Yesterday's rumours of a £1 billion Ocado (OCDO) takeover by Morrisons (MRW) have been firmly quashed by the food delivery group. Having issued a statement after last night's market close, investors were today selling Ocado, although not in their droves as the share price only dipped 0.5% to 167.3p.
After an initial dip, shares in fashion brands business French Connection (FCCN) nudged up 0.9% to 28.5p on news of the departure of long-serving finance director Roy Naismith. The numbers man has stepped down 'with effect from today' and whilst never a great sign, French Connection insists the turnaround initiatives he helped put in place are apparently 'beginning to show progress.'
Insurer Standard Life (SL.) fell 1.8% to 384.7p after financial director Jackie Hunt resigned to become chief executive of Prudential’s (PRU) UK & Europe division. The news moved Prudential up 0.82% to £11. She replaces Rob Devey, who steps down in October. Standard Life is searching for a replacement.
Insurance management software supplier Innovation Group (TIG) has won a £1 million a year contract with a leading, albeit unnamed, UK insurer. The seven-year deal is for Innovation Symbility, its claims scoping and supplier management interface. This surprisingly failed to move the shares, stubbornly flat at 25.5p, but expect many more contract wins down the line as Innovation leverages its mobile user interface tools.
After delaying its results earlier this week due to an accounting issue, the market has grimaced at full-year numbers from Snoozebox (ZZZ:AIM) which have finally been published today. Shares in the portable hotel group dropped 12.6% to 46.75p after reporting a pre-tax loss of £4.4 million. The accounting hiccup has cost finance director Chris Upton his job; and chief executive officer and founder Robert Breare is demoted to work on sales and business development.
The market didn't like a resource upgrade from miner Archipelago Resources (AR.:AIM), sending the shares down 1.6% to 47p. A 16% increase in gold resources can be seen as disappointing given a succession of high-quality exploration results over the past year which implied that the miner would have a sizeable uplift in the amount of metal at its Toka Tindung project in Indonesia. The overall grade has dropped yet there is a 34% increase in the high-grade Batupangah section.
New World Oil & Gas (NEW:AIM) crashed 28.1% to 1.02p after abandoning its Rio Bravo well in Belize. It has deemed the well non-commercial.
Bombed-out Flying Brands (FBDU), the former multi-channel home shopping specialist which sold all its brands last year, edged up 4% to 3.62p on full-year results. Having disposed of its garden, gifts and entertainment brands, investors are hoping it can maximise the value of its last remaining asset, its 'Retreat Farm' freehold property in Jersey.
Hosted telecoms service microcap Coms (COMS:AIM) wowed the market after unveiling a £15 million, two-year broadband kit deal win. That's a staggering victory for a company previously valued at just £2.7 million and with less than £3 million of sales last year. The news saw the shares spike 87% to 1.45p, but beware, this could be a one-client wonder.
Innovation process management microcap Imaginatik (IMTK:AIM) spooked investors with a shock fund raising just a few months after warning that it was mulling a delisting. The £1.26 million of new funds have been supported by management, but had to be pitched at a massive 67% discount to pull it off. That slashed the share price by 42% to 0.11p, prompting questions over management tactics over a possible attempt to buyout the company on the cheap.