The FTSE closed higher on Tuesday, boosted by gains from Thungela Resources Ltd., Intermediate Capital Group PLC and Flutter Entertainment PLC despite the uncertainty regarding a potential delay to the final lifting of England's Covid-19 lockdown, which was due to take place on June 21. "Financial conditions remain tighter in Europe than the U.S., which should continue to weigh on the greenback, but as ever investors are determined to keep an eye on inflation, in the hope that a spark can be found to reignite the gains of earlier in the year," IG says.
TinyBuild Swung to 2020 Pretax Profit
London-listed videogames developer tinyBuild Inc. said Tuesday that it swung to pretax profit for 2020 thanks to new releases and robust back-catalogue sales, as it acquired DogHelm for up to $6.5 million in cash and shares.
Xpediator Sees 2021 Results Ahead of Views After Strong 5-Month
Xpediator PLC said Tuesday that it expects to beat market forecasts for 2021 as the business saw strong demand during the first five months of the year.
Driver Group 1H Pretax Profit Fell
Driver Group PLC said on Tuesday that pretax profit and revenue fell for the first half of fiscal 2021, and that the board expects the past 12 months' constraints on routine business development will start to abate.
Intercede Group FY 2021 Profit Jumped on Higher Revenue
Intercede Group PLC said Tuesday that its pretax profit for fiscal 2021 nearly doubled, thanks to higher revenue.
Oncimmune Sees Higher FY 2021 Revenue
Oncimmune Holdings PLC said Tuesday that it expects to higher revenue for fiscal 2021 in line with market forecasts, and that it anticipates a strong start to fiscal 2022.
VP Swung to FY 2021 Pretax Loss; Sees Better Prospects for FY 2022
VP PLC said Tuesday that it swung to a pretax loss for fiscal 2021 as revenue fell and that it is excited about the prospects for the coming year against a positive market backdrop.
Cornerstone 2020 Pretax Loss Widened
Cornerstone FS PLC said Tuesday that its 2020 pretax loss widened after booking higher costs and that since the start of the new year its trading volumes have increased and its customer base expanded.
Itaconix Shares Fall on Weak Personal-Care Unit
Shares in Itaconix PLC fell Tuesday after the company said its personal-care business delivered a weak performance in the first five months of the year.
Restaurant Group Chairwoman Debbie Hewitt to Leave at Year-End
Restaurant Group PLC said Tuesday that Chairwoman Debbie Hewitt will leave the company on Dec. 31 to join the English Football Association as its new chairwoman.
RWS Holdings 1H Pretax Profit Fell; CEO to Step Down
RWS Holdings PLC said Tuesday that pretax profit for the first half of fiscal 2021 fell on costs related to its merger with SDL and exceptional items, and that Chief Executive Officer Richard Thompson will step down.
Software Company Itim Group Plans AIM Float
Software company Itim Group PLC, which provides technology to store-based retailers, said Tuesday that it intends to seek admission to trade on London's junior AIM market, and that it plans to raise up to 12 million pounds ($17 million).
Activist Investor Cevian Capital Now Holds 4.95% Stake in Aviva
Activist investor Cevian Capital Partners Ltd. on Tuesday said that it now owns 4.95% of Aviva PLC's issued share capital, and that the London-listed insurance company should be able to return around 5 billion pounds ($7.09 billion) of excess capital to shareholders next year.
Cordiant Digital Infrastructure Raises GBP185 Mln via C Share Placing
Cordiant Digital Infrastructure Ltd. said Tuesday that it has raised 185 million pounds ($262.3 million) via a C share placing and will invest the money in line with its policy.
RWS Holdings' Synergies with SDL Could Exceed Increased Estimate
1319 GMT - RWS Holdings identified cost synergies from its combination with SDL of GBP33 million, up from GBP15 million originally indicated, but the final outcome could exceed that revised estimate, Davy Research says. "We continue to believe that this number could be beaten and could be in the GBP40 million-GBP50 million range," Davy says. That would more than double the Ebita estimate for standalone SDL, Davy says. Higher synergy expectations bode well for future acquisitions by the U.K. language-services provider, Davy says. RWS completed its GBP854 million all-share acquisition of SDL in November.
Aveva's Strategic Plan Could Boost Shares
1300 GMT - Aveva Group is likely to outline its strategy in a capital-markets day due July 1, potentially driving the industrial-software firm's shares, says J.P. Morgan Cazenove. "We think the new CEO, Peter Herweck, will take the opportunity to provide his vision and long-term strategic plan for the combined entity of Aveva and OSIsoft," says JPM analyst Stacy Pollard. "We believe the company could give long-term targets of high-single digit revenue growth and adjusted EBIT margins to reach 35% within five years. We reiterate our overweight rating and believe the CMD could be a positive catalyst for the shares."
M&G Could Return Cash to Guard Against Bid Approaches
1240 GMT - M&G could return cash to shareholders to help it fend off possible takeover bids, says Bank of America. BoA cuts its recommendation on the asset manager to neutral from buy after a share-price rally, though it keeps its 260 pence price target. M&G has been coy about capital returns, despite having significant excess cash, BoA says. "We think recent press commentary that Schroders considered an approach for M&G could remind management that prudence is fair, but over-prudence can lead to becoming an M&A target," BoA analysts say. "This could encourage management to be more open. We forecast GBP500 million of buybacks, starting with a GBP100M buyback in 2022." M&G shares, worth about 195p in January, drop 2% to 244p.
Intermediate Capital's Fundraising Seen Driving Upgrades
1222 GMT - As Intermediate Capital gets larger its growth opportunity has increased and higher expectations for future fundraising confirm the trend towards alternative assets, Peel Hunt says. The asset manager occupies a prime position in a structural growth market and fiscal 2021's pretax profit of GBP509.5 million beat consensus by 60%, the U.K. brokerage says. Although this was mostly driven by investment returns in its Investment Company, the Fund Management Company, its other segment, also exceeded estimates, so improved future funding guidance of $40 billion should drive further upgrades, the broker says. "Growth momentum remains strong and seems unlikely to falter any time soon," the broker says. Peel Hunt has an add rating on the stock and a 1,777 pence target price.
Paragon Banking Shares Surge After Upbeat 1H
1142 GMT - Shares in Paragon Banking Group jump 11% to 571 pence after the lender reported higher first-half pretax profit and declared an interim dividend and a share-buyback program. Underlying pretax profit topped market expectations, the company had a good start to the year, the loan book continued to demonstrate high-quality underwriting and low arrears and capital remained strong, says Panmure Gordon, which has a buy rating on the stock. "We view all of this as supportive of the investment case," its analysts say. "We unwind some caution in the provision and increase our price target to 621 pence."
Aviva, Activist Investor Seem to Agree on Many Things
1109 GMT - The new owner of 4.95% of Aviva's issued share capital, Cevian Capital, believes the insurance company could do more and faster to release more cash and generate further capital appreciation, says AJ Bell's Russ Mould. The poor long-term performance of Aviva's shares can hardly be blamed on CEO Amanda Blanc, which would explain why the activist investor isn't asking for a change of leadership or a board seat, Mould says. Cevian "appears to be taking a more 'suggestivist' stance, since in many ways it and Aviva seem to be in agreement over what to be done," Mould adds. Shares are up 3% at 423.00 pence.
Intermediate Capital's Strong FY 2021 Results Should Lead to Consensus Upgrades
1001 GMT - Intermediate Capital Group issued a strong set of results for fiscal 2021, with outperformance once again on the fundraising side and beats for both the Fund Management Company and the Investment Company segments, Citi says. FMC's pretax profit for the second half of the year rose 25% to GBP112.5 million and was 17% higher than consensus, while the Investment Company's 2H pretax profit came in at GBP202.4 million, well ahead of consensus of GBP28.0 million. Although fundraising for fiscal years 2022 and 2023 is in-line with the asset manager's $40 billion new guidance, Citi expects to see consensus upgrades on the back of the strong results and an earlier-than-expected fundraise by the Europe Fund VIII, which held its first close in April.
BAT's Vaping Fortunes May Be Turning a Corner
0939 GMT - Shares in British American Tobacco rise 1.7% after the cigarette maker raised its full-year revenue guidance. While traditional tobacco companies have faced pressure for failing to achieve growth expectations for next-generation products such as vaping, the criticism is now looking as if it may have been too harsh, AJ Bell says. "Of note, BAT has upgraded its earnings guidance after saying smokers continue to switch to less harmful alternatives. The company will be hoping customers stay loyal once it has hooked them in," says AJ Bell's investment director Russ Mould.
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