Date: Wednesday 04 Jan 2012
- Market Movers
- techMARK 1,903.97 -0.67%
- FTSE 100 5,668.45 -0.55%
- FTSE 250 10,273.77 -0.85%
LONDON (ShareCast) - Having spent most of the day seeking direction, UK investors took the hint from their US counterparts and banked some of yesterday's heavy gains.
Fashion chain Next was one of the day's biggest fallers, after a cautious trading statement. The company said “despite a good final week before Christmas, November and December sales were disappointing”.
The firm's Retail unit saw sales (excluding VAT) fall 2.7% in the period from August 1st to December 24th versus the corresponding period the year before, while Directory sales improved by 16.9%. Sales for the Next brand overall rose 3.1%, in line with - but in the bottom half of - the full year guidance range given in November of between 2.5% and 4.0%.
Both UBS and Singer Capital Markets suggested that earnings estimates for Next could be trimmed by around 3% as a result of the downbeat outlook for 2012.
Singer warned against interpreting Next's performance as being representative of the High Street's showing as a whole over the Christmas tradng period.
"In terms of read across Next has been doing better than average for some time now, and we find it hard to view these figures as a barometer for others. Clearly [chief executive] Wolfson’s top down approach will be taken as a read for all consumer businesses though," Singer suggested, with some justification, as sector peer Marks & Spencer dipped in sympathy with Next, while other retailers were also under the cosh.
Another blue-chip stock set to experience a reduction to earnings forecasts is defence contractor BAE Systems, which said that renegotiation of its Typhoon jet fighter contract with Saudi Arabia is taking longer than expected.
Smith & Nephew, the medical technology business, was wanted after it announced plans to transfer the bulk of its US biologics team and Clinical Therapies business to a newly formed joint venture (JV), called Bioventus. The deal will dilute earnings slightly, but the company will receive a 49% stake in the JV, as well as $98m in cash and will receive a $160m 5-year note from Bioventus. The majority owner of Bioventus is Essex Woodlands, a specialist healthcare growth equity and venture capital firm.
Pizza delivery firm Domino's Pizza saw a slow-down in year-on-year like-for-like sales (LFL) growth in the final quarter of 2012, but this was expected, with the company facing tough comparatives, and the company's new Chief Executive Officer, Lance Batchelor, said the company will meet profit expectations for 2011.
In the 13 weeks to December 25th, LFL sales rose by 3.6%, down from the preceding quarter's 3.9% growth. Panmure Gordon had predicted LFL sales growth of 3.3%. System sales for the period increased by 9.5% to £145.0m from £132.5m in the corresponding period of last year.
The revolving door to the board room at troubled package tour firm Thomas Cook is set to get more use again. Three of the firm's non-executive directors are set to leave in February. The announcement comes less than a month after Frank Meysman took over as Chairman of the company, and it looks like he is beginning to mark out his territory.
Kefi Minerals, an AIM-listed gold and copper exploration company, has been awarded two mineral exploration licences in Saudi Arabia. The licences, which are for a period of five years, are located in the Central Arabian Gold Region, and have been awarded to a joint venture company in which Kefi Minerals has a 40% interest. Kefi is the operating partner in the joint venture.
Licence awards were also behind the buying interest in oil and gas explorer Serica. The AIM-listed tiddler has been offered two production licences in the UK government's offshore licensing programme.
FTSE 100 - Risers
United Utilities Group (UU.) 620.50p +1.47%
Serco Group (SRP) 490.00p +1.41%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,537.00p +1.12%
Barclays (BARC) 188.35p +1.10%
ITV (ITV) 71.05p +1.00%
G4S (GFS) 272.60p +0.78%
Weir Group (WEIR) 2,100.00p +0.72%
Bunzl (BNZL) 888.50p +0.62%
SSE (SSE) 1,310.00p +0.54%
BP (BP.) 473.45p +0.51%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Glencore International (GLEN) 405.00p -3.14%
Next (NXT) 2,656.00p -3.10%
Schroders (SDR) 1,315.00p -2.88%
BAE Systems (BA.) 286.60p -2.81%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,269.00p -2.76%
Schroders (Non-Voting) (SDRC) 1,084.00p -2.61%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 308.80p -2.59%
Shire Plc (SHP) 2,169.00p -2.52%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 1,040.00p -2.44%
Sage Group (SGE) 293.00p -2.30%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Domino's Pizza UK & IRL (DOM) 441.50p +6.69%
Talvivaara Mining Company (TALV) 267.10p +4.62%
Mitie Group (MTO) 258.00p +4.03%
Rank Group (RNK) 131.60p +3.62%
Phoenix Group Holdings (DI) (PHNX) 543.00p +3.43%
Exillon Energy (EXI) 278.20p +3.23%
Premier Oil (PMO) 376.90p +3.15%
BH Global Ltd. USD Shares (BHGU) 11.88 +2.95%
Logica (LOG) 70.30p +2.70%
Gem Diamonds Ltd. (DI) (GEMD) 197.40p +2.60%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Kesa Electricals (KESA) 66.65p -6.91%
New World Resources A Shares (NWR) 457.90p -6.11%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 81.50p -5.56%
Dixons Retail (DXNS) 9.70p -4.72%
Cape (CIU) 330.90p -3.92%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 57.85p -3.82%
Jupiter Fund Management (JUP) 211.60p -3.82%
WH Smith (SMWH) 517.50p -3.81%
Afren (AFR) 99.40p -3.68%
TR Property Inv Trust (TRY) 138.00p -3.50%
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