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London mid-morning: Shares stuck lower despite Pru

Date: Wednesday 09 Mar 2011

London mid-morning: Shares stuck lower despite Pru

The FTSE 100 is struggling to move into positive territory this morning despite some well-received company updates.

Insurer Prudential is in demand after saying it made 20% more in 2010 than it did the year before as Asia raced ahead of the US as the UK company’s biggest earner. Group operating profit before tax on a European Embedded Value (EEV) basis jumped to £3.70bn in 2010 from £3.09bn the year before.

Africa-focused oil company Tullow Oil ramped up profits in 2010, broadly in line with City expectations, as oil prices jumped by almost a third, but the shares are lower today. Profit before tax soared to $152m from $33m in 2009 and rose 137% to $73m after taxes. Sales revenue was 19% better at $1.09bn.

Banks are never far from the headlines and after bonus payments to Barclays' Bob Diamond and yesterday's disclosure of RBS chief Stephen Hester's incentives for 2010, Lloyds is in the spotlight today. Chief executive António Horta-Osório has stamped his authority with a shake-up of the retail bank and insurance divisions and the departure of two senior directors.

Daimler and Rolls-Royce have confirmed they intend to take over German-listed engineer Tognum through a tender offer by a joint venture company. Daimler and Rolls-Royce will offer Tognum shareholders €24 per share in cash representing a total consideration of approximately €3.2bn, about 30% above Friday’s closing price. Daimler currently owns 28.4% of Tognum.

Acquisitive engineering conglomerate Halma has its cheque book out again, and is buying Swiss company Medicel, a designer and manufacturer of single-use injector devices for Intra Ocular Lenses (IOL) used for cataract surgery. Initial consideration is £46.6m, with a further £20m payable, depending on performance of the acquired company.

Investors have an appetite for The Restaurant Group after today’s update. Tourists flocking to its Garfunkel’s outlets in Central London helped it come through the weather, ash clouds and recession last year in decent shape. Profits in 2010 rose by 17% to £56.5m, from £48.3m, on revenues up 7% at £466m. Like-for-like sales fell by 1%.

FTSE 100 - Risers
Prudential (PRU) 749.00p +4.90%
Rolls-Royce Group (RR.) 618.50p +3.00%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG) 234.60p +2.62%
Autonomy Corporation (AU.) 1,694.00p +2.54%
Serco Group (SRP) 603.00p +2.03%
GKN (GKN) 212.20p +1.77%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,725.00p +1.77%
Carnival (CCL) 2,666.00p +1.56%
Intertek Group (ITRK) 1,985.00p +1.53%
Kingfisher (KGF) 244.50p +1.41%

FTSE 100 - Fallers
British American Tobacco (BATS) 2,423.50p -3.33%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 1,425.00p -2.40%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,642.00p -2.26%
BP (BP.) 486.20p -1.54%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 2,409.50p -1.37%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 2,168.00p -1.34%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 2,140.50p -1.29%
Hammerson (HMSO) 460.00p -1.29%
Amec (AMEC) 1,169.00p -1.18%
Sage Group (SGE) 270.90p -1.13%

FTSE 250 - Risers
Restaurant Group (RTN) 300.10p +7.26%
Heritage Oil (HOIL) 297.80p +5.60%
Halma (HLMA) 363.70p +5.42%
Pace (PIC) 184.20p +4.42%
Renishaw (RSW) 1,849.00p +3.99%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 186.70p +3.61%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 634.00p +3.26%
St James's Place (STJ) 330.00p +3.00%
Rentokil Initial (RTO) 90.65p +2.84%
Hansen Transmissions International NV (DI) (HSN) 42.70p +2.64%

FTSE 250 - Fallers
Yule Catto & Co (YULC) 213.40p -6.28%
Carpetright (CPR) 745.50p -3.24%
Spirent Communications (SPT) 147.00p -2.84%
Ashmore Group (ASHM) 332.20p -2.58%
F&C Asset Management (FCAM) 83.35p -2.51%
Tullett Prebon (TLPR) 410.70p -2.45%
Brewin Dolphin Holdings (BRW) 178.80p -2.45%
Domino Printing Sciences (DNO) 686.00p -2.42%
COLT Group SA (COLT) 148.00p -2.31%
AZ Electronic Materials SA (WI) (AZEM) 285.60p -2.29%


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