East African oil explorer Ophir Energy (OPHR) soars 16.1% to 382p as investors welcome a long-awaited farm-out deal for a number of its blocks offshore Tanzania. The agreement sees Singapore-based liquefied natural gas (LNG) firm Pavilion Energy take a 20% interest in Tanzanian Blocks 1, 3 and 4 for a maximum consideration of $1.3 billion. VSA Capital analyst Dougie Youngson comments: 'This is very positive news for Ophir as the company has been taking about farming down assets for over a year. Ophir is now very well funded for its future exploration programme and has now proven it can identify and complete a transaction.'
A contract scandal is starting to affect Serco's (SRP) ability to pick up public sector work, contributing to a negative trading update. The shares fall 6.1% to 473.2p as analysts impose large earnings downgrades. We look at the situation in more detail here.
Half-year sales delays see profits crash at high-tech connectors designer Volex (VLX). With borrowings soaring and forecasts slashed across the board, the shares collapse 25% to 88p. Read our thoughts on the news here.
Burberry (BRBY) has managed to increase half-year pre-tax profit from £112 million to £159 million. Net cash is down from £237 million to £208 million. The dividend is up 10% to 8.8p. It's a decent enough performance to please investors as the shares rise 1.9% to £14.89.
Beverage can maker Rexam (REX) is being crushed by the market, down 2.5% at 505p, as it warns of challenges in the European and North American markets in 2014. This overshadowed an otherwise in-line trading update from the company which produces cans for the likes of Coca-Cola (KO:NYSE), Red Bull and Carlsberg (CARL:CPH). We sat down for an in depth chat with Rexam chief executive officer Graham Chipchase last month. Read that article here.
FTSE 100 insurer Prudential (PRU) rises 2.5% to £12.74 on strong third quarter figures. New business in Asia improved by a fifth year-on-year to £990 million, while its US profits were 11% higher at £756 million. The group’s funds under management increased 11% during the period to £301.9 billion.
Marine, aviation, property and vehicle insurer Amlin (AML) improves 4.1% to 449.6p on a positive outlook for 2014 thanks to its diversified portfolio. The group has suffered no major catastrophe losses this year, although it takes a £25.7 million hit from Europe’s floods. It added £36.3 million of new business on the continent during the period.
Property adviser Savills (SVS) holds steady at 554.5p despite being on target to meet the upper end of its expectations for the year. A decline in Hong Kong transaction volumes since the second quarter was offset by strong European and US businesses as well as its property management and consultancy operations.
Sausage skin maker Devro (DVO) is burnt by weaker-than-anticipated sales in developed market. This forces the company to say it full-year results will now be towards the lower end of market expectations. That displeases investors and sees the share price fall 5.3% to 303p.
WH Smith (SMHW) is unmoved at 980p after saying like-for-like sales in the first 10 weeks of its new financial year were down 4%.
The market doesn't like the long list of tasks to achieve in order for mining services group Shaft Sinkers (SHFT) to hit its full-year profit target. The shares slump 15% to 17p as it says the business need to revise certain contract terms, sell come kit, improve performance at a Vedanta (VED) zinc project and start work on a new contract with Eurasian Natural Resources (ENRC).
Transport software specialist Tracsis (TRCS:AIM) rises 5p to 194.5p after unveiling a US rail infrastructure remote condition monitoring (RCM) pilot in the US, as hinted at by Shares on Twitter last week. With more than five-times the track miles of the UK, this could be a huge opportunity down the line.
Bathroom fit-out specialist Norcros (NXR) – which we highlighted last week – notches up 5.1% to 20.8p after reporting a 16.3% rise in revenues to £116.7 million in the six months to 30 September. The dividend is up 9.7%.