FTSE Gains as Barclays, Fresnillo Rise; Oil Stocks Fall

The FTSE 100 rises 0.2%, or 14 points to 7010 as gains for Barclays, Fresnillo and others offset losses for oil majors and other financials. BP and Royal Dutch Shell drop despite a 0.4% gain in Brent crude to $73.85 a barrel. HSBC, London Stock Exchange and Standard Chartered also fall despite upbeat first-half results from Barclays, which advances 4.2%. ITV gains 0.3% after the U.K. broadcaster reported higher first-half pretax profit and an encouraging advertising outlook as revenue from advertising and its studios recovered from the hit caused by the coronavirus pandemic. British American Tobacco gains 0.4% as adjusted revenue and adjusted profit rose.

 
Companies News: 

Rio Tinto 1H Net Profit, Dividends Sharply Higher

Rio Tinto PLC notched a record first-half net profit and more than tripled its midyear payout to shareholders, benefiting from a bull run in commodity prices that has stoked inflation expectations around the world.

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Barclays Profit Soars on Investment Banking

Barclays PLC Wednesday said its net profit rose in the second quarter, driven by a strong performance in its investment bank.

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Tricorn Sale Talks Continue; Bank Puts Restrictions on Borrowing Facilities

Tricorn Group PLC said Wednesday that talks about a possible sale of the business or one or more of its operations continue with a number of parties, and that its main bank has put restrictions on the company's borrowing facilities

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British American Tobacco 1H Profit, Revenue Fell Despite New Categories Growth

British American Tobacco PLC said Wednesday that first-half pretax profit fell on the back of reduced revenue and a strong comparative period, although adjusted revenue and adjusted profit rose.

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Esken to Raise GBP55 Mln in Discounted Equity Issue; Shares Fall

Shares in Esken Ltd. fell Wednesday after the company said it will raise 55 million pounds ($76.3 million) through a discounted share placing and open offer.

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Pebble Beach Systems Sees 1H Results In Line With Views

Pebble Beach Systems Group PLC said Wednesday that it expects to report results for the first half of 2021 in line with its board's views as it made progress across all key metrics.

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MusicMagpie Swung to 1H Pretax Loss on Exceptional Costs

MusicMagpie PLC said Wednesday that it swung to a first half pretax loss due to exceptional costs, but that revenue rose.

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Diurnal's FY 2021 Alkindi Proforma Sales Rose

Diurnal Group PLC said on Wednesday that proforma sales of its Alkindi product during fiscal 2021 rose 7%.

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Smart Metering Systems Sees 2021 Underlying Profit in Line With Expectations

Smart Metering Systems PLC said Wednesday that it expects to report underlying profit in line with internal expectations for the first half and for the whole of 2021.

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Epwin 1H Revenue Rose, Sees 2021 Adjusted Profit Ahead of Mgmt Views

Epwin Group PLC said Wednesday that revenue for the first half of the year rose above pre-coronavirus pandemic levels and it now expects 2021 adjusted pretax profit to exceed its expectations.

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Total Produce Shares in London Fall After Cut to Dole's Expected IPO Price

London-listed shares in Total Produce PLC fell Wednesday after the company said the expected price of Dole PLC's initial public offering in New York has been lowered to between $16 and $17 a share, from between $20 and $23 previously.

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Grafenia Shares Down After FY 2021 Revenue Fall; Pretax Loss Reduced

Grafenia PLC shares fell Wednesday after it said that its fiscal 2021 revenue dropped 38%, though its pretax and earnings loss narrowed on reduced costs.

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Anglo Pacific 2Q Portfolio Contribution Up 38% From 1Q After Voisey's Bay Acquisition

Anglo Pacific Group PLC on Wednesday reported a significantly higher portfolio contribution for the second quarter, driven by the acquisition of the Voisey's Bay cobalt stream.

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Tracsis Expects to Beat Earnings Forecasts After UK Contract Win

Tracsis PLC said Wednesday that it expects to exceed market forecasts for full-year earnings after winning a significant multiyear contract in the U.K. for its RailHub software product.

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Big Technologies Shares Jump in Stock Market Debut

Shares of Big Technologies PLC jumped as much as 55% Wednesday as it started trading on the London Stock Exchange's junior AIM, implying a market capitalization of 891.4 million pounds ($1.24 billion).

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Fewer UK Businesses Faced Significant Financial Distress in 2Q Than in 1Q, Report Says

A total of 650,000 U.K. businesses faced significant financial distress in the second quarter of 2021, a 10% decline from the first quarter, according to data published by corporate-restructuring specialist Begbies Traynor Group PLC on Wednesday.

 
Market Talk: 

Rio Tinto's Cash Splash Shows Strength of Balance Sheet

0832 GMT - Rio Tinto's better-than-expected midyear payout shows just how strong the miner's cash flow was during 1H, CFO Peter Cunningham says. "The thinking underpinning [the shareholder payout] is a function of the strength of the cash flow, the fact that we had very strong markets in the first half of the year" and the health of the balance sheet, which was net cash at the end of the period, he tells WSJ. Even with the midyear payout, which totals some US$9 billion, "we are left in a position where we are still in an extremely strong financial position," he says.

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Barclays 2Q Profit Tops Hopes

0815 GMT - Barclays second-quarter profit was better than expected, says Citigroup. Citi says 2Q adjusted PBT of GBP2.6 billion, excluding litigation, is 55% ahead of consensus, mainly driven by provision reversals on IFRS 9 assumption changes. Pre-provision profit is 12% ahead of consensus, with a 2% revenue beat and 2% cost beat. Guidance for FY21 net-interest margin is slightly increased and FY21 cost guidance has been clarified, though both appear to match existing consensus. CET1 ratio of 15.1% is above consensus, while the announced buyback of GBP0.5bn also tops expectations. "Overall a solid and reassuring set of numbers," Citi analysts say. Citi reiterates a neutral rating on the stock, which rises 4.6%.

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BAT's New Categories Are Crucial to Share Price

0812 GMT - British American Tobacco's reduced-risk products--like e-cigarettes and tobacco-vapor products--are critical to the continued performance of its share price in the long-term, Jefferies says. The strong sequential improvement in the New Categories segment in its 1H results is encouraging, it says. At the same time, the tobacco company continues to take share in the cigarette market, with U.S. delivery remaining robust, which should help support additional investment in reduced-risk products, Jefferies says. The U.S. bank retains its buy rating and target price of 3,606.0 pence. Shares are up 0.1% at 2,772 pence.

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BAT Looks Cheap Given Dividends on Offer

0759 GMT - The bulk of British American Tobacco's sales still come from traditional tobacco products, with ethical issues leaving the industry an untouchable area for many investors, but its push toward new category products continues and great dividends are hard to ignore, Interactive Investor says. The tobacco company's New Category revenue rose 40.4% in 1H, and a historic and forecast dividend yield of over 7% is hard to ignore, especially in the current ultralow interest rate environment, Interactive Investor says. "In all, and given a discounted valuation, strong cash generation and a generous dividend yield, analyst consensus opinion continues to point toward a strong buy," the online investment platform says. Shares are down 0.1% at 2,769 pence.

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Fresnillo Gains After 'Solid' 2Q Production Report

0757 GMT - Shares in Fresnillo rise 4% after the Mexican silver miner reported better-than-expected second-quarter gold and silver production. RBC Capital Markets says the numbers were solid and beat both the brokerage's own estimates and those of the market. "On a less positive tone, the group reported that it is assessing the implementation of a new law in Mexico, which would restrict the ability to subcontract labour in the country," RBC analyst Tyler Broda says. While Fresnillo doesn't expect the law to impact FY21 volumes, it remains a risk to watch, RBC says. "We expect to hear more at the company's interim results on August 3."

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ITV's Outlook Seen as Implying Better-Than-Expected 3Q Advertising

0757 GMT - ITV's first-half numbers are slightly better than expected and its outlook for the third quarter suggests advertising will be stronger than anticipated, Numis says. The British broadcaster said advertising is expected to be up 68% for July and up between 17% and 20% for August, while trends for September are looking positive. This implies that ITV's third-quarter advertising revenue should be up more than 20%, which is ahead of Numis's current estimate of a 6% rise, the brokerage says. In the first half, ITV's advertising and studios revenue both contributed, and cost-saving plans are in line with previous comments, Numis says. Shares rise 0.7%.

 

Contact: London NewsPlus, Dow Jones Newswires; +44-20-7842-931

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 28, 2021 04:58 ET (08:58 GMT)

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