Date: Tuesday 22 Feb 2011
- Market Movers
- techMARK 1,907.59 -1.15%
- FTSE 100 5,996.76 -0.30%
- FTSE 250 11,652.41 -0.64%
LONDON (ShareCast) - Strong consumer confidence figures in the US sparked an impressive rally from the top share index this afternoon following earlier gloom over the Libyan turmoil and the higher oil price, but worries re-emerged and the FTSE 100 finished below 6,000.
BHP Billiton is one of those that has limped into the black. The firm is usually thought of as a miner but it has oil and gas assets too, and it bolstered those Tuesday with the acquisition of Chesapeake Energy’s Fayetteville shale assets at a cost of $4.75bn.
Oil prices rose again, with the price of the most widely traded futures contract of Texas light sweet crude surging more than $7 above $93 a barrel as the US rushes to play catch-up after its market holiday yesterday. Oil thirsty cruise operator Carnival was a notable faller.
In response to another world event hitting the headlines – the New Zealand earthquake – FTSE 250-listed hotel operator Millennium and Copthorne said it believes guests and staff from its three hotels in the Christchurch Business District have been safely evacuated.
“We will update the situation once we have further and better information. Our thoughts are with our guests and staff at this difficult time,” it said.
The high oil prices stoked by the Libya turmoil won't worry coal-fired power station operator Drax, though the chairman, Gordon Horsfield, did warn of "pressure on coal generation margins due to today's commodity market conditions," as he unveiled forecast-busting 2010 earnings.
Drax's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation in 2010 totalled £391m, up from £355m last year, and ahead of market expectations of £384m. Total revenue was comfortably ahead of market expectations at £1,648.4m, up from $1,475.8m; the market had pencilled in a figure of £1,426m.
Government spending cuts are what’s alarming shareholders in defence firm BAE Systems. Defence Secretary Liam Fox is due to give a speech later today in which he is expected to criticise spendthrifts at the Ministry of Defence.
Shares in Lamprell have jumped after the provider of engineering services to the international oil and gas industry, defied the trend after announcing a contract win.
The company has received a new contract award from Singapore company Greatship Global Energy Services for the construction and delivery of a completely outfitted and equipped, LeTourneau designed, self-elevating Mobile Offshore Drilling Platform of a Super 116E (Enhanced) Class design.
The global economic recovery helped animal breeding business Genus lift revenues and profits in the half year to 31 December. The firm posted a pre-tax profit of £19.1m, up from £15.5m over the same period the previous year, on revenues that climbed to £153.2m from £134.9m.
Similarly, the global recovery helped speciality chemicals group Croda International more than double pre-tax profits in the year to 31 December, sparking a strong reaction from the shares today. Pre-tax profits jumped to £192m from £91m the previous year on revenues that rose to £1bn from £828m.
Specialist business publisher and trade events group Informa posted a sharp rise in profits in 2010 despite flat revenues as it adjusted to the tough climate by consolidating publications, getting rid of marginal ones and reducing the scale of some events. The shares have fallen back though. Pre-tax profits rose to £125m from £96.5m the previous year on revenues that rose to £1.226bn from £1.221bn.
Waste management firm Shanks is to team up with Babcock International to work on the Wakefield Waste Management private finance initiative (PFI) project, where Babcock is the preferred bidder.
Construction and regeneration group Morgan Sindall posted a 9% fall in annual pre-tax profit as the challenging trading environment continues to hurt its performance.
Robust demand for new and used cars helped Pendragon, the UK's largest car dealer, more than double full year profit as momentum carried forward into January 2011.
AIM-quoted Leed Petroleum says that there are a number of parties interested in buying some or all of its principle oil and gas assets but none of the proposals has been good enough to put the company on a more secure financial footing.
Imaging software provider OMG is paying up to $8.5m (£5.3m) for Sensing Systems Inc.
Oil and gas explorer and producer Dragon Oil increased revenues and profit in 2010 and it is paying a maiden dividend.
Media buying agency Aegis says that the insolvency of a former Spanish client could lead to a write-off of £25m.
AIM-quoted Bglobal has agreed to supply and install smart meters to customers of Opus Energy.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 47.72p +2.32%
Schroders (Non-Voting) (SDRC) 1,384.00p +1.84%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 2,413.00p +1.62%
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 575.50p +1.50%
Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT) 1,991.00p +1.48%
Schroders (SDR) 1,761.00p +1.44%
Resolution Ltd. (RSL) 289.00p +1.30%
Wolseley (WOS) 2,125.00p +1.19%
Next (NXT) 2,003.00p +1.06%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 2,192.50p +0.87%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
BAE Systems (BA.) 326.80p -4.30%
International Power (IPR) 331.70p -2.98%
Bunzl (BNZL) 746.00p -2.93%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 5,115.00p -2.29%
Serco Group (SRP) 532.50p -2.20%
Invensys (ISYS) 351.10p -1.87%
Man Group (EMG) 289.20p -1.87%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 586.50p -1.76%
Carnival (CCL) 2,760.00p -1.71%
Shire Plc (SHP) 1,694.00p -1.68%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Croda International (CRDA) 1,639.00p +9.71%
Lamprell (LAM) 305.00p +8.93%
Devro (DVO) 265.10p +8.78%
Salamander Energy (SMDR) 301.00p +3.54%
Exillon Energy (EXI) 409.00p +3.54%
CPP Group (CPP) 300.00p +3.45%
Forth Ports (FPT) 1,493.00p +3.39%
Afren (AFR) 164.00p +3.27%
Shanks Group (SKS) 116.80p +3.00%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 592.50p +2.42%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Ocado Group (OCDO) 224.00p -6.35%
Kenmare Resources (KMR) 37.40p -4.10%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 770.00p -3.99%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 211.60p -3.73%
Brewin Dolphin Holdings (BRW) 175.00p -3.63%
Elementis (ELM) 131.40p -3.60%
Rathbone Brothers (RAT) 1,170.00p -3.39%
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 564.00p -3.26%
Ashmore Group (ASHM) 349.30p -3.11%
CSR (CSR) 380.50p -2.93%
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