Unilever's Weak 1H Doesn't Justify Share Tumble
Unilever's first half was rather disappointing but the following share fall appears disproportionate, Deutsche Bank says. The consumer-goods producer delivered a small beat in Ebitda but this was clouded by a weak outlook, the German bank says. "Even though it doesn't make a large difference, that the company couldn't stick to the same margin guidance is disappointing," it says. However, this is hardly the worst outlook and the initial mid-single digit fall in the company's share price was an overreaction, it says. Deutsche Bank has a buy rating on the stock and a target price of 5,500 pence.
Restore Shares Jump on GBP743 Mln Takeover Approach by Marlowe -- Update
Shares of Restore PLC rose in early trade Thursday after Marlowe PLC said it made a 743 million pound ($1.02 billion) cash-and-share offer approach to the information and data-management services provider, which was rejected.
Tufton Oceanic Assets Raises Target Annual Dividend
Tufton Oceanic Assets Ltd. on Thursday raised its target annual dividend.
VP Says It is Performing in Line With Expectations
VP PLC said Thursday that it is performing in line with expectations.
Learning Technologies Group Sees Higher 1H Adjusted Profit, Revenue
Learning Technologies Group PLC said Thursday that it expects to report higher adjusted operating profit and revenue for the first half of 2021 thanks to a performance that was in line with its views.
Safestyle Sees Higher 1H Revenue, Expects to Exceed 2021 Market Views
Safestyle UK PLC said Thursday that it expects higher first-half revenue and it expects to exceed market expectations for 2021, but warned of short-term uncertainties affecting its market.
IDE Group Shares Fall on Widened Pretax Loss for 2020
Shares in IDE Group Holdings PLC fell Thursday after the company reported a widened pretax loss for 2020 on lower revenue.
Augean Gets Bid Deadline Extension as Talks With Morgan Stanley Continue
Augean PLC said Thursday that it has received an extension to the deadline by which Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Inc. must indicate whether it plans to make a firm offer or walk away as talks between the two parties continue.
AfriTin FY 2021 Loss Widened on License Impairments as Revenue Soared
AfriTin Mining Ltd. on Thursday reported a widened loss for its fiscal 2021, despite a significant increase in revenue.
Audioboom Says All Active Asset Capital's Offer Significantly Undervalues Business
Audioboom Group PLC said Thursday that the proposed 188.3 million pound ($258.3 million) cash-and-share offer by All Active Asset Capital Ltd. significantly undervalues the business, and advised shareholders to take no action.
Newmark Security Names Paul Campbell-White as Next CFO
Newmark Security PLC said Thursday that Paul Campbell-White will join the company as chief financial officer in September, taking over from Graham Feltham.
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).
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 market at 200 pence a share, giving it a market capitalization of 577 million pounds ($791.4 million).
Bank of Ireland Agrees to Acquire J&E Davy for EUR440 Mln
Bank of Ireland Group PLC said Thursday that it has agreed to acquire J&E Davy, an Irish provider of wealth management and capital markets services, for an enterprise value of 440 million euros ($519 million).
IG Group's Record Profits Seen as Unsurprising
1018 GMT - IG Group's record fiscal year was unsurprising, Peel Hunt says. The trading services company delivered profit growth of 52% and strong levels of cash generation, the brokerage notes. The key point of focus for investors will be the updated guidance, with core markets revenue now expected to grow 5%-7% per year and high-potential markets to rise 25%-30%, Peel Hunt says. Shares rise 3.6% to 855 pence. "The shares do not look expensive to us if the strategic guidance can be delivered," the brokerage adds.
UK Government's Part Selloff of NatWest Stake Will Be Welcomed
1009 GMT - U.K. Government Investments Ltd.'s sell down of part of its shareholding in NatWest Group will be welcomed by investors and should improve liquidity in the stock, Goodbody says. The plan will also reinforce the government's desire to reduce or exit its shareholding, even if it weighs on the share price over the next 12 months, the brokerage says. "Indeed, we suspect that the price reaction will be closely monitored in the coming period and if the market is judged to able to digest the sell down without an uncomfortable price reaction, we wouldn't be surprised to see UKGI seek to reduce its shareholding further," Goodbody says. Shares in the bank are down 0.8% at 198.05 pence.
3i Group's Strong Start to the Year Is Reflected in Portfolio
0949 GMT - 3i Group's positive value adjustments across the portfolio in its 1Q highlights its strong start to the year, Numis says. The international-investment manager's new investments and realizations in the period were modest, but current activity and pipeline point to a second-half pickup, Numis says. 3i's business model, portfolio and balance sheet strength allow for a selective approach, the brokerage adds. "The relatively low activity level in terms of new investments and realization point both to the conservative approach and ability to hold back and wait for the right opportunities, both key to our positive view of 3i," Numis says, reiterating its add recommendation and 1,420 pence target price. Shares are up 3.6% at 1,255 pence.
Centrica Needs to Provide More Clarity on Strategy
0933 GMT - Shares in Centrica drop 1.2% after the owner of British Gas reported a drop in first-half underlying earnings and didn't declare an interim dividend. Citigroup says adjusted operating profit fell short of its expectations and the company's outlook was more cautious, pointing to higher costs and losses from legacy contracts. "While none of these elements are new, it does mean we have to wait for the company's capital markets day in November 2021 for further clarity and direction of travel for the company," Citi analyst Jenny Ping says.
Getlink 1H Beat Expectations on Eurostar Traffic, Lower Operating Cost
0921 GMT - Getlink's 1H results were better then expected with an Ebitda of EUR100 million compared with consensus of EUR82 million, Citi says. "The outperformance was driven by better-than-expected Eurostar traffic and lower operating cost, partially offset by higher interest expenses--rising inflation impacted the inflation-linked debt," the bank says. The French operator of the Channel Tunnel between the U.K. and France said it wasn't able to provide full-year profit guidance due to continuing travel restrictions. Getlink trades 1.8% higher at EUR13.02.
Howden Joinery's 1H Should Push Up FY Forecasts, Citi Says
0828 GMT - Howden Joinery delivered a strong first half which bodes well for future progress, according to Citi. Citi expects consensus estimates for the U.K. maker of kitchen and joinery products in 2021 to move up around 10% on the back of strong start to the second half. "Group continues to dominate the market with strong share gains in a positive demand backdrop and there remains further upside to 2021 expectations," the U.S. bank says. Citi has a neutral rating on the stock and a target price of 840 pence. Shares are up 1.8% at 895.2 pence.
Unilever's 1H Raises More Questions Than Answers, Citi Says
0755 GMT - Unilever's sales boost in 2Q isn't enough to answer concerns around the group's future, according to Citi. The consumer-goods producer delivered an organic sales growth of 5.0% on year, beating a company-compiled consensus of 4.8%, Citi says. Still, rising costs remain a drag, it says. "The cut in full-year margin guidance, due to cost inflation, may reignite the debate on the likelihood of advertisement and promotion cut in the second half to protect margins [...] the first half brings more questions than answers on the company's ability to navigate the inflationary cycle without making painful trade-offs," the U.S. bank says. Citi has a buy rating on the stock and a target price of GBP51.
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