British engineering giant Rolls-Royce (RR.) jumps 6.7% to £10.78 after earnings guidance for this year and 2015 isn't as bad as feared. It has confirmed plans for a £1 billion share buyback following the sale of its energy business; that move should boost 2015 earnings per share by 5%. The engineer also says no material acquisitions are planned, thereby removing market concerns that it would stump up nearly £8 billion for Finnish marine engineer Wartsila in a potentially dilutive move.
Analysts at Investec upgrade forecasts by 9% for transport group Go-Ahead (GOG) after a better-than-expected turn in its rail business. The trading update also reveals growth in Go-Ahead's bus business, albeit higher costs of having to travel more miles due to contract wins. The shares rise 3% to £22.43.
Elsewhere in the transport space, Stagecoach (SGC) accelerates 1.4% to 372.6p on news that its joint venture, Virgin Rail Group, has agreed a new West Coast rail franchise with the Department for Transport (DfT) which will commence on 22 June 2014 and run until 31 March 2017. The DfT has the option to extend the contract by an additional year to 31 March 2018.
After the equity fall-out from its failure to move from AIM to London's Main Market, insurance services provider Quindell (QPP:AIM) is back in favour with a bullish trading update and board changes. Founder Rob Terry is relinquishing complete control of the business so that's he just chairman going forward. Services division boss Robert Fielding is appointed chief executive officer. The shares rise 5% to 18.63p.
Running Shares Play of the Week, leisure group PPHE Hotel (PPH), nudges ahead 0.3% to 395p after getting planning permission and £80 million funding to turn an office block (bought last year) into a 438-room hotel in London's Waterloo.
Recent Aim debutante MySale (MYSL:AIM) is marked 2.38p higher to 203.38p on news Mike Ashley's Sports Direct (SPD) has taken a 4.8% strategic stake in the Australian online retailer. The flash sales site operator, whose backers include retail titan Sir Philip Green, flags potential to work with the sports retailing powerhouse on opportunities in Australasia and Asia.
European electrical goods retailer Darty (DRTY) sparks up 2% to 89.75p as results for the year to April demonstrate its 'Nouvelle Confiance' turnaround plan is working. Darty delivered better-than-expected adjusted pre-tax profit of €60 million, up 6% year-on-year, while like-for-like sales were in positive territory amid market share gains in France and Belgium. Read our news analysis here.
Secondary property investor Palace Capital (PCA:AIM) leaps 14.9% to 307.5p on declaring a 2.5p dividend for the second half of the year, conditional on shareholder approval. This follows a transformative year for Palace in which net asset value (NAV) grew more than 50 % to 356p.
Clinical research specialist Venn Life Sciences (VENN:AIM) gains 4% to 19.2p as its Innovenn division secures a skin science patent for an anti-acne treatment. The company is also holding commercial talks with skin testing speciality Labskin.