News Column

UK WINNERS & LOSERS: Shire Leads FTSE 100 Risers

June 20, 2014

James Kemp



LONDON (Alliance News) - The following stocks are the leading risers and fallers within the main London indices midday Friday.

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FTSE 100 - WINNERS

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Shire, up 11%, Smith & Nephew, up 2.2%, and AstraZeneca, up 0.9%. The companies' shares have risen as merger & acquisition speculation again grips the pharmaceutical and health care sectors. US pharmaceutical research and development company AbbVie Inc has confirmed that it has made three indicative takeover approaches which have been rejected by Shire, and that talks between the two companies have now ended. AbbVie said it had first approached Shire in early May with a GBP39.50 cash and shares offer for each of the British company's shares. That would have valued Shire at GBP23.3 billion a share. Its third and latest offer was GBP46.26 a share in cash and shares, it said, valuing Shire's share capital at GBP27.2 billion. In a separate statement, Shire said it rejected the approaches because it thinks the offers undervalued the company and it can deliver better value to its shareholders by staying independent. Now that AbbVie has gone public with its approach, it has until July 18 to make a firm offer or to walk away.

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FTSE 100 - LOSERS

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Lloyds Banking Group, down 0.4%. Lloyds shares have fallen after the initial public offering of the first tranche of its high-street bank TSB Banking Group. Lloyds increased the amount of TSB shares it sold at the last minute, to 35% from the originally planned 25%, due to strong demand. While this bodes well for future sales, TSB's IPO price of 260 pence gave it an initial market capitalisation of about GBP1.3 billion, which is below the book value of about GBP1.5 billion. According to a European Commission ruling, Lloyds must sell-off the remainder of TSB by the end of next year. "I think people are questioning how well Lloyds is going to do once it’s sold off all the “good bits” in the TSB sale," said Jasper Lawler, a market analyst at CMC Markets. While Lloyds shares have fallen after selling off assets at below market value, the newly listed TSB has rocketed more than 13% from the IPO, bringing it more in line with its book value.

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FTSE 250 - WINNERS

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African Barrick Gold, up 4.6%. The gold production company is the biggest riser in the mid-cap index after Davy upgraded it to Neutral, from Underperform, with a price target of 283.00 pence.


Balfour Beatty, up 2.7%. The company said it has reached financial close for phase one of the Texas A&M University student accomodation project valued at USD104 million. This is the first phase of a two-phase project with an estimated combined value of USD200 million. Construction of phase one will start immediately, with the first students expected to move in during August 2015. Negotiations on the second phase are expected to be concluded later this year.

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FTSE 250 - LOSERS

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Xaar, down 2.1%. The digital inkjet printing technology company's share price continues to move lower following the warning it issued on Tuesday. The company warned that revenue will fall slightly in 2014 as it struggles to quickly expand the take up of its technology outside of ceramic tiles markets and that gross margins are expected to decline amid increased competition. The company's shares have lost over a third of their value since Tuesday.

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AIM ALL-SHARE - WINNERS

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Reach4Entertainment Enterprises, up 19%. The media and entertainment company said trading in 2014 has got off to a good start, driven by its New York theatre business, and that it is confident of meeting market expectations for the year as a whole. It noted that its performance has traditionally been weighted to the second half of each year because it benefits from the peak summer and year-end theatre seasons. However, it said that this year, trading at its New York-based theatre and live entertainment business Spot & Company of Manhattan Inc had been very strong and hence it thinks its results will be more balanced between the first and second half of the year.


GCM Resources, up 14%. The company said that the OECD Watch had now finished an examination of a complaint against the company and its plans for a controversial open pit coal mine in Bangaldesh and it was "looking forward" to communicating the results to its shareholders once an embargo is lifted. In December 2012, activist groups lodged a complaint against GCM Resources alleging it had breached the OECD guidelines for multinational companies with its plans for the developing the Phulbari coal project in Bangladesh.


Elektron Technology, up 14%. The technology company said that it had ended its strategic review and formal sale process after key shareholders rejected the biggest of the takeover offers it received, and that it has instead decided to proceed with its own GBP3.5 million fund raising. Elektron said it had received "various" approaches during its strategic review, the best of which was a 10 pence-a-share offer. However, John Kinder and Executive Chairman Keith Daley, who hold a combined stake of about 25.95% in Elektron, said they wouldn't accept a bid at 10 pence a share. It also received proposals for equity fundraising to be supported by shareholders or third parties. Instead, Elektron said it is advanced talks to raise up to about GBP2.3 million before expenses by placing shares with existing investors at 5 pence each, and it intends to raise about GBP1.2 million more through an open offer at the same price. If it is successful in raising the funds, the company intends to use the net proceeds of the placing and open offer to reduce its borrowings with the bank, to fund working capital requirements and to invest in new product development and marketing, it said. Elektron's shares are currently quoted at 4.85 pence.


Manx Financial Group, up 10%. The financial services group said it expects to report a "marked uplift" in profit for the first six months of 2014 compared with the corresponding period last year, as it reported that its assets have surpassed the GBP100.0 million mark for the first time. It said that its outlook is "extremely promising" and said that it expects its assets to exceed GBP100.0 million for the remainder of the year. The group, which is made up of Conister Bank Ltd, Conister Card Services Ltd, and Edgewater Associates Ltd, also said it expects to make an announcement "shortly" about a new joint venture that will focus on insurance premium and asset backed finance for the UK professional business sector, but it did not give further details. Additionally, Conister Bank has agreed a deal with digital non-bank lender PayBreak Ltd that will see loans ranging between GBP100 and GBP1,000 made to online customers in the UK.


Polar Capital Holdings, up 7.6%. The investment manager's shares have moved higher after it said its pretax profit more than doubled in its last financial year, as it reported net inflows from investors in every quarter boosting the assets it manages by USD6 billion to USD13.2 billion at the year-end. It said it made a GBP32.8 million pretax profit in the year to end-March, compared with GBP15.3 million a year earlier. Revenue increased to GBP91.8 million, from GBP51.7 million, driven by gains in net management fees due to the increase in assets under management, and rising performance fees due to general outperformance of the company's products against their benchmarks.

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AIM ALL-SHARE - WINNERS

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Bellzone Mining, down 15%. The iron ore, nickel and copper mining company said its ForÉcariah joint venture in Guinea has delivered 268,000 tonnes to market in 2014 and has 68,000 tonnes ready for shipping. However, the joint venture is in another dispute with contractors after a legal wrangle earlier this year which has now been dismissed. The company said the joint venture is currently in dispute with the contracted barge operator at the Konta Port, regarding issues raised by management on safety performance, efficiency of operations, and charges raised by the trans-shipper. The management team at the ForÉcariah joint venture is in discussions with the trans-shipper and the company does not expect to make shipments until the dispute is resolved.


Rose Petroleum, down 7.8%. The company said it intends to raise GBP6.5 million through an oversubscribed placing and subscription, money it will use to develop its Mancos and Paradox assets in Eastern Utah, pursue strategic acquisitions and for working capital. It said it would raise the money through an oversubscribed conditional placing by agents Allenby Capital Ltd and Pareto Securities Ltd to institutional investors, and a subscription of 433.3 million new shares at 1.5 pence each. The fund raising is conditional on shareholder approval at the company's annual general meeting on June 27. Rose Petroleum's shares are currently quoted at 1.7295 pence.

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Source: Alliance News


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