There's big news for the train operators as one of the big London franchises is won by Go-Ahead (GOG), sending its shares up 8.9% to £21.12. It has pinched the expanded Thameslink network from FirstGroup (FGP), down 0.5% to 134.1p. Investec calls it a 'major coup' for Go-Ahead, saying it gives certainty over rail earnings for a number of years and raises the chance of a dividend hike in the future. It raises the price target for the winner from £23 to £26.30.
Insurance and holidays provider for the over-50s Saga (SAGA) rises 0.3% to 185.5p as conditional dealing kick off in the latest company to debut in London. The float was priced at the bottom of its revised range, most likely because institutional investors weren't prepared to pay a premium rating desired by Saga which wants to be seen a retailer rather than insurer (which ultimately trade on lower ratings). We analysed this situation in more detail in a recent article.
Prospective unconventional oil and gas play Rose Petroleum (ROSE:AIM) is soaring, up 74.9% to 1.62p, as it publishes a reserve report and economic analysis of its newly acquired acreage in Utah and finnCap initiates with 5p price target. We take a closer look at the news here.
Oil explorer Mediterranean Oil & Gas (MOG:AIM) gushes up 17.3% to 6.6p as rival Rockhopper (RKH:AIM) makes a recommended cash and shares offer for the company worth up to £45.3 million. Rockhopper, which itself ticks up 0.1% at 94.6p, is paying 6.5p a share up front with a contingent payment of 3.5p dependent on the success of an exploration well targeting the Hagar Qim prospect offshore Malta.
Struggling online services procurement portal Blur (BLUR:AIM) gets its full-year numbers out at last, which are roughly in line with heavily downgraded expectations after its bookings bombshell. But a deeply discounted $20 million (£12 million) cash call sees the shares collapse again, falling 20% to 84.5p, almost back to the 78p October 2012 IPO price. The stock was trading at 792.5p in January.
Engineering conglomerate Smiths (SMIN) is down 0.8% to £13.04 as it recovers from an early fall of 4% in response to its latest profit warning. The culprit is its detection division, a maker of sensors to detect explosives, chemical agents and biohazards, which is expected to see full-year profits £25 million below expectations thanks to working capital requirements, a £9 million hit from lower volumes and lower margin work and £4 million of additional costs associated with long running contracts.
EasyJet (EZJ) founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou is bringing his hotels business to the stockmarket. A £60 million fund raise will accompany admission to Aim for EasyHotel, giving a pot of money to acquire and develop new hotels. The business presently has two freehold sites and 17 franchised hotels.
Insurance claims outsourcer Quindell (QPP:AIM) unveils its long-mooted share consolidation plans, though it does little for the battered share price, down 0.25p to 19.5p. The company wants investors to support a 15-for-1 stock fusion as it lines up a main market switch and likely FTSE 250 entrance.
A three-year contract for its auto reporting software with Royal Dutch Shell (RSDB) sparks a 6.2% share price jump to 60p for Arria NLG (NLG:AIM). We flagged a likely share price plunge from 200p levels in December.
Men's formal wear specialist Moss Bros (MOSB) is marked down 2.5p to 120p despite delivering a solid trading statement. Trading improved over the year's opening 16 weeks to 17 May, though subdued hire sales detract from strong 8.5% like-for-like growth in the retail business, driven by e-commerce gains and store refurbishments.