After two days of gains pushed the
But that did not stop a few recent rumoured takeover targets from gaining ground again.
Overall though the
Among the fallers, continuing uncertainty over strikes at
The move will allow the company to concentrate on its core cigarette business, and involves selling a minority of its shares in Logista to institutional investors and floating the business on the Spanish stock market.
A number of companies benefited from broker recommendations.
Weir, the pumps manufacturer, added 43p to £26.77 after
We upgrade to hold based on improving fundamentals in the North American pressuring pumping market and the prospect of strengthening earnings momentum at Weir's oil and gas division. A substantial improvement in efficiency gains and rig count growth look set to eliminate the excess supply of horsepower in the North American pressure pumping market faster than expected. We now expect a rightsizing of the market by the fourth quarter of 2014 or early in the first quarter 2015. Weir's oil and gas business should benefit from a continued strengthening in aftermarket activities (more than 70% of sales) as operators move to 24/7 operations and the replacement cycle starts to come through.
We believe there is material upside to
Shire climbed 6p to £35.92 after
Market confidence in Shire's longer term prospects is considerably lower than in its more immediate outlook. Yet we believe the company's pipeline could deliver revenues of more than
We believe Shire's new drug pipeline includes a potential blockbuster (lifitegrast for dry eye disease; sales reinstated in our model post constructive
Note that we expect Shire to highlight its collection of rare disease, ophthalmology and specialty pipeline assets at an investor day later this year (date to be confirmed) and would not be surprised if, by this time, the rare disease portfolio had been expanded further by M&A.
As a rare mid-cap pharma company without a controlling shareholder stake, Shire will in our view be subject to sporadic market reports of possible M&A interest in the company.
Among the mid-caps
Designer clothing group Ted Baker dropped 84p to £19.35 despite an 18% rise in first quarter sales. Analysts at
Progress remains serene at Ted Baker, with implied like for like sales up 6%. It's a small upgrade to numbers today but we are going to ease the recommendation back from buy to add: we are fans of the strategy and the story but expecting material share price appreciation from a starting point of 22 times PE is a bit rich for us.
Finally 7digital, the digital music and radio services company, added 1p to 33.5p on its first day of trading on Aim after its reverse takeover of
7digital has announced important contract wins from Guvera (a streaming music service which is pre-loaded on
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