Indebted Hovis-to-Bisto maker Premier Foods (PFD) perked up 13% to 87p as rumours swirled surrounding a private equity bid significantly north of 130p a share. Shareholders include private equity group Warburg Pincus and hedge fund Paulson & Co.
A push on the retail sector by investment bank Nomura helped to lift Dixons Retail (DXNS) by 1.9% to 43.4p. The stock is a running Shares Play of the Week and today benefits from Nomura upgrading its rating to 'buy' with a 60p price target.
Recruiter Michael Page (MPI) nudged ahead 1.4% to 436.1p as the rate of decline in net fees has slowed quarter-on-quarter.
Rio Tinto (RIO) advanced 2.4% to £28.72 on a second quarter operations review. Year-on-year output increased across the board apart from copper and aluminium. Fellow big cap miner Glencore Xstrata (GLEN) nudged ahead 1.2% to 265.1p after starting the sales process for its Las Bambas copper mine in Peru, a key requirement for getting the merger between Glencore and Xstrata approved by the Chinese authorities. Completing the trio of FTSE 100 resource groups, steel producer Evraz (EVR) was flat at 91.8p after a trading update revealed no quarter-on-quarter growth in steel production in the three months to 30 June.
Insurance broker Brightside (BRT:AIM) advanced 2.9% to 27p, the level at which Markerstudy reveals it may table a takeover offer. We highlighted the stock's potential last week in Shares as a Play of the Week, read the story here.
Specialist healthcare company BTG (BTG) fell 0.4% to 393.1p after management halted production at its brachytherapy manufacturing plant in the US after receiving a warning letter from the Food & Drug Administration. The complaint is centred on process validations and data analysis at the plant and no estimate has been given on when management will re-open the site. An update from the company confirmed that trading for the year to April is in-line with expectations with revenues falling between £235 million to £245 million. Read our recent story on the group.
Shares in Dairy Crest (DCG) cheapened 1.7p to 494.5p on a first quarter trading update. Although the dairy foods firm traded in line with expectations in the three months to June, news that overall sales of its four key brands were 4% lower year-on-year unnerved investors. While Cathedral City and Clover sales increased against demanding comparatives, sales of Country Life Spreadable were flat and Country Life block butter sales were 'significantly lower'.
Small cap gold and nickel producer Mwana Africa (MWA:AIM) advanced 3.1% to 1.65p after revealing plans to get a bridging loan to fill a funding gap at its nickel operations.
A 2p per share placing will give Firestone Diamonds (FDI:AIM) $6 million for working capital at its Liqhobong diamond mine in Lesotho. That's at an unfortunate discount to yesterday's closing price of 2.63p, which explains today's 14.3% drop in the share price to 2.25p. Weighing down on the shares over the past year has been market concern over a much larger fund raise. It needs $167 million to build a bigger processing plant to capture the larger, more valuable diamonds in its project. Of this, $37 million-to-$57 million is expected to come through a share placing, as we discussed in more detail in this feature. That's a massive undertaking given its market cap is currently $18.5 million – but it is not impossible.
Oil services minnow Getech (GTC:AIM) has upped its guidance for profits for the year to 31 July for a second time, prompting a 12.3% advance in the share price to 73p. Read our analysis of the stock here.
Microcap Clear Leisure (CLP:AIM) jumped 14.8% to 3.88p after giving Thomas Cook (TCG) the exclusive booking rights in the main European markets to its Watamu Bay Resort hotel in Kenya. Read this article to understand why we do not like this stock.
Confirmation of a 'material uplift in pre-tax profit, in line with market expectations' saw aircraft operator Hangar 8 (HGR8) rise 3.6% to 185.5p. The November 2012 acquisition of International Jet Club has helped the group's heavy jet business.
Colombia-focused Baron Oil (BOIL:AIM) gushed up 15.9% to 1.28p after announcing a farm-out deal on its Nancy-Burdine-Maxime field. Under the terms of the agreement with private firm S&J Full Services, the company will surrender 50% of its interest in NBM in return for a $1 million and an additional $1 million in 10 monthly consecutive instalments.
Remaining in Colombia, AIM-quoted oil play Amerisur Resources (AMER:AIM) gained 4.4% to 47.75p after reporting excellent results from Platanillo-12, the eighth well of the current drilling programme on its Platanillo development. Total output from the field has reached 8,500 barrels of oil per day. Read our recent story on the stock.