Listen to our latest Investing Matters Podcast episode 'Uncovering opportunities with investment trusts' with The AIC's Richard Stone here.

Less Ads, More Data, More Tools Register for FREE

Pin to quick picksAshtead Group Share News (AHT)

Share Price Information for Ashtead Group (AHT)

London Stock Exchange
Share Price is delayed by 15 minutes
Get Live Data
Share Price: 5,394.00
Bid: 5,370.00
Ask: 5,374.00
Change: -40.00 (-0.74%)
Spread: 4.00 (0.074%)
Open: 5,418.00
High: 5,418.00
Low: 5,318.00
Prev. Close: 5,434.00
AHT Live PriceLast checked at -

Watchlists are a member only feature

Login to your account

Alerts are a premium feature

Login to your account

LONDON MARKET MIDDAY: UK service sector continues to grow in February

Tue, 05th Mar 2024 12:05

(Alliance News) - Stock prices in London were mixed at midday Tuesday, despite data showing that the UK service sector continued to grow in February, with focus turning to what Wednesday's budget from Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has in store.

In the US, there are also monetary policy and political developments investors will have an eye on. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell testifies in front of Congress on Wednesday. On the political front, 'Super Tuesday' could see former president Donald Trump move ever closer to securing the Republican US presidential nomination.

The FTSE 100 index was up just 2.15 points at 7,642.48. The FTSE 250 was up 31.80 points, 0.2%, at 19,280.88, and the AIM All-Share was down 1.75 points, 0.2%, at 735.94.

The Cboe UK 100 was up 0.1% at 765.54, the Cboe UK 250 was up 0.2% at 16,622.65, and the Cboe Small Companies was down 0.5% at 14,418.50.

In European equities on Tuesday, the CAC 40 in Paris was down marginally, while the DAX 40 in Frankfurt fell 0.1%.

So far on Tuesday, there has been a slew of PMI data to digest from across the globe. Notably, the UK service sector continued to grow in February, but at a slower rate.

The S&P Global UK services business activity index posted 53.8 points in February, down from 54.3 points in January. It was also lower than the earlier 'flash' reading of 54.3 points.

The index has now posted above the crucial 50.0 no-change value for four months in a row. Further, S&P noted that the index was still higher than at any time in the second half of 2023.

Tim Moore, economics director at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said: "Another solid expansion of business activity across the service sector in February adds to signs that the UK economy has turned a corner after entering a technical recession during the second half of 2023."

The seasonally adjusted S&P Global UK composite PMI registered 53.0 points in February, up from 52.9 points in January. This was also lower than the earlier 'flash' reading 53.3.

In the eurozone, the PMI edged closer to growth territory thanks to the service sector.

The latest HCOB services purchasing managers' index posted at 50.2 points in February, up from 48.4 points in January and improved from the flash reading for February of 50.0 points, the neutral score.

The HCOB eurozone composite PMI was 49.2 points in February, up from 47.9 points in January. It remained below the 50-point no-change mark, but marked an eight month higher. It also was above the flash reading for February of 48.9 points.

Still to come on Tuesday, there is a PMI reading from the US at 1445 GMT.

Attention will then promptly turn to Wednesday, which will see the start of a key few days on the fiscal and monetary policy fronts.

A pre-election budget will be the key event in the UK this week. On Wednesday, eyes will be on whether UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will size up some tax relief. In the eurozone, focus will be on the European Central Bank's interest rate decision on Thursday. In the US, the latest jobs report on Friday will be the main event.

The pound was quoted at USD1.2687 at midday on Tuesday in London, lower compared to USD1.2696 at the equities close on Monday. The euro stood at USD1.0851, down against USD1.0858. Against the yen, the dollar was trading at JPY150.39, lower compared to JPY150.51.

The FTSE 100 was bookended by Intertek and Ashtead.

Intertek rose 7.2%.

The London-based consumer product testing and certification agency reported that revenue in 2023 rose 4.3% to GBP3.33 billion from GBP3.19 billion a year earlier. Pretax profit edged up 0.6% to GBP422.3 million from GBP419.8 million.

On the back of the results, Intertek proposed a final dividend of 74.0p per share, up from 71.6p. This brings the full year dividend up 5.6% annually to 111.7p.

Ashtead, meanwhile, lost 4.4%.

Ashtead reported pretax profit of USD442.0 million for the three months that ended January 31, down 12% from USD505.1 million a year before. On an adjusted basis, excluding amortisation, pretax profit was USD473.0 million, down 11% from USD534.7 million.

Total revenue was USD2.66 billion, up 9.5% from USD2.43 billion, as rental revenue rose by 9.4% to USD2.36 billion from USD2.19 billion.

For the lower profit in the third quarter, Ashtead cited a higher depreciation charge relative to revenue growth due to lower utilisation of a larger fleet of equipment. It also paid higher financing costs.

In the FTSE 250, Spirent Communications shot up 59%, after it agreed a GBP1.01 billion takeover by Viavi Solutions.

The Crawley, England-based automated test and assurance solutions provider said the all-cash offer was for 175 pence per share, comprising 172.5p cash and a 2.5p special dividend. It values Spirent's entire equity at GBP1.01 billion.

Viavi Solutions is a Chandler, Arizona-based manufacturer of testing and monitoring equipment for networks. It is traded on Nasdaq in New York and has a market value of USD2.17 billion.

Spirent Chief Executive Eric Updyke said: "The combination of the Viavi group and the Spirent group creates a stronger business that will be better able to compete in what remains a challenging market environment and we are confident in the opportunities this will bring for many of our stakeholders."

Amongst London's small-caps, Reach rose 14%.

The newspaper publisher reports that in the 53 weeks ended December 31, revenue fell 5.4% to GBP568.6 million from GBP601.4 million a year earlier. Pretax profit fell to GBP36.7 million from GBP66.2 million. Reach kept its dividend unchanged at 7.34p.

Chief Executive Jim Mullen says: "This year we have successfully gained clarity on two significant long-term uncertainties in pension funding and Historical Legal Issues. With the end of these issues in sight, we have significantly reduced our obligations and have a clear path forward for the business."

On London's AIM, Active Energy rocketed 93%.

The biomass-focused renewable energy company's shares rose after it said it has reached a settlement agreement with Player Design. The PDI parties have agreed to pay Active Energy a cash payment of USD1.7 million by no later than March 5.

"Active Energy retains complete ownership of all its original patents on the steam explosion process, including all production knowledge acquired from the former production activities at the Ashland facility applicable for its future production methods for biomass products. In addition, both Active Energy and the PDI Parties have terminated all current legal claims against each other," it added.

Stocks in New York were called lower in a key day for US politics. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was called down 0.1%, the S&P 500 index down 0.3%, and the Nasdaq Composite down 0.7%.

"Super Tuesday" – the primary cycle's largest single day of voting, with contests in 15 states and one territory – is historically a defining moment in the race for the presidential nomination.

Trump is expected to continue his sweep of Republican primary states, closing the door on sole remaining challenger Nikki Haley.

US President Joe Biden, who trails Trump in most swing state polls for the general election, has his own primary contest on the Democratic side, but his victory is considered a formality.

Brent oil was quoted at USD82.82 a barrel at midday in London on Tuesday, down from USD83.37 late Monday. Gold was quoted at USD2,123.89 an ounce, higher against USD2,116.16.

By Sophie Rose, Alliance News senior reporter

Comments and questions to newsroom@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2024 Alliance News Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

More News
20 Jun 2024 09:47

LONDON BROKER RATINGS: UBS raises Landsec; Berenberg cuts SSP

(Alliance News) - The following London-listed shares received analyst recommendations Thursday morning and on Wednesday:

Read more
18 Jun 2024 17:17

London stocks gain on optimism ahead of UK inflation data, cenbank decision

FTSE 100 up 0.6%, FTSE 250 gains 1.2%

*

Read more
18 Jun 2024 16:59

LONDON MARKET CLOSE: Stocks close up ahead of UK inflation data

(Alliance News) - Stock prices in London closed higher on Tuesday, ahead of UK inflation data and the latest Bank of England interest rate decision.

Read more
18 Jun 2024 16:33

London close: Stocks manage a positive finish

(Sharecast News) - London stocks closed on a high note on Tuesday, buoyed by strong performances from key sectors and a notable rise in Whitbread shares following positive first-quarter results.

Read more
18 Jun 2024 12:18

LONDON MARKET MIDDAY: Europe continues to tick higher with data focus

(Alliance News) - Stock prices in London were higher at midday on Tuesday, as inflationary data remained the focus, with grocery price inflation easing in June on sustained wet weather.

Read more
18 Jun 2024 09:09

TOP NEWS: Ashtead predicts rental growth slowdown amid profit decline

(Alliance News) - Ashtead Group PLC on Tuesday reported an annual revenue increase and boosted its dividend, but profit declined on higher interest expenses amid lofty central bank rates.

Read more
18 Jun 2024 08:51

LONDON MARKET OPEN: Whitbread advances; Ashtead outlook underwhelms

(Alliance News) - European equities traded higher after the opening bell on Tuesday, after a record closing highs in New York, with inflation data and a Bank of England decision on the horizon.

Read more
18 Jun 2024 07:51

LONDON BRIEFING: Ashtead profit declines; Whitbread sales rise

(Alliance News) - London's FTSE 100 is called to open higher on Tuesday, taking confidence from a decent showing for US equities overnight, with inflation data and central bank decisions the key plot points as the week progresses.

Read more
18 Jun 2024 07:28

Ashtead narrowly misses profit forecasts as Q4 growth slows

(Sharecast News) - Equipment rental group Ashtead broadly met consensus estimates with double-digit annual revenue growth, though profits did come in shy of expectations, as the company pointed to a further moderation of growth in the coming year.

Read more
17 Jun 2024 11:37

Tuesday preview: US retail sales, Reserve Bank of Australia in focus

(Sharecast News) - The market spotlight on Tuesday will be on US industrial production and retail sales figures for the month of May.

Read more
11 Jun 2024 16:01

UK earnings, trading statements calendar - next 7 days

Wednesday 12 June 
Castings PLCFull Year Results
Molten Ventures PLCHalf Year Results
RWS Holdings PLCHalf Year Results
Safestore Holdings PLCHalf Year Results
Thursday 13 June 
Crest Nicholson PLCHalf Year Results
Fuller, Smith & Turner PLCFull Year Results
Halma PLCFull Year Results
Motorpoint Group PLCFull Year Results
Norcros PLCFull Year Results
Origin Enterprises PLCTrading Statement
PayPoint PLCFull Year Results
Virgin Money UK PLCHalf Year Results
Wise PLCFull Year Results
Friday 14 June 
Tesco PLCTrading Statement
Monday 17 June 
Monks Investment Trust PLCFull Year Results
Tuesday 18 June 
Ashtead Group PLCFull Year Results
De La Rue PLCFull Year Results
Global Smaller Cos Trust PLCFull Year Results
Intercede Group PLCFull Year Results
Oxford BioDynamics PLCHalf Year Results
Tatton Asset Management PLCFull Year Results
Telecom Plus PLCFull Year Results
  
Comments and questions to newsroom@alliancenews.com
  
A full 21-day events calendar is provided each day with a subscription to Alliance News UK Professional.
  
Copyright 2024 Alliance News Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Read more
10 Jun 2024 12:06

LONDON MARKET MIDDAY: Europe heads lower amid political turmoil in EU

(Alliance News) - Stock prices in London were lower at midday Monday, along with the rest of Europe, as investors digest uncertainty from the latest EU elections.

Read more
9 Jun 2024 12:19

Sunday newspaper round-up: Tax increases, Ashtead, Stamp duty

(Sharecast News) - Tax increases worth £800 per year for the average household are on the way regardless of who comes out on top in the next general election, the Resolution Foundation says. Measures that have already been announced thus far will raise the tax haul by roughly £23bn by 2028-29. That is because freezing extant tax rates drives higher revenue for the Treasury. None of the two main parties has pledged to do away with a six-year freeze on income tax and national insurance thresholds or the coming spring's reversal of temporary reductions in business rates, fuel duty, stamp duty or land tax. - Guardian

Read more
9 Jun 2024 10:38

Ashtead Group eyes move to New York in blow to LSE - Telegraph

(Alliance News) - Ashtead Group PLC is eyeing a move to New York, in what would be a fresh blow to the London Stock Exchange, the Telegraph reported on Saturday.

Read more
15 May 2024 09:22

LONDON BROKER RATINGS: JPMorgan puts B&M on 'negative catalyst watch'

(Alliance News) - The following London-listed shares received analyst recommendations Wednesday morning:

Read more

Login to your account

Don't have an account? Click here to register.

Quickpicks are a member only feature

Login to your account

Don't have an account? Click here to register.