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Broker Upgrades and Downgrades & Key UK Corporate Snapshots 12 April 2016

UK Broker Upgrades / Downgrades

 

 

Code Company Broker Recomm. From Recomm. To Price From Price To
Upgrades
LRE Lancashire Holdings Ltd Peel Hunt Reduce Hold 520 530
SGRO Segro Plc Peel Hunt Hold Add 450 450
ULVR Unilever Plc Credit Suisse Neutral Neutral 2950 3310
VED Vedanta Resources Plc Deutsche Bank Hold Hold 260 290
WEIR Weir Group Plc/The Barclays Capital Equal weight Equal weight 950 1030
Downgrades
AHT Ashtead Group Plc HSBC Buy Hold
AZN AstraZeneca Plc Goldman Sachs Neutral Sell
CAPC Capital & Counties Properties Plc Peel Hunt Reduce Sell 325 300
HSBA HSBC Holdings Plc JP Morgan Cazenove Underweight Underweight 410 400
INTU Intu Properties Plc Peel Hunt Hold Reduce 300 275
LAKE Lakehouse Plc Peel Hunt Buy Buy 130 100
SHB Shaftesbury Plc Peel Hunt Hold Reduce 900 825
UTG Unite Group Plc Peel Hunt Add Hold 650 650
VSVS Vesuvius Plc Jefferies International Hold Underperform 300 255
Initiate/Neutral/Unchanged
ARM ARM Holdings Plc Barclays Capital Hold Hold 1000 1000
BATS British American Tobacco Plc Deutsche Bank Buy Buy 4500 4500
CNE Cairn Energy Plc Barclays Capital Equal weight Equal weight 220 220
CNE Cairn Energy Plc JP Morgan Cazenove Overweight Overweight
FGP Firstgroup Plc JP Morgan Cazenove Overweight Overweight
GOG Go-Ahead Group Plc JP Morgan Cazenove Neutral Neutral
HMSO Hammerson Plc Deutsche Bank Buy Buy 775 775
HSTN Hansteen Holdings Plc Peel Hunt Add Add
HWDN Howden Joinery Group Plc Berenberg Buy Buy 570 570
IMB Imperial Brands Plc Deutsche Bank Buy Buy 4100 4100
ITV ITV Plc Peel Hunt Buy Buy 330 330
JE. Just Eat Plc JP Morgan Cazenove Overweight Overweight 775 775
JRG Just Retirement Group Plc RBC Capital Markets Outperform Outperform
LGEN Legal & General Group Plc RBC Capital Markets Outperform Outperform
LMP Londonmetric Property Plc Peel Hunt Add Add
NEX National Express Group Plc JP Morgan Cazenove Neutral Neutral
NRR NewRiver Retail Ltd Peel Hunt Buy Buy
RB. Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc Deutsche Bank Buy Buy 7000 7000
RB. Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc Nomura Buy Buy 7200 7200
RDI Redefine International Plc Peel Hunt Add Add
RMG Royal Mail Plc RBC Capital Markets Underperform Underperform 445 445
SAGA Saga Plc Peel Hunt Buy Buy 255 255
SGC Stagecoach Group Plc JP Morgan Cazenove Overweight Overweight
SN. Smith & Nephew Plc Jefferies International Hold Hold 1044 1044
STAN Standard Chartered Plc JP Morgan Cazenove Overweight Overweight 725 725
TLW Tullow Oil Plc Nomura Reduce Reduce 140 140
TPK Travis Perkins Plc Deutsche Bank Buy Buy 2220 2220
UAI U & I Group Plc Peel Hunt Buy Buy
VED Vedanta Resources Plc Barclays Capital Underweight Underweight 200 200
VED Vedanta Resources Plc Jefferies International Underperform Underperform 200 200
ZPLA Zoopla Property Group Plc Jefferies International Buy Buy 400 400

 

US Broker Upgrades / Downgrades

 

 

Code Company Broker Recomm. From Recomm. To Price From Price To
Upgrades
GOOG Alphabet Pivotal Research Group Hold  Buy $800 $970
GOOGL Alphabet Pivotal Research Group Hold  Buy $800 $970
AU AngloGold Ashanti RBC Capital Markets Sector Perform  Outperform
BLMN Bloomin’ Brands Credit Suisse Neutral  Outperform
QSR Restaurant Brands International RBC Capital Markets Sector Perform  Outperform $38 $48
SHNWF Schroders Jefferies Hold  Buy
TSS Total System Services Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Market Perform  Outperform
Downgrades
AFOP Alliance Fiber Optic Products Needham Buy  Hold
ALDW Alon USA Partners Credit Suisse Outperform  Neutral
ARI Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance Wells Fargo Market Perform  Underperform
AJMPF Ashmore Group Jefferies Buy  Hold
AVB AvalonBay Communities UBS Buy  Neutral $180 $184
CBT Cabot KeyBanc Capital Markets Overweight  Sector weight
CLMT Calumet Specialty Products Partners Credit Suisse Outperform  Underperform
CMO Capstead Mortgage Wells Fargo Outperform  Market Perform
CMI Cummins Macquarie Outperform  Neutral
EQR Equity Residential BofA Merrill Lynch Buy  Neutral
FLTX Fleetmatics Group Macquarie Outperform  Neutral
GTOMY Gemalto NV Credit Suisse Neutral  Underperform
HNP Huaneng Power International JP Morgan Overweight  Underweight
IVR Invesco Mortgage Capital Wells Fargo Market Perform  Underperform
MFA MFA Financial Wells Fargo Market Perform  Underperform
MOS Mosaic HSBC Securities Buy  Hold
NE Noble Corp Societe Generale Buy  Hold
NTI Northern Tier Energy Credit Suisse Outperform  Neutral
PCAR PACCAR Macquarie Outperform  Neutral
PKG Packaging Corp of America Dundee Buy  Neutral
POT Potash Corp of Saskatchewan HSBC Securities Buy  Hold
QLIK Qlik Technologies Citigroup Buy  Neutral
QLIK Qlik Technologies Deutsche Bank Buy  Hold $30 $30
SON Sonoco Products DA Davidson Neutral  Underperform $42 $42
UNFI United Natural Foods Morgan Stanley Equal weight  Underweight
VLO Valero Energy Credit Suisse Outperform  Neutral
WFC Wells Fargo Sandler O’Neill Buy  Hold
WMC Western Asset Mortgage Capital Wells Fargo Market Perform  Underperform
XYL Xylem Wedbush Outperform  Neutral $41 $41
YARIY Yara International ASA HSBC Securities Hold  Reduce
YRD Yirendai Nomura Buy  Neutral
Initiated
APLE Apple Hospitality REIT FBR Capital Market Perform $20
ABG Asbury Automotive Group Jefferies Hold
AN AutoNation Jefferies Hold
CNS Cohen & Steers Sidoti Buy $51
DWRE Demandware Pacific Crest Sector weight
FSNUY Fresenius SE Bernstein Outperform
HCM Hutchison China MediTech Stifel Buy $18
HCM Hutchison China MediTech BofA Merrill Lynch Buy
HCM Hutchison China MediTech Canaccord Genuity Buy $20
LAD Lithia Motors Jefferies Buy $105
MSTR MicroStrategy Citigroup Buy
NXPI NXP Semiconductors Nomura Buy
OXM Oxford Industries Telsey Advisory Group Outperform $75
SBCF Seacoast Banking Corp of Florida Sun Trust Rbsn Humphrey Neutral
STX Seagate Technology Cowen Market Perform $36
SAH Sonic Automotive Jefferies Hold
TBRA Tobira Therapeutics H.C. Wainwright Buy $22
TPC Tutor Perini Standpoint Research Buy $22
W Wayfair Buckingham Research Buy $52
WDC Western Digital Cowen Market Perform $46

 

Key UK Corporate Snapshots Today

ACACIA MINING Plc (ACA.L)  Announced that it would be publishing its first quarter results for the three months ended 31 March 2016 on Thursday 21 April 2016 at 07:00 BST. The results will be accompanied by a conference call for investors and analysts at 08:45 BST on the same day.

ASOS Plc (ASC.L)  Announced, in its interim results for the six months ended 29 February 2016, that revenues rose to £667.3 million from £550.5 million recorded in the same period a year ago. Profit after tax widened to £15.2 million from £14.3 million.

Atkins (WS) (ATK.L)  Announced that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of the Projects, Products and Technology segment of EnergySolutions (“PP&T”). PP&T is an innovative nuclear energy business, comprising 650 people delivering a wide range of technical engineering and programme management services for the decontamination and decommissioning of high hazard government nuclear facilities.

Deltex Medical Group Plc (DEMG.L)  Announced, in its audited results for the year ended 31 December 2015, that revenues declined slightly to £6.4 million from £6.5 million recorded in the previous year. Loss after tax widened to £3.5 million from £3.0 million.

EKF Diagnostics Holdings Plc (EKF.L)  Announced, in its final results for the year ended 31 December 2015, that revenues declined to £30.0 million from £37.1 million recorded in the previous year. Loss after tax widened to £13.6 million from £4.9 million.

Ergomed Plc (ERGO.L)  Announced, in its preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2015, that revenues rose to £30.2 million from £21.2 million recorded in the previous year. Profit after tax widened to £1.6 million from £0.6 million.

Falcon Oil & Gas Limited (FOG.L)  Announced that its Annual General and Special Shareholder Meeting will be held at Calgary Petroleum Club, 319 5th Avenue S.W., Calgary, AB T2P 0L6, Canada on 21 June 2016 at 11:00 a.m. (Calgary time). The Notice of the Annual General and Special Shareholder meeting was filed on SEDAR on 1 April 2016.

Falkland Islands Holdings Plc (FKL.L)  Announced, in its pre-close trading update, that trading in the second half was satisfactory; profitability, although lower compared to H2 last year, was broadly in line with expectations, albeit the Full Year Underlying Profit before Tax is likely to be some 10-15% lower than the prior year at approximately £3.0-£3.2million, principally due to the reduced contribution from Momart. The Group’s cash flow was strong and FIH ended the year with record cash balances of £14.0 million, an increase of over £6 million compared to 31 March 2015 (£7.4 million). For the year ahead, it anticipates a quieter period in the Falklands.

Ferrum Crescent Limited (FCR.L)  Announced that due diligence field trips and desktop study completed in respect of the Toral and Lago lead-zinc exploration projects in the provinces of Leá½¹n and Garcia, Spain (the “Iberian Projects”), wholly owned by GoldQuest Iberica, S.L. (“GoldQuest”). Meanwhile, Geological assessment by the company indicates major potential for re-interpretation of historical data and delivery of a new geological model identifying significant continuous zones of mineralisation. Mineralogical data supports initial assessment of the mineralisation as being metallurgically straight-forward. The company’s objective now to secure the requisite funding to enable exercise of the company’s exclusive option over GoldQuest and the pursuit of a low cost, highly focused work programme to define the economic and geological characteristics of the projects including the definition of JORC compliant resource estimates.

Fishing Republic Plc (FISH.L)  Announced, in its final results for the year ended 31 December 2015, that its reported revenue stood at £4.1 million, compared to £3.4 million in the preceding year. Loss net of tax was £0.03 million, compared to profit after tax of £0.2 million. The company’s loss per share was 0.16p, compared to earnings per share of 1.72p.

Flowtech Fluidpower Plc (FLO.L)  Announced, in its final results for the year ended 31 December 2015, that its reported revenue stood at £44.9 million, compared to £37.8 million in the preceding year. Profit after tax was £4.2 million compared to £29.2 million. The company’s diluted earnings per share was 9.73p, compared to 112.86p.

Galliford Try Plc (GFRD.L)  Announced that following the closure of certain schools in Edinburgh, the company acquired Miller Construction in 2014. In March this year, the company was notified that Oxgangs Primary School, built by Miller Construction more than 10 years ago, lost part of one external wall which blew off in Storm Gertrude. Oxgangs was built as part of Edinburgh’s PPP schools programme between 2002 and 2005. The programme, which comprised 17 schools in two phases, was managed by an SPV, Edinburgh Schools Partnership. ESP subcontracted the construction of the schools to a number of contractors including Miller Construion. Through its acquisition of Miller Construction, the company has contractual responsibility for four of the seventeen schools. Remedial work required to remedy defects in those four schools is nearing completion and the costs are not material to the Group.

Goldstone Resources Limited (GRL.L)  Announced that it has undertaken a number of initiatives to reduce costs and recalibrate the business in line with the current financial position of the company. This has included seeking to reduce or eliminate a significant portion of the company’s day to day administration and running costs, including salaries and all Non-executive Directors and interim CEO’s fees having been waived going forward. In addition, the company is undertaking limited exploration activities, consisting mainly of work to keep its licences in good standing, and following the recent changes to the company’s board of directors (“Board”), the Board is exploring options for the company’s assets, which may include a disposal of one or all of its assets. The company is also pleased to announce that its largest shareholders, Stratex International Plc (“Stratex”) has agreed to provide a short term loan to the company for, in aggregate, up to $100,000 (the “Loan”), demonstrating their ongoing support to the company. The company has entered into the loan agreement with Stratex who will provide an unsecured loan of up to $100,000 repayable on or before 31 December 2016. Interest will accrue on the outstanding amount of the Loans at 5.0% per annum and will be payable quarterly in arrears. The Loan, which will be used to provide general working capital, may be drawn against amounts in accordance with the budget approved by the Board. As at 11 April 2016, the company had available cash resources of approximately $113,000 and it is the company’s intentions to drawn down the Loan as and when required. The company also confirms that it is currently in negotiations with regards to a settlement with Jurie Wessels, the previous Managing Director and CEO.

Hutchison China Meditech Limited (HCM.L)  Announced that Hutchison MediPharma Limited (“HMP”), its drug R&D subsidiary, has initiated the first-in-human (“FIH”) Phase I clinical trial of HMPL-689 in Australia. HMPL-689 is a novel, highly selective and potent small molecule inhibitor targeting the delta isoform of the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase, also known as PI3Kä, a key component in the B-cell receptor signaling pathway. The first drug dose was administered on April 7, 2016.

LiDCO Group Plc (LID.L)  Announced, in its audited final results for the year ended 31 January 2016, that its reported revenue stood at £7.6 million, compared to £8.3 million in the preceding year. Loss net of tax amounted to £0.4 million, compared to profit after tax of £0.3 million. The company’s diluted loss per share was 0.21p, compared to earnings per share of 0.18p. Additionally, it also announced the renewal of its distribution agreement with Argon Medical Devices, Inc (“Argon Medical”). The original agreement came to an end in March 2016 and the new contract is for a total of a further five years. LiDCO will take full sales and marketing responsibility for the existing business of Argon Medical’s critical care products in the UK and Ireland.

  1. P. Evans Group Plc (MPE.L) Announced, in its preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2015, that its reported revenue stood at $72.5 million, compared to $89.9 million in the preceding year. Profit after tax was $23.9 million compared to $30.3 million. The company’s diluted earnings per share was 40.66c, compared to earnings per share of 49.02c.

Michael Page International Plc (MPI.L)  Announced, in its first quarter trading update, that the gross profit grew by 3.6% to £142.4 million, on a constant currencies basis and 4.9% on a reported rates basis. Gross profit of EMEA region grew by 10.3%, while that of France was 2%. In Germany, gross profit grew 6%, with Page Personnel up 17% and temporary recruitment up 40%. Benelux rose by 32%, with Southern Europe posting 20% growth. Middle East saw gross profit decline of 28%, due to challenging conditions arising out of ongoing political instability and the depressed oil price.

Milestone Group Plc (MSG.L)  Announced that it has been approved as a member of the Social Stock Exchange following the ratification of its impact report by the independent Admissions Panel. The company developed a new business model in the media / technology sector, focusing on developing a brand synonymous with innovation and social impact, with the Passion Project as its flagship initiative.

Next Fifteen Communications Plc (NFC.L)  Announced, in its final results for year ended 31 January 2016, that revenues fell to £129.8 million from £158.5 million posted in the preceding year. The company’s profit before tax stood at £5.6 million, compared to a profit of £0.405 million reported in the previous year. The basic earnings per share stood at 6.0p compared to loss of 0.2p reported in the previous year. The company further stated that the board has recommended a final dividend of 3.0p per share, payable on 05 August 2016.

Northern Petroleum Plc (NOP.L)  Announced, in its preliminary results for year ended 31 December 2015, that revenues fell to $0.332 million from $2.7 million posted in the preceding year. The company’s loss before tax stood at $10.7 million, compared to a loss of $59.1 million reported in the previous year. The basic loss per share stood at 10.3c compared to loss of 45.0c reported in the previous year. The company’s cash and cash equivalents stood at $2.4 million (2014: $12.1 million).

President Energy Plc (PPC.L)  Announced in its production update that the four well workover programme has been completed at a cost of below $400,000, funded out of Argentine operating cash flow. This amount is less than a third of the cost of the two well workover programme in December 2015 due to rig-less working with a pumping unit. The programme addressing existing producing wells has been successful, with production increased by over 150 bopd. Total current production from the Puesto Guardian Concession is now 500 bopd. As part of field operations a rolling programme of producing well workovers will now be instigated to mitigate the inevitably normal field declines. The costs of these will be paid out of cash flow. As this work is considered part of regular maintenance, results will henceforth be reported in the form of updates on overall production and not on a workover by workover basis. The results of this latest programme are very encouraging for the upcoming new drilling programme, with particular regard to completion and stimulation methodology where it is projected that for the first time in the history of Puesto Guardian drilling of horizontal production sections will form part of the operations.

Richland Resources Limited (RLD.L)  Announced, in its final results for year ended 31 December 2015, that revenues fell to $0.704 million from $0.995 million posted in the last year. The company’s loss before tax stood at $2.2 million, compared to a loss of $1.4 million reported in the previous year. The basic and diluted loss per share stood at 2.53c compared to loss of 6.9c reported in the previous year. The Board did not declare any dividend for the period. The company’s cash and cash equivalents stood at $1.6 million (2014: $0.962 million).

Richoux Group Plc (RIX.L)  Announced, in its final results for 52 weeks ended 27 December 2015, that revenues rose to £13.0 million from £12.7 million posted in the preceding year. The company’s profit before tax stood at £0.365 million, compared to a profit of £0.420 million reported in the previous year. The basic earnings per share stood at 0.4p compared to earnings of 0.5p reported in the previous year. The Board did not declare any dividend for the period. The company’s cash and cash equivalents stood at £4.4 million (2014: £3.9 million).

RWS Holdings Plc (RWS.L)  Announced, in its half yearly trading statement, that the Board expects group revenues to grow by approximately 24% to £56.5 million from £45.4 million in the first half of 2015. It expects adjusted profit before tax (before amortisation of intangibles, share option costs and exceptional CTi acquisition costs) to be in line with its updated expectations and at least £13.8 million (H1 2015: £10.8 million). The patent and commercial businesses delivered strong performance while PatBase grew by 6% during the period. China, Japan and Switzerland backed strong performances while Germany remained on course in a very competitive environment.

Shanta Gold Limited (SHG.L)  Announced, in its exploration and resource update, that the drilling programmes have been completed at the Ilunga and Black Tree Hill mineralised prospects at its New Luika Gold Mine in Tanzania. At Ilunga, encouraging mineralisation was intersected and the existing Indicated resource of 40,000 ounces was opened at depth and along strike to the west. Black Tree Hill resource updated from 57,178 oz (Indicated) to 6,915 oz (Measured) and 31,071 oz (Indicated) using a 0.5 g/t cut-off with greater certainty on grade and siliver content.

Software Radio Technology Plc (SRT.L)  Announced, in its trading update for the financial year ended 31 March 2016, that the company expects to report results ahead of market expectations with revenue of £10.6 million, a 24% increase on the prior year, and profit before tax of £0.2 million, compared to break even in the prior year. As at the year end, gross cash balances were £1.8 million. The company will publish its final results and annual report on 6 June 2016. The company will be hosting an investor open day at its offices near Bath on 5 July 2016 between 9.30 a.m. and 11.00 a.m., which will be followed by the AGM commencing at 11.00 a.m.

Sports Direct International Plc (SPD.L)  Announced that it has, through its wholly owned subsidiary SDI (Oxford Street) Limited, agreed to acquire the freehold property at 161-167 Oxford Street, London and 36 Poland Street, London from CIP Property (AIPT) Limited, a nominee of Aviva Investors. The consideration payable for the property is £108 million, which will be funded from a combination of its existing resources and the group’s bank facility. Completion of the acquisition is expected to occur by the end of April 2016.

Starcom Plc (STAR.L)  Announced that it has today posted to shareholders its annual report for the year ended 31 December 2015 and the notice of its annual general meeting which is to be held at the offices of Northland Capital Partners Limited, 4th Floor, 60 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7BB on 3 May 2016 at 11.00 a.m.

Tesco Plc (TSCO.L)  Announced that its subsidiary Tesco Overseas Investments Limited “Tesco” has entered into an agreement to sell to Alibaba Group Holding Limited an 8.6% equity stake (on a fully diluted basis) in Lazada Group S.A., the one-stop eCommerce gateway for local and international sellers and brands to consumers in South East Asia, for gross cash consideration of $129 million. Shareholders in Lazada, including Tesco, have also entered into a put-call arrangement with Alibaba, giving the buyer the right to purchase, and the shareholders the right to sell collectively, their remaining stakes at a fair market value within the 12 to 18 month period post closing of the transaction. Tesco will use its proceeds from the transaction for general working capital purposes.

TLA Worldwide Plc (TLA.L)  Announced, in its preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2015, that revenue stood at $44.44 million, compared to $20.82 million in the same period last year. Operating profit stood at $4.41 million, compared to $1.70 million. Profit after tax was $0.32 million, compared to $0.02 million. Diluted loss per share stood at 0.07c, compared to 0.01c. The board proposes a final dividend of 0.8p per share, giving a total dividend for the year of 1.0p, (2014: 0.8p).

Tricorn Group Plc (TCN.L)  Announced, in its pre close trading update for the financial year to 31 March 2016, that revenue for the year is expected to be around 15% lower than in the previous year. This is lower than anticipated at the time of the group’s interim results announcement released on December 2nd 2015 and reflects further slowing in demand from key markets, particularly within the Energy Division. The group has taken swift and decisive action in response to these lower revenue levels and the board expects adjusted operating profit for the year to remain in line with market expectations. In the Transportation Division, good progress continues to be made in the USA operation with new business growth largely offsetting weaker market demand. The business is expected to be profitable in the year. In the UK, the new customer contract previously reported at Maxpower Automotive started to contribute more significantly to overall revenue levels in the latter part of the year. As a result, external revenue for the business in the second half of the year was slightly ahead of the previous six months and, alongside the steps taken to reduce costs, returned the business to profit. In China, both our wholly owned facility and joint venture were loss making and with the less favourable market conditions in the region, the board has taken the decision to combine the activities of both businesses into a single operation. This will significantly reduce operational gearing and concentrates the group’s manufacturing and engineering resources into a single location in Nanjing. Once the transfer is complete, which is expected to be by July 2016, the board expects the business to contribute positively to overall profitability. Further details and an update on current trading will be given in the company’s full year results that are scheduled to be released on 8 June 2016.

Ultra Electronics Holdings Plc (ULE.L)  Announced that it has been awarded a contract by Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems for the supply of its RiQ Ruggedized Networking Switch (RIQ) for integration into the Patriot air and missile defense system. The contract, which includes the supply of spares, is valued at $9.3 million. The award has been made to Ultra Electronics-DNE Technologies, a part of Ultra-Electronics EMS which is part of the Maritime and Land division

Universe Group Plc (UNG.L)  Announced, in its final results for the year ended 31 December 2015, that revenue stood at £20.33 million, compared to £20.75 million in the same period last year. Operating profit stood at £2.04 million, compared to £1.73 million. Profit after tax was £1.50 million, compared to £1.41 million. Diluted earnings per share stood at 0.63p, compared to 0.60p.

Whitbread Plc (WTB.L)  Announced that Christopher Rogers, Managing Director of Costa and an Executive Director on the Whitbread PLC Board has decided to leave the company. He would be stepping down from the Board following the next Board meeting on 20th April. Dominic Paul has been appointed to succeed Chris as the new Managing Director for Costa and will take up his new role on 6th June. To support Dominic and ensure a smooth transition, Chris will remain with the company until 1st July.

Disclaimer: Statements in this article should not be considered investment advice, which is best sought directly from a qualified professional.