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News & Tips: Kier Group, WS Atkins, Ricardo, Huntsworth, BP, Glencore, Xstrata, Shaft Sinkers, CPP & more

Today's market overview

European equities are giving up more of their late summer gains following another sell off in the US overnight, but The Trader Dominic Picarda does not yet feel that they are oversold.

IC TIP UPDATES:

Kier Group ( KIE ) has said that trading is solid and, after winning £400m of contracts since 1 July, it expects to meet expectations for the year to June. It has already secured 98 per cent of its forecast construction revenues for the full year and 95 per cent of services sales. We keep our buy.

Meanwhile design and engineering consultancy WS Atkins ( ATK ) has reported half year results in line with expectations as revenues dipped by 3 per cent following the sale of its UK asset management arm last year. Underlying profits dipped by 5 per cent to £43.9m. The company admits the first half was ‘challenging’ in the US and Middle East but solid elsewhere and keeps full year expectations unchanged. Buy.

BBA Aviation ( BBA ) has continued to see softness in its markets with overall revenues down 3 per cent in the four months to October, but the company indicated that the rate of decline may be slowing.

Engineering consultancy Ricardo ( RCDO ) says order intake in the period since 1 July has been running 6 per cent higher than the same period last year and revenues are up by 8 per cent. We maintain our buy recommendation.

Student accommodation specialist Unite Group ( UTG ) says lettings are running at about 96 per cent of capacity and it expects rental growth to be 3 per cent for the year. We keep our buy rating.

Public relations specialist Huntsworth ( HNT ) has said that profits will be significantly ahead of last year, but will come in at the lower end of the range of expectations. Group revenues for the third quarter dipped by 3 per cent on a like for like basis.

Hill & Smith Holdings ( HILS ) has reported robust trading and a record order book in its utilities business. Buy.

KEY STORIES:

BP ( BP .) has reacted to press stories by admitting it is close to finalising a deal with the federal government in the US and the Securities and Exchange Commission with regards to claims in connection with the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Centrica ( CNA ) expects to deliver year on year earnings growth in line with expectations according to today’s trading statement.

Half year results from National Grid ( NG .) showed a 21 per cent hike in pre-tax profits to £1.15bn.

Qatar Investment Holding has confirmed its intention to vote in favour of the Glencore ( GLEN ) Xstrata ( XTA ) merger plan.

Ted Baker ( TED ) has seen ‘good performance across all channels’ of its business in the 13 weeks to 10 November, resulting in a 13 per cent hike in revenues.

Revenues at Invensys ( ISYS ) fell by 2 per cent in the opening half of the year, resulting in flat operating profits of £102m. The order book is down by 6 per cent but still remains formidable at £2.15bn.

OTHER COMPANY NEWS:

Shaft Sinkers ( SHFT ) has given more detail on a disappointing period of trading in which its operations in South Africa were disrupted by industrial action and its financial performance has been hit by the weakening rand, prompting today’s profit warning.

CPP Group ( CPP ) says it has come to an agreement with the Financial Services Authority over the size of fines it has to pay for previous poor practice. It will pay £10.5m over a phased period.

Snoozebox ( ZZZ ) has announced a successful £8.4m fundraising to develop its business of portable hotel accommodation.

Clean Air Power (CAP) has won a follow on order for its Genesis gas-injection diesel engines from a customer in Spain.

READ MORE...

Read today's press headlines and share tips.

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By Graeme Davies,
15 November 2012

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