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Wednesday
Jan142015

 
Past performance is not necessarily a guide to the future, returns are before the application of Titan’s fees, tax legislation can change and you should always take independent advice in relation to your own financial circumstances.
Monday
Oct202014

Monday's Stock Market report featuring McBride, Shire, BBA Aviation, President Energy and Lok'n Store

The Markets

The latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders show that the UK mortgage market has plateaued. Gross lending fell by 1% in September to 17.8 billion pounds, but remained 10% higher than in the same period of 2012. Elsewhere, a report from the Bank of England showed declining confidence among house buyers, leading Howard Archer, Economist at IHS Global Insight, to comment, “the CML data and comments, and the Bank of England survey, do little to dilute belief that housing market activity has lost momentum compared to the early months of 2014. However, there is the possibility that the markedly increased likelihood that the Bank of England will not lift interest rates before mid-2015 will provide a near-term lift to housing market activity and perhaps prices as well”.

Elsewhere, businesses and consumers have faced delays in carrying out transactions after the Bank of England’s Clearing House Automated Payment System (CHAPS) suffered technical difficulties. CHAPS processes around 277 billion pounds worth of large transactions each day and the delay has also affected house buyers, with some completions being held up. Mark Hayward, Managing Director of the National Association of Estate Agents fears a “cascading effect” as “it is likely any payments will now be held up for a day or more as money takes time to transfer, which also means a delay for those hoping to move”.

At the London close the Dow Jones had decreased by 34.56 points to 16,345.85 and the Nasdaq had grown by 26.07 points to 3,841.54.

In London the FTSE 100 closed down by 43.22 points at 6,267.07 and the FTSE 250 shrank by 1.65 points to 14,755.97. The FTSE All-Share finished up by 18.44 points at 3,351.15 while the FTSE AIM Index rose by 3.31 points to 692.44.

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Broker Notes

Household products firm McBride (MCB) has kept its “sell” rating from Shore Capital, but the 80p target price has been placed under review after the company indicated that it had been trading solidly since 1st July and that it had returned to modest, currency constant, growth. While the broker views this as a positive move, Shore continues to view McBride as being dependant on factors outside of its control for success. The shares rose by 3.75p to 84p.

Westhouse Securities reiterated its “buy” rating for Genel Energy (GENL) after San Leon Energy and Serica Energy published positive drilling results from the Sidi Moussa block off the coast of Morocco, Genel is the operator of the block and holds a 60% working interest, placing it to benefit from any commercial hydrocarbon operations in the area. The shares fell by 23.5p to 690.5p.

Russian resources firm Trans-Siberian Gold (TSG) has been rated as a “buy” by Cantor Fitzgerald following an operational update detailing output from the Asacha gold mine. Gold production is 6.4% higher than the prior quarter, despite a drop in processing volumes caused by equipment maintenance, and the company believes that the gold grade will improve further in the rest of 2014 and 2015. The shares grew by 3.5p to 13.25p.

Trans-Siberian on track, say Cantor Fitzgerald

Blue Chips.

In a quiet day for the blue-chips, pharmaceutical firm Shire (SHP) announced that its Interim CFO James Bowling will be stepping down at the end of the first quarter of 2015 to take up the role of CFO at utilities giant Severn Trent. Shire will begin the search for a new CFO immediately. The departure follows the withdrawal of AbbVie’s takeover bid last week and the firm now faces questions about its future development. The shares dropped by 30p to 3,750p.

Bowling out at Shire

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Mid Caps

Merchant banking group Close Brothers (CBG) has sold its German securities business Close Brother Seydler Bank to Oddo & Sie for a cash consideration of €46 million (36.4 million pounds). The business generated profits after tax of 5 million pounds in the year ended 31st July and the group plans to reinvest the proceeds of the disposal in its core UK businesses. The shares declined by 6p to 1,341p.

Aircraft support services provider BBA Aviation (BBA) announced that it will purchase the fixed-base operator (FBO) assets of Wiggins Airways for $16.2 million (10.6 million pounds) subject to customary approvals, expanding the firm’s reach in the New England area. Wiggins holds an FBO lease for the Manchester-Boston airport for the next 19 years and the deal is expected to be earnings enhancing from the first full year of ownership. BBA shares rose by 6.3p to 329.2p.

BBA fuels up via US acquisition

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Small Caps

Shares in outsourcing and recruitment specialist Servoca (SVCA) surged by by 1.875p to 13.375p after the firm revealed that its results for the year ended 30th September will be significantly ahead of market expectations. This was helped by the group’s education division performing very strongly in September, with profitability also rising significantly in the firm’s healthcare segment. Full results will be published in early December.

Also rising strongly were shares in oil and gas explorer President Energy (PPC) which announced that it has made a conventional light oil discovery in the Paraguayan Chaco, the first ever oil find in the region. Management believe that it will be commercially operable and the firm will continue drilling to reach its original target depth. First production may be possible in 2015, contingent on further tests. President Energy closed up by 13p at 30p.

Emulsion fuels developer Quadrise Fuels (QFI) made no revenues during the year ended 30th June and the firm’s loss before tax deepened to 5.6 million pounds from 5 million pounds. The company is continuing to work towards a commercially viable proposition and expect to install a number of production units in refineries during 2015. Management retain a positive outlook. The shares decreased by 1.25p to 31.75p.

Exploration and production outfit UK Oil & Gas Investments (UKOG) has completed the purchase of Northern Petroleum’s (NOP) UK production licences for a total consideration of 1.5 million pounds. These include a number of positions in the Weald Basin and an offshore block west of the Isle of Wight, which produced an average 20 barrels of oil per day in 2013. Shares in UK Oil & Gas grew by 0.125p to 1p, while those in Northern Petroleum slipped by 0.75p to 13.5p.

Self storage services firm Lok’n Store Group (LOK) recorded revenues of 13.91 million pounds for the year ended 31st July, a 7.2% increase over the prior period as occupancy rose by 12.4% and unit prices grew 5.8%. Profits before tax fell to 0.36 million pounds due to impairments on development assets in the firm’s land bank. Management believe that sound fundamentals will allow Lok’n Store to continue growing. Broker finnCap has a 293p target on the shares, which increased by 14.5p to 216p.

Storage firm Lok’n in new customers

Friday
Oct172014

Friday's Stock Market report from UK-Analyst featuring BSkyB, Petrofac, Provident Financial, Young's and Chamberlin

The Markets

Andrew Haldane, Chief Economist of the Bank of England, has said that interest rates should remain low as weak global growth, low wage rises and political instabilities threaten to de-rail the UK recovery. While Mr. Haldane was positive on UK growth and the level of inflation, he stated that the fact productivity had not yet increased was a cause for concern. Sterling dropped by 0.5% against the dollar following the speech to local business leaders.

Eurostat has revised GDP figures for the Eurozone to bring its data in line with international standards, resulting in a 3.5% increase to the size of the Eurozone economy. While this may look favourable in terms of debt ratios, analysts warn that the underlying position and trends of the Euro economies have not changed. Elsewhere in the currency union, Bundesbank head Jens Weidmann said that a German stimulus programme would be unlikely to help peripheral countries and would not offer domestic benefits.

At the London close the Dow Jones had increased by 286.86 points to 16,404.10 and the Nasdaq had grown by 78.91 points to 3,844.19.

In London the FTSE 100 closed up by 114.38 points at 6,310.29 and the FTSE 250 grew by 277.53 points to 14,757.62. The FTSE All-Share increased by 58.55 points to 3,367.22 while the FTSE AIM Index rose by 12.60 points to 688.89.

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Broker Notes

Financial software provider First Derivatives (FDP) retained its “buy” rating from Panmure Gordon after announcing that it would turn a minority position in database vendor Kx Systems in to a majority stake. The broker describes the move as transformative, opening the business to a number of new verticals outside the financial industry, as well as strengthening First Derivatives’ existing offerings. The shares rose by 71.5p to 1,054p.

Industrial power specialists Rame Energy (RAME) has been rated a “buy” by Northland Capital after it signed a power purchase agreement for an off-grid mining operation in Chile. The deal offers high margins for Rame and enhanced stability and security for its clients, leading the broker to believe that there is scope for this side of the business to grow. The shares grew by 0.5p to 15.5p.

Beaufort Securities rates British Sky Broadcasting (BSY) as a “buy” with a target price of 848p after the firm published quarterly results yesterday. The broker said that the firm’s ability to attract new advertisers and customers was likely to translate into further gains as consumers and firms gained confidence in the market recovery. The shares fell by 2p to 848p.

Broker says buy SKY as more advertisers tune in

Blue Chips.

Total sales for the three months to 30th September at builders’ merchant Travis Perkins (TPK) were 6.9% higher than the same period of 2013, driven by strong improvements in the general and contract divisions. However, revenues from plumbing and heating fell by 3.2%. Management remain focused on expansion and improving the use of space at existing sites, with trial modernisations at selected branches performing well. The shares fell by 16p to 1,621p.

Savings and investment specialist Old Mutual (OML) has acquired Quilter Cheviot for a consideration of 585 million pounds. Old Mutual’s management believe that the acquisition synergises with existing wealth management operations and will allow the firm to expand in to the high net worth segment, while also enhancing shareholder value through Quilter Cheviot’s existing customer base of 38,000 clients, with 16.2 billion pounds under management. The shares rose by 5.1p to 174.6p.

Oil & gas facilities services firm Petrofac (PFC) is well on its way to meeting full year profit expectations of $580-600 million (361-373.5 million pounds) for the year ending 31st December as the firm has received record orders of $9.4 billion (5.85 billion pounds) over the year to date and the order backlog has grown to $21.2 billion (13.2 billion pounds), The share price increased by 72.5p to 1,060p.

Petrofac pumping revenues from growing order reservoir Satsuma growth helps

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Mid Caps

Credit company Provident Financial (PFG) is confident that it will deliver good quality growth for the full year as its Vanquis Bank subsidiary recorded a 32% year-on-year increase in average receivables for the 3rd quarter, with favourable levels of delinquency and annualised margins above 33%. Loan business Satsuma increased customer numbers from 11,000 to 14,000 over the quarter and the integration of the recently purchased Moneybarn business is proceeding well. The shares rose by 75p to 2,069p.

Satsuma growth helps Provident post positive results

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Small Caps

Losses before taxation at Africa focused minerals explorer Hummingbird Resources (HUM) deepened to $4.4 million (2.74 million pounds) for the year ended 31st May as the firm continued to generate no revenues as it adapted its strategy over the last year due to the Dugbe-1 project becoming uneconomical in the face of falling gold prices. The firm has acquired a new project in Mali and expects first production in 2016. The shares fell by 0.25p to 37p.

Online gambling services provider Netplay TV (NPT) had 22% more active, depositing players at the end of September than at the same point a year ago, but revenues for the quarter were slightly below those in the comparable period of 2013. The group’s high marketing expenditures have failed to attract as many users as had been hoped and management are working to move towards more cost effective, targeted strategies. The shares declined by 1.75p to 8.125p.

Wireless technology outfit Telit Communications (TCM) earned $205.2 million (127.4 million pounds) in revenues over the nine months ended 30th September, 20% higher than in the same period of 2013 as income from the firm’s “platform as a service” offerings almost tripled to $13.5 million (8.4 million pounds). Management expect full year results to meet expectations. The shares rose by 21.5p to 222.75p.

Foundry and engineering specialist Chamberlin (CMH) has won a contract to produce automobile parts that is worth €6.7 million (5.3 million pounds) over the next four years, with €1.6 million (1.27 million pounds) falling in the first year of the deal. The works will be carried out at Chamberlin’s Walsall light castings foundry. Results for the six months to 30th September will be published in November. The share price grew by 7.5p to 98.5p.

Marketing and PR firm Porta Communications (PTCM) has won a consumer and corporate communications contract for a major new London development at Silvertown, East London. The 62-acre site will be connected to Crossrail at the nearby Custom House station and one of Porta’s principal roles will be to attract international businesses to locate in the area, as well as technology companies and creative firms. The shares increased by 0.25p to 7.25p.

Brewer and hospitality operator Young’s & Co. (YNGA) has bought four pubs in prime London locations for 10.4 million pounds on a debt free basis. The pubs will be integrated into Young’s managed house estate and maintain premium selections and distinctive personalities. Management are confident that there is space for high-end pub offerings in the London market. The shares grew by 1.75p to 981.5p.

Young’s buys a round of new pubs

Thursday
Oct162014

Thursday's Stock Market report featuring Diageo, BSkyB, WH Smith, International Greetings and Fyffes

The Markets

In a supportive measure the European Central Bank has increased its valuation of Greek bank bonds as collateral after yields rose above 8% for the first time since February. The move allows banks to tap an additional €12 billion (9.57 billion pounds) of liquidity. Further pressure was added to the ECB this afternoon as Eurostat reported that inflation hit a five year low of 0.3% in September. ING Economist Martin van Vliet said that, “with the cushion against deflation getting smaller and smaller and economic growth in the Eurozone stagnating, pressure on the ECB to extend its purchase programmes by adding government bonds may become overwhelming over the next few months”.

The gap between theoretical UK tax receipts and the sum actually collected rose to 34 billion pounds in the year ended 30th April, from 33 billion pounds in the previous year. This represents 6.8% of the total tax take. HMRC blamed the increased deficit on tax evasion and people incorrectly filling out their tax returns. The majority of the gap comprised of income, national insurance and capital gains taxes, along with VAT.

At the London close the Dow Jones had decreased by 59.05 points to 16,082.69 and the Nasdaq had fallen by 33.46 points to 3,752.51.

In London the FTSE 100 closed down by 15.73 points at 6,195.91 and the FTSE 250 grew by 53.35 points to 14,480.09. The FTSE All-Share fell by 5.96 points to 3,308.09 while the FTSE AIM Index dropped by 4.93 points to 676.29.

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Broker Notes

Engine and automobile manufacturer Rolls Royce (RR) has been given a “neutral” rating and 1,040p target price by Westhouse Securities after Gulfstream announced that its latest business jet models would use P&W engines, ending Rolls Royce’s sole source status for large cabin Gulfstreams. This is the firm’s third lost campaign for large business jet engine selection in recent years. The shares grew by 8.5p to 938.2p.

Northland Capital view Nostra Terra Oil & Gas (NTOG) as a “buy” after the firm published an operational update revealing that a number of wells where the firm holds minority interests have been completed and are beginning to generate returns. The broker believes that meaningful cash flows will be received despite the relatively small positions held by Nostra Terra. The shares fell by 0.015p to 0.24p.

Shore Capital rates drinks giant Diageo (DGE) as a “hold” with a target price of 1,709p after the publication of below expectation results for the last quarter. The broker had hoped for a flat performance, but sales fell by 1.5% including an intentional de-stocking of the firm’s South East Asian business. Shore believes that market conditions are declining once more, but expects a stronger performance over the key Christmas period. The shares rose by 9p to 1,718.5p.

Booze sales worse than flat

Blue Chips.

Paper and packaging specialist Mondi (MNDI) earned operating profits of €174 million (139.1 million pounds) over the three months ended 30th September, 10% below the prior quarter and level with the same period of the prior year. Like-for-like sales volumes were steady, despite major maintenance shutdowns for the fine paper and container board production lines. The shares grew by 8.5p to 952p.

Distribution and outsourcing firm Bunzl (BNZL) has traded in line with expectations since it published its last results in August and today announced the acquisition of specialist Dutch distributer De Ridder Groep for an undisclosed consideration. Bunzl’s feel that the acquisition will strengthen the firm’s position in the Netherlands and is the 13th business that it has bought the year. The shares rose by 65p to 1,581p.

Entertainment provider British Sky Broadcasting (BSY) received revenues of 1.9 billion pounds over the three months ended 30th September, a 6% increase over its performance in the same period of 2013 as 76,000 new customers signed up to Sky services and Sky store sales doubled year on year. Profits before tax were 608 million pounds for the period, three times higher than last year’s comparative. The shares declined by 8.5p to 850p.

More viewers turn on and tune in to Sky, but investors dropping out?

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Mid Caps

Food wholesaler Booker Group (BOK) recorded revenues of 2.3 billion pounds over the 24 weeks ended 12th September, a 1.9% increase over the same period of 2013 due to greater online activity and good like-for-like growth in non-tobacco sales at Makro stores. Profits before taxation were 67.4 million pounds, slightly ahead of last year’s comparative figure of 65.1 million. The shares grew by 4p to 121.4p

Metrology and inspection equipment firm Renishaw (RSW) posted revenues of 101.4 million pounds, up by 28% from its performance last year after the firm experienced a 60% rise in sales for the Far East and 27% growth in its UK market. Profits before tax for the quarter to September were 21.3 million pounds, more than double last year’s 10.3 million pounds despite currency conditions lowering them by 3.3 million pounds. The share price increased by 16p to 1,564p.

Retail chain WH Smith (SMWH) made a pre-tax profit of 112 million pounds for the year ended 30th August, driven by improvements in travel store profits to 73 million pounds from 66 million in the prior year and a 160 basis point gross margin improvement. Total sales rose by 2% but declined 3% on a like-for-like basis as high street like-for-likes dropped 5%. Smith’s upped the total dividend for the year by 14% to 35p per share. The shares rose by 54.5p to 1,050p.

WH Smith’s travelling in a positive direction

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Small Caps

Life sciences technologies outfit Avacta (AVCT) made revenues of 3.18 million pounds in the year ended 31st July, an improvement on the 2.7 million pounds earned in the prior year caused by a 25% increase in sales of analytical services. Gross margins rose 800 basis points to 64%, but the loss before tax deepened from 1.85 million to 2.05 million pounds due to non-recurring administrative and financing costs. The shares rose by 0.035p to 0.76p.

Residential property developer Telford Homes (TEF) has completed over 500 open market sales since April, only slightly below total completions for the prior full year as consumer demand in the London area remains strong. Management are confident that the company is not trading in a bubble and believes that Telford’s more affordable locations and developments constitute a sustainable product. The shares fell by 10p to 352.5p.

Gift card and stationary specialist International Greetings (IGR) traded in line with expectations over the 6 months ended 30th September, with development work wrapping up at the firm’s new packaging plant in Wales and the successful integrating of the recently acquired Enper business into the company’s manufacturing operations. Full results for the period will be released in early December. The shares grew by 1p to 72p.

Animator DQ Entertainment (DQE) has announced a new co-production deal with Italian broadcaster Rai to make a new animated series for the international market. Production will start shortly for a 52 episode initial run that will be wholly animated by DQ. The terms have been agreed, but are not yet released to the market. Management believe that this could be the start of a major commercial partnership for the firm. The shares rose 0.625p to 10.125p.

Antique book dealer Scholium (SCHO) is trading ahead of last year’s performance in terms of own stock, with margins also improving. The firm has made a number of profitable sales in the period since 30th September and expects activity to accelerate over the next six months as the firm complete certain infrastructure developments and awareness of its products and premises increases. Shares in the firm, which listed on AIM in March this year, fell by 2p to 88.5p.

Fruit grower Fyffes (FFY) continues to favour a merger with peer Chiquita over today’s unsolicited takeover bid from Cutrale-Safra. Management believe that the value of the merged ChiquitaFyffes entity at $15.46- 20.01 per share (966p - 1250p) well exceeds the potential shareholder returns from Cutrale-Safra. The ChiquitaFyffes deal also has all regulatory approvals in place, whist the Cutrale-Safra offer would be contingent on their receipt. The shares fell by 0.88p to 78.25p.

Management think new offer for Fyffes is bananas

Wednesday
Oct152014

Wednesday's Stock Market report featuring Stratex, Shire, Balfour Beatty, Vertu Motors and Mortice 

The Markets

UK unemployment fell below 2 million for the first time since 2008 at the end of August, according to official figures from the Office for National Statistics. The decline exceeded analyst expectations and brought the unemployment rate below 6%. Concerns persist over the lack of wage growth but Samuel Tombs, Senior UK Economist at Capital Economics, said that, “with inflation set to ease further over the coming months and remain weak next year, pay growth will not need to accelerate much for households to see tangible increases in their spending power”.

US retail sales fell by 0.3% in September, the first decline since January and exceeding the market’s expectation for a 0.1% drop in purchasing. Producer price indices also dropped, meaning that the wholesale prices which manufacturers are receiving are also in decline. The news helped to trigger the largest intra-day drop on the Dow since June last year.

At the London close the Dow Jones had decreased by 270.20 points to 16,044.99 and the Nasdaq had fallen by 54.91 points to 3,755.31.

In London the FTSE 100 closed down by 181.04 points at 6,211.64 and the FTSE 250 fell by 243.02 points to 14,426.70. The FTSE All Share closed down by 88.41 points at 3,314.63 while the FTSE AIM Index shrank by 16.78 points to 681.22.

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Broker Notes

Distribution outfit Connect Group (CNCT) has been upgraded from a “hold” to a “buy” by N+1 Singer after the firm showed progress towards stable profitability in preliminary results for the last financial year. Lower effective tax rates have boosted earnings per share and current trading in the new period appears to be in line with expectations. The broker has moved to a more positive stance on the firm, despite it facing difficulties in the books division. The shares rose by 26p to 164p.

Mineral explorer Stratex International (STI) has been rated as a “buy” by Northland Capital after new tests showed high recovery yields for copper sulphides at the Muratdere site, where the final  feasibility study results are expected by the end of the year. Stratex holds a 39% stake in the asset. The shares rose by 0.07p to 2.18p.

Shore Capital has backed OPG Power Ventures (OPG) as a “buy” after the firm announced new agreements for the sale of power by its Chennai utilities subsidiary TANGEDCO. Generation capacities of 414MW, 215MW are now under contract, with additional agreements to directly supply industrial customers. The shares rose by 1p to 87p.

Shore feels positive charge from OPG

Blue Chips.

Pharmaceuticals firm Shire (SHP) has been notified that AbbVie may reconsider or withdraw its offer for the firm in light of a recent US Treasury notice. Shire’s management has not been provided detailed analysis of AbbVie’s tax position and continues to look favourably on the terms laid out in the recent co-operation agreement. Shire will announce third quarter results next week. The shares fell by 1,128p to 4,012p.

Engineering outfit Weir Group (WEIR) has purchased crushing and separating equipment business Trio for $220 million (138.2 million pounds). The acquisition is expected to provide synergies with Weir’s existing offerings for the mining industry and allow Weir to take advantage of Trio’s cost effective manufacturing facilities, while using its global reach to accelerate Trio’s growth. The shares dropped by 92p to 2,120p.

Natural resource extractor Rio Tinto (RIO) increased respective iron and copper production by 15% and 3% in the 3rd quarter relative to the same period of 2013. Production and sales of iron ore reached record levels, with sales exceeding output as inventories were run down. This higher output has allowed the firm to maintain good cashflows in the face of reduced market prices. The shares fell by 91p to 3,072.5p.

Rio Tinto digs deeper to overcome falling minerals prices

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Mid Caps

Infrastructure firm Balfour Beatty (BBY) has appointed Leo Quinn as CEO with effect from 1st January 2015. Mr Quinn has been Chief Executive at QinetiQ for the last five years and was CEO of De La Rue for the four years prior to that. Executive Chairman Steve Marshall said, “I am delighted to welcome Leo to Balfour Beatty. Leo is an outstanding individual with an excellent track record in improving the performance of major international businesses”. The shares rose by 7.8p to 156.5p.

Balfour Beatty has man at the wheel

Small Caps

Car trader Vertu Motors (VTU) posted revenues of 1.08 billion pounds for the six months ended 31st August, up by 29.5% over the same period of the last year. Profits before taxation rose by 48.8% to 12.8 million pounds, despite a fall in margins caused by higher levels of low-margin vehicle sales. The firm has maintained its full year profit expectations. Vertu shares rose by 0.75p to 58.25p.

Vetinary specialist Animalcare (ANCR) made revenues of 12.9 million pounds over the year ended 30th June, a 6.3% increase over the prior period, driven by strong increases in sales of licensed pharmaceuticals and pet identification systems. Profits before taxation grew by 14.7% to 2.6 million pounds. Management believe that the company has built a solid platform for further expansion in the coming year. The shares closed the day flat at 136p.

Exploration and production firm Mosman Oil & Gas (MSMN) has completed drilling at three wells at its Petroleum Creek asset in New Zealand and is ready to run extended flow tests at two sites. Signs of hydrocarbons were found at the third site, but no significant amounts of oil. Management are also preparing to start exploration in Australia and have prepared a review of available permits and is developing a budget. The shares fell by 2p to 11.75p.

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Security and facility management company Mortice (MORT) has appointed Brigadier Rajan Oberoi as Chief Executive Officer of its Tenon Group subsidiaries. Brigadier Oberoi was CEO at Peregrine for the last five years where he oversaw significant revenue improvements and streamlined account management within the business. The firm also announced that since March a number of its subsidiaries have won 150 new contracts worth approximately $4.7 million a year, an increase of 39% over the same period in 2013. Mortice shares closed up by 3p at 58p.

Coal excavator Churchill Mining (CHL) recorded no revenues in the year ended 30th June as the firm continued legal action against the Republic of Indonesia at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes. This is over the revocation of mining licenses that Churchill and its subsidiaries held a 75% interest in. The firm made a pre-tax loss for the year of $2.4 million (1.54 million pounds), significantly below last year’s loss of $11.6 million (7.29 million pounds). The shares rose by 3p to 58p.

Virtual queueing technology firm Accesso Technology (ACSO) has agreed terms for a three year extension with US amusement park operator Palace Entertainment. The deal has been expanded to cover all of Palace’s 14 sites and incorporates Accesso’s full service offering. No financial details of the arrangement have been released. Accesso shares grew by 5p to 535p.

Accesso lines up major contract extension