Outsourcing group Serco (SRP) has agreed to repay £68.5 million following a government investigation into the electronic tagging contract scandal. Its shares are down 2.7% to 436.65p, marginally more than the drop earlier today when Serco said one-off costs related to the government review have risen from £27 million to £36 million.
The UK’s second largest drug company AstraZeneca (AZN) rises 2.7% to £36.56 on it buying Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY:NYSE) out of their diabetes alliance for an initial $2.7 billion. AstraZeneca is pinning its hopes of returning to growth by focusing on the global diabetes ‘epidemic’.
Oakley Capital Investments (OCL:AIM) advances nearly 5% to 183p on news that star money manager Neil Woodford will be joining from Invesco Perpetual next May. The legendary stock picker will set up his own asset management business with Peter Dubens' Oakley providing the infrastructure.
There's good news across the mobile payments space with eServGlobal's (ESG:AIM) full-year results swinging into the black and a deal with Mastercard sparking a 17% jump in the shares to 45p. Similarly catching investor interest is Earthport (EOPO:AIM), the international low-value remittances platform provider and running Shares Play of the Week at 24p. It jumps 16% to 28p after expanding an agreement with Bank of America Merrill Lynch to use its platform globally for the banking giant's international payments.
After previous disappointment with exploration in Serbia, positive news today helps Orogen Gold (ORE:AIM) to regain the market's interest. Its shares rise 3.4% to 0.3p after reporting high-grade gold assay results from the Deli Jovan prospect in Serbia and saying that drill results are due soon from its Mutsk property in Armenia. We took a closer look at the company's prospects in September; you can read that article here.
Drug delivery specialist SkyePharma (SKP) jumps 7.1% to 119.5p as the US regulator approves its Anoro Ellipta treatment for airflow obstructions in sufferers of conditions such as chronic bronchitis. SkyePharma could receive up to £3 million a year in royalties.
Property developer Terrace Hill (THG:AIM) rises 2.4% to £26.6p on securing planning permission to build a cinema, hotel and restaurant complex in Darlington. The £30 million project is scheduled to complete in late 2015.
United Carpets (UCG:AIM) soars 48% off a bombed-out base as half-time results to 30 September show the benefits of restructuring. The micro cap, the second biggest UK carpets and floor coverings chain behind Carpetright (CPR), reports a four-fold rise in pre-tax profit to £452,000 and flags a move into positive like-for-like sales since the half-year.
Property search website Rightmove (RMV) rises 1.7% to £25.57 despite Investec warning about the potential competitive threat from the ‘well funded’ Zoopla Property, slapping a ‘hold’ on the stock with a £25 price target.
Trinity Mirror (TNI) continues its strong run, up 4.2% to 192p as the market continues to latch onto the value opportunity it represents.
Mobile gaming supplier Probability (PBTY:AIM) tumbles nearly 15% to 40.5p as interim losses leap to £1.6 million. Worryingly, revenues also slide, from £4.5 million to £3.6 million.