The FTSE 100 ended Thursday up 1.13%, reversing the losses it incurred over the course of the week. "The stock market rollercoaster has continued today--after opening sharply lower in the aftermath of last night's sharp post Fed sell off and the weakness in Asia markets, European markets have slowly peeled themselves off the canvas," CMC markets says. The FTSE 100 managed to recover, climbing back into positive territory thanks to an outperformance across the board, with financials, energy and healthcare driving the gains, it says. After trading down below 7,400 early on in the session, the index has now recovered close to the highs it experienced earlier this month, CMC Markets says.
M&G to Acquire ResponsAbility Investments
M&G PLC said Thursday that it has agreed to acquire a majority stake in responsAbility Investments AG for an undisclosed amount.
Hammerson Raises 2021 Guidance After Improved Performance
Hammerson PLC said Thursday that it has increased its 2021 adjusted earnings guidance after an improved performance.
EasyJet 1Q Pretax Loss Narrowed, January Bookings Jump on Easing of UK Restrictions
EasyJet PLC said Thursday that its first-quarter pretax loss narrowed despite the short-term impact of the Omicron variant in December, and that bookings jumped after the U.K. said in January that it would ease pandemic restrictions.
3i Group Nine-Month Total Return Was 32.6%; Net Asset Value Rose
3i Group PLC on Thursday reported a 32.6% total return for the first nine months of the fiscal year as it benefited from a good performance across its investment portfolios.
Whitbread Appoints Hemant Patel as New CFO
Whitbread PLC said Thursday that Hemant Patel has been appointed as its new chief financial officer, succeeding Nicholas Cadbury.
Intermediate Capital 3Q Third-Party Assets Under Management Rose
Intermediate Capital Group PLC said Thursday that third-party assets under management rose during the third quarter and that momentum across its platform underpins the positive outlook.
Diageo 1H Net Profit Rose on Higher Sales
Diageo PLC said Thursday that net profit rose in the first half of fiscal 2022, boosted by better-than-expected sales volume despite unfavorable foreign exchange.
St. James's Place 4Q Net Inflows Rose on Year
St. James's Place PLC said Thursday that net inflows increased in the fourth quarter of 2021, and that it closed the period with record funds under management.
John Menzies's Decision to Start Reporting in Dollars Should Refocus Investors' Minds
1220 GMT - John Menzies saying it would start reporting results in dollars is pleasing, Shore Capital says. The U.K. now only accounts for around 11% of group revenue, and this is likely to fall further due to continued organic revenue growth and the recovery from the pandemic as operating conditions normalize, Shore says. "Importantly, we believe that this should refocus investors' minds on the global opportunity for aviation services, the margin opportunity and Menzies leading market position," the U.K. investment group says. Shore rates at buy and has a 299 pence target price. The U.K. aviation-services specialist rises 1.3% to 303 pence.
Experian Can Shake Off Regulatory Risks in the Near Term
1208 GMT - In the near-term, risks related to credit reform legislation in U.S. shouldn't faze Experian as any changes have been put on ice for the time being, RBC Capital Markets says. However, political and regulatory scrutiny in this area should increase in the longer term, the Canadian bank says. RBC Capital Markets upgrades the stock to sector perform from underperform and its price target to 2,850 pence from 2,500 pence.
Intermediate Capital's Strong Momentum Seen Driven by Stronger Fundraising
1154 GMT - Intermediate Capital Group continues to demonstrate very strong momentum, Citi says, and its third-party fee-earning assets under management of $58.2 billion is comfortably ahead of the U.S. bank's $56.0 billion estimate thanks to stronger fundraising during 3Q. While 4Q growth is likely to be slower than that of 3Q, the pipeline remains very strong, according to the bank. Citi reiterates its buy rating and says that ICG is its top pick among alternative asset managers. Citi has a target price of 2,600 pence.
CMO's 2021 Adjusted Ebitda Expectations Are Impressive
1149 GMT - CMO saying that 2021 adjusted Ebitda will be in line with market expectations is impressive as this has been achieved despite supply chain disruption, among other issues, and shows strong margin discipline, Liberum says. The online retailer of building materials started 2022 with strong foundations as supply chain pressures eased, its customer list has grown by 31.5% and its order book is strong, the U.K. brokerage says. Furthermore management believes that the increased appetite for home improvement hasn't been satisfied yet, the brokerage says. "CMO is attractively valued as the leading disruptor in a GBP27 billion market, with improving profitability and excellent cash flow dynamics," it says. Liberum rates the stock buy and has a 230 pence target price.
Anglo American Platinum 2021 Production Rose as Expected
1137 GMT - Anglo American Platinum reported a 13% on-year increase in 2021 platinum group metals production to 4.3 million ounces, which was in line with previous guidance, Citi says. The increase is primarily due to a lower base, as 2020 output was negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, the bank notes. Refined output jumped 89% after the closure of the ACP processing plant in 2020 and its faster-than-expected ramp-up in 2021, Citi says. As for 2022, the company reaffirmed guidance of 4.1 million-4.5 million ounces at a unit cost of 13,800-14,500 rand ($899.50-$945.12) an ounce. Anglo American Platinum is the platinum group metals subsidiary of Anglo American PLC.
EasyJet's Bookings Bode Well for Easter, Summer
1127 GMT - Although easyJet's customers continue to book closer to departure, and visibility remains limited, booked ticket yield to date for the budget airline remains encouraging for the Easter and summer periods, Davy Research says. The airline's easyJet holidays business also continues to strengthen its position as a significant player in the holidays market, with more than 50% of its holiday program sold and stronger margins compared to 2019, the Irish research firm says. "We remain 'outperform' given easyJet's operating leverage into the summer and its U.K. exposure," Davy says. Shares are up 0.6% at 639 pence.
Rank Group's Grosvenor Casinos Were the Standout 1H Performer
1125 GMT - Rank Group's Grosvenor casino estate was the standout performer in its first-half results and a return to pre-pandemic levels of profit for said estate could come through ahead of revenues, Shore Capital says. The U.K. gambling group should recover lost ground at a greater clip when inbound tourism recovers, with the London sites particularly subdued amid lower international visitors, it says. Elsewhere, Mecca Bingo faces more significant challenges as older customers are still reticent to return, the U.K. investment group adds. Shore Capital, which acts as broker to the company, has a buy rating on the stock. Shares trade up 3.5% at 154 pence.
Anglo American 4Q Iron Ore, Diamond Production Beat Expectations
1117 GMT - Anglo American production results for the fourth quarter were broadly in line with expectations, Citi says. Iron ore production was 4% ahead of views, reflecting lesser impacts of maintenance shutdown, and diamond output was 5% higher in response to better consumer demand, the bank says. Conversely, production of copper, metallurgical coal and nickel volumes was below estimates, but in line with expectations for platinum group metals, Citi says. Shares slip 0.4% to 3,400 pence. The mining company will report earnings on Feb. 24.
Polymetal Unlikely to Be Hurt by Russia Sanctions, RBC Says
1111 GMT - An escalation of tensions regarding Russia and Ukraine is likely to hamper sentiment on Polymetal shares, but ironically would probably assist the miner's margins thanks to a weaker ruble and a stronger gold price, which could set up a buying opportunity, Tyler Broda from RBC Capital Markets says. The analyst says any sanctions against Russia, as proposed in their current form, would have little impact on Polymetal's activities. However, Broda downgrades the stock to sector perform from outperform, and trims the target price to 1,250 pence from 1,750 pence, arguing that inflation and geopolitics are likely to continue to weigh on the shares for now.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires