News Column

UK WINNERS & LOSERS: Synergy Health Boosted By Contract Win

June 6, 2014

James Kemp

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




Smith & Nephew, down 1.1%. Volatile trading in the medical technology company has continued Friday, with its shares falling sharply. Smith & Nephew has been among the blue-chip index's biggest risers or fallers almost every day for the last eight days amid ongoing speculation that it is set to be taken over. Last week, the Financial Times published an article that suggested Stryker, a US maker of hip implants and knee replacements, was about to make an unquantified takeover bid for the company. Stryker quickly denied the rumour, but Smith & Nephew was once again in the spotlight this week, as Bloomberg reported that US medical device maker Medtronic Inc is considering a takeover bid. Despite Friday's fall, Smith & Nephew's shares are still up 13% for the last eight days.

WM Morrison Supermarkets, down 0.9%. The struggling supermarket chain was hit by investor disquiet over its turnaround plan at the company's annual general meeting Thursday, with significant protest votes against the re-election of Chief Executive Dalton Philips and the company's remuneration policy for management bonuses. While all the AGM resolutions were passed, more than 15.4% of shareholders voted against re-electing Philips as CEO, Morrisons said, and over 26.5% voted against approving the company's remuneration policy, which details the amounts of and conditions for management bonuses. Also at the AGM Thursday, Chairman Ian Gibson said he will step down from the role at next year's AGM.




Synergy Health, up 3.7%. The company has signed a multi-year outsourcing contract with Minnesota-based Sterilmed Inc. Under the contract, Synergy will take over Sterilmed's manufacturing operations and will be responsible for all the receiving, production and distribution functions, with all current Sterilmed employees transferring to Synergy. The transfer of operations and employees will occur July 27. Sterilmed reprocesses and re-manufactures single-use medical devices.

KCOM Group, up 3%. The telecommunications company, which will be deleted from the mid-cap index on June 23 following the completion of FTSE's quarterly index review, raised its dividend and pledged a continued investment in the roll-out of high speed fibre-based broadband products, as it said that pretax profit rose in the year to end-March. It reported pretax profit of GBP50.5 million, up from GBP47.7 million in the previous year, despite seeing revenue decline slightly to GBP370.7 million from GBP372.9 million, offset by lowered operating expenses. It posted a total dividend of 4.88 pence per share, up from 4.44p, after declaring a 3.25p final dividend, up from 2.97p a year before.




Red Rock Resources, up 36%. The mining and exploration company said value of its investment in steel feed company Jupiter Mines Ltd had risen, and was supporting almost its entire market capitalisation. It said Jupiter, in which it has a 1.2% holding, put out its annual report showing that its net asset value per share rose to AUD21 cents. "As recently as December 2013 Red Rock was able to purchase Jupiter shares before delisting at AUD5.6c, whereas current Jupiter figures put a Net Asset Value of AUD21c a share, with 86% of this value tied up in cash and the Tshipi investment," Red Rock Chairman Andrew Bell said in a statement. "This puts the book value of Red Rock's current holdings at AUD5.75 million. Red Rock's current market cap sits at GBP3.84 million, with GBP3.18 million of this alone backed by this holding," Bell added.

Ariana Resources, up 10%. The exploration and mine development company has released its 2013 results, but failed to include any figures in a release that only included a statement from the chairman. That statement said the figures would be available on the company's website, but they weren't obviously available Friday morning. Nonetheless, shares in the company have jumped. There was only one trade, of 300,000 shares, according to data from Proquote.




Iafyds, off 20%. The company, formerly known as VPhase, has warned that its quotation on the London Stock Exchange's AIM market will be lost if it doesn't identify and agree upon a reverse takeover, at least in principle, by the autumn. In the meantime, Iafyds said it has secured additional funding through a GBP110,000 share placing with Henderson Global Investors, which raised its stake in the company as a result to 89.8% from 83.9%. The 3.67 billion shares were issued at 0.003 pence each. Iafyds shares are currently quoted at 0.04 pence. Iafyds said losses widened to GBP2.2 million in 2013, from GBP1.7 million a year earlier, but noted that the figures have "little relevance to the future as the business to which the accounts refer is discontinued and has not traded since the interim results."

Redhall, down 19%. The engineering support services company's Chief Executive Richard Shuttleworth has resigned, after the company lowered its expectations for its current financial year for a second time in two months, hit by further delays in the timing of major contracts and as it took a more cautious line on the timing and impact of new business prospects. It had warned on May 2 that it was experiencing delays converting major opportunities into contract awards, and had said at that time that it expected its performance to be below market expectations, although not materially so. Finance Director Chris Lewis-Jones stepped down at that time.

Paternoster Resources, down 1%. The investment company said its income was more than offset by running costs in 2013, meaning it swung to a small loss. It said it made a net loss of GBP33,148 in 2013, compared with a profit of GBP449,833 in 2012. It failed to realise any significant investments, and net gains in investments fell to GBP164,301, from GBP690,806 in 2012.


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Source: Alliance News

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