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FTSE Gains, Pearson Well Placed to Take Advantage of Increasing Learning Spending

01/19/2022 | 08:39am EDT

Pearson Well Placed to Take Advantage of Increasing Learning Spending

Pearson is set to benefit from the positive medium-term outlook for global learning spending and should be boosted by its growing exposure to and substantial investment in digital products, Shore Capital says. The FTSE 100 education company's strengthening consumer and digital focus give it the potential to generate significant medium-term growth by capitalizing on positive global learning market dynamics. The U.K. investment group currently has a hold rating with a 632 pence target price, but it plans to review its financial forecasts and to revisit the recommendation on its growing belief in the company. Shares in Pearson trade 7.7% higher at 48.8 pence.

 
Companies News: 

GlaxoSmithKline Names Tony Wood CSO Designate

GlaxoSmithKline PLC said Wednesday that it has appointed Tony Wood as chief scientific officer from August, replacing Hal Barron, who will become nonexecutive director.

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Smith & Nephew Buys Engage Surgical for Up to $135 Mln

Smith & Nephew PLC said Wednesday that it has acquired Engage Surgical for up to $135 million, contingent on sales performance.

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Burberry's 3Q Comparable Retail Sales Rose Ahead of Market Views

Burberry Group PLC said Wednesday that retail revenue and comparable store sales rose in the third quarter of fiscal 2022, with new customers driving double-digit full-price sales growth across all of its product categories.

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Antofagasta Expects Higher Costs in 2022; 2021 Output in Line With Guidance

Antofagasta PLC on Wednesday warned that its operational costs will jump this year, and reported that production for 2021 was in line with its guidance.

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Experian COO Kerry Williams to Retire; Craig Boundy Named

Experian PLC said Wednesday that Chief Operating Officer Kerry Williams plans to retire from his role after 19 years with the company, and will be replaced by Craig Boundy.

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Wise 3Q Revenue Rose 34%

Wise PLC said Wednesday that its revenue grew 34% in the third quarter of the fiscal year.

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Pearson Expects Increased 2021 Sales, Adj Operating Profit

Pearson PLC said Wednesday that it expects to report increased sales and adjusted operating profit for 2021.

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J.D. Wetherspoon to Report 1H Loss Due to Coronavirus-Related Restrictions

J.D. Wetherspoon PLC said Wednesday that sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2022 were hurt by coronavirus-related restrictions, and that it will be loss-making in the first half of the year.

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Christie Group Sees 2021 Operating Profit Significantly Ahead of Market Expectations

Christie Group PLC said Wednesday that it expects to report operating profit for 2021 significantly ahead of current market expectations.

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WH Smith Says Year-To-Date Revenue Is at 85% of Pre-Pandemic Levels

WH Smith PLC said Wednesday that revenue for the 20 weeks to Saturday was at 85% of 2019 revenue levels, with its high street--or brick-and-mortar retail--business being in a stronger position than its travel division due to the Covid-19 Omicron variant.

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Burberry's 3Q Comparable Retail Sales Rose Ahead of Market Views

Burberry Group PLC said Wednesday that retail revenue and comparable store sales rose in the third quarter of fiscal 2022, with new customers driving double-digit full-price sales growth across all of its product categories on a two-year basis.

 
Market Talk: 

Energy-Efficiency Improvements Seen as Key to Energy Transition

1309 GMT - Reducing the amount of energy required to make products and deliver services is key to meeting emissions-reduction targets and helping the world to decarbonize, ABB Chief Executive Bjorn Rosengren says at the World Economic Forum. "The best energy is the one we don't waste, but save--in fact, energy efficiency improvements will drive more than 40% of the reduction of their energy-related greenhouse gas emissions over the next 20 years," he says. Decarbonizing the most energy- and carbon-intensive industries should be the priority, Rosengren says.

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EUR/GBP Could Recover, SocGen Advises Buying Call Option

1254 GMT - The euro looks set to recover versus sterling as the Bank of England is unlikely to raise interest rates by more than the market has already priced in, Societe Generale says. The four U.K. rate rises expected this year are "likely the limit of what is imaginable" as slowing wage growth and accelerating inflation will drag on discretionary spending, SocGen forex analyst Kit Juckes says. "This suggests that the GBP optimism is in the price, so that gains are likely to be over, making EUR/GBP now looking too low." SocGen advises buying a EUR/GBP two-month digital call option, with a strike price of 0.86. EUR/GBP falls 0.1% to 0.8322.

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Pearson Well Placed to Take Advantage of Increasing Learning Spending

1221 GMT - Pearson is set to benefit from the positive medium-term outlook for global learning spending and should be boosted by its growing exposure to and substantial investment in digital products, Shore Capital says. The FTSE 100 education company's strengthening consumer and digital focus give it the potential to generate significant medium-term growth by capitalizing on positive global learning market dynamics. The U.K. investment group currently has a hold rating with a 632 pence target price, but it plans to review its financial forecasts and to revisit the recommendation on its growing belief in the company. Shares in Pearson trade 7.7% higher at 48.8 pence.

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Interest in Best of the Best Games Seen Fading

1214 GMT - Best of the Best's business might have flourished in the pandemic's early-stages, while people couldn't leave home and were looking for a way to make quick money, but interest in the company's games faded after working-from-home restrictions were eased, AJ Bell says. The online competition-prize organizer downgraded its FY guidance due to higher customer-acquisition costs and lower profit, with the share price down 78% in the past 12 months, the U.K. brokerage says. "Shareholders are likely to be losing patience fast and perhaps thinking that its stock market code BOTB might actually stand for BoOm To Bust," AJ Bell says. Shares are down 31% to 420.0 pence.

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European Equity Funds Get Inflow Boost, But UK Lags

1208 GMT - European equity funds had their strongest inflows at the start of a year since 2018 last week, though the U.K. lost ground, Bank of America says. European-focused funds had $1.9bn of inflows, the seventh-largest weekly inflow in the last two years, BoA says. So far this year, European-focused funds have recorded $3.1bn in inflows, the strongest start to a year since 2018, driven mainly by $2.8bn of inflows into passive funds. "Among countries, Switzerland recorded the largest inflow ($0.3bn), while the U.K. recorded the largest outflow ($0.4bn)," BoA analysts say. Meanwhile, U.S. and continental European investments look more attractive than those in the U.K. as record inflation weighs on U.K. consumers, HSBC says.

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Christie Group Shares Seen to Rise After Positive Update

1202 GMT - Christie Group's update is highly positive and highlights demand for its transactional services and related advice across all of its specialist sectors, Shore Capital says. Christie Group said it had an extremely strong year-end performance in the business broking, valuation & advisory practice, leading Shore to raise its revenue forecast for the professional-services provider by GBP1 million to GBP60 milion and pretax profit view to GBP3.7 million from GBP2.2 million. Shares have risen from a low of 90 pence before Christmas to 102 pence currently and the U.K. investment group sees a further recovery following the update. Shore Capital Markets acts as a broker to Christie Group. Shares trade 7.8% higher at 110 pence.

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Wetherspoon Recovery Might Take Longer Than Expected

1149 GMT - There are concerns about Wetherspoon's 2H recovery expectations, especially taking into account the headwinds the group faces, Shore Capital says. The recovery may take longer as recent updates showed an underperformance when set against its peers since coronavirus restrictions were lifted last spring, Shore adds. "Where we remain most cautious is positioning of the estate, its value-led and low-margin model," the U.K. investment group says. Shore Capital has a hold rating on the stock and a target price of 906 pence. Shares are up 2.2% at 923.5 pence.

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In the Style's Launch Delays Prompt Reduced 2022 Forecasts

1146 GMT - Although online ladies-fashion brand In The Style delivered strong growth over the eight-week period ending Dec. 31, supply chain issues have caused delays in the timing of launches, Liberum says. This has resulted in shorter full-price sale periods for some ranges and may affect the launch timetable in the fourth quarter, Liberum says, prompting the U.K. brokerage to reduce adjusted Ebitda margins for 2022 to 1.5% from a previous 4.0%. "While this is clearly disappointing one should not lose sight that the demand factor remains very strong indeed," it notes. Liberum rates the stock buy and lowers its target price to 180 pence from 220 pence. Shares are down 2.7% at 91 pence.


Contact: London NewsPlus, Dow Jones Newswires; Write to Sarka Halas at sarka.halas@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

01-19-22 0839ET

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ABB LTD 0.70% 28.61 Delayed Quote.-18.02%
AJ BELL PLC 2.40% 264 Delayed Quote.-30.31%
AJ NETWORKS CO., LTD. 0.15% 6850 End-of-day quote.26.62%
ANTOFAGASTA PLC -0.60% 1416.5 Delayed Quote.6.28%
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR / EURO (AUD/EUR) 0.14% 0.66893 Delayed Quote.4.29%
BANK OF AMERICA CORPORATION -1.71% 33.86 Delayed Quote.-23.89%
BRITISH POUND / EURO (GBP/EUR) 0.11% 1.1841 Delayed Quote.-0.63%
BURBERRY GROUP PLC -0.28% 1590 Delayed Quote.-12.74%
CANADIAN DOLLAR / EURO (CAD/EUR) -0.10% 0.737556 Delayed Quote.5.94%
EXPERIAN PLC 1.88% 2553 Delayed Quote.-29.71%
FTSE 100 1.19% 7389.98 Delayed Quote.0.07%
GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC 1.87% 1764 Delayed Quote.9.80%
HSBC HOLDINGS PLC 1.13% 491.4 Delayed Quote.9.38%
INDIAN RUPEE / EURO (INR/EUR) -0.01% 0.012143 Delayed Quote.3.10%
J D WETHERSPOON PLC 2.09% 708.5 Delayed Quote.-26.27%
MEGGITT PLC -0.21% 773.4 Delayed Quote.4.74%
ON SEMICONDUCTOR CORPORATION 0.70% 56.46 Delayed Quote.-16.87%
PEARSON PLC 1.88% 759.2 Delayed Quote.23.74%
SOCIÉTÉ GÉNÉRALE 0.08% 24.495 Real-time Quote.-18.90%
US DOLLAR / EURO (USD/EUR) -0.17% 0.944403 Delayed Quote.7.79%
WH SMITH PLC 1.84% 1520 Delayed Quote.2.70%
WISE PLC 4.56% 369 Delayed Quote.-51.23%
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