Land Securities, +1.24%
Shares in Land Securities have edged higher after the company confirmed that it has agreed to acquire an additional 35.6% interest in the X-Leisure Unit Trust for £104 million in cash, taking its total ownership of the trust to 95%. The X-Leisure portfolio comprises 16 schemes, totalling 300,000 m2 of prime leisure and entertainment space, including X-scape in Milton Keynes and Brighton Marina. The total cash consideration of £104 million represents a price per unit of 37.96p compared with the last published valuation as at August 2013 of 38.13p. The average price paid for all units owned is 35.58p.
International Consolidated Airlines, +0.92%
Recently put together food and agriculture distributor AfriAg has announced a decision to use IAG Cargo as its carrier of choice. IAG Cargo began carrying freight on AfriAg’s behalf a number of months ago for key existing contracts and the AIM firm expects to use it for prospective contracts. IAG Cargo is a subsidiary of BA owner International Consolidated Airlines.
Jardine Lloyd Thompson, +2.24%
Shares in Jardine Lloyd Thompson soared after the insurance broker confirmed plans to acquire the reinsurance brokerage business of Towers Watson Co for $250 million in cash. The company said the deal will be completed by the end of the year and is expected to add to earnings in the first full year after completion. JLT said Towers Watson’s reinsurance brokerage business would be merged with JLT’s reinsurance business and would be branded for a transitional period as JLT Towers Re. The combined business would generate revenue of $266 million and would be present in 17 countries.
Halfords Group, +1.97%
Halfords Group was upgraded by analysts at Citigroup Inc. to a “buy” rating in a research report issued today. The firm currently has a 465p price target on the stock, up from their previous target price of 325p. Citigroup Inc.’s price objective would indicate a potential upside of 17.51% from the company’s current price.
Weatherly International, +16.22%
Amongst the AIM listed shares, Weatherly has impressed the most during this morning’s session after the company confirmed that it had secured a US$91mln loan that will fully fund the development of the company’s Tschudi copper operation in Namibia. It means the group can start work building a solvent extraction electro-winning plant that will produce 17,000 tonnes of the metal a year. The money is being put up by the Orion Mine Finance Fund I (which was formerly the RK Mine Finance Fund II) and comes in three tranches. The first, US$80mln, will cover the expected capital expenditure of the project. There is also an US$8mln overrun facility, while US$3mln will be used to repay a loan Weatherly has with commodity group Louis Dreyfus.
Tate & Lyle, -2.74%
Shares in Tate & Lyle have shed more value than any other within the FTSE 100 today after analysts at Credit Suisse downgraded the share “neutral”. They currently have a 800p price target on the stock, down from their previous target price of 930p. Credit Suisse’s target price would suggest a potential upside of 2.04% from the stock’s previous close.
Prudential Financial has lost its appeal to shed greater government oversight, after regulators made a final decision that the insurer is one of a group of financial companies so big that they could threaten the financial system if they were to fail. Prudential said Thursday that after a hearing and final vote, the Financial Stability Oversight Council maintains that the company is “systemically important” and therefore subject to stricter scrutiny. That could include requirements to boost its cash cushion against losses, limit its use of borrowed money and submit to inspections by examiners. It also will be under Federal Reserve supervision.
Hochschild Mining, -3.24%
Despite winning government approval for the development of a new mill in Peru, shares in Hochschild have suffered. After announcing approval for the mill construction permit for its 60 per cent-owned Inmaculada Advanced Project, the company can now proceed with the final key construction stage. The processing plant is now set to start construction, with the project’s total initial capital expenditure maintained at $370m for a 3,500 tonne per day underground operation with total average annual production of 12m silver equivalent ounces from the single ‘Angela’ vein.
ICAP plc was downgraded by equities research analysts at Bank of America Corp. to a “neutral” rating in a research note issued today. They currently have a 425p price target on the stock, down from their previous target price of 450p. Bank of America Corp.’s price objective indicates a potential upside of 3.73% from the company’s current price.
Fitbug Holdings, -23.33%
Falling further than any other AIM share, Fitbug Holdings, the provider of online personal health and well-being services, posts pre-tax losses from continuing operations of £1.05m for the six months to the end of June. This is up from £649,000 a year ago. Revenues fell to £461,000 from £674,000 and while the cost of sales rose to £281,000 from £268,000.