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News & Tips: Anglo American, William Hill, Carpetright, PZ Cussons, Bumi, Chemring, Petra Diamonds, Aminex, Firestone Diamonds & more

Today's market overview

Once again equities are ticking higher and The Trader Dominic Picarda, whilst wary of the signs that markets are overbought, sees no immediate end to the fun.

IC TIP UPDATES:

Sell recommendation Anglo American (AAL) has updated on costs of its Minas-Rio iron ore project in Brazil which will require a further $4bn impairment charge in its accounts after delays in the project caused costs to soar. First production is expected at the end of 2014 and total capital expenditure on the project is likely to hit $8.8bn.

Bookie William Hill (WMH) has continued to enjoy strong trading with revenues up by 12 per cent over the year to 1 January and operating profits 20 per cent better, driven by another year of strong progress in its online business. The company is also expecting progress in the coming months on its bid for Sportingbet (SBT) and its partner Playtech’s (PTEC) share of the William Hill Online joint venture. We keep our buy.

The weak consumer environment in the UK and Europe continues to dog sell recommendation Carpetright (CPR). Trading in the UK appears to have stabilised, with like for like revenues up 3.2 per cent in the 13 weeks to 26 January, but sales in Europe shrank by 11.5 per cent on a like for like basis, with the Netherlands a particularly tough market.

Half year results from PZ Cussons (PZC) showed flat revenues of £414.8m but a 10 per cent hike in pre-tax profits to £44.1m as improved trading in Asia and Australasia helped to offset continued tough conditions in Africa, and Nigeria in particular. Our recommendation is under review.

Maple Energy (MPLE) has announced its intention to raise £9m from investors at 60.5p a share after strong demand from both the UK and Peru, where its ethanol project is up and running. We keep our buy rating.

Hyder Consulting (HYC) says that trading is in line with expectations and that, with acquisitions bedding down, management is confident of meeting full year forecasts.

KEY STORIES:

Coal miner Bumi (BUMI) has announced yet more changes to its management team with Eko Budianto replacing Rosan Roeslani as president of subsidiary business Berau Coal Energy. Former Anglo American man Tony Redman has also been appointed as a consultant technical adviser.

Aquarius Platinum (AQP) has posted improved quarterly figures with attributable production up by 2 per cent, average prices up by 5 per cent and cash costs of production down at both its Kroondal and Mimosa mines.

Chemring (CHG) has been awarded a $28.5m contract as part of its long term agreement to supply chemical detection equipment to the US army.

British Land (BLND) continues to perform resiliently in tough market conditions with UK occupancy of 97.7 per cent in the three months to December.

OTHER COMPANY NEWS:

Petra Diamonds (PDL) grew production by 31 per cent in the six months to September but now expects to undershoot its full year 2013 production guidance of 2.85m carats by around 7 per cent due to some labour issues and other production stoppages. The longer term aim of 5m carats of annual production by 2019 remains intact.

East African oil and gas play Aminex (AEX) has extended the deadline for bids for the farm out of its Ruvuma gas discovery offshore Tanzania on the request of a number of bidders who are considering the project.

Firestone Diamonds (FDI) shares are down a little on concerns regarding a police raid on its mine site in Liqhobong, Lesotho during which police removed computer equipment without a warrant.

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By Graeme Davies,
29 January 2013

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