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WINNERS & LOSERS SUMMARY: Rolls Royce Flies High With Planned Job Cuts
Thu, 14th Jun 2018 11:00
LONDON (Alliance News) - The following stocks are the leading risers and fallers within the main London indices on Thursday.
FTSE 100 - WINNERS
Rolls-Royce, up 2.6%. The jet engine maker said it will cut around 4,600 jobs as part of a business restructuring plan in order to save GBP400 million per annum by the end of 2020. Under the restructuring programme, the company aims to remove corporate management layers, complexity and duplication, including within its core engineering division, and replace a centralised decision and control structure by empowered business units having clearer accountabilities, and decision-making powers. The total cash cost of the restructuring programme is expected to be around GBP500 million, which will be incurred across 2018, 2019 and 2020.
GlaxoSmithKline, up 0.6%. The pharmaceutical firm said its joint venture ViiV Healthcare reported positive results in its two-drug regimen for the treatment of HIV. The GEMINI studies are part of ViiV Healthcare clinical trial for a two-drug regiment, involving the combination of dolutegravir and lamivudine medicines to treat HIV, as opposed to the standardised three-drug regimen. The UK pharmaceutical giant said the studies met their primary endpoint demonstrating "the potency, safety and tolerability of the dolutegravir plus lamivudine combination" and showing similar efficacy to the three-drug regimen. The studies seek to address long-term toxicity in people living with HIV by reducing the number of medicines used in their treatment, the company said.
WPP, up 0.7%. This was in spite of SocGen reducing the advertising firm's price target to 1,845 pence from 1,940p, but retaining its Buy rating. On Wednesday, WPP had expected to face serious investor pressure on its controversial pay award for founder and former Chief Executive Officer Martin Sorrell. Sorrell left the company in mid-April after the conclusion of an investigation into what WPP called "an allegation of misconduct" which it said did not "involve amounts that are material" to the company. At its annual general meeting on Wednesday, 27.2% of valid votes cast opposed its compensation committee report with 72.8% in favour.
FTSE 100 - LOSERS
RELX, down 3.7%. UBS cut the Anglo-Dutch business information and events company to a Sell rating from Neutral.
Pearson, down 3.2%. Barclays cut the housebuilder to an Underweight rating from Equal Weight, and reduced the price target to 815 pence from 855p.
Severn Trent, down 1.7%. The water company went ex-dividend, meaning that new buyers no longer qualify for the latest dividend payout.
FTSE 250 - WINNERS
AVEVA Group, up 13%. The electrical and industrial software provider reported a combined group pro forma pretax profit of GBP64.6 million for the year to the end of March, down from GBP98.3 million, on a revenue of GBP704.6 million and GBP648.7 million, respectively. This followed the recent combination with the software arm of France's Schneider Electric SA. Group profit, before tax and adjustments and on pro forma basis grew to GBP162.8 million from GBP152.4 million. The pro forma results include results for both heritage Schneider Electric Industrial Software Business and heritage AVEVA for the 12 months to March end, as well as for the comparative period.
Pets At Home, up 1.9%. This was in spite of Goldman Sacks cutting the pet product maker's price target to 145 pence from 198p, but retaining its Neutral rating.
FTSE 250 - LOSERS
PZ Cussons, down 5.5%. The consumer products group said Nigerian wages have continued to lag behind "significant cost inflation" in recent years, impacting most of PZ Cussons' Nigerian portfolio, PZ Cussons said. The company therefore expects pretax profit at the low end of its GBP80 million to GBP85 million guidance back in March. In financial 2017, pretax profit was GBP88.0 million. The company also struggled in the UK with product launches failing to make up for margin and volume shortfall. PZ Cussons's performance in the Australian, US and Indonesian markets was strong, however, it said. In response to challenging macroeconomic conditions, the company is embarking on a GBP10 million plan to reduce its overhead base and increase the speed at which new products are brought to market. PZ Cussons is also looking to reduce both the complexity of its projects and its product packaging.
FirstGroup, down 1.8%. HSBC cut the bus and train operator's price target to 80 pence from 111p, keeping its Hold rating.
OTHER MAIN MARKET AND AIM - WINNERS
Magnolia Petroleum, up 65%. The US-focused oil and gas company said it has agreed to sell all of its wells in North Dakota, which comes up to 31 wells for a total of USD1.5 million, as well as the sale of the Roger Swartz well in Oklahoma for USD30,000. The disposal is in line with Magnolia's debt reduction programme, and will clear a large part of the USD2.0 million balance of the reserve-based lending facility of its operating subsidiary, Magnolia Petroleum Inc.
ValiRx, up 20%. The biotechnology company said that the clinical trial for the anti-cancer compound VAL401 has been completed with the regulatory process moving towards completion as the Clinical Study report is on schedule for submission within the regulatory timeframe of two years from the rial approval. Advanced conversations have continued with prospective partners with the aim of securing a partnership to progress the project towards eventual patient use.
Vernalis, up 14%. The pharmaceutical company has terminated its development and commercialisation agreement with Tris Pharma Inc, and will pay back Tris USD10 million while being released from all future payment obligations under the agreement. Vernalis has also transferred the right to the product Tuzistra XR, including the New Drug Application. In addition, Vernalis said it has received several approaches from potential buyers to acquire the company itself.
OTHER MAIN MARKET AND AIM - LOSERS
Abenza, down 35%. The life sciences group said that at the time of the annual results release last Monday, it will need additional working capital within the next twelve months to support itself. To this end, Abzena has entered a non-binding heads of terms agreement to sell an interest in its entitlements to future royalties which may arise from certain Abzena Inside products.
Audioboom Group, down 27%. The audio-on-demand platform's shares were restored to trading, following news that the first year of its strategic partnership with Spotify Technology SA to the end of May led to a 10% increase in inventory listens from the use of its 1% of Audioboom's content over the period. In addition, Audioboom signed an agreement with Formula One Digital Media Ltd to launch an exclusive weekly podcast known as "Beyond The Grid", which will be focused on the car racing sport.
Faron Pharmaceuticals, down 18%. The biopharmaceutical company said that data from the Phase III INTEREST trial of Traumakine for the treatment of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome showed that the treatment was inconsistent in its bioactivity across the treatment group of patients, with just one sub-group showing a reduced Day 28 mortality rate.