Date: Thursday 14 Jun 2012
City sources predict the FTSE 100 will open down 18 points from yesterday's close of 5,484, tracking losses seen in both the US and Asia as concerns over the Eurozone persist, made worse by disappointing data from the US.
Royal Dutch Shell is ploughing on with its bid for Cove Energy, extending the offer period, even though less than one-twentieth of Cove's shareholders have so far accepted the offer. As at 13:00 on June 13th, Shell's 229p-a-share offer had received acceptances in respect of around 4.84% of the issued share capital of Cove. The Anglo-Dutch oil giant's offer was announced on April 24th and was backed by the Cove Energy board, but since then the bid has been trumped by Thai oil firm PT Exploration and Production Public (PTTEP), which is offering 240p per share. Not surprisingly, the board of Cove is now recommending acceptance of the PTTEP offer.
Design and engineering consultancy WS Atkins said it had performed well over the last year despite tough conditions and was boosting its dividend. The company reported revenues up 9.4% to £1.7bn in the year to the end of March, with earnings per share up 5% to 7.9p. Pre-tax profits were up 48% to £135.5m, although this included the sale of its UK asset management business, which netted £7.2m.
First quarter revenues and profits were down at electronics components supplier Premier Farnell, but the group said sales are stabilising. Total revenue in the February to April quarter was down 5.0% at £241.0m from £252.5m the year before. Both Europe and Asia Pacific showed strong sequential growth of 2.1% and 8.5%, respectively with Asia Pacific returning to year-on-year growth. North America was 2.7% lower, sequentially, as Premier Farnell continued strategic shift away from commodity maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) markets.
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