Blue collar jobs specialist Staffline Recruitment (STAF:AIM) soars 16.3% to 898p after raising £16 million at a premium to yesterday's share price to help fund the 'significantly earnings enhancing' acquisition of Avanta, a company that helps long-time benefit claimants prepare to get back into work. Finncap upgrades its 2015 earnings per share forecast by 45% and raises its target price by 35% to £11.78. 'The acquisition of Avanta will propel Staffline from having a single contract in the UK government’s Work Programme to being the third-largest provider, with involvement in nine contracts. This puts the group in a much stronger position for bidding for future government contracts,' says Finncap analyst Guy Hewett.
After rising early on, European electricals specialist Dixons Retail (DXNS) dips 3.2% to 49.27p despite announcing its hotly-anticipated, recommended all-share merger of equals with Carphone Warehouse (CPW), off 1.9% at 321.65p. Further details can be found in this news analysis.
FTSE 100 explorer Tullow Oil (TLW) slides on a mixed Kenyan drilling update. The shares fall 2.4% to 862p as news that the Twiga-2 sidetrack appraisal well has confirmed an additional area for future development was overshadowed by an underwhelming result from the Ekunyuk-1 exploration well.
Fashion retailer French Connection (FCCN) falls 11.7% to 77.5p as news of weakness in the North American retail and wholesale businesses thwarts forecast upgrades. The FCUK brand owner's first quarter trading update is strong overall, with UK retail like-for-like sales up 5.6% aided by self-help measures and the UK/EU wholesale order book progressing.
A month after floating, formalwear tailoring provider Bagir (BAGR:AIM) collapses 68.5% to 20p on a severe profit warning, caused by a sharp drop in orders and a margin pressure from its biggest customer.
Heavy construction specialist Kier (KIE) jumps 4.6% to £17.21 as a trading update confirms that an improving environment, a strong cash position and ongoing benefits from the May Gurney acquisition mean the company remains on course to deliver results at least in line with expectations.
Marketing services group Communisis (CMS) dips 5.4% to 65.25p after saying that declining direct mail volumes mean job cuts are necessary at its Leeds facility, triggering a £1.5 million one-off charge to cover redundancy payments.
Pubs operator and brewer Marston's (MARS) rises 1.5% to 152.2p after a solid set of half-year results with underlying pre-tax profit up 9.4% to £29 million. Trading in the five weeks to 10 May sees like-for-like sales rise 4.1% in its main pubs estate.
Decontamination specialist Bioquell (BQE) falls 14.8% to 106.5p on expectations of a weak first half in its bio-contamination division, resulting in a £1 million pre-tax loss and hitting the group’s overall profits.
Shopping centre investor NewRiver Retail (NRR:AIM) improves 1.3% to 307.5p as its adjusted profits improves 80% to £9.2 million in the year to April. The real estate investment trust’s net asset value was held at 240p a share, leaving the dividend unchanged at 16p a share.