News Column

UK WINNERS & LOSERS: Drugs Giants Among Top FTSE 100 Gainers

August 21, 2014



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

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FTSE 100 WINNERS

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AstraZeneca, up 2.3%. The company said it has partnered with Illumina to develop a gene-sequencing platform for companion diagnostic tests, applicable across AstraZeneca's oncology portfolio. It plans to use Illumina's technology for a diagnostic test in studies for one of its investigational oncology compounds, which AstraZeneca said could speed up the clinical trial process. Illumina's technology allows gene sequencing that is faster and cheaper than traditional methods, the company said. It will be used to screen a panel of several gene sequences, scanning for possible genetic variants, rather than specified mutations from a single tumour sample. This information can then be used to help predict which patients will respond to which treatments.



GlaxoSmithKline, up 1.4%. The pharmaceuticals giant is up after it said late Wednesday the US Food and Drug Administration has approved its Arnuity Ellipta treatment for asthma in patients aged 12 years and older. It was approved for 100 microgram and 200 microgram doses, and is administered daily via the Ellipta dry powder inhaler, which is also used for a range of other respiratory medicines in Glaxo's portfolio. "The approval of Arnuity Ellipta is an important development for GSK and our expanding respiratory portfolio," said Darrell Baker, senior vice president and head of Glaxo's Global Respiratory Franchise.

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FTSE 100 LOSERS

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Barclays, down 0.2%. The Wall Street Journal reports that the terms of a proposed settlement filed on Wednesday in the US will see Barclays Capital pay a USD23.0 million sum to the creditors of Thornburg Mortgage, settling allegations of "improper" margin calls that contributed to the bankruptcy of the mortgage lender.

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FTSE 250 WINNERS

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John Wood Group, up 1.8%, after Numis raised the oil and gas service company's price target to 919 pence, from 838p.

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FTSE 250 LOSERS

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Kazakhmys, down 5.1%. The mining company's pretax loss narrowed in the first-half due to lower write-offs and impairment charges and as its cost cutting programme and efficiency improvements offset lower metals prices and boosted margins. However, revenue fell as it reduced its output at several higher cost, lower grade operations as part of its restructuring programme. In the six months to June 30, Kazakhmys said its pretax loss narrowed by more than half to USD118 million, from the USD244 million loss reported last year. Revenue slipped during the period to USD1.30 billion, from USD1.60 billion in the first half of 2013.

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AIM ALL-SHARE WINNERS

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Oilex, up 14%. The oil and gas explorer said it continues to recover light oil and fracking fluids at the Cambay-77H project in India. Crude oil recovered from the Cambay-77H project is now being transported to a nearby refinery for sale. Samples of the oil, gas and water from the site had been shipped to facilities for analysis and said preliminary analyses of the recovered water confirms it is consistent with frac water and not formation water.



Nighthawk Energy, up 9.7%. The US-focused oil developer and producer said it will start drilling at a new Arikaree Creek well this month and said it plans to start development of the Snow King discovery. The company said that average gross oil production from all of its oil wells hit 2,007 barrels per day in July, ahead of its gross average oil production rate in the first-half of the year though slightly lower than its average for the second quarter.

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AIM ALL-SHARE LOSERS

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Aurum Mining, off 23%. The gold and tungsten explorer said it would launch a discounted share placing to raise GBP60,000. The company announced it would place 4.8 million shares at a price of 1.25 pence per share, lower than its closing price of 1.375 pence per share on Wednesday and the new financing would be used to fund working capital requirements and back its strategic shift.



Tangent Communications, down 19%. The company said profits in the first-half will be below market expectations due to problems in its agency and Tangent Snowball operations, hitting the prospects for its full-year performance. In a trading update for the six months to August 28, the online printing and digital marketing firm said group operating profit for the year to February 28, 2015 is now expected to be comparable to the previous full year. Online sales are expected to increase 10% to GBP8.7 million in the year, with profits set to be in line with full-year 2014 levels, it said. It expects to see sales from its Printed.com business grow 30% year-on-year to GBP3.6 million, with sales in the second half expected to rise on the back of a bigger customer base and the launch of photography services this month. But despite the positive performance for its online business, its largest contributor to sales and revenue, the group said the difficulties in its agency business will offset that performance.



London Mining, down 13%. The company said it swung to a loss in the first-half as revenue fell on the back of lower market prices for iron ore, while it narrowed its production guidance due to a slower-than-expected ramp-up of operations and the impact of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. It said it made a loss of USD29.3 million in the six months to June 30, against a profit of USD10.2 million a year earlier. That came on the back of a 22% fall in revenue to USD110.6 million, with lower market prices offsetting a 5% rise in sales volumes.



Beowulf Mining, down 12%. The mining company is lower after it announced a discounted share placing to raise GBP2 million, though it also gave an upbeat update on its Kallak North and Kallak South iron ore projects in northern Sweden. It will place 20 million shares with institutional and other investors at 3 pence per share in order to raise GBP0.6 million. The pricing was set at a discount to Beowulf's closing price on Wednesday of 3.3 pence per share. The group will also raise GBP1 million through a subscription agreement with Lanstead Capital LP, its largest shareholder, and will offer a further 13.3 million shares via an open offer to raise GBP0.4 million.



Quindell, down 8.6%. The software and outsourcing services company is one of the top losers in AIM despite reiterated confidence in meeting all of its key performance indicators for the full year, on revenue guidance of GBP800 million to GBP900 million. The company also posted a pretax profit of GBP153.7 million, up from GBP39.2 million in the previous year, as revenue rose to GBP357.3 million from GBP163.3 million. Profit was boosted by a GBP14.5 exceptional gain on the re-measurement of acquisitions. The company said it had seen "significant growth" during the period, with 90% of its revenue being organic, and only 10% coming from acquisitions. In its professional services division, revenue rose to GBP293.3 million, from GBP140.8 million, as a result of contract wins. It said it plans to restructure certain contracts to "ensure the optimum return on cash resource" but said its profit and cash guidance is not dependant on any upside from these initiatives.



By Neil Thakrar; neilthakrar@alliancenews.com






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Source: Alliance News


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