Monday’s Master Investor Market Report, featuring Cranswick, Babcock International, Blinkx and Aveva

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Monday’s Master Investor Market Report, featuring Cranswick, Babcock International, Blinkx and Aveva
    • A Greek Newspaper has claimed that a deal has been proposed by European Commission President Juncker that would break the deadlock in negotiations. The commission refused to confirm the existence of any such arrangement but it is said to include more lenient budget surplus targets and allow VAT increases and a review of the country’s pension systems to be delayed until after the summer.
    • Data from online estate agency Rightmove has suggested that the average asking price for property coming on to the market in May fell by 0.1% relative to April, as sellers pried more aggressively in the face of election related uncertainties with a particularly sharp drop of 2.3% in Greater London. However, the outfit believes that this is a short-lived blip and prices will return to growth in the near future.
    • The FTSE 100 climbed by 8.38 points to 6,968.87 points; the FTSE 250 rose by 1.79 points to 18,022.21; the FTSE All Share increased by 4.51 points to 3,784.47 points; and the FTSE AIM All Share finished the day down 2.05 points at 759.95 points.

Meat products specialist Cranswick (CWK) recorded record revenues of £1 billion over the year ended 31st March, following the acquisition of Benson Park and the extension of the Delico cooked meats facility. Revenue growth was limited by the temporary loss of a major customer and a subsequent drop in fresh pork sales. Profits before taxation fell to £52 million due to a £4.2 million valuation charge on its biological assets as well as amortisation and £1.1 million in contingent consideration to the prior owners of Kingston Foods. The shares dropped by 37p to 1,551p.

Engineering support services provider Babcock International (BAB) posted pre-tax profits of £313.1 million for the year ended 31st March, a 47% rise over the prior year. Revenues also rose sharply to £4.5 billion, driven by both double-digit organic growth and the purchases made through the period. Management expect this strong performance to continue as the firm enters new markets and wins major new contracts. Shares in Babcock International climbed by 30p to 1,111p.

Revenues at online advertising and video specialist Blinkx (BLNX) contracted by 13% to $214.9 million (£137 million) for the year ended 31st March, as the firm worked to shift towards mobile and video marketing channels, and as changes in the industry reduced demand and margins. The company slumped to a pre-tax loss of $24.8 million (£15.8 million) from a profit of $17.6 million (£11.22 million) and management implemented a number of cost-cutting measures whilst saying that Blinkx will focus on integrating its recent acquisitions in the current financial year. The shares fell by 4.25p to 34.75p.

According to reports in the press ahead of its final results tomorrow, engineering software designer Aveva (AVV) is being targeted by a number of overseas firms including GE, Emerson and Schneider Electric. The Sunday Times reported that Schneider has spoken with its bankers about a bid and that it would look to combine Aveva with Invensys. However, the quoted sources did stress that no formal offers had yet been made and that Aveva’s profit warning in September had warned off some previous interest. The shares rose by 165p to 2,000p.

Tuesday’s news today

Vodafone (VOD), Premier Foods (PFD) and ICAP (ICAP) are among the companies reporting tomorrow.

The ONS will also release UK Inflation data.

Quote of the day

Markets are constantly in a state of uncertainty and flux and money is made by discounting the obvious and betting on the unexpected.”
― George Soros

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