The FTSE 100 closed down on Thursday due to losses for oil and mining companies. "The FTSE 100 provided one real point of weakness today, left out of the European Central Bank-related excitement and without much in the way of tech to carry it higher," Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG, says.
Northcoders Plans to Raise GBP3.5 Mln in AIM Float
Northcoders Group PLC said Thursday that it plans to raise a total of 3.5 million pounds ($4.8 million) in its listing on London's junior AIM.
Zenova Group Shares Rise in Stock Market Debut
Shares in Zenova Group PLC rose as much as 21% on Thursday as it started trading on London's junior AIM, implying a market capitalization of 21.5 million pounds ($29.5 million).
Novolipetsk 2Q Profit Jumped Amid Steel Market Boom
Novolipetsk Steel on Thursday reported a significantly improved profit for the second quarter compared with the prior quarter, reflecting higher steel-product prices, production and sales.
Tracking-Tech Company Big Technologies to Be Valued at GBP577 Mln in London IPO
Big Technologies PLC on Thursday set the price of its planned initial public offering on London's junior AIM at 200 pence a share, giving it a market capitalization of 577 million pounds ($791.4 million).
Inflation Pushes Consumer-Goods Giant Unilever to Accelerate Price Increases -- Update
The maker of Dove soap and Hellmann's mayonnaise warned of accelerating price increases across a range of products, as it seeks to counter cost inflation across its business.
Hotel Chocolat Mulls Funding Options to Boost Sales Capacity
Hotel Chocolat Group PLC said Thursday that it is continuing to assess a range of funding options to increase its long-term sales capacity and further growth.
IG Group Posts 52% Pretax Profit Increase, Upgrades Medium-Term Revenue Guidance -- Update
IG Group Holdings PLC on Thursday reported a significantly higher profit for its fiscal 2021 and upgraded its medium-term revenue guidance.
Atlas Mara Says Court Has Dismissed Creditor's Claims
Atlas Mara Ltd. said Thursday that the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in the British Virgin Islands has dismissed in all respects TLG ATMA Ltd.'s application to appoint joint liquidators in respect of Atlas Mara.
LPA Group Chairman to Retire on Aug. 8
LPA Group PLC said Thursday that Chairman Peter Pollock will retire from the board with effect from Aug. 8.
Gambling.com Lowers Expected IPO Price Range
Gambling.com Group Ltd. lowered the expected price range of its initial public offering.
Unilever Gives Preview of Worsening Inflation Pinch
Inflation is becoming as much a headache for CEOs of household-staple companies like Unilever as for shoppers. Their ability to pass on price increases hinges on where and what they sell.
Telecom Plus Says Three Resolutions Passed With Low Votes at AGM
Telecom Plus PLC said Thursday that the resolutions to re-elect Director Charles Wigoder, receive the 2021 annual reports and accounts, and approve the directors' remuneration report were approved with a low vote count at its annual general meeting.
3i Infrastructure's Oystercatcher Nears Sale of Stakes in Four European Terminals
3i Infrastructure PLC said Thursday that its portfolio company Oystercatcher is close to a deal to sell its 45% shareholdings in four European terminals in Amsterdam, Terneuzen, Ghent and Malta to Evos.
AJ Bell Gets Industry-Growth Boost; Shares Offer Value
1332 GMT - Shares in AJ Bell gain 3% after the stockbroker reported higher third-quarter total assets under administration and said it was well-placed to expand further. Panmure Gordon points to increased customer numbers and company comments about rising awareness and continued popularity among financial advisers and retail customers of its managed portfolio service. "The shares, having lagged the market, now offer value and the company is able to demonstrate that it is actually benefiting from the much-discussed structural growth in the wealth industry. We upgrade to buy," Panmure analysts say.
Harbour Energy's Tolmount Gas Development Could Face Supply-Chain Issues
1331 GMT - Supply chains being hit by the coronavirus pandemic could affect Harbour Energy's sourcing of replacement equipment for its Tolmount gas project in the North Sea, even if offshore personnel availability isn't seen as an issue, Jefferies says. The company has reduced 2021 production guidance to exclude volumes from Tolmount after identifying issues with the platform's electrical systems. The development project comes from the Premier Oil assets, one of the two companies that merged to form Harbour earlier this year, Jefferies says. The bank has a buy rating on the oil-and-gas group's stock but cuts the target price to 473 pence from 566 pence.
Chilean Rare Earth Project Could Be a Valuation Catalyst for Hochschild
1317 GMT - The BioLantanidos rare earth project in Chile could be the real catalyst for the valuation of Hochschild Mining, Peel Hunt says, noting that the company is expected to detail its plans in September. Following the second quarter update, Peel Hunt trims its 2021 production estimate for the South America-focused miner by 1%. However, the full-year Ebitda forecast remains unchanged at $411 million due to higher realized pricing for gold and silver. "Considering the minimal changes, we are maintaining our 275 pence target price and buy rating," Peel Hunt says.
FirstGroup's Increased Shareholder Return Could Get Activist Shareholders on Board With Its Strategy
1209 GMT - U.K. transport group FirstGroup's increased shareholder return to GBP500 million, from an initial plan of GBP365 million, is due to a combination of factors, Citi says. The increased return is driven by better working capital, a lower termination cost for the U.K.'s TransPennine Express rail franchise and an improvement in FirstGroup's U.K. operations, the U.S. bank says. "We see the completion of transaction and increase in shareholder return will likely get activist shareholders onboard for the company's future strategy," the bank says. Citi has a buy rating on the stock with a 114-pence target price. Shares are up 4.2% at 82.90 pence.
Volution Shares Rise on Strong FY 2021 Trading Update
1156 GMT - Shares in ventilation company Volution rise 4.9% after releasing a positive year-end update. The group has seen strong trading through the final part of the year ending July 31, with all regions reporting strong revenue growth, Peel Hunt says. There are some cost pressures, but the brokerage says Volution's outlook remains strong and the higher start point will boost earnings expectations for fiscal 2022. "The shares have performed strongly YTD with a 62% rise but have tracked the sector in the last three months," it says. Peel Hunt has a buy rating on the stock with a 395 pence target price.
Moneysupermarket Sticks to FY Targets as Margins Rise
1052 GMT - Shares in Moneysupermarket.com Group rise 4% to 265 pence after the price-comparison website said it still expects to hit annual targets despite lower first-half pretax profit. Peel Hunt, which has a buy and 360p price target on the stock, says revenue fell short of its 1H expectations as the travel market didn't re-open and the energy market fell 25% in 2Q. "Offsetting this has been a much-improved gross margin, up 3%," Peel analysts say. "If the energy market returns to a more normal trading pattern in 2H, then the company is confident of achieving market expectations. We will reduce our pretax profit by 3% today to circa-GBP90 million."
Higher Costs Tarnish Centamin's Strong 2Q Production, Sales
1041 GMT - Centamin reported good gold production and sales results for the second quarter of the year, Peel Hunt says. Production was strong at 100,000 ounces, 5% ahead of PH's forecast, driven by better underground ore mined. Realized gold prices were also higher than anticipated, and therefore revenue of $177.5 million was 9% above the brokerage's view. On the negative side, costs rose to $1,290 per ounce, compared with PH's $1,277 forecast. In addition, the firm says free cash flow suggests higher one-off costs during the six months to June and potentially a working capital unwind from the second half of 2020. Shares fall 0.5% to 104.0 pence. Peel Hunt has a buy rating on the gold miner.
Tolmount Delays to Hit Harbour Energy Earnings
1033 GMT - Delays to first gas from Harbour Energy's Tolmount project have led to a material production guidance downgrade for 2021. As a result, and incorporating updated hedge-book calculations and increased finance and merger integration costs, Peel Hunt downgrades the company's earnings estimates for 2021 and 2022. The brokerage cuts its 2021 EPS forecast by 69% to 31.3 pence, and by 41% to 61.0 pence for 2022. It maintains an add rating on the oil-and-gas company, but reduces the target price to 425 pence from 472 pence.
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