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UPS Upstream

0.00 (0.00%)
23 Feb 2024 - Closed
Delayed by 15 minutes
Share Name Share Symbol Market Stock Type
Upstream UPS London Ordinary Share
  Price Change Price Change % Share Price Last Trade
0.00 0.00% 1.625 00:00:00
Open Price Low Price High Price Close Price Previous Close
more quote information »

Upstream UPS Dividends History

No dividends issued between 23 Feb 2014 and 23 Feb 2024

Top Dividend Posts

Top Posts
Posted at 22/2/2024 23:43 by master rsi
Friday preview: German GDP, StanChart in focus
(Sharecast News) - Investors' attention at the end of the week will be on the euro area's largest economy.

At 0700 GMT, the German Federal Office of Statistics will release fourth quarter gross domestic product growth data.

It will be followed at 0900 GMT by the IFO institute's business confidence index for the month of February.

On home shores, overnight consultancy GfK will publish the results of its consumer confidence survey for February.

No major economic releases are scheduled in the U.S..

On the corporate side of things, it will be StanChart's turn to update investors.

UBS analyst Jason Napier has penciled-in roughly flat net interest income in quarter-on-quarter terms of $2.38bn.

Underlying profit before tax meanwhile was seen at $816m, which would be down by 38% on the quarter but 27% higher year-on-year.

The quarterly dividend was pegged at 17.4 US cents with a $750m share buyback programme expected to be announced alongside.

Napier said that the markets' focus would especially be on the outlook for 2024, particularly for net interest income given expectations in markets for lower US rates.

"At a 50% discount to tangible book value and an implied COE towards the higher end of our European bank coverage, we think the stock is not pricing the recovery potential of the tactical hedge, the Ventures business and improvement in Financial Markets capabilities."

"But, as a bank with substantial Fed Funds rate gearing the new targets will have to do the heavy lifting in the face of rate cuts to attract new investors, in our view."

Friday 23 February


City of London Investment Group, City of London Investment Group




Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust , Primary Health Properties


Gross Domestic Product (GER) (07:00)


Afarak Group SE (DI), Allianz Technology Trust


Capital Gearing Trust, Hollywood Bowl Group, Impellam Group


Marble Point Loan Financing Limited NPV, ZCCM Investments Holdings 'B' Shares, Zhejiang Yongtai Technology Co. GDR (EACH Repr 5 A SHS) (REG S), Zhejiang Yongtai Technology Co. GDR (EACH Repr 5 A SHS) (REG S)


Bluebird Merchant Ventures (DI), Chemring Group


GFK Consumer Confidence (00:01)


Gooch & Housego, Hollywood Bowl Group, RWS Holdings, Victrex plc
Posted at 22/2/2024 15:38 by master rsi
FTSE 250 movers: Indivior surges, Hargreaves Lansdown out of favour
Indivior surged on Thursday after the opioid addiction treatment maker said it was planning to move its primary listing to the US.

Indivior said it was initiating consultations with shareholders on potentially shifting to a primary listing in the US this year, while maintaining a secondary listing in the UK.

The company said a US listing could be beneficial as it would "reflect the group's current and future growth opportunities for its proprietary treatments" - Sublocade, Perseries and Opvee - which are centred in the US.

In addition, it would attract more US investors and analysts and allow for inclusion in major US indices over time.

Indivior also pointed to the fact that a growing proportion of its share capital is owned by US-based investors.

News of the potential move came alongside 2023 results, which showed that operating losses narrowed to $4m from $85m a year earlier, while total net revenue rose 21% to $1.1bn.

At 0900 GMT, the shares were up 18.1% at 1,601p.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: "Indivior is currently the forty-seventh largest company on the FTSE 250 index. One would expect it to receive a higher valuation on the US market and that's a key reason why many companies switch listing location.

"The company has nearly half of its shares owned by US investors and the US is one of its major sales regions so there is logic in having a US stock listing. However, it would be yet another blow to the reputation of the London Stock Exchange as a listing venue. The more companies that follow this path, the harder it will be to attract new names to the UK."

Instant-service equipment business ME Group said on Thursday that it had delivered a "year of record financial performance", with both revenues and profits growing in the 12 months ended 31 October.

ME Group said revenues were 14.6% higher at £297.7m, while underlying earnings grew 15.6% to £106.6m and pre-tax profits surged 25.7% to £67.1m. Earnings per share were 30.1% higher on a diluted basis at 13.31p.

The FTSE 250-listed group noted that its next-generation photo booth rollout was underway, modernising and digitalising its photobooth estate, while it also continued the expansion of its laundry operations.

ME added that it had created further shareholder value through dividends, with total dividends per share increasing from 12.70p to 7.39p.

Chief executive Serge Crasnianski said: "We are pleased to report a year of record financial performance during which we continued to make good strides in delivering on our long-term growth strategy. We have reported strong revenue and profit growth across all of our business areas and geographic regions, achieved despite the widely reported macroeconomic challenges.

"The board looks ahead to the future with confidence and, notwithstanding changes in the macro environment, expects the group to build on the success of FY 2023 and achieve continued revenue and earnings growth in FY 2024."

As of 1100 GMT, ME Group shares were 4.82% higher at 139.20p.

Shares in Jupiter Fund Management jumped on Thursday, after full-year profits came in comfortably ahead of expectations.

The FTSE 250 investment manager reported a 7% dip in net revenues in the year to 31 December to £368.8m.

But a "disciplined" approach to cost control meant operating costs fell by 12%, helping support a 36% jump in underlying pre-tax profits to £105.2m.

Analysts had been expecting pre-tax profits closer to £91.5m.

Assets under management also rose, by 4% to £52.2bn, driven by positive net inflows from institutional clients.

Total outflows were £2.2bn, though that moderated notably from 2022's £3.5bn.

Matthew Beesley, chief executive, said: "We have delivered a robust performance this year, despite the challenges faced by our industry.

"Our strong capital position means we are well-placed to invest for the future. The market outlook continues to be uncertain but I am confident that we have a strong underlying business and a strategy that can delivered growth over the medium term."

As at 0945 GMT, shares in Jupiter were trading 7% higher at 87.55p.

Deutsche Numis, which has a 'hold' rating on the stock, said: "We estimate that 2024 so far has seen trackable net inflows of £0.2bn, which is an encouraging start compared to prior periods in our view.

"Overall, we think there is little in this statement for the bears, and there are some early signs of improvement. Whether the latter can be sustained remains to be seen, but it is clearly encouraging nonetheless."

There were few surprises in Genus's interim results on Thursday after a detailed trading update from the animal genetics company just last week, as it reported a 31% drop in adjusted profits as expected.

Shares in Genus tanked 16% on 15 February after the company guided to full-year adjusted pre-tax profit of £58m, owing to challenging markets, well below the consensus forecast for a similar outcome from last year's £71.5m.

However, an absence of bad news its interim results has provided some reassurance, with shares rising 2.5% at 1,960p following the figures on Thursday morning.

In line with recent guidance, Genus said revenues were £334m in the six months to 31 December, down 5% on the previous year, which it described as "resilient" in a tough environment. At constant currency, revenues would have risen 1%.

Adjusted pre-tax profit was down 26% year-on-year on a reported basis at £29m due to weakness in China, particularly in its porcine business PIC and dairy/cattle unit ABS. In the latter specifically, demand for dairy genetics in China was hit by a double-digit decline in the dairy herd.

As mentioned last week, Genus is now undergoing a so-called "Value Acceleration Programme" in ABS to improve profitability and returns from investments.

"We have taken rapid action including initiating a comprehensive programme to accelerate the value delivery from our bovine operations," said chief executive Jorgen Kokke.

"We have also completed a strategic review of R&D activities. The company is benefitting from savings achieved in the first half and will benefit further in the second half of the year and into FY25, as we optimise resource allocation to best deliver our growth objectives."

The company said there was no change to the full-year guidance given last week, assuming that current market conditions persist for the rest of the year.

"We are seeing the positive impact of our actions to accelerate value delivery which will deliver further benefit in the second half and in subsequent years," Kokke said.

Hargreaves Lansdown reported a 6% rise in assets under administration in its half-year results on Thursday, reaching a record high of £142.2bn by 31 December, compared to £127.1b a year earlier.

The FTSE 250 company said net new business, however, dipped to £1b from £1.6bn in the prior year's first half.

Revenue rose 5% to £368.2m, and underlying diluted earnings per share settled at 34.6p, a marginal decrease from 35.5p in the first half of the 2023 financial year.

The board hiked the interim dividend by 4% to 13.2p, up from 12.7p in the prior year's corresponding period.

Self-storage group Safestore said on Thursday that quarterly revenues had fallen amid "challenging economic conditions".

Revenues were down 0.7% year-on-year at £55.3m, with closing occupancy just 0.2% higher at 6.11m square foot, and average storage rates were 1.2% weaker at £30.06.

Market Movers

FTSE 250 - Risers

Indivior (INDV) 1,560.00p 15.04%

Me Group International (MEGP) 147.00p 10.69%

Jupiter Fund Management (JUP) 88.80p 8.29%

Close Brothers Group (CBG) 350.00p 8.23%

Lancashire Holdings Limited (LRE) 655.50p 6.07%

Oxford Instruments (OXIG) 2,205.00p 5.25%

Wizz Air Holdings (WIZZ) 2,210.00p 5.19%

Darktrace (DARK) 359.60p 5.15%

Genus (GNS) 2,002.00p 4.71%

Kainos Group (KNOS) 1,108.00p 4.63%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 754.00p -6.38%

PZ Cussons (PZC) 100.20p -2.72%

Victrex plc (VCT) 1,286.00p -2.65%

Safestore Holdings (SAFE) 775.50p -2.64%

BBGI Global Infrastructure S.A. NPV (DI) (BBGI) 123.00p -2.54%

Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) 370.00p -2.48%

Tullow Oil (TLW) 29.42p -2.19%

British Land Company (BLND) 361.50p -2.14%

Quilter (QLT) 101.60p -2.03%

IP Group (IPO) 49.35p -1.50%
Posted at 22/2/2024 11:47 by master rsi
MGNS 2,315p (100p / 4.51%%)Morgan Sindall delivers "record" results for 2023; raises dividend
(Alliance News) - Morgan Sindall Group PLC on Thursday celebrated strong annual results and it increased its yearly dividend.

The London-based construction group delivered a "record" annual performance, with revenue up 14% to GBP4.12 billion in 2023 from GBP3.61 billion in 2022.

Beside its Property Services division swinging to an operating loss of GBP16.8 million from a profit of GBP4.3 million in 2022, all of Morgan Sindall's segments reported growth for the year. The firm added a "remediation programme" is on track to return the unit to profit in 2025.

This included another "market-leading" performance from Fit Out, which specialises in office space refurbishments, with operating profit up 38% to GBP71.8 million from GBP52.2 million.

Adjusted pretax profit increased to GBP144.6 million, 6.2% ahead of GBP136.2 million the prior year. Reported pretax profit was 69% higher at GBP143.9 million from GBP85.3 million.

Adjusted earnings per share rose 4.1% to 247.7p from 237.9p.

Morgan Sindall's total annual dividend was 114p, with a proposed final dividend of 78p. This is up 13% from the total 101p delivered to shareholders in 2022, which included a 68p final dividend.

As at December 31, the group had GBP461 million in net cash, up from GBP355 million at the end of 2022.

MGNS 2,315p (100p/ 4.51%%) Morgan Sindall said that it had a healthy secured order book of GBP8.92 billion, up 5.4% from GBP8.46 billion a year before.

Looking ahead, the company said that slowing inflation and the chance of lower interest rates provides "a backdrop of confidence for the year ahead".

Chief Executive John Morgan said: "Despite facing market headwinds in the year and the disappointing losses in Property Services, the diversified nature of our operations and capabilities has allowed us to continue to make significant strategic and operational progress. In addition, our focus on positive cash flow together with our strong balance sheet has positioned us well to benefit over the long term from the opportunities available in our markets."
Posted at 22/2/2024 09:58 by master rsi
RGL 23.525P +1.525p / Positive Update on Active Office Occupancy

Regional REIT Limited (LSE: RGL), today declares its Q4 2023 dividend, provides an update on office occupancy and asset disposals to date.

Q4 2023 Dividend Declaration
The Company confirms that it will pay a dividend of 1.20 pence per share ("pps") for the period 1 October 2023 to 31 December 2023. The entire dividend will be paid as a REIT property income distribution ("PID").

The Company has introduced the option for shareholders to invest their dividend in a Dividend Reinvestment Plan ("DRIP"). More details can be found on the Company's website [...] ....
Posted at 22/2/2024 08:52 by master rsi
Rolls-Royce 2023 profit jumps as Erginbilgic makes his mark
Jet engine maker Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC on Thursday hailed a "step-change" in performance last year, though it did not return to the dividend list just yet.

Nonetheless, its promising outlook gave the shares a boost. The stock surged 7.2% to 353.30 pence each in London on Thursday morning.

Rolls-Royce reported statutory revenue from continuing operations of GBP16.49 billion, up 22% from GBP13.52 billion in 2022.

It swung to a pretax profit of GBP2.43 billion from a loss of GBP1.50 billion. On an underlying basis, pretax profit jumped to GBP1.26 billion from GBP206 million.

It hailed "record" free cash flow from continuing operations of GBP1.29 billion, markedly above the GBP505 million generated in 2022. It predicts free cash flow between GBP1.7 billion and GBP1.9 billion for 2024.

"Our transformation has delivered a record performance in 2023, driven by commercial optimisation, cost efficiencies and progress on our strategic initiatives. This step-change has been achieved across all our divisions, despite a volatile environment with geopolitical uncertainty, supply chain challenges and inflationary pressures," Chief Executive Tufan Erginbilgic said. "We are managing the business differently and our significant performance improvement in the year reflects the hard work and focused actions of all our teams. We are also continuing to invest to drive future sustainable growth. Our strong delivery in 2023 gives us confidence in our 2024 guidance and is a significant step towards our mid-term targets. We are unlocking our full potential as a high-performing, competitive, resilient, and growing Rolls-Royce."

Installed as CEO at the start of last year, Erginbilgic made waves just days into his stint as CEO after he described the firm as a "burning platform".

The perception of the company in the eyes of investors has improved markedly since his arrival, however.

The shares rose over three-fold last year.

Rolls-Royce had set out medium-term targets back in 2027. For a "2027 timeframe", it is targeting an operating profit between GBP2.5 to GBP2.8 billion, at an operating margin between 13% and 15%. It is also aiming for free cash flow of GBP2.8 to GBP3.1 billion, with a return on capital between 16% and 18%.

It added on Thursday: "Strong progress in the early years of our plan demonstrates a front-end loaded delivery of performance improvement. Our 2023 performance and 2024 guidance on operating profit and free cash flow means that by 2024 we will have delivered more than 50% of the improvement set out in our mid-term targets."

Rolls-Royce did not declare a dividend. It ceased dividend payments in 2020. Its last dividend was a final dividend for 2019.
Posted at 14/2/2024 23:56 by master rsi
Thursday preview: UK Q4 GDP, US data deluge
Investors' attention on Thursday will be on the latest economic growth data.

Before the market open in London, the Office for National Statistics is expected to announce that UK gross domestic product

shrank at a quarter-on-quarter pace of 0.1% over the three months ending in December.

Later in the day, investors will be digesting a deluge of economic data due out in the U.S..

Chief among those reports will be the retail sales figures for January and the latest weekly unemployment claims data.

Across the Channel meantime, European Central Bank boss, Christine Lagarde will deliver a speech at 0800 GMT.

Thursday 15 February


MJ Gleeson


Elixirr International


B.P. Marsh & Partners, Knights Group Holdings , Mattioli Woods, Mobeus Income & Growth 4 Vct, Mountview Estates, NCC Group


M Winkworth


BP, ICG Enterprise Trust, NextEnergy Solar Fund Limited Red


Balance of Trade (EU) (10:00)

Business Inventories (US) (15:00)

Capacity Utilisation (US) (14:15)

Continuing Claims (US) (13:30)

Import and Export Price Indices (US) (13:30)

Industrial Production (US) (14:15)

Initial Jobless Claims (US) (13:30)

Retail Sales (US) (13:30)

Retail Sales Less Autos (US) (13:30)


Synergia Energy Ltd NPV


Centrica, Relx plc


BioPharma Credit


JPMorgan Asia Growth & Income


Balance of Trade (07:00)

GDP (Preliminary) (07:00)

Gross Domestic Product (07:00)

Index of Services (07:00)

Industrial Production (07:00)

Manufacturing Production (07:00)


Hargreave Hale AIM VCT


Gulf Investment Fund, Henderson Opportunities Trust, Imperial Brands , LLoyds Banking Group 6.475% Non-Cum Pref Shares, Ramsdens Holdings , Schroder UK Mid Cap Fund, Triple Point Venture Vct


Benchmark Holdings , Benchmark Holdings
Posted at 08/2/2024 09:34 by master rsi
LONDON MARKET OPEN: Unilever up on buyback; BAT ups dividend

(Alliance News) - THE FTSE 100 in London opened slightly higher on Thursday, with earnings from British American Tobacco and Unilever boosting the index.

The FTSE 100 index opened up 3.58 points at 7,632.33. The FTSE 250 was up 68.87 points, 0.4%, at 19,173.40, and the AIM All-Share was up 1.88 points, 0.3%, at 753.34.

The Cboe UK 100 was flat at 763.32, the Cboe UK 250 was up 0.4% at 16,589.32, and the Cboe Small Companies was flat at 14633.42.

In China, the Shanghai Composite closed up 1.3%, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was down 1.3% in late dealings.

Chinese consumer prices fell in January at their quickest rate in more than 14 years, data showed Thursday, as the country's leaders struggle to revive buying sentiment in the world's second-biggest economy.

The 0.8% drop in the consumer price index, revealed by the National Bureau of Statistics, marked the fourth straight month of deflation and was much bigger than the 0.5% fall forecast in a survey by Bloomberg News.

The reading was the worst since the second half of 2009, during the global financial crisis.

"In plain English, it means that the Chinese efforts to boost growth and bring inflation back are not working according to the plan. Money poured into the Chinese system doesn't circulate in a way to stimulate economy – blame people who lost confidence – and the radical measures that the government has put in place to prop up equity valuations hardly help China's battered stock markets to get back on their feet," said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote Bank.

In Asia on Thursday, the Nikkei 225 index in Tokyo was up 2.1%. The S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney closed up 0.3%.

The pound was quoted at USD1.2621 early on Thursday in London, slightly lower compared to USD1.2623 at the equities close on Wednesday. The euro stood at USD1.0771, higher against USD1.0765. Against the yen, the dollar was trading at JPY148.83, up compared to JPY148.01.

In the FTSE 100, British American Tobacco rose 4.2% to the top of the index.

The maker of cigarettes and vapes reported that in 2023 revenue fell to GBP27.28 billion from GBP27.66 billion a year earlier. BAT swung to a pretax loss of GBP17.06 billion from a profit of GBP9.32 billion.

Yet, BAT upped its dividend by 2.0% to 235.52p. It said that was in line with its progressive dividend increase approach.

Unilever jumped 3.2%, it said it plans a further EUR1.5 billion share buyback during 2024.

The London-based maker of food & drink, cleaning, toiletry, and personal care products said pretax profit fell 9.7% to EUR9.34 billion in 2023 from EUR10.34 billion in 2022, as turnover slipped 0.8% to EUR59.60 billion from EUR60.07 billion.

Unilever declared a fourth-quarter dividend of EUR0.4268, unchanged from a year earlier.

The company also announced a new share buyback programme worth up to EUR1.5 billion, set to begin in the second quarter and be completed within 2024. Last year, Unilever completed the second half of a two-year EUR3.0 billion buyback it had announced at the start of 2022.

Looking ahead, Unilever expects underlying sales growth for 2024 to be within its multi-year range of 3% to 5%, with more balance between volume and price.

Neil Shah at Edison Group commented: "Looking ahead, attention will be on how Unilever executes this plan in the coming months as it looks to return to sustained margin growth and market-leading competitiveness. Overall, while there are areas to address, the company's new strategic initiatives that are now underway position it well for future success, provided effective execution in a dynamic market."

AstraZeneca lost 1.9%.

AstraZeneca reported that in 2023 total revenue increased to USD45.81 billion from USD44.35 billion a year earlier.

The Cambridge, England-based pharmaceutical company's pretax profit more than doubled to USD6.90 billion from USD2.50 billion. Cost of sales fell to USD8.27 billion from USD12.39 billion.

Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said: "We expect another year of strong growth in 2024, driven by continued adoption of our medicines across geographies. Our differentiated and growing portfolio of approved medicines, global reach and rich [research & development] pipeline give us confidence that we will continue to deliver industry-leading growth."

Amongst London's small caps, Digital 9 plummeted 19%.

Back in November, the investor had announced the sale of its stake in the Verne Group for up to USD575 million. The disposal of the data group to funds managed by Ardian France SA comprises USD440 million in cash, split between USD415 million payable on closure of the deal and deferred consideration of USD25 million.

On Thursday, Digital 9 said the Icelandic anti-trust authority, the body responsible for providing the Icelandic regulatory approval, has decided to open a phase 2 investigation into the Verne transaction.

"Under the relevant applicable law, the period for the phase 2 investigation is up to 90 working days which can be extended to 135 working days. The Icelandic anti-trust authority is not obliged to use the full period to conclude its review," Digital 9 noted.

In European equities on Thursday, the CAC 40 in Paris was up 0.1%, while the DAX 40 in Frankfurt was down 0.1%.

In the US on Wednesday, Wall Street ended higher, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.4%, the S&P 500 up 0.8% and the Nasdaq Composite up 1.0%.

Brent oil was quoted at USD79.52 a barrel early in London on Thursday from USD78.98 late Wednesday.

Gold was quoted at USD2,029.44 an ounce against USD2,039.13.

Still to come on Thursday's economic calendar, there is the weekly US initial jobless claims reading at 1330 GMT.
Posted at 07/2/2024 22:20 by master rsi
LONDON MARKET CLOSE: European equities slip but US stocks press on

(Alliance News) - The FTSE 100 underperformed on Wednesday, although equities in New York pushed higher despite lingering US interest rate worries.

The FTSE 100 index lost 52.26 points, 0.7%, at 7,628.75.
The FTSE 250 ended down 66.81 points, 0.4%, at 19,104.53,
and the AIM All-Share fell 2.71 points, 0.4%, at 751.46.

The Cboe UK 100 ended down 0.8% at 763.32, the Cboe UK 250 lost 0.6% at 16,520.31, and the Cboe Small Companies fell marginally to 14,633.42.

In European equities on Wednesday, the CAC 40 in Paris ended down 0.4% while the DAX 40 in Frankfurt closed down 0.7%.

In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.4% at the time of the London equities close. The S&P 500 was up 0.6%, after earlier hitting a record high. The Nasdaq Composite was 0.7% higher.

"The see-saw battle going on in the FTSE 100 swung the way of the bears today," IG analyst Chris Beauchamp commented.

"Despite the index's relative cheapness, it remains firmly unloved, and languishes well off its record highs even as its peers in Europe and the US continue to look well-placed for more gains."

Beauchamp added: "Today saw the S&P 500 take its turn in hitting a new record high, though the Nasdaq 100 rapidly followed suit, eking out a new peak on the open. Despite warnings of an imminent correction, US stocks remain in a powerful uptrend.

"Even a more cautious Fed hasn't derailed Wall Street, and so far the best argument or a pullback appears to be that one is overdue. Perhaps this is true, but such things need a decent catalyst, and at present one refuses to appear."

It would be a "mistake" for the US Federal Reserve to start cutting interest rates too soon, despite its recent progress against inflation, a senior Fed official said Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Cleveland Fed president Loretta Mester, who is a voting member of the Fed's rate-setting committee this year, joined Powell in pouring cold water on the idea of imminent cuts.

The pound was quoted at USD1.2623 late Wednesday in London, higher compared to USD1.2590 at the equities close on Tuesday. The euro stood at USD1.0765, up against USD1.0749. Against the yen, the dollar was trading at JPY148.01, down from JPY148.09.

Bannockburn Global Forex analyst Marc Chandler commented: "Sterling has moved back into the USD1.26-USD1.28 trading range that dominated since the middle of last December until the start of this week.

"Stronger resistance is likely in the USD1.2645-75 area, but intra-day momentum indicators are stretched."

In London, housebuilders Barratt Developments and Redrow moved in opposite directions after announcing a merger deal. Barratt slumped 6.5%, while Redrow surged 13%.

Barratt said it will be taking over its smaller peer Redrow, in an all-share takeover offer which values Redrow at GBP2.52 billion.

Each Redrow shareholder will receive 1.44 new Barratt shares for each Redrow share. Following completion, shareholders in Redrow will hold around 33% of the combined group, while Barratt shareholders will hold around 67%.

The combined group will be renamed Barratt Redrow PLC upon completion.

Separately, the two firms announced results for the six months ended December 31. Both slashed dividends amid lower profit and revenue.

AJ Bell analyst Russ Mould said the deal suggests other names in housebuilding could be in play.

Mould added: "[The merger] valued Redrow at 1.29 times its historic tangible net asset value, or book value, per share, compared to the 1.02x multiple that prevailed at Tuesday's close. That brings in another rule of thumb, namely that builders are potentially cheap when they trade around one times book value and below and are probably expensive when they trade toward two times TNAV and above.

"It also begs the question of what this price tag means for other builders, allowing for how they have, in some cases, different business mixes, target markets and geographic exposures. Crest Nicholson, Bellway and Taylor Wimpey look cheap compared to the 1.29 times TNAV implied by the undisturbed Barratt share price and even Tuesday's early-morning falls in Barratt, which trim the value of the offer for Redrow and the implied multiple of book value, still leave the shares offering some upside."

Crest Nicholson added 4.4%, Bellway rose 2.8% and Taylor Wimpey shares climbed 1.2%.

Smurfit Kappa added 3.6%. The Dublin-based packaging company boosted its dividend by 10% to 118.4 euro cents. The company's annual earnings declined, though its chief executive said these were still the firm's second-best yearly numbers in its history.

Sainsbury's shares fell 6.1%, dragging grocery peer Tesco down 3.4% with it.

The London-based supermarket chain committed to returns as it set out is 'next level Sainsbury's' strategy, which it said builds on the "food first" programme that it launched in November 2020. The new strategy aims to make grocery market volume share gains, while still building on the range offered by general merchandise arm Argos.

Sainsbury's said it will commit to the progressive dividend policy from the start of the next financial year, and the share buyback also will take place over the course of that year.

Funding the payouts, Sainsbury's said it continues to forecast retail free cash flow of at least GBP500 million per year and added on Wednesday that it now expects at least GBP1.6 billion over the next three years.

It will aim for GBP1 billion in cost savings over the three years to financial 2027, expecting to take GBP150 million in one-off costs related to those savings over the next three years.

Future shares fell 7.7% as the magazine publisher, and operator of price comparison site Go Compare, said trading has been "broadly in line with expectations" in the four months to January 31. However, it said macroeconomic pressure meant it was a slower start to the financial year for affiliate products and digital advertising.

It releases results for the first-half to March 31 in May.

Zinc Media shares climbed 3.1%. The television and audio production firm said revenue in 2023 rose 30% to GBP40 million from GBP30 million in 2022.

Brent oil was quoted at USD78.98 a barrel in London on Wednesday, up from USD78.57 late Tuesday.

Gold was quoted at USD2,039.13 an ounce, up against USD2,036.43.

Thursday's economic calendar has Chinese inflation data overnight, before US initial jobless claims reading at 1330 GMT.

The local corporate calendar has annual results from pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca and consumer goods company Unilever. Utility SSE and contract caterer Compass release trading statements, while Miner Anglo American posts a production report.
Posted at 07/2/2024 12:53 by master rsi
LONDON MARKET MIDDAY: Barratt and Smurfit Kappa bookend FTSE 100

(Alliance News) - Stock prices in London were lower at midday Wednesday, with Barratt Developments and Smurfit Kappa sitting either side of the FTSE 100 index.

Barratt has agreed to takeover FTSE 250 rival Redrow, in an offer which values Redrow at GBP2.5 billion. Meanwhile, Smurfit boosted its annual dividend despite a drop in revenue.

The FTSE 100 index was down 33.13 points, 0.4%, at 7,647.88. The FTSE 250 was down 20.72 points, 0.1%, at 19,150.62, and the AIM All-Share was down 2.61 points, 0.4%, at 751.56.

The Cboe UK 100 was down 0.5% at 765.30, the Cboe UK 250 was down 0.2% at 16,583.00, and the Cboe Small Companies was up 0.5% at 14,715.03.

In European equities on Wednesday, the CAC 40 in Paris was down 0.2%, while the DAX 40 in Frankfurt was down 0.4%.

The pound was quoted at USD1.2632 at midday on Wednesday in London, higher compared to USD1.2590 at the equities close on Tuesday. The euro stood at USD1.0769, up against USD1.0749. Against the yen, the dollar was trading at JPY148.09, unchanged from a day earlier.

Barratt Development plunged 6.8% to the bottom of the FTSE 100 index on Wednesday around midday, while Redrow was the FTSE 250's best performer up 13%.

Barratt said it will be taking over its smaller peer Redrow, in an all-share takeover offer which values Redrow at GBP2.52 billion.

Each Redrow shareholder will receive 1.44 new Barratt shares for each Redrow share. Following completion, shareholders in Redrow will hold around 33% of the combined group, while Barratt shareholders will hold around 67%.

The combined group will be renamed Barratt Redrow PLC upon completion.

Separately, the two firms announced results for the six months ended December 31. Both slashed dividends amid lower profit and revenue.

Barratt reported that revenue in the period fell 34% to GBP1.85 billion from GBP2.78 billion a year earlier. Pretax profit plummeted 70% to GBP157.1 million from GBP521.5 million.

In response to the lower profit, Barratt slashed its interim dividend to 4.4p from 10.2p.

In the same period, Redrow said its own revenue fell to GBP756 million from GBP1.03 billion a year earlier. Pretax profit fell to GBP84 million from GBP198 million.

Redrow halved its interim dividend to 5.0p from 10.0p.

"When an industry faces a difficult time consolidation is often the result and the proposed takeover of Redrow by Barratt Developments is evidence of that," said AJ Bell analyst Russ Mould.

Other FTSE 100 housebuilders trading higher, with Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon up 1.1% and 0.2%, respectively, amid signs that the UK housing market is heating up.

Data from Halifax showed that UK house prices rose for the fourth consecutive month in January, indicating a recovery in the sector.

The Halifax house price index rose 1.3% on a monthly basis in January, after rising by 1.1% in December. The typical UK home cost GBP291,029 in January, up GBP3,924 compared to December.

Kathleen Brooks, research director at XTB, said the data shows "further evidence that the UK economy started 2024 on a new leaf".

Smurfit Kappa jumped 4.9%.

The Dublin-based packaging company reported revenue in the 12 months to December 31 fell 12% to EUR11.27 billion from EUR12.82 billion the year prior, with pretax profit down 18% to EUR1.06 billion from EUR1.29 billion. Basic earnings per share declined 20% to 293.5 euro cents from 365.3 cents.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation fell 12% to EUR2.08 billion from EUR2.36 billion while the return on capital employed dipped to 17.1% from 21.8%.

Chief Executive Tony Smurfit said the results were "the second best in our 90-year history," with Ebitda and return on capital employed "above our target".

Smurfit boosted its dividend by 10% to 118.4 euro cents.

In the FTSE 250 index, PZ Cussons dropped 17%, after it cut its dividend and lowered profit guidance.

The Manchester, England-based consumer goods company which owns brands such as Carex and Imperial Leather said, in the half-year ended December 2, revenue fell 18% to GBP277.1 million from GBP336.9 million the year prior. The firm reported a pretax loss of GBP94.2 million, swinging from a pretax profit of GBP40.5 million the year before.

As a result, PZ Cussons cut its dividend by 44% to 1.50p from 2.67p, saying it would not be "prudent" to make an unchanged payout.

Looking ahead, PZ cussons said it now expects full-year adjusted operating profit, at reported rates of exchange, to be in the range of GBP55 million to GBP60 million compared to a range of GBP61.5 million to GBP68.2 million given in September.

On London's AIM, Redx Pharma surged 50%, after it struck a deal to sell its Kirsten rat sarcoma virus inhibitor programme to Dublin-based Jazz Pharmaceuticals.

The Macclesfield, England-based clinical-stage biotechnology company said it will receive USD10 million upfront, with a potential for up to USD870 million in development, regulatory and sales milestone payments in addition to royalties on future net sales.

Elsewhere, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Wednesday to push for a ceasefire as the Gaza war enters its fifth month.

Israel and Hamas have been weighing a proposal, brokered by US, Qatari and Egyptian mediators, that would be expected to temporarily halt the fighting and see Gaza hostages freed and Palestinian prisoners released.

Brent oil was quoted at USD79.03 a barrel at midday in London on Wednesday, up from USD78.57 late Tuesday.

Stocks in New York were called to open mostly lower. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 index are called down 0.1%, whilst the Nasdaq Composite is called to open flat.

Gold was quoted at USD2,033.12 an ounce midday Wednesday, lower against USD2,036.43 late Tuesday.

Still to come on Wednesday's economic calendar, there is US trade balance data at 1330 GMT.
Posted at 31/1/2024 09:07 by master rsi
LONDON MARKET OPEN: Stocks lack direction ahead of Fed, BoE

(Alliance News) - Stock prices in London lacked direction at the open on Wednesday, as investors nervously look ahead to interest rate decisions from the US Federal Reserve and Bank of England.

The FTSE 100 index opened up 2.76 points at 7,669.07. The FTSE 250 was down 11.48 points at 19,338.02, and the AIM All-Share was down 0.19 of a points at 754.70.

The Cboe UK 100 was down 0.1% at 765.96, the Cboe UK 250 was down 0.1% at 16,798.28, and the Cboe Small Companies was down 0.1% at 14,733.78.

In the US on Tuesday, Wall Street ended mixed, as investors looked ahead to Wednesday's interest rate decision. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.4%, whilst the S&P 500 was down 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.8%.

On Wednesday, all eyes will be on the latest interest rate decision from the US. The Fed will announce its latest decision at 1900 GMT.

It is expected to leave the federal funds rate range unmoved at 5.25% to 5.50%. What happens next has markets divided, however.

According to the CME FedWatch Tool, there is a 45% chance the central bank cuts rates in the following meeting in March. That probability stood at 73% a month ago.

Focus on Wednesday will be on whether the Fed Chair Jerome Powell offers any clues on the interest rate outlook.

Eyes will then swiftly turn onto the Bank of England, which will announce its latest interest rate decision at 1200 GMT on Thursday. Like the Fed, the BoE is expected to keep rates unchanged.

In early economic news, UK house prices edged higher in January, according to Nationwide.

The Nationwide house price index showed a 0.7% increase in seasonally-adjusted UK house prices in January, after showing no change in December. According to FXStreet, market consensus expected the house price index to edge up 0.1% on-month.

In January, the average UK house price stood at GBP257,656, up slightly from GBP257,443 in December, without seasonal adjustment.

Annually, the house price index edged down 0.2%, slowing from a 1.8% decline in December. This came in lower than consensus, with markets pencilling in a 0.9% fell.

"There have been some encouraging signs for potential buyers recently with mortgage rates continuing to trend down. This follows a shift in view amongst investors around the future path of Bank Rate, with investors becoming more optimistic that the Bank of England will lower rates in the years ahead," said Robert Gardner, Nationwide's chief economist.

On the back of the data, housebuilders were trading higher. Taylor Wimpey jumped 1.0%, Barratt Developments rose 0.4% and Persimmon edged up 0.3%.

Elsewhere in the FTSE 100, GSK fell 0.4% as it announced a lower total dividend for 2023.

GSK reported that turnover in 2023 rose 3.4% to GBP30.33 billion from GBP29.32 billion a year earlier.

Notably, GSK reported GBP1.24 billion in revenue for its respiratory syncytial virus vaccine Arexvy, which received approval in the US, the EU, Japan, the UK and Canada in 2023.

Pretax profit in the year climbed 7.7% to GBP6.06 billion from GBP5.63 billion.

On the back of the results, the pharmaceutical company paid out a dividend of 16p, bringing the full year dividend to 58p, which was 5.3% lower than a total payout of 61.25p in 2022.

Looking ahead, GSK said it expects turnover growth between 5% and 7% in 2024. It expects to pay a dividend of 60p per share.

Chief Executive Emma Walmsley said: "GSK delivered excellent performance in 2023, with clear highlights being the exceptional launch of Arexvy and continued progress in our pipeline. We are now planning for at least 12 major launches from 2025, with new Vaccines and Specialty Medicines for infectious diseases, HIV, respiratory and oncology."

In the FTSE 250, Harbour Energy lost 4.5%.

Goldman cut its stock to 'sell' from 'buy'.

Other FTSE 250 stocks were also hurt by stock broker cuts.

Morgan Advanced lost 2.5% and Victrex fell 1.8%. Both companies saw a rating cut by Jefferies.

Meanwhile, FDM lost 1.9% on the back of a trading update.

The IT-focused professional services provider expects its financial performance to be in line with expectations. Revenue for the year is expected to edge up to GBP334 million up from GBP330 million a year earlier.

"The last nine months of 2023 saw difficult trading conditions across our markets, with many clients delaying and deferring decisions around projects and consultant placements given the macro-economic and geo-political uncertainties they faced. Our agile business model allowed us to take the action required to align our business activity and resources appropriately, a programme which continues into the current year," said CEO Rod Flavell.

On AIM, Pebble Beach jumped 30%.

The company said its 2023 trading performance was ahead of market forecasts, with revenue up to GBP12.4 million from GBP11.2 million a year earlier.

he revenue generated by Pebble Beach includes recurring revenue of approximately GBP5.2 million up 13% from GBP4.6 million.

In Asia on Wednesday, the Nikkei 225 index in Tokyo was up 0.6%. In China, the Shanghai Composite was down 1.5%, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was down 1.4%. The S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney closed up 1.1%.

In European equities on Wednesday, the CAC 40 in Paris was up 0.3%, while the DAX 40 in Frankfurt was up 0.1%.

The pound was quoted at USD1.2695 early on Wednesday in London, higher compared to USD1.2665 at the equities close on Tuesday. The euro stood at USD1.0823, down against USD1.0839. Against the yen, the dollar was trading at JPY147.43, down compared to JPY147.80.

Brent oil was quoted at USD82.14 a barrel early in London on Wednesday, down from USD82.32 late Tuesday. Gold was quoted at USD2,040.19 an ounce, higher against USD2,033.15.

Still to come on Wednesday's economic calendar, there is German consumer price inflation data.

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