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Pin to quick picksApax Glb Share News (APAX)

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UK WINNERS & LOSERS SUMMARY: DFS Sitting Pretty Amid Lockdown Boom

Tue, 25th Aug 2020 10:44

(Alliance News) - The following stocks are the leading risers and fallers within the main London indices on Tuesday.



FTSE 100 - WINNERS



Aveva Group, up 3.5%. The industrial software firm said it has agreed to acquire SoftBank-backed US software company OSIsoft, in a USD5 billion deal. Aveva said the acquisition will be funded using a combination of a rights issue, cash on balance sheet and new debt facilities, as well as issue shares to one of the selling shareholders. Aveva said it expects the acquisition to strengthen its position as a global leader in industrial software, with combined revenue of around GBP1.2 billion and adjusted earnings before interest, tax of around GBP330 million for the enlarged group. Separately, Aveva said that despite Covid-19 related disruption, demand for its products in the first four months of financial 2021 has been "robust" with particularly good demand for cloud solutions.



AstraZeneca, up 0.8%. The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker said the first patients have now been dosed in its phase one trial of Covid-19 treatment, AZD7442. AZD7442 is a combination of two monoclonal antibodies and is being developed for the development and treatment of Covid-19. These antibodies are derived from convalescent patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 and were discovered by Vanderbilt University Medical Center and licensed to AstraZeneca in June. Astra then optimised the antibodies, extending their half-life so as to "afford at least six months of protection from Covid-19". If AZD7442 proves to be tolerated and has a "favourable safety profile" in the NCT04507256 trial then Astra will move to larger late-stage phase 2 and phase 3 trials. These later trials will evaluate AZD7442's efficacy as a possible preventative and treatment approach against the virus.



FTSE 250 - WINNERS



Apax Global Alpha, up 3.0%. The investment company said its net asset value per share fell in the first half of the year as a result of Covid-19 disruption in the first quarter. Apax Global Alpha reported a decline in NAV per share to EUR2.16 as at June 30 from EUR2.24 at the end of 2019. The NAV total return for the half year was negative 0.5%, recovering from a first-quarter negative return of 12% on market weakness. The company declared an interim dividend of 4.87p per share, up 3.8% from 4.69p per share the year before.



FTSE 250 - LOSERS



James Fisher & Sons, down 6.2%. The marine services company said its performance deteriorated in the first half of 2020 amid lower energy prices and coronavirus pandemic. James Fisher said pretax profit dropped by 59% to GBP7.1 million in the six months to the end of June from GBP20.9 million reported a year earlier, as revenue fell by 10% to GBP258.1 million from GBP286.9 million. The company said the combination of Covid-19 and the sharp decline in energy prices resulted in projects in its subsea operations in both Renewables and Oil & Gas being deferred into the second half of 2020 and beyond. In response to these challenges, James Fisher said it has taken actions, which are ongoing, to restructure its Marine Support division. The company has declared an interim dividend of 8.0 pence per share, reduced by 30% from 11.3p paid a year earlier.



OTHER MAIN MARKET AND AIM - WINNERS



PetroNeft Resources, up 28%. The oil and gas company said production at licence 61 in Tomsk Oblast, Russia is up as a result of an optimised water flood programme and putting the Sibkrayevskoye field on year-round production. Licence 61 production in July was up 7.8% at 1,589 barrels of oil per day and is currently averaging 17% above levels in July 2019. Production at the Lineynoye field was up 20% year-on-year in July due to optimisation of the water flood programme at the field. This followed a data gathering programme across its field, improving understanding and allowing for improvements in the Pad 1 water flood programme at Lineynoye during the first quarter of 2020.



Next Fifteen Communications, up 16%. The digital communication firm said trading in the first half of its financial year was ahead of expectations, and it expects a material outperformance in its full year. Next Fifteen expects revenue for the six months ended July 31 to be up by around 6.5% year-on-year to at least GBP126 million, and adjusted pretax profit to be up by over 16% to at least GBP20 million. It added that this has resulted in an improved operating profit margin of above 16%, up from 15% a year prior. Next Fifteen credited the performance to its B2B technology-focused agencies, such as Activate and Agent3, as well as more resilient trading than previously expected in its brand marketing and creative technology divisions.



DFS Furniture, up 15%. The sofa retailer said online and showroom trading has been strong in the past six weeks as customers spent more on home furnishing during lockdown, significantly beating the living room furniture retailer's initial expectations. The Doncaster-headquartered company reported year-on-year order intake growth for the past six weeks, equivalent to around GBP70 million of revenue. This puts trading "significantly ahead" of the company's initial expectations and sits alongside a solid opening order book that is expected to generate an additional in year revenue benefit of approximately GBP100 million. "Amid the lockdown, some people decided to spend more on their homes - we saw that with the likes of Kingfisher - and DFS were in a similar position. The company might have benefited from the health emergency recently, but it cautioned about significant uncertainty and the potential impact on consumer confidence," said CMC Markets analyst David Madden.



Eurasia Mining, up 7.8%. The miner said it has been awarded a licence at the Monchetundra Flanks base metal and platinum group metals asset in Russia. Eurasia explained it was given final approval by regional body SevZapNedra. It follows consent by the Russian Ministry of Defence which was secured back in December. "The directors are encouraged with the approval of Monchetundra Flanks licence, an important milestone for the company. Further announcements will be made in due course," Executive Chair Christian Schaffalitzky said.



By Arvind Bhunjun; arvindbhunjun@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2020 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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