Date: Monday 26 Mar 2012
Fund manager Aberdeen Asset Management leapt into pole position on the Footsie leader-board after seeing investors continue to return to equity markets in 2012.
Assets under management (AuM) at the end of February stood at £184.4bn, up from £173.9bn at the end of 2011. Of the £10.5bn increase, £1.4bn was accounted for by net new business, with equities products seeing net inflows of £2.5bn, compensating for net outflows in other parts of the business.
The update seems to have woken Peel Hunt up to the fact that the share price has drifted south of the broker's 280pprice target of late, so it has responded by upgrading the stock from "hold" to "buy".
"Demand remains high for the group’s products and revenue/operating margins are being pushed higher," the broker notes, adding that performance thus far in 2012 has been ahead of Peel Hunt expectations.
The broker had previously ugraded is earnings forecast for the current financial year back in February to reflect its view that AuM would rise, but it is expecting to upgrade its numbers again by 2% or 3%.
"With Aberdeen’s balance sheet continuing to strengthen from organic cash generation, the yield of 4.2% looks well supported, with upside risk to our dividend forecasts if the business continues to deliver as expected," writes Peel Hunt's Stuart Duncan.
Meanwhile, pharma titan AstraZeneca was under the weather after a US court dismissed its request for an injunction barring the FDA from releasing generic versions of its quetiapine drug onto the market.
Randgold Resources was on the rise, rebounding after last week's sell-off on the back of disruption concerns in Mali due to a military coup. Nomura said this morning that while the situation has stabilised somewhat over the weekend, the market will likely apply a higher level of political risk to Randgold's valuation in the short-term.
Randgold's mining peers weren't performing as well today, with Polymetal, Vedanta, ENRC, Glencore, Rio Tinto and Xstrata among the heaviest fallers.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 259.30p +3.76%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 1,523.00p +3.39%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 5,795.00p +2.57%
International Power (IPR) 381.30p +2.28%
Wolseley (WOS) 2,516.00p +2.11%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,709.00p +2.09%
Croda International (CRDA) 2,138.00p +1.96%
Diageo (DGE) 1,538.50p +1.89%
SSE (SSE) 1,336.00p +1.83%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 1,232.00p +1.82%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
ICAP (IAP) 408.00p -2.35%
Polymetal International (POLY) 941.00p -2.03%
Resolution Ltd. (RSL) 274.00p -1.97%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 1,292.00p -1.75%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 35.50p -1.32%
Xstrata (XTA) 1,092.50p -1.18%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 180.20p -1.15%
Man Group (EMG) 133.00p -1.12%
Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (ENRC) 625.00p -1.11%
Glencore International (GLEN) 400.75p -1.04%
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