The prospect of a large cash payout to shareholders has ignited broadcaster ITV (ITV), up 4.7% to 135.5p. The stock got a push from analysts at Liberum Capital who upgraded their fair value target from 155p to 200p. Liberum reckons ITV could return £1.3 billion of cash to shareholders over three years, equal to a quarter of its market cap.
Printing technology specialist Xaar (XAR) looks ripe for promotion to the FTSE 250 after a stunning 23% jump to 785p. That's how much the market likes the £590 million's cap's 50% sales hike steer for this year, thanks to rampant ceramic tile demand.
The consortium trying to buy water supplier Severn Trent (SVT) is getting ready to walk after its £22 per share offer was again thrown back in its face. The shares fell 5.8% to £19.50, implying that the market is taking the buyout scare seriously.
The market liked a trading update from pubs operator Punch Taverns (PUB), lifting the shares by 5.9% to 13.5p. It has announced a new debt plan that cuts cash interest payments.
A decent set of full-year numbers pushed up Latchways (LTC) 0.7% to £10.45. The dividend's been lifted by 10% and net cash has moved up 25% to £10.5 million. The safety products supplier is remarkably upbeat given the weak global construction sector, one of its key end markets, and says its order book is 'considerably ahead' of the same period last year.
Flyers-to-business cards producer Printing.com (PDC:AIM) dropped 4.3% to 19.38p after alarm bells rang about its future dividend payments. It has revealed a new policy for future dividends that requires any payouts to be covered by earnings. Today's results have shareholders receiving dividends that are greater than the earnings generated in the financial year. The 2.55p payout equates to a 13.2% dividend yield. Under the new policy, the maximum it would pay would be 1.69p which is the earnings per share (EPS), putting the dividend on 8.7%. Even then, we wouldn't expect Printing.com to pay out its entire EPS so the market must clearly be braced for a significant cut in the dividend at its next set of results.
Mobile specialist Globo (GBO:AIM) has unveiled 130% more subscribers to its business platform GO!Enterprise, and 30% more consumer users. But the shares fell 2.7% to 45p, partly on lack of financial detail, but largely a result of profit taking after a 113% rally since the start of 2013. Read Shares' January feature on the stock.
Horticulture products producer William Sinclair (SNCL:AIM) has dropped 6% to 122.5p after cutting its interim dividend. Investors were also unimpressed by yet another profits warning triggering a chunky forecast downgrade, as we discuss in detail here.
Falkland Islands (FKL:AIM) advanced 2.8% to 328p after delivering a robust set of full-year results. The dividend, cash, revenue and profits are all growing. Click here to read Shares' analysis of the longer-term story.
There's some interesting developments for new stockmarket listings. Al Noor Hospitals has announced the price range for its forthcoming flotation on the main market in London at between 525p and 725p. That values the company at between $950 million and $1.26 billion. Al Noor is the largest integrated private healthcare service provider in Abu Dhabi.
The junior market is set to get another constituent as Keywords Studios prepares to join Aim. The profitable business specialises in technical services to the global video games industry.
Gemfields (GEM:AIM) dipped 6.7% to 22.5p after abandoning plans to hold an emerald and beryl auction in Singapore this week. It still needs clarification from the Zambian mining authorities over whether it can sell goods outside the African country following proposed export restrictions earlier this year.
Oil services firm Amec (AMEC) ticked up 0.05% to £10.00 after agreeing a £110 million extension to its contract for managing the central North Sea operations of BG (BG.).
Agribusiness Zambeef Products (ZAM:AIM) was flat at 52.5p despite a 20% rise in sales to $153.4 million for the six months to March. Pre-tax profits fell 7% to $8.4 million on a combination of higher costs and foreign exchange losses caused by depreciation of the Zambian Kwacha against the dollar.
Theme parks queuing kit specialist Lo-Q (LOQ:AIM) continues to defy gravity, up 2% to 624p, after sealing yet another new contract. This win will see its Q-band kit installed at Wet 'n' Wild parks in Las Vegas and Phoenix.
Troubled low-cost African carrier Fastjet (FJET) rose 5.8% to 1.28p after terminating its convertible securities deal with US financiers Bergen Global Opportunity Fund. Chairman David Lenigas said Fastjet was terminating the arrangements because they did not represent the best value for the company.
Publishing microcap Vitesse Media (VIS:AIM) rose 18.8% to 2.4p on news that the company’s turnaround plan is beginning to gain traction. Tough decisions to discontinue certain products has meant a ‘significant’ like-for-like improvement in the bottom line has been seen in the first quarter of 2013.