Date: Friday 25 Mar 2011
- Market Movers
- FTSE 100 5,886.96 +0.10%
- FTSE 250 11,610.03 +0.04%
- techMARK 1,866.89 +0.09%
LONDON (ShareCast) - Leading shares are mixed after the strong opening prompted traders to bank some profits at the end of a week which has seen the top share index advance by around 170 points.
Broker commentary is behind the share price movements of the Footsie’s best and worst performers.
Reckitt Benckiser is wanted after Bank of America Merrill Lynch upgraded the stock of the Cillit Bang maker to “buy” from “neutral”, while Autonomy is in the red after JP Morgan issued a note in which it opined that the software giant’s earnings quality is “poor and deteriorating”.
George O’Connor at Panmure Gordon remains a fan, however, pointing to a read across from US database software colossus Oracle which, in O’Connor’s words, “came out with a blistering set of third quarter results after the US close yesterday”.
“The results bode well from the enterprise software sector generally, with Autonomy as the prime candidate for a positive read-across. Autonomy is closing the period (end March) and shares should begin the traditional ‘lift’ – Oracles results are a likely catalyst for the ‘lift’ to begin. Shares are trading on a current year P/E of 20.3x – the bottom end of the traditional range – and are pretty much where they normally are given the intra quarterly pattern,” O’Connor says.
Engineer Invensys recovers some of the losses seen yesterday following the abrupt departure of its chief executive, Ulf Henriksson. Evolution Securities said the share price setback represented a great buying opportunity.
Credit Suisse reiterates its ‘outperform’ rating on satellite operator Inmarsat, but the shares lose altitude as the broker cut its target price from 840p to 720p, citing the disappointing fourth quarter results that revealed slowing growth.
African Barrick Gold has had further successes with its drilling programme on the Nyanzaga project in Tanzania. Infill drilling continues to show good continuity of gold mineralisation throughout the Tusker deposit with further wide zones encountered on several sections.
Euromoney Institutional Investor, the business publisher and exhibitions organiser, is trading in line with expectations and will make at least £40m in the half-year to 31 March. “Sales trends over the past three months have been broadly positive, particularly for the events businesses for which the third quarter is the most important of the year,” the firm said Friday.
Canary Wharf owner Songbird Estates’ recovery continued in the second half of last year as property values picked up and occupancy rose to 97.1%.
Online gaming company 888 said that the Nevada Gaming Commission has approved the relationship between Dragonfish, 888’s business-to-business arm, and Caesars Interactive Entertainment. The ruling relates to state law in Nevada that covers Nevada gaming companies conducting gaming outside the state of Nevada.
“We believe the clearance is the first for a foreign operator and potentially paves the way for other foreign online gambling operators to enter into a joint venture with US based gaming companies (initially outside of the US),” noted Shore Capital.
That’s probably the reason behind strong interest in the shares of other online gaming firms today such as Partygaming and Betfair. Elsewhere in the sector online gaming software specialist Cryptologic is flying after it launched a full strategic review, which could result in it putting itself up for sale.
Europe-focused Aurelian Oil & Gas has run into problems at the Siekierki multi-frak well Trzek-2 where the stabilised flow rate is now likely to be less than originally expected. The firm, which had been predicting a flow rate of about 8m standard cubic feet per day of gas, said the test had been delayed by two weeks due to mechanical problems.
North Sea oilfields operator Xcite Energy is not fazed by tax changes in the Budget this week. According to the company’s calculations, the increased benefit of the heavy oil tax allowances will have a material offsetting effect on the increased supplemental corporation tax charge.
Xcite’s loss before tax in 2010 widened to £2.45m from £0.78m in 2009 as the company invested heavily in its drilling programme.
HMV, the entertainment media retailer, had bears rushing to cover their short positions as it confirmed press speculation that is exploring strategic options in respect of Waterstone's and HMV Canada.
Cancer drug developer Antisoma is sharply lower after the company said that no transactions which might result in any offer for the issued share capital of the company remain under consideration and none are now envisaged. The company put up the “for sale” sign at the beginning of February after it discontinued development of a leukemia treatment it was working on, following a disappointing phase III trial.
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