Today's market overview
Equities are pausing for breath a little today, which The Trader Dominic Picarda says is required before the markets continue their rally.
IC TIP UPDATES:
Supermarket Morrisons (MRW) has issued disappointing trading figures for the Christmas period with total sales down by 0.6 per cent excluding fuel, and like for like sales down by 2.5 per cent on the same basis. The company said it expects difficult conditions to persist throughout 2013. Our recommendation is under review.
Industrial property specialist Hansteen (HSTN) has announced a series of deals in Europe. It has completed the acquisitions of a portfolio in Germany for €24.5m and a portfolio in the UK for £60m. The company has also sold €15.9m of property in Germany and agreed a new pre-let on a building in southern Germany. We maintain our buy.
The boardroom shenanigans continue at Indonesian coal miner Bumi (BUMI). Nat Rothschild, who originally founded the business as cash shell Vallar before doing a deal with Indonesia’s Bakrie family to inject their Bumi assets into the shell, has now requisitioned an extraordinary general meeting to remove 12 of the current 14 directors.
Serco (SRP) has been awarded an 18 month extension to its contract to run the Docklands Light Railway in London, worth £100m.
Interserve (IRV) is to acquire Wilbros Middle East, an Omani oil services company.
Pawnbroker H&T (HAT) says trading to the end of December was in line with expectations and the company now holds the biggest pledge book in the UK at north of £50m. As expected gold purchasing profits have fallen, but are showing signs of stabilising.
Balfour Beatty (BBY) has been awarded a £321m motorway upgrade contract for the M25 and its US operation Parsons Brinckerhoff has won a contract to build a power station in Delaware.
OTHER COMPANY NEWS:
Soft drinks maker Nichols (NICL) says it grew total sales by 9 per cent to £108m in the year to December, a strong performance against previous year comparatives of 18 per cent growth.
Trap Oil (TRAP) has announced its intention to acquire an additional 45 per cent interest in Licence p.1556, containing the Orchid discovery from Summit Petroleum.
Sound Oil’s (SOU) shares are soaring on the back of news that the Rapagnano gas field in Italy is showing flow rates and pressure in line with expectations which means first commercial production before the end of January.
Petroceltic International (PCI) says it expects production of 25,000-27,000 barrels of oil equivalent during 2013. The company also has plans for five exploration wells and five development wells during the year.
Oil exploration technology specialist Vialogy (VIY) has announced the filing of patents for its QuantumRD technology in nine different countries.
Coal of Africa (CZA) has signed an agreement with the Vitol Group of Companies for it to be the exclusive marketing agent for its coal output for the next eight years.
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