Investors are trying to sort the wheat from the chaff in early trade on Friday after a barrage of relatively hawkish Fedspeak yesterday weighed on markets. That comes on the back of a weak showing on Wall Street overnight, where both the Dow and S&P 500 ended the session around 1.4% down. In London, the FTSE 100 benchmark index drifts lower with little in the way of strong positive corporate news to provide support, barring the rally in mining stocks.
Analysts at RBC Capital Markets lower their price target on government contractor G4S (GFS), according to a report on Sharecast, sending shares 5% lower to 224p. The Canadian bank has cut earnings per share forecasts from 14.5p to 14.1p and lowered its price target from 230p to 210p citing sparse news on contract wins and high net debt.
But it’s not all bad for outsourcers. Sector peer Interserve (IRV) gains 2.9% to 549p on a third quarter update which highlights its equipment rental unit in the Middle East as a stand-out performer. Support services is also set to turn in a decent performance helped by strong margins while construction is weaker because of loss-making infrastructure contracts.
Among the bigger movers, struggling stamps, rare coins and antiques dealer Stanley Gibbons' (SGI:AIM) slump continues, the shares down another 9.6% to 98.5p on dire interims and the passing of the half-time dividend. CEO Michael Hall says the group's performance in the past twelve months has failed to achieve 'what were, in retrospect, premature and over-optimistic expectations from the investments of the past two years.'
North River Resources (NRRP:AIM) dives 15.8% to 0.08p after more delays to getting the mining licence and starting construction at its Namib lead/zinc project in Namibia. It has decided to undertake more drilling to prove up more ounces in the ground and support a longer mine life.
Tantalum miner Kennedy Ventures (KENV:AIM) continues a second day of healthy gains, up a further 8.9% to 7.75p as investors wake up to the cash generation potential of the business. We highlight the company’s cheap valuation in the new issue of Shares where it is a Play of the Week.
Property company Japan Residential (JRIC:AIM) leaps 32.2% to 72.2p after accepting a £152.6 million takeover from a fund controlled by private equity group Blackstone (BX:NYSE). The 72p a share deal is a 31.8% premium to Thursday’s closing price.