Date: Thursday 14 Jun 2012
You would have thought that the market had become used to sovereign debt downgrades by now, but the decision by Moody's to take Spain's rating down three notches to a level adjacent to 'junk' status has ratcheted up tension ahead of Italy's debt auction this morning.
Italy is set to auction €4.75bn in medium and long-term debt today.
On the corporate front, it looks like the Football Association (FA) has been declared the winner in the negotiations over television rights for footie matches from the top division of English football.
British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB), which more or less built its business in the UK on live football, is paying the FA £2.3bn to broadcast live 116 matches over a three year period, starting from the 2013-14 season. The shares are sharply lower this morning, with Numis Securities reacting to the cost of the deal by downgrading BSkyB to "add", although Citi is sticking with its "buy" recommendation.
Video-on-demand player BT, the telecoms giant, has paid a pretty penny to muscle in on the Premiership action, paying £738m for the right to broadcast 38 games, around half of which it will be allowed to cherry-pick before Sky. BT is also lower, though its fall is not so severe as that experienced by Sky.
Irish oil titan Tullow Oil is off the pace after France blocked drilling off the coast of French Guyana on environmental grounds. Tullow, along with Shell and French operator Total has made significant discoveries in the region.
WH Smith, the High Street and travel hub newsagent chain, saw like-for-like sales dip at the start of the second half of its financial year, but the shares rose as the group revealed margins are up.
European IT services provider Computacenter crashed after it warned it will be required to invest significantly over the remainder of the year to cope with increased business levels.
Computacenter Chief Executive Officer Mike Norris said: "While we highlighted the necessity for investment in our statement of April 18th, both the size and scope of the opportunities we have won have increased significantly, requiring us to invest further."
Fashion firm Mulberry also got a handbagging from the market after sparkling figures were deemed to be sup-par. UK full price stores saw like-for-like rise 14% for the 10 weeks to June 9th 2012. Revenue of £168.5m was about £7m short of market expectations, however, while pre-tax profit of £6m was around £1.5m below what the market had been expecting.
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.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Hammerson (HMSO) 416.70p +0.90%
Evraz (EVR) 262.30p +0.69%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 478.40p +0.65%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 2,702.50p +0.63%
ICAP (IAP) 356.20p +0.59%
Unilever (ULVR) 2,094.00p +0.53%
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 648.50p +0.46%
Polymetal International (POLY) 799.00p +0.44%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 101.40p +0.40%
Centrica (CNA) 317.70p +0.38%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 646.00p -7.12%
BT Group (BT.A) 201.60p -3.59%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 1,419.00p -2.61%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,311.00p -2.24%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 504.00p -1.56%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,464.00p -1.55%
Glencore International (GLEN) 349.75p -1.48%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,466.00p -1.41%
GKN (GKN) 179.80p -1.37%
Xstrata (XTA) 908.10p -1.29%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Petropavlovsk (POG) 429.40p +4.50%
WH Smith (SMWH) 488.90p +3.65%
TR Property Inv Trust Sigma Shares (TRYS) 64.30p +1.90%
Atkins (WS) (ATK) 690.00p +1.84%
Paragon Group Of Companies (PAG) 161.10p +1.83%
Exillon Energy (EXI) 87.85p +1.80%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 182.60p +1.78%
Talvivaara Mining Company (TALV) 140.40p +1.74%
JPMorgan Asian Inv Trust (JAI) 177.80p +1.60%
London & Stamford Property (LSP) 107.20p +1.42%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Computacenter (CCC) 312.00p -12.53%
Lamprell (LAM) 75.30p -3.34%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 429.20p -3.12%
Kentz Corporation Ltd. (KENZ) 358.60p -2.55%
Northgate (NTG) 157.70p -1.99%
Rathbone Brothers (RAT) 1,206.00p -1.79%
Persimmon (PSN) 561.00p -1.67%
IG Group Holdings (IGG) 458.60p -1.59%
CSR (CSR) 199.80p -1.53%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 123.50p -1.44%
FTSE TechMARK - Risers
Sepura (SEPU) 70.00p +3.32%
Optos (OPTS) 199.00p +0.51%
Consort Medical (CSRT) 605.00p +0.41%
FTSE TechMARK - Fallers
Antisoma (ASM) 1.60p -5.88%
Timeweave (TMW) 18.00p -2.04%
Emblaze Ltd. (BLZ) 47.50p -1.04%
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