Despite seeing profits slump after like-for-like sales dropped 1.6 percent, Morrisons has registered the most impressive gains within the FTSE 100 during this morning’s session. Underlying profit was down 10% to £401m (2012/13: £445m) whilst underlying earnings per share were down 2% to 12.86p (2012/13: 13.09p). Morrisons have moved by upping the interim dividend by 10 percent to 3.84p.
After dropping their proposed £700M move for oil services engineer Kentz, AMEC said it was now considering paying out cash to shareholders in the fourth quarter. AMEC continues to see attractive opportunities to extend its geographic footprint in the Growth Regions and increase the range of services offered to clients.
Essar Energy, +1.32%
London-listed Essar Energy plc has said today that it has got an additional borrowing of $300 million that will be mostly used to repay an existing bridge loan. The company has upsized its existing $150 million loan facility with Axis Bank to $450 million, with the Export-Import Bank of China (Exim Bank) providing $300 million as a new lender. Both facilities mature in 2017.
Online grocer Ocado have posted third quarter sales growth of 16.4 percent, broadly in-line with forecasts. Encouraged by an increase in both orders and basket size, gross sales totalled £189.2 million. Shares in Ocado have risen over fourfold in the last year, mainly on the back of an over 200 million pounds 25-year joint venture deal with Britain’s fourth largest grocer, Wm Morrison , to provide its online grocery operation by January 2014.
Amphion Innovations, +36.84%
Shares in Amphion Innovations have surged with one of their portfolio companies, Kromek Group, set to float on AIM. Amphion, which specialises in backing medical and technology businesses, has a 13.3% equity stake in Kromek, a digital colour x-ray imaging technology company focused on the medical, security screening, and nuclear markets. The size of the stake in the company may change, however, as a result of new capital being issued by Kromek.
Thalassa Holdings, +31.01%
Thalassa Holdings said it is confident that, provided trading in the remainder of the year remains in line with their expectations, the company’s performance for the year ending Dec. 31 will significantly exceed market expectations.
Melrose Industries, -2.05%
Melrose plc was downgraded by investment analysts at Citigroup Inc. to a “neutral” rating in a note issued to investors today. They currently have a 305p price target on the stock, up from their previous price target of 295p. Citigroup Inc.’s price target suggests a potential downside of 2.46% from the stock’s previous close.
Investment analysts at Deutsche Bank lowered their price target on shares of Aggreko plc from 2,100p to 1,870p in a note issued to investors today. The firm currently has a “buy” rating on the stock. Deutsche Bank’s price target suggests a potential upside of 13.26% from the stock’s previous close.
Dialight has said that delays in contracts being awarded is likely to negatively affect the Group’s expectations for overall financial performance in 2013. It says the timing of the award of major Obstruction System contracts remains difficult to predict. Since the interim results, the Group has announced one contract for Obstruction Systems and has made good progress towards qualification and award of other significant Obstruction System business. However, the Group does not expect these contracts to be awarded in time to sufficiently impact the current financial year.
Kentz Corp, -9.04%
Kentz Corp, the oil engineering company targeted by two bidders in recent months, has fallen during today’s session after Amec said it won’t make an offer. Kentz said today Germany’s M+W Group GmbH, which also made an approach, must decide whether to make a formal offer by Sept. 16.
Noricum Gold, -6.52%
Noricum Gold shares are trading lower during this morning’s trading despite releasing a note regarding a positive soil sampling at Schonberg. Noricum Gold Limited, the Austrian focused gold exploration and development company, has confirmed positive results following the successful completion of the first phase of its systematic soil sampling and geochemistry programme at the 100%-owned Schonberg Gold and Precious Metals Project.