News & Tips: Oxford Instruments, Paragon Group of Companies, API Group, Reckitt Benckiser, Mwana Africa, Crest Nicholson, Sirius Minerals & more

Yesterday’s strong showing by the equity markets has given The Trader Dominic Picarda confidence that there is more to come.


Oxford Instruments (OXIG) has reported continued good trading conditions in its Nanotechnology tools business but ongoing softness in the Industrial products sector. The company says it is on track to meet expectations. Our recommendation is under review after a strong run for its shares.

Buy to let lending specialist Paragon Group of Companies (PAG) has announced plans to raise funds via a retail bond dated 2020, paying a yield of 6 per cent. We keep our buy on the shares.

Shares in API Group (API) have taken a battering after the company said it had terminated takeover talks and also issued a profit warning. Our recommendation, which was predicated on takeover talks being successful, is now under review.

Mwana Africa (MWA) reports that commissioning has commenced at its Trojan Nickel mine in Zimbabwe and first production is now expected in the second quarter of the year. We keep our buy rating.

Resources royalties play Anglo Pacific (APF) saw its royalty entitlements for 2012 more than halve after production problems at one of its investee companies. Nonetheless the full year dividend is increased by 4.6 per cent to 10.2p. Buy.

Health and hygiene products giant Reckitt Benckiser (RB.) grew like for like sales by 5 per cent in 2012, ahead of its wider market. Gross margins also improved, leading to an 8 per rise in net income. Our sell recommendation is under review.

Another sell recommendation, West Africa Minerals (WAFM) says that early stage gravity surveys on its acreage in south-eastern Cameroon indicate ‘large scale’ anomalies.

Oil well head technology specialist Plexus Holdings (POS) has announced a £1.5m extension to a contract with Maersk Oil North Sea. Buy.

Speedy Hire (SDY) reports that revenues after the first nine months of the year were ahead by 2.2 per cent in the UK and Ireland and 63 per cent in its international markets. We keep our buy recommendation.


Housebuilder Crest Nicholson (CRST) has confirmed that its Initial Public Offering will be priced at 220p a share, which should raise £224.9m for the company and existing shareholders, and value the business at £553m.

Tullow Oil (TLW) reports that full year production averaged 79,200 barrels of oil per day (bopd), in line with the previous year, after the enforced shut down of some non-operated interests during December. Guidance for 2013 is for production to rise to 86,000 to 92,000 bopd. Profit rose by just 4 per cent after the $700m gain from the farm-down of interests in Uganda was partially offset by exploration cost write offs.

SOCO International (SIA) reported 2012 production of 14,757 barrels of oil per day, up 170 per cent on the previous year. January production rose to 18,825 bopd.


North Yorkshire potash project developer Sirius Minerals (SXX) has seen its shares hit today after the company pushed back the completion date for its definitive feasibility study to the fourth quarter of this year. It also announced the departure of its development director Alan Watling, who will be replaced by an as-yet unnamed executive from a ‘leading global engineering and project management firm’.


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