lifted by 10%. We flagged the group's potential ahead of the results in last week's issue of Shares.
Healthcare provider in the United Arab Emirates, NMC Health (NMC) loses 0.9% to 326.9p as investors take profits following interim results. Pre-tax profits increase to $32.2 million, up from $27.5 million during the same period of 2012, while its revenues were 14% higher at $273.1 million. No interim dividend will be paid but management indicate shareholders will get something at the year-end.