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WINNERS & LOSERS SUMMARY: Avast Down 6% As 10% Stake Is Sold By Sybil

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

Alliance News 27 March, 2019 | 10:52AM
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LONDON (Alliance News) - The following stocks are the leading risers and fallers within the main London indices on Wednesday.
Ferguson, up 1.5%. JPMorgan raised the plumbing and heating products supplier to Overweight from Neutral. The US bank said it sees scope for a "material re-rating" for Ferguson shares in the second half, driven by "sensibly based" estimates and an improvement in US lead indicators. On Tuesday, the stock closed down 7.2% after the company warned growth has started to moderate. Ferguson said it expects organic revenue growth between 3% and 5% for the full year, implying a sharp slowdown from the 6.5% achieved in the first half.
Bellway, up 2.7%. The residential property developer reported an improvement in interim profit as the number of homes sold and average prices both rose, leading to an increased payout to shareholders. In the six months to January 31, Bellway's pretax profit increased 8.7% to GBP313.9 million from GBP288.7 million. Revenue rose 13% to GBP1.49 billion from GBP1.32 billion in the same period a year before. Bellway declared an interim dividend of 50.4p, 5.0% higher than the 48.0p interim payout for the same period a year before. In the period, Bellway completed 5,007 homes, a 5.6% increase on the 4,741 completions achieved in the first half the year before. However, Bellway, but warned Brexit may threaten the availability of building materials. Blue chip peers Taylor Wimpey, Persimmon and Barratt Developments were up 1.4%, 1.3% and 1.1% respectively.
Pets at Home, up 2.5%. Citigroup upgraded the pet products retailer to Buy from Neutral.
Avast Holdings, down 6.4%. Sybil Holdings has nearly halved its stake in FTSE 250-listed cybersecurity firm, UBS said. Sybil has sold 95.4 million Avast shares, worth 10% of the company, at 284 pence each, netting it GBP271 million. It now holds a stake just under 13%. Avast will not get any proceeds from the sale, after which Sybil has agreed not to sell any more shares for 90 days.
Debenhams, up 52% at 3.33 pence. Sports equipment retailer Sports Direct International set a 5 pence per share price to its proposed takeover offer for Debenhams. The possible offer values the embattled department store operator at GBP61.4 million. Shares in the department store chain closed at 2.198 pence on Tuesday, giving the company a market capitalisation of just under GBP27 million. This is less than half what Sports Direct is considering offering. However, Sports Direct emphasised that it has not yet made a firm offer for Debenhams, and there can be no certainty an offer will be made even if the pre-conditions are satisfied such as Debenhams appointing Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley to its own board in the role of chief executive officer. Sports Direct shares were up 0.1%.
Quadrise Fuels International, up 9.5%. The emulsion technology and fuel supplier said it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Bitumina Industries for collaboration on some fuel production and supply projects. Bitumina produces, trades, and supplies a wide range of bitumen products for use in road construction, Quadrise said. Under the non-binding MOU Quadrise and Bitumina will work together on an exclusive basis to seek to progress selected project opportunities in Russia, Poland, Romania, and Vietnam. The term of the MOU is 24 months, after which time it will expire unless mutually extended.
Mirriad Advertising, down 22%. The company announced a restructuring aiming to put the firm back on the path to growth. A review of the business, conducted by Beringer, showed despite Mirriad's addressable market in television and on-line video being "large and growing", the company's go-to-market strategy "has historically been flawed" as it was spread over too many markets. To address the encountered issues, the CEO is proposing a revision to the strategy aiming to accelerate demand by engaging with clients and media agencies as channel partners. Furthermore, the company will focus on core markets, including US, UK, Germany, France and China.
Cloudcall, down 16%. The cloud-based software firm reported a widened annual loss due to business investment despite a double-digit revenue increase. For 2018, the cloud-based software business reported a GBP3.7 million pretax loss compared to GBP2.6 million a year prior. This was due to higher operating costs, consistent with Cloudcall's investment strategy, rising to GBP9.8 million from GBP7.4 million. Revenue meanwhile, rose 28% year-on-year to GBP8.8 million from GBP6.8 million, as the total number of end-users jumped 33% to 31,343 from 23,520.
Brave Bison, down 14%. The social video companysaid its loss narrowed in 2018 on the non-repeat of an impairment, while Facebook advertising boosted revenue growth. The company said its pretax loss narrowed sharply to GBP103,000 from GBP17.2 million reported a year earlier, as revenue rose by 19% to GBP21.2 million from GBP17.8 million. In 2017, Brave Bison booked a GBP12.2 million impairment related to technology and customer relationship intangible assets. Meanwhile, the increase in revenue was driven by growth in Facebook platform advertising.
By Idris Nur; idrisnur@alliancenews.com and Arvind Bhunjun; arvindbhunjun@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2019 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar
Mirriad Advertising PLC Ordinary Shares 16.25 GBX 0.00 -
Persimmon PLC 2,400.00 GBX 1.35 -
Taylor Wimpey PLC 165.50 GBX -0.06 -
Pets at Home Group PLC 223.60 GBX -1.32 -
Bellway PLC 3,379.00 GBX 0.57 -
Ferguson PLC 6,434.00 GBX 1.00
Cloudcall Group PLC 96.50 GBX 0.00 -
Quadrise Fuels International PLC 4.20 GBX 7.28 -
Avast PLC 401.20 GBX 8.61 -
Sports Direct International PLC 325.60 GBX 2.01 -

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