Today's market overview
Shares are down a little today after yesterday’s surprise surge ahead, and The Trader Dominic Picarda remains wary of another false start.
IC TIP UPDATES:
Shares in sell recommendation Lonmin (
) are down sharply after the company confirmed it has won shareholder support for its hugely dilutive share issue.
Enterprise Inns (
) has issued final results which show improving trends on several fronts but still paint a picture of a business struggling hard in tough economic times. Overall like for like net income fell by 1.2 per cent in the 12 months to September, an improvement from the 4.3 per cent shrinkage the previous year. Pre-tax profits dipped by £157m to £137m and debt remains daunting at £2.7bn. We are reviewing our sell recommendation on Enterprise.
Biotech Vectura’s (
) half year results show a fall in revenues from £21m to £17m against last year and profits of £900,000 compared with £2.6m, which illustrates the lumpy nature of milestone payments. But several product approvals in recent months mean products are on sale in key markets, which moves the company towards a self-sustainable model. Buy.
Big Yellow Group (
) has grown occupancy at its storage sites by 243,000 square feet, producing an 11.5 per cent uplift in revenue and 20 per cent growth in adjusted pre-tax profits to £13.9m. We keep our buy rating.
Health and safety specialist Halma (
) grew revenues by 6 per cent in the first half of the year with adjusted profits also up by 6 per cent to £60.8m. This record performance was driven by strong growth in Asia, Australasia and the US offsetting weakness in the UK and Europe. We maintain our buy recommendation.
Buy to let lender Paragon Group of Companies (
) produced profits of £95.5m in the year to September, up from £80.8m last year.
) investors have voted through proposals for its merger with Xstrata (
) and now await the results of shareholder votes from the diversified miner later today. With the Qatari investors now on side, the deal is expected to be waved through although the controversial retention payment scheme for Xstrata executives could well be blocked.
) has announced a strong set of results with profits up by 27.9 per cent in the year to September. The company is also more than doubling its dividend payout to 21.5p as part of a revision of its payout strategy.
Plastics technology specialist Carclo (
) has met expectations for the first half with profits of £1.9m coming in ahead of last year despite lower revenues.
British Land (
) has seen rents grow by 1.2 per cent on a like for like basis and profits by 3.8 per cent.
Utility group Telecom Plus (
) grew revenues by 30 per cent to £210m in the six months to September with profits up by 8.7 per cent to £12.1m.
OTHER COMPANY NEWS:
New World Oil & Gas (
), which we highlighted in our recent Drill Watch feature, has announced the presence of hydrocarbons at its project at Blue Creek #2 in Belize. Further tests are underway to establish whether this is actually a commercial discovery or not.
Sticking with South American explorers, Clontarf Energy (
) is popular with investors today after saying it is making progress on finding strategic partners for its interests in Peru.