Shares in electrical engineering and contracting company T. Clarke Plc put on 9.1 percent to 120 pence after it says profits for 2008 will exceed market expectations, although it remains cautious about prospects for 2009.
Stockbrokers Panmure Gordon says improved trading from the group's regional operations were a positive factor, while the group still has some 26 million pounds of net cash. It looks for pretax profits of 10.5 million pounds for 2008, while for the following year it is forecasting 11.2 million. 'With a strong balance sheet, on-going tendering opportunities and an attractive dividend yield of 11.8 percent we continue to rate the shares as a buy,' the broker adds.
Shares in PartyGaming slide as much as 10 percent in early trade but bounce back to be 4.3 percent lower at 93.75 pence after the online gaming firm says in a trading statement that gamblers are cutting back on visits to its websites in the economic downturn and that it is suffering from the recent strengthening in the U.S. dollar.
'First half revenues were flattered by currency moves but now the second half numbers are suffering from the weakness of the euro and the pound. In the third quarter poker declined 15 percent which offset strong growth in Casino and resulted in flat revenue,' says Evolution analyst Ivor Jones, who retains a 'buy' rating on the group, based in part on its potential to participate in industry consolidation.
Shares in Melrose Plc, the industrial holding group which bought engineer FKI earlier this year for 500 million pounds, rise 8.15 percent to 63 pence after the board says current trading is in line with expectations and that the integration of FKI is ahead of plan.
Evolution Securities rates the shares as a 'buy' with a target price of 217 pence a share. 'It is clear that the potential both in profit and cash terms is greater than originally expected,' the broker adds.
Shares in Emerald Energy Plc and Gulfsands Petroleum Plc move 3.0 and 3.2 percent higher to 345 and 144 pence respectively on news of an oil discovery at the Yousefieh-1 well in Syria.
Oriel Securities says the flow result is significantly better than the pre-drill estimates and that the discovery should be worth around 50 to 60 pence a share to Gulfsands once the discovery is appraised. It rates the shares as a 'buy'.
Evolution Securities says this latest discovery could be worth 89 pence a share to Emerald based on an oil price of $50 a barrel and 119 pence a share at $100 a barrel. 'This discovery underscores the terrific year that Emerald has had in 2008,' the broker adds. It reiterates its 'buy' recommendation with an 800 pence price target.
Shares in Raymarine Plc, a supplier of electronic equipment to the marine market, rise 7.04 percent to 19 pence as analysts welcome the more reassuring tone of Wednesday's trading statement after last month's profits warning. The group announced a number of self-help measures including cutting costs and headcount, passing the dividend payment in 2009 to conserve cash, and talks with its bankers.
Stockbrokers Seymour Piece says this will reassure investors that management are dealing with the situation and might help the shares in the short-run. However, it is reiterating its 'underperform' recommendation for the stock. 'It will be several months into 2009 before we see any clarity on prospects for the full year, so for the moment we must retain our stance that the marine leisure market will perform its usual recessionary dive,' the broker says.
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