In response to a warning issued after last night's market close, coal miner New World Resources (NWR) slumps 18.5% to 61.5p. The Czech Republic-based firm continues to suffer from falling coal prices and will now conduct a review of its capital structure. New World Resources also expects to see a significant decrease in its economically-mineable coal reserves which will have a major impact on its stock valuation.
Higher-than-expected restructuring costs are weighing on media group Pearson (PSON) which slips 7.9% to £11.95 after the firm again warns that operating profits will miss expectations. Read our thoughts on today's news.
Luton-based EasyJet (EZJ) slips 2.4% to £17.01 after the low-cost carrier’s first quarter update warns investors that first-half losses this year are likely to outstrip the £61 million shortfall reported in the same period a year earlier. Read our news analysis on today's announcement.
African oil explorer and running Play of the Week Sterling Energy (SEY:AIM) gushes up 20.2% to 50.5p after saying it will begin drilling thes Ntem concession offshore Cameroon next month. The block had been under force majeure as a result of overlapping border claims by Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea but this has now been lifted and Sterling and US partner Murphy Oil (MUR:NYSE) will move to drill the 450 million barrel of oil equivalent Bamboo prospect.
Countermeasures and munitions firm Chemring (CHG) advances 1.4% to 243.4p as investors give a cautious welcome to plans to sell off non-core assets and boost exposure to non-defence sectors. These were announced alongside results for the year to 31 October which showed a pre-tax loss of £50 million. Chief executive officer Mark Papworth told Shares he was 'a lot happier' than he was 12 months ago but warned markets remain 'difficult.'
Oil services firm Kentz (KENZ) gains 1.4% to 686.5p as it announces it will report double digit growth in earnings per share for 2013, in-line with expectations. The firm, which trades close to record levels, also reveals a 19% year-on-year build in its order book to $3.1 billion – a total which increases to $3.5 billion once contracted work at newly-acquired Valerus Field Solutions is included.
Soft drinks manufacturer A.G. Barr (BAG) sheds 0.5p to 609p despite serving up a reassuring year-end trading update. The IRN-BRU-to-Strathmore water maker reports 5.5% sales growth for the final quarter and anticipates better-than-expected 6.1% full-year revenue growth to £252 million. However investment in marketing and promotions 'capped further margin progress' in the final quarter, leaving analysts to stick with year-to-January profit forecasts.
Higher selling prices, further cost reduction and favourable foreign exchange rates help put a shine on International Ferro Metals (IFL). The ferrochrome producer says there's positive momentum in the business turnaround, a subject we recently analysed in Shares. Yet it suffers the same fate as Petra Diamonds (PDL) which also issues a positive trading update. Both stocks were up heavily yesterday and so there's big profit taking today. International Ferro drops 7.8% to 11.75p; Petra is down 5.3%.
There's positive read-across from United Rentals' (URI:NYSE) strong fourth quarter numbers to equipment hire group Ashtead (AHT) as they both operate in the same space. It implies robust demand for construction and housebuilding kit and prompts analysts to suggest further earnings upgrades could follow for Ashtead. The market has yet to react; Ashtead falls 1.6% to 801p.
Commodities and energy trading software supplier Brady (BRY:AIM) falls 6% to 72.12p despite ending 2013 on a new contracts high. Investors are less impressed by timing issues that see £29.3 million revenues miss £31 million expectations.
Services exchange platform business Blur (BLUR:AIM) takes a bigger pounding, down 12% to 630.5p, as the revenue shake-out of yesterday grips investors. The company flagged that higher value projects may take longer to implement, and the market is taking that as a veiled threat to future profits, although Shares takes a slightly different view.
Investors sit with bated breath as energy assets developer Rurelec (RUR:AIM) revealed late yesterday that its three-year Bolivian saga should be finally settled by next Friday (31 Jan). Investors are hoping for a big compensation payout after the company's assets were seized by the Bolivian government. The shares jumped 15% yesterday, although they've eased back 2% to 198.5p today.
Pre-clinical contract research specialist Cyprotex (CRX:AIM) plummets 18.1% to 10.1p despite news that its full-year profits will be ahead of expectations at £9.7 million. It will have to pay a £140,000 one-off cost for re-branding its US operations and has also taken a £1.5 million hit on the £3 million redeemable loan notes it issued in August due to its share price technicalities.