United Utilities Group, +0.51%
United Utilities Group had its “overweight” rating restated by stock analysts at Morgan Stanley in a report issued today. They currently have a $12.20 price target on the stock. Morgan Stanley’s target price points to a potential upside of 14.04% from the stock’s previous close.
James Fisher & Sons, +5.16%
Underlying pre-tax profits at marine service provider James Fisher and Sons rose by 15% to £19.4m in the six months to the end of June. Revenues were up 7% at £200.7m and underlying operating profits rose by 11% to £22.2m. Statutory profit before tax increased by 11% to £18.6m and the proposed interim dividend of 6.46p per share is 10% up on last time. James Fisher benefited from good market conditions in both ‘marine support’ and ‘offshore oil’ driven by demand for their specialist services around the world.
Ladbrokes was upgraded by research analysts at Deutsche Bank to a “buy” rating in a report released today. The firm currently has a $3.63 price target on the stock. Deutsche Bank’s price objective suggests a potential upside of 21.15% from the company’s current price.
Manx Financial Group, +64.81%
Manx Financial Group swung to a first-half pre-tax profit of £0.3 million, from a loss of £0.6 million. Net interest income totalled £3.7 million, from £2.5 million. The encouraging news is that this improvement was not solely driven by the cost reduction exercise the company undertook last year but also, more importantly, by a significant growth in sustainable income.
Renewable energy group Kedco’s first wind turbine is on track to export electricity to the national grid by the end of September. Kedco said it had reached financial close with Allied Irish Bank for the funding of the 800kw Pluckanes Wind farm project, which remains on time and on budget. The group also reports that it has secured more funding for other projects.
UK-based building materials group CRH Plc reported a loss for the first half compared with a profit last year, as sales fell amid continued weakness in key European markets. Looking ahead, the firm expects challenging trading conditions in Europe to remain for the remainder of 2013.
Vedanta resources, -3.83%
Vedanta Resources’ stock had its “hold” rating reiterated by investment analysts at Deutsche Bank in a note issued to investors today. They currently have a $18.85 price objective on the stock. Deutsche Bank’s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 0.42% from the company’s current price.
Trade union Solidarity is considering going on strike at its Lonmin mine at Marikana, in the North West province of South Africa, in a bid to have its recognition at the platinum producer restored. A strike will be the last resort as it could have devastating consequences. It will cost Lonmin around US$6 million a day.
Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP Billiton Ltd reported today a sharp decline in fiscal 2013 profit as lower commodity prices offset higher production, substantial productivity gains as well as significant reduction in controllable cash costs. Looking ahead, the company expects that strong momentum at operations would be maintained in the medium term, with compound annual production growth of eight percent, in copper equivalent terms, anticipated over the next two years.
African budget airline Fastjet, which is based in Gatwick, has raised a further £1.6m via a draw down on an equity financing facility. The facility is with investment business Darwin Strategic, owned by Henderson Global Investors Volantis Capital. The latest draw down comes just over a month after it raised £790,000 by issuing 79 million shares at 1p per share to Darwin. It has now issued a further 161 million shares to Darwin.