Today's market overview
Equities are through the 6,200 barrier in early trading and The Trader Dominic Picarda notes that the number of shorts being placed on the FTSE100 is rising, but he doesn’t feel it is time to throw in the towel yet.
IC TIP UPDATES:
Tip of the year Henry Boot (BHY) has issued an in-line trading statement which says revenues for the year to December are expected to be in the region of £100m and the company’s property portfolio valuation is expected to be in line with the figure published at the half year. Buy.
Fellow tip of the year Invensys (ISYS) says trading remained at a steady level in the most recent quarter and that its disposal of the Invensys Rail business remains on track for completion in the second quarter. We keep our buy rating.
Roger Whiteside, the chief executive of sell recommendation Punch Taverns (PUB), has announced his intention to resign at the end of the month to take up the reins at Greggs (GRG). Punch chairman Stephen Billingham becomes executive chairman and Neil Griffiths is appointed chief operating officer, so no chief executive will be appointed for now.
EasyJet (ESJ) grew total revenues by 9.2 per cent in the first quarter and expects first half losses of between £50m and £75m, down from £112m last year. Our recommendation is under review.
Pubs and brewing group Fuller Smith & Turner (FSTA) saw like for like sales grow by 4.5 per cent in the nine weeks to 19 January, which takes like for like sales for the first 42 weeks of the year to 2.6 per cent. Buy.
Chemring (CHG) has announced a 2 per cent rise in revenues for the year to December but a 78 per cent slide in pre-tax profits to £18.8m as margins came under pressure.
Balfour Beatty (BBY) has formed a joint venture in Australia to bid for highways contracts.
Carphone Warehouse (CPW) grew revenues in the CPW Europe business by 7.8 per cent on a like for like basis in the third quarter as strong growth in the UK, up 16 per cent, was partially offset by its European operations.
AG Barr (BAG) enjoyed strong sales in the final quarter of the year which means full year revenues are likely to be in the region of £253m, up 7 per cent on the previous year.
London Stock Exchange’s (LSE) business performed well in the most recent quarter with total income up 6 per cent on the previous year, which means income for the first nine months of the year is 9 per cent ahead at £632.5m.
Shares in EMIS Group (EMIS) have slipped back this morning after the company said that lower than expected revenues from its Australian business would mean profits coming in below forecasts.
OTHER COMPANY NEWS:
Providence Resources (PVR) says that initial surveying of its licences in the Rathlin Basin offshore Northern Ireland has identified five potential prospects for further investigation and thrown up the figure of 530m barrels of oil as a very early estimate.
Sound Oil (SOU) has received confirmation that Manxdale Holdings has offloaded a stake in the business to Henderson Global Investors which finally completes the placing process begun last July. The company will now have £8.5m in the bank with no debt. The company will go ahead with an open offer to shareholders to raise another £1m at 8.073p a share.
Amerisur Resources (AMER) says its latest well on the Plantanillo prospect is producing 1,550 barrels of oil per day (bopd) and the field as a whole is producing 4,600 barrels of oil a day. This could be as high as 5,400 bopd if pipeline and infrastructure constraints were sorted out.
Fuel cell technology developer AFC Energy (AFC) has achieved a milestone with its electrode development by extending fuel cell electrode life to six months of continuous operation, well ahead of the three months required for initial industrial applications.
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