News & Tips: Carillion, Afren, Polo Resources, Senior, Falkland Oil & Gas, Ophir Energy, IDOX, Xaar, Sound Oil, Sareum Holdings & more

Equities are steady today and The Trader Dominic Picarda reiterates his belief that stocks are preparing for another lurch upwards.


Carillion (CLLN) has been busy. A trading update today confirmed that conditions remain mixed and the company is expecting to record lower revenues than last year but ‘substantially’ higher reported profits. Furthermore, three new deals were announced today; the acquisition of 49 per cent of Canadian support services business Bouchier for £24m, a £525m highways maintenance deal in Canada and a £150m deal with Lancashire County Council. Buy.

Afren (AFR) has commenced the acquisition of seismic data in the Seychelles, the first oil and gas company to do so in an area which, it is estimated, could harbour up to 2.8bn barrels of oil. We keep our buy rating.

Simon Thompson recommendationPolo Resources (POL) is offering to take its stake in Signet Petroleum up to 50 per cent through an all-paper deal.

Engineer Senior (SNR) continues its recent strong track record with another solid trading statement. Buy.

Coach and bus operator Stagecoach (SGC) has expressed disappointment that the US Department of Justice and the Attorney General of New York have initiated legal proceedings against the company’s Twin America business. We maintain our buy for now.

Lupus Capital (LUP) has said that revenues to the end of November were up by 5.9 per cent and trading for the whole group remains in line with expectations. Buy.


Falkland Oil & Gas (FOGL) has commenced seismic data acquisition over a 4,000 square mile area following its disappointing 2012 drilling results.

Ophir Energy (OPHR) has reported that the three well appraisal project on the Jodari field offshore Tanzania, operated by BG, has proved successful, confirming 3.4 trillion cubic feet of gas in place.

Interim results from retailer SuperGroup (SGP) show a 16 per cent hike in revenues to £158.2m but a 31.5 per cent fall in pre-tax profits to £13.9m after accounting adjustments. Underlying profits rose by 12 per cent to £14.6m.

Imagination Technologies (IMG) results showed six months revenues up by 27 per cent and 10 per cent growth in adjusted profits. But the figures were overshadowed by the ongoing MIPS takeover saga after a further competing bid was lodged for Imagination’s target on Tuesday.

In tough trading conditions, Travis Perkins (TPK) is holding its own. In the first 11 months of the year revenues were up by 1.6 per cent, but like for like sales down by 1.8 per cent.

Software and services specialist IDOX (IDOX) enjoyed a strong year to October with revenues up by 50 per cent and adjusted profits 36 per cent better at £14.6m.

Xaar’s (XAR) printing technology is gaining traction after new product releases, resulting in sales running ahead of expectations in recent months which has led to 20 per cent revenue growth and profits which are now expected to beat expectations.


Stratex International (STI) has struck a deal to sell its 30 per cent interest in the Oksut gold project in Turkey for an initial $20m, with a further $20m in royalties.

Sound Oil (SOU) is selling its Indonesian subsidiary to Salamander Energy (SMDR) for up to $7.1m.

Shares in Sareum Holdings (SAR) are off sharply after the cancer drug development outfit admitted that it is unlikely to sign any collaboration or licensing deals within the previously envisaged time frame.


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