LONDON (Alliance News) - The following stocks are the leading risers and fallers within the main London indices on Thursday.
FTSE 100 - LOSERS
National Grid, down 4.7%, Marks & Spencer, down 4.3%. The stocks went ex-dividend meaning new buyers no longer qualify for the latest payout.
Johnson Matthey, down 3.5%. The speciality chemicals firm upped its annual payout following a sharp increase in profit but said growth will be slower next year due to plans for significant investment. "We anticipate that these investments for growth and efficiency will lead to a slightly lower margin than in 2018-19," the company said. Johnson Matthey reported 53% growth in pretax profit to GBP488 million in the financial year that ended on March 31 compared to GBP320 million reported the year earlier, as revenue rose 4.6% to GBP10.75 billion from GBP10.27 billion. Profit was slightly short of market expectations. According to company-compiled consensus figures for financial 2019, pretax profit was expected to jump 56% to GBP500.7 million. Johnson Matthey declared a final dividend of 62.25 pence a share, taking the total payout for the year to 85.5p, up 6.9% from 80.0p paid the year before. Looking ahead, Johnson Matthey said it expects foreign exchange movements in the financial year to the end of March 2020 to hurt sales and underlying operating profit by GBP6 million and GBP2 million, respectively.
FTSE 250 - WINNERS
FirstGroup, up 5.5%. The transport operator unveiled a new strategy which will see the sale of the transport operator's North American intercity coach operation, Greyhound, as well as separation of its UK bus business, First Bus. The company said it has started the sale process for Greyhound as the unit has "limited synergies" with the rest of the company's operations. For the same reason, FirstGroup plans to separate First Bus from its UK operations. Going ahead, North America will be the firm's core market with emphasis on First Student and First Transit, which together generated 60% of group operating profit in 2019 and "have the greatest potential to generate sustainable value and growth over time". Separately, the company reported a narrowed pretax loss for the year ended March to GBP97.9 million from GBP326.9 million. Revenue for the year rose 11% to GBP7.13 billion from GBP6.40 billion. Looking ahead, FirstGroup said it expects to deliver revenue growth and financial progress in its Road divisions in financial 2020, with adjusted earnings guided "broadly in line with expectations". Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said: "Beyond replacing the CEO and board, this basically ticks off most of the demands Coast Capital had been making, and was clearly popular with investors,"
Tullow Oil, up 3.5%. Goldman Sachs promoted the oil and gas company to its Conviction Buy List.
FTSE 250 - LOSERS
Computacenter, down 1.7%. The stock went ex-dividend.
Babcock International, down 1.6%. Goldman Sachs downgraded the engineering services firm to Neutral from Conviction Buy.
OTHER MAIN MARKET AND AIM - WINNERS
Nuformix, up 37%. The pharmaceutical development company reported positive results in its clinical study of NXP001. The company explained that NXP001 is being developed as a treatment for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, occurring in a third of cancer patients worldwide. In a pilot study conducted among healthy subjects, Nuformix's cocrystal-based formulation demonstrated bioequivalence to Merck's EMEND, the currently used treatment for nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy, both in terms of peak and overall exposure. The positive results allow Nuformix to receive a final GBP2 million milestone payment form its Chinese licensing partner, Newsummit Biopharma, which has started product registration in China.
BigDish, up 15%. The online reservation platform said it is now ready to start the larger UK roll out of its restaurant reservation app. The company's BigDish app is expected to go live in Brighton and Reading on June 7, following the successful launch in Swindon and Taunton. The app allows restaurant-goers to book a table and receive discounts. As it rolls the service out nationwide, Big Dish has divided the UK into ten territories. Each territory will have one manager with the exception of London, which will have three. BigDish expects the managers recruitment process to take between three and four months. The company now has over 150 restaurants on its platform, most of which independent. It said its roll out plans will initially target independent and smaller restaurant groups.
OTHER MAIN MARKET AND AIM - LOSERS
De La Rue, down 31%. The banknote printer proposed a restructuring, after annual profit fell sharply and in preparation for the expiration of the company's UK passport contract. In addition, De La Rue said Martin Sutherland has agreed to step down as chief executive as soon as his successor is in place. The company has already commenced the recruitment process, it said. Pretax profit for the financial year ended March 30 dropped to GBP25.5 million from GBP113.6 million a year earlier, as operating expenses jumped to GBP533.3 million from GBP370.9 million. De La Rue declared a final dividend of 16.7 pence a share, unchanged from the prior year. This would make a full year payout of 25.0p per share, also unchanged. De La Rue proposed a reorganisation that is aimed at creating better strategic focus and greater efficiency, with a cost-cutting programme that will deliver in excess of GBP20 million annual savings by 2022. De La Rue intends to restructure its operations into two divisions: Authentication and Currency.
(Alliance News) - BigDish PLC on Tuesday said it has signed an exclusive marketing partnership with events company Oceanic Media Ltd.BigDish operates a yield management platform for The it