UK computer services and software reseller Softcat (SCT) is among the biggest risers across the FTSE All Share index in early trade on Tuesday after telling investors it will beat current forecasts.

The FTSE 250 firm said its full year adjusted operating profit would be well ahead of its prior expectations, helped by favourable market conditions. Shares in the near-£1.5bn business are running 5.5% higher in early deals at 750p.

Taking a massive battering today is financial trading firm TP ICAP (TCAP), which sees its chief executive John Phizackerley step down as the company issues a profits warning.

The firm’s stock price crashes more than 30% to 288.5p as the company tells investors to expect underlying operating profit to fall below analyst forecasts because of what it blames as Brexit-related costs.

Analysts had previously anticipated more than £300m of operating profit in 2018, up from £263m last year, although it remains to be seen where those estimates go from here.

The main UK markets are largely flat in early deals on Tuesday with investors clearly balancing corporate announcement with political shuffling at Downing Street. The FTSE 100 index nudges around 7 points lower to 7,680.70.

INVESTORS SHRUG-OFF OCADO LOSSES

Reversing early losses is online supermarket and technology company Ocado (OCDO) after it reported a 13.9% fall in first half core earnings and losses that reflect investment in what it hopes will be an exciting future.

The company lost £9m in the first half to 3 June, compared to a profit of £7.7m in the same period the previous year. But investors remain relaxed about the figures and increasingly upbeat on longer-run prospects, explaining the near-doubling of the share price since mid-May.

The shares are today 7.5p higher at £10.19.

Also firmly on the front foot is photo booths-to-laundry machines operator Photo-Me (PHTM), its shares rallying 4% to 113.8p. The company has today posted full year results showing increases in revenue pre-tax profits and a 20% hike in the annual dividend to 8.44p.

CAMBIAN HEALTHCARE BUSINESS TARGETED

The pace of mergers, acquisitions and takeovers shows no sign of slowing as British social care services firm Cambian (CMBN) receives a takeover proposal from rival CareTech (CTH:AIM) that would value Cambian at £405.2m.

The 220p per share cash and stock deal sparks a 33% jump in the target company’s share price to 196.78p.

Recruiter Robert Walters (RWA) on Tuesday posted a 16% rise in second quarter gross profit, boosted by growth in its international markets. The shares stay largely flat at 796.5p, although they have been on a steady run up from 430p or so levels over the over the past year.

Oil prices rose on Tuesday on escalating concerns over potential supply shortages, with Brent crude leading the way as hundreds of oil workers in Norway were set to strike later in the day

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Issue Date: 10 Jul 2018