WINNERS & LOSERS SUMMARY: IWG Up On GBP320 Million Japanese Unit Sale

LONDON (Alliance News) - The following stocks are the leading risers and fallers within the main ...

Alliance News 15 April, 2019 | 10:40AM
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LONDON (Alliance News) - The following stocks are the leading risers and fallers within the main London indices on Monday.
WPP, up 0.8%. The advertising and marketing firm was benefiting from a positive read-across from French peer Publicis Groupe. The French advertising and public relations company reported that its net revenue for the first-quarter of 2019 was EUR2.12 billion, up 1.7% from EUR2.08 billion in 2018. On organic basis, net revenue for the quarter was down 1.8%, or 1.6% excluding PHS, mainly reflecting attrition of a handful of FMCG clients.
Compass Group, down 2.8%. Barclays downgraded the contract caterer to Equal Weight from Overweight.

Rio Tinto, down 1.5%. The Anglo-Australian miner said it has committed USD302 million of additional funding to advance its Resolution Copper project in the US state of Arizona. The investment will fund additional drilling, ore-body studies, infrastructure improvements and permitting activities as the miner looks to progress the project to the final stage of the project's permitting phase.

Centrica, down 1.0%. JPMorgan downgraded the British Gas parent company to Neutral from Overweight.
IWG, up 20%. The office provider agreed to sell its Japanese operations to Tokyo-listed TKP Corp for GBP320 million in cash, as the group targets more international partnerships. TKP will be able to operate IWG's Regus, Spaces and OpenOffice brands in Japan under a long-term master franchise agreement. IWG Chief Executive Officer Mark Dixon said the strategic partnership was part of the group's increased focus on relationships with international partners. The divested Japanese business generated GBP94.4 million in revenue and GBP20.6 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation. As at December 31, the total gross asset value of the divested business was GBP98.3 million. "The sale of its Japanese operations has been well-received at flexible office space provider IWG because it could help address concerns about the company's mounting debt. Franchise businesses are often seen as attractive by investors as they have the capacity for significant growth without substantial demands on capital," said AJ Bell's Russ Mould.

Energean Oil & Gas, up 9.5%. The oil and gas company said it has made a "significant" gas discovery at its Karish North exploration well, offshore Israel. According to Energean, preliminary analysis indicates initial gas in place of between 1 trillion and 1.5 trillion cubic feet of gas. The well reached an intermediate total depth of 4,880 metres about 7 days ahead of schedule. A gross hydrocarbon column of up to 249 metres was encountered and a 27 metre core was recovered to surface. The initial phase of drilling is now completed and the company intends to focus on deepening the well to evaluate the hydrocarbon potential at the D4 horizon, it said.

Kier Group, up 4.7%. The property and construction company said newly-appointed Chief Executive Andrew Davies will lead a strategic review of the business aiming to further simplify the group's structure. Davies was appointed CEO of the FTSE 250 firm in March and joined officially on Monday. Philip Cox meanwhile has resumed the role of non-executive chair. The new boss will lead a strategic review of the group which will consider ways to create a "more focused group", the allocation of capital resources and additional steps to improve cash generation and reduce leverage. The conclusion of the review will be announced in July.
Acacia Mining, down 2.5% The gold miner said Monday its production in the first quarter was 13% lower than the year before due to lower production at its North Mara and Buzwagi mines in Tanzania. In the three months to March 31, Acacia produced 104,899 tonnes of gold, 15% below the prior year. The company's gold ounces sold in the first quarter were in line with production. Acacia saw the North Mara mine produce 66,324 ounces in the first quarter, 14% lower than the prior year. The gold miner attributed the drop on a fall of ground in the Gokona underground mine at the end of December 2018 as well as an excavator breakdown in the Nyabirama open pit. Acacia said it remains on track for production guidance of between 500,000 tonnes to 550,000 tonnes.
PureTech Health, up 13%. The biopharmaceutical firm said its affiliate, Gelesis, secured marketing clearance from the US Food & Drug Administration for its first product, Plenity. The regulator's clearance represents a milestone for both Gelesis and PureTech, which helped conceiving and developing the platform, the company said. Plenity is an orally administered, non-stimulant, non-systemic aid in weight management that can be used, alongside diet and exercise, in overweight adults.
Carr's Group, down 4.5%. The agriculture and engineering group reported a dip in its interim profit due to difficult conditions in its agriculture division and pension scheme charges. For the six months to March 2, the company posted pretax profit of GBP10.3 million, down 2.6% from GBP10.6 million a year ago. Revenue meanwhile increased 3.0% year-on-year to GBP206.2 million from GBP200.1 million. The reduction in profitability was mainly due to GBP1.1 million amortisation charges relating mainly to the company's pension scheme, increased from GBP321,000 a year ago. Operationally, the company's agriculture division saw volumes impacted by the warm weather in the UK and US, in marked contrast to the same period in 2018.
By Arvind Bhunjun;

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Securities Mentioned in Article
Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar Rating
PureTech Health PLC 220.00 GBX -5.98 -
Carr's Group PLC 158.00 GBX 6.40 -
Kier Group PLC 108.00 GBX -17.43 -
WPP PLC 973.80 GBX 1.40
Energean Oil & Gas PLC 836.00 GBX 1.58 -
Centrica PLC 89.28 GBX -2.45
IWG PLC 347.00 GBX 2.81 -
Compass Group PLC 1,901.00 GBX -0.55
Acacia Mining PLC 170.50 GBX 0.24 -
Rio Tinto PLC 4,773.00 GBX 0.06
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