Shares in Fortune Oil rise more than 10 percent, after the China-focused oil and gas firm posts a higher profit, driven by its natural gas and aviation refuelling business, and says it will pay a maiden dividend of 0.13 pence per share.
'The key highlights were a significant increase in operating profits from the natural gas and aviation refuelling business and that the company has introduced a dividend policy,' Oriel Securities says in a note.
The brokerage maintains a 'buy' rating on the stock.
Shares in Whitbread fall 4.4 percent after the owner of Premier Inn and Costa Coffee says sales growth slowed in the first quarter and chief executive Andy Harrison warns he doesn't expect any improvement in the consumer environment for at least another year.
'The outlook statement has a note of caution in it - as the UK economy remains tough and this is the new CEO's first formal outlook comment,' says Deutsche Bank analyst Geof Collyer.
Collyer trims his forecasts for 2012 and 2012 EBITA (earnings before interest, tax and amortisation) by 3 percent and 2 percent to 342 million and 389 million pounds respectively.
Shares in AstraZeneca shed 2.1 percent, underperforming a firmer UK blue chip trend, after Britain's second-biggest drugmaker sees its first-quarter sales miss consensus forecasts, although core earnings rose thanks to tax gains.
'Emerging markets occupy a growing element of the story (1Q11 sales +13 percent vs US -11 percent) and, combined with the recent tax settlement, this is a saving grace for the business in the context of generic competition and the impact of national austerity measures,' Seymour Pierce says in a note.
'AstraZeneca's hand is fully committed to pharmaceutical development and the increasingly stringent regulatory and marketing environment that entails. There is no consumer diversification to soften the blow,' the broker adds.
Seymour Pierce notes that AstraZeneca shares have rallied since hitting their March low of 2,801 pence, but the broker says the recovery is overplayed, with the longer-term picture for the firm far from clear.
The broker reiterates its 'reduce' recommendation and 2,900 pence price target on AstraZeneca.
For more on AstraZeneca's Q1 results, double click on
Shares in Ferrexpo rise 2 percent as Seymour Pierce initiates coverage on the iron ore producer with a 'buy' rating and target price of 569 pence.
'With iron ore prices at historic levels, Ferrexpo has benefited from having one of the lowest cost profiles in the global iron ore pellet industry,' Seymour Pierce says in a note.
'With sizeable production increases in the medium to long term and one of the largest unexploited iron ore resources in the world much of Ferrexpo's true value does not reside in its near term earnings.'
Unilever shares drop 2.5 percent after the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods group posts a rise in first-quarter underlying sales that just misses analysts' average forecast and says the impact of higher commodity costs this year will be more than expected, though offset by deeper cost cutting.
'Overall we expect the update to be poorly received by investors, especially in comparison to the above-consensus (and notably faster) growth delivered by Danone and Nestle,' Bernstein analyst Andrew Wood says.
'We still believe that Unilever will deliver good, stable operating performance in FY 2011, despite commodities and the weak consumer, but Unilever remains a 'show me' stock and year-to-date performance has not shown too much, yet.'
Shore Capital analysts say they are inclined to keep their full-year profit forecasts, though they add 'downward pressure may have grown a little' as a result of the warning on higher costs.
COPYRIGHT Copyright Thomson Reuters 2011. All rights reserved. The copying, republication or redistribution of Reuters News Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters.
Datafeed and UK data supplied by NETbuilder and Interactive Data.
While London South East do their best to maintain the high quality of the information displayed on this site,
we cannot be held responsible for any loss due to incorrect information found here. All information is provided free of charge, 'as-is', and you use it at your own risk!
The contents of all 'Chat' messages should not be construed as advice and represent the opinions of the authors, not those of London South East Limited, or its affiliates.
London South East does not authorise or approve this content, and reserves the right to remove items at its discretion.