Gold miners are having to take drastic action in response to the sharp fall in the precious metal price. Petropavlovsk (POG) has announced plans to cut costs across the business and preserve cash. The market initially welcomed the plan with the shares rising in early trade. This trend has since reversed with the stock down 2.1% at 135.1p.
Petropavlovsk has outlined several options including a potential delay to its new processing plant and concentrating on easier-to-process ore. It is desperately trying to find ways to pay down debt and avoid breaching its loan covenants, which has been the main cause behind a severe sell-off in the shares this year.
Ongoing weakness in the price of gold and copper was also the reason behind numerous miners occupying the biggest fallers in today's FTSE 350 performance table. African Barrick Gold (ABG) declined 4% to 181p; Kazakhmys (KAZ) retreated 3.2% to 342.4p; and Fresnillo (FRES) dipped 2.4% to £10.89.
UK chip champion ARM (ARM) has posted forecast-thumping royalties of $123.4 million, sparking a near 9% spike to 947p – close to their all-time high. Better still, strong licensing underpins future royalty revenues. Over 2.6 billion units were shipped in the three months, sparking $80.8 million revenues, with little sign of the mobile threat coming from Intel (INTC:NDQ) that many investors have been sweating over. We look at today's announcement in more detail here.
Foods-to-fashion giant Associated British Foods (ABF) advanced 5% to £19.42 on forecast upgrades following superb first-half results. Profits rose 25% to £452 million, with budget fashion chain Primark continuing to be the star of the show.
Maiden profit from AVEVA's (AVV) Enterprise Solutions arm bolstered the market mood over the CAD (Computer Aided Design) specialist despite a rather benign full-year update. Bumper workloads in China have offset a stuttering performance in Latin America, so a 5.6% rise today to £21.78 looks based on AVEVA's ability to leverage growth from its existing user base. Sanlam Securities flagged 'substantial upgrade opportunities from its existing PDMS customer base.'
Shares in Carpetright (CPR) were pulled 8p higher to 638p on a reasonably strong pre-close trading statement. For the 12 weeks to 20 April, the carpet and floor coverings retailer's UK sales increased 4.4% and by 5.6% on a like-for-like basis, boosted by the cold spring weather as well as self-help measures.
Yet another management change has been ordered at troubled miner Coal of Africa (CZA:AIM). Chief executive officer John Wallington is leaving by 'mutual agreement'. The shares dipped 1% to 12.5p.
Hovis-to-Bisto maker Premier Foods (PFD) put on 2.5p at 74p on a positive first quarter update. Investors digested a fifth consecutive quarter of growth behind its Grocery Power Brands over the three months to end-March, which generated growth of 3.5%.
A slap on the wrist should go to Cadogan Petroleum (CAD) and its adviser Cantor Fitzgerald. The resources group issued a stock market missive entitled 'Date of 2012 Annual Results Announcement'. What initially appeared to be a diary event was actually a major accounting warning, causing the shares to fall 13.9% to 13.13p. We are very surprised that Cadogan did not properly title the stock market announcement which reveals that the group will show a 'significant impairment to asset book value leading to a material loss for 2012'.
A $6 million increase in capital expenditure has dragged Frontier Mining (FML:AIM) down 7.5% to 2.78p. The Kazakhstan-based copper producer says the extra money is needed to expand its Benkala project.
Investors bid up the shares of electronic low-value payments processor Eckoh (ECK:AIM) over 3% to 15.25p in response to accelerating contract win momentum. The £32 million cap has lifted its client base from 39 to 50 over the last year. With net cash of £8.5 million, it has the financial firepower to make 2013 its best year to date.
African low-cost start-up carrier Fastjet (FJECT:AIM) rose 5.2% to 2.02p after the apparent resolution of a dispute with Fly540, the original owner of its fleet of aircraft. Fastjet, backed by EasyJet (EZJ) founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, announced that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Don Smith, chief executive of Five Forty Aviation Limited (trading in Kenya as Fly 540) which includes an agreement by both parties to stop legal proceedings in 'order that mutually beneficial and constructive resolutions are discussed and implemented'.
Aim newcomer Dekeloil (DKL:AIM), the operator and 51%-owner of a palm oil project in the Ivory Coast, danced 2.4% higher to 1.05p on a positive update. Installation of its Crude Palm Oil extraction mill in West Africa has begun and remains on schedule for completion by the end of this year.