With the FTSE 100 broadly flat at 7,526 points, Lloyds (LLOY) loses 1.75% at 66.2p as investors take profits off the table. This comes despite a better than expected 9% improvement in third quarter underlying profit before tax to £2.1bn, largely thanks to a fall in one-off costs and misconduct charges in the quarter.
Encouragingly, the mortgages-to-current account provider's capital generation guidance is also raised sharply, evidence that Lloyds is a considerably more profitable business than it was only a couple of years ago.
British American Tobacco (BATS) puffs 1.8% (86p) higher to £49.11 as the cigarettes giant flags a currency tailwind of 5.5% on earnings per share for the year and updates investors on the exciting growth prospects for its Next Generation Products (NGP).
Elsewhere, Antofagasta (ANTO) sheds 4.1% at 989p as investors focus on a fall in gold production for the first nine months of the year rather than better than expected costs guidance from the mining colossus.
Motor retailer Pendragon (PDG) gains 1.5p at 23.75p as CEO Trevor Finn and non-executive chairman Chris Chambers soothe sentiment following Monday’s major profit warning by buying shares; Finn has splashed out £445,000 to up his stake in Nottingham-headquartered Pendragon and Chambers has purchased £117,249 worth of shares in the wake of an earnings alert that sent sector names into reverse.
Photobooths, printing kiosks and laundry units operator Photo-Me International (PHTM) cheapens 3.8% to 164.75p, despite reporting a solid start to the year. Revenue for the first five months is up 11.2%, implying a slowing of top line growth against demanding prior year comparatives, while some investors may find the absence of upgrades disappointing.
Cyber-security software play Defenx (DFX:AIM) slumps 40% to 59p after warning it expects to report a full-year loss. The group’s revenue is dependent on the start of a small number of high value contracts but it now seems unlikely that these will come through in time for this year’s results.
Joining Defenx in the doghouse is Lombard Risk Management (LRM:AIM), which crashes 35% lower to 7p after pre-tax losses widen following a challenging first half. Revenue for the six months to the end of September fell by 16.4% to £12.7m due to a temporary drop in services revenues and some delays in contract signings. The size and quality of its pipeline is at an all-time high, yet Lombard has lots to do in the second half in order to meet full year forecasts.
Redde (REDD:AIM), the provider of mobility and legal services to motorists, improves 1.3% to 160.75p on news its positive start to the new financial year continues and trading profits are tracking ahead year-on-year.