London's blue-chip index ended the session 0.19% higher on
Thursday, breaking a three-day losing streak. "With U.S. markets
shut for Thanksgiving, European stock indices drift higher amid low
volume trading," IG analyst Axel Rudolph wrote in a market comment.
The FTSE 100's rise was helped by encouraging surveys pointing to a
pick up in business activity, Oanda analyst Craig Erlam said. "U.K.
services [Purchasing Managers Index] unexpectedly moved back into
growth territory, reinforcing the view that the economy may once
again defy expectations and avoid recession," Erlam wrote.
Intertek Says It Is on Track to Deliver Targets After Revenue
Intertek Group said it is on track to deliver its targets after
booking like-for-like revenue growth on a constant currency
FirstGroup Swung to Pretax Loss on Higher Costs; Sees Year in
Line With Views
FirstGroup said it swung to a pretax loss for the first half of
its fiscal year after booking higher costs, and that its outlook
for the year was in line with the board's expectations.
Paypoint Pretax Profit Falls on Higher Cost Despite Double-Digit
Paypoint has reported a lower pretax profit for the first half
of fiscal 2024 despite double-digit revenue growth amid a
challenging environment, reflecting higher cost and the expected
first-half loss from the Love2shop business acquisition.
Virgin Money UK Pretax Profit Fell; Starts New Buyback
Virgin Money UK said pretax profit fell on impairments and
adjusting items, and started a 150 million pound ($187.4 million)
Mitie Group Backs Guidance After Rise in Pretax Profit
Mitie Group backed its recently raised full-year guidance after
booking a pretax profit increase in the first half of fiscal
DX (Group) Reports Strong New Business, But Flags Softening
DX (Group) PLC said it has secured strong levels of new business
in the first quarter of its fiscal year, but flagged that some
volumes were softening.
Hornby Pretax Loss Widens on Increased Costs; Revenue Edges
Hornby said its pretax loss widened in the first half of fiscal
2024, despite a slight growth in revenue, partly on higher costs
associated with its current business restructure.
LondonMetric Property Swings to Profit on Portfolio Value
LondonMetric Property said that it swung to a pretax profit in
the first half of fiscal 2024 due to a rise on the value of its
portfolio, and hiked its dividend.
Avation's Broker Received Takeover Approach for Company Over
Avation said that its broker was approached over the summer
about a potential takeover for the company but talks ended after it
was unable to verify the bidder's funding package.
PZ Cussons's Performance In Line With Expectations Despite
PZ Cussons said its performance continues to be in line with the
board's expectations and consistent with its fiscal 2024 outlook,
despite very high levels of inflation.
Michelmersh Sees Earnings in Line With Views After Resilient
Michelmersh Brick Holdings said it expects earnings to be in
line with market views for 2023 after resilient performance in the
fourth quarter, with the company continuing to operate at full
Auto Trader Bears Near-Term Risks, Long-Term Structural
1335 GMT - Auto Trader has both near-term cyclical risks and
long-term structural concerns as the auto retail market is in flux,
UBS says. The digital automotive marketplace has taken a
commendably proactive approach, but it is still vulnerable to a
price correction, declining private car ownership and the electric
vehicle transition, among other factors, UBS analysts say in a
research note. "We believe a [share price fall] is justified given
an inferior growth profile and lower earnings visibility, making
Auto Trader our least favored stock in the European Online
Classifieds [market]," the Swiss bank says. UBS cuts Auto Trader's
rating to sell from neutral and lowers the price target to 613
pence from 640 pence. Shares are down 1.6% at 700.6 pence.
European Markets Rise After Mixed Asia; Oil Stocks Gain
1228 GMT - European stocks mostly gain after mixed Asia trading,
with oil stocks among the biggest risers as crude prices recover
some of Wednesday's losses. The Stoxx Europe 600 edges 0.1% higher
and the DAX and CAC 40 advance 0.2%, though the FTSE 100 drops
0.1%. Brent crude falls 1% to $81.14 a barrel, having dropped to
about $79 Wednesday following news of a delay to this weekend's
planned meeting of OPEC and its allies. Australian stocks
backtracked 0.6%, but markets in mainland China, Hong Kong and
South Korea rose. "European stocks remain bid following a sharp
fall in U.S. initial jobless claims and durable-goods orders, but
are expected to trade in low volumes due to holidays in Japan and
the U.S. until the weekend," IG analysts write.
Ithaca Energy Looks Poised to Gain From Robust Pricing
1214 GMT - Ithaca Energy's nine-month update was strong and in
line with expectations, Peel Hunt analyst Werner Riding says.
"Ithaca remains well placed to benefit from the current robust
pricing environment and to invest in future growth, especially in
light of recent government approval for the important Rosebank [oil
field] development," the analyst says. The oil-and-gas company's
year-to-date output of 71,000 oil-equivalent barrels a day was in
line with the U.K. brokerage's estimate, driving an Ebitdax--an
industry-specific metric stripping exploration costs--of $1.37
billion, below Peel Hunt's estimate of $1.64 billion. Shares are up
5.1% at 161.00 pence. (email@example.com)
Jet2 Loses Height After Reporting Slower Bookings
1158 GMT - Jet2 shares drop 3.6% after the tour operator and
airline group said it was on track to hit full-year pretax profit
targets, but reported slower bookings in the last few weeks. While
there was evidence of a strong post-pandemic rebound in overseas
travel in the company's first-half results, there were also signs
that this may be difficult to sustain, AJ Bell says. "Notably, Jet2
has held firm on pricing, but there has to be some risk that the
cost of jetting off for a break abroad is moving beyond the means
of at least some hard-pressed households," Bell's investment
director Russ Mould writes. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Cussons's Delisting in Nigeria is Necessary for Future
1157 GMT - PZ Cussons's planned delisting from the Nigeria stock
exchange is likely to lead to a hit to earnings, but it needs to
execute its plan to mitigate risks in the country if the Nigerian
arm is to have a long-term future, AJ Bell investment director Russ
Mould says in a note. The company's strategy to mitigate both
financial instability in Nigeria and volatile naira currency--a
regular problem--could protect its long-term stability, but may
include repatriating funds held in naira amid a lack of U.S.
dollars in Nigeria, Mould says. Shares are up 1.6% at 140.2 pence.
FirstGroup's Strong 1H Suggests Little Risk to Dividend, Buyback
1146 GMT - FirstGroup's 1H is strong as it managed to eke out
significantly higher profits from a smaller revenue base due to
vastly improved margins, eToro analyst Adam Vettese says in a note.
FirstGroup's balance sheet is in a relatively good state, meaning
that--unless the economy takes another downturn--there should be
little risk to the company's dividend or its buyback program, he
says. Furthermore, passenger numbers are soaring, most likely due
to the postpandemic normalization of commuting patterns, Vettese
says. "Its shares have taken a knock today, most likely as a result
of profit taking by shareholders, but we see some growth potential
for the firm going forward," he says. Shares are down 4.4% at
167.30 pence. (email@example.com)
Contact: London NewsPlus, Dow Jones Newswires;
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 23, 2023 12:32 ET (17:32 GMT)
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