MARKET REPORT: Babcock Shares Hit Three-Year High
Shares in advocacy group Babcock hit their highest level in more than three years after a bullish update for investors.
In a statement ahead of its Annual General Meeting, the company said “trading has been encouraging” since the start of the new financial year in April.
The company, which maintains Britain’s nuclear submarine fleet and is building the Royal Navy’s Type 31 frigates, highlighted “good” revenue growth and “better operating performance” as well as higher cash flow making it a anus.
“Babcock International appears well placed to deliver strong earnings growth over the medium term,” Peel Hunt analysts said.
The shares rose 5.5 per cent, or 21.2 pence, to 409.6 pence, the highest level since June 2020.
Boost: Babcock, which maintains Britain’s nuclear submarine fleet, flagged “good” revenue growth and “improved operational performance”
The share price rebound, from lows below 200p in early 2021, is a welcome boost for investors after a decidedly difficult run.
The company, which also maintains Challenger 2 tanks supplied by the UK to Ukraine, was left reeling five years ago by a damning report from Boatman Capital Research. And despite the recent rally (which has been driven in part by increased defense spending following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine), shares remain well below their 2014 high of around 1,300 pence.
Amid continuing concerns about the state of the global economy – from high interest rates in the United States to a housing crisis in China – the FTSE 100 rose 0.1 per cent, or 8.63 points, to 7,601.85. , while the FTSE 250 lost 0.7 per cent, or 121.55. , to 18098.68.
The biggest faller in the mid-cap index was Digital 9 Infrastructure, which invests in everything from undersea fiber cables to data centers. Shares in the company, which has £1.3bn of debt, fell 39.5 per cent, or 21.9p, to 33.5p after posting a half-year loss of £57.4m after having made a profit of £27.4 million in the same period. last year.
HSBC was said to be in talks to acquire Citigroup’s consumer wealth management business in China, which manages more than £2.5 billion in assets. The shares gained 0.8 per cent, or 5p, to 644.9p.
British life insurer Phoenix Group posted a marginal rise in profits amid continued demand for its corporate pension plan insurance. But shares fell 7 per cent, or 35.4p, to 472.4p.
It was another good day for Ithaca Energy investors. Shares rose almost 9 percent on Wednesday after the Rosebank oil field in the North Sea, operated by Norway’s Equinor, was given the green light. The stock rose another 3.4 per cent, or 6p, to 183.6p yesterday.
But there was some profit-taking at Oxford BioDynamics after a 184 per cent rise in its share price in the last two sessions. The increase came after the company launched its “highly accurate” prostate cancer test in the UK and US. But after two stormy sessions, the shares fell 7.2 per cent, or 2.2p, to 28.5p.
All Bar One owner Mitchells & Butlers is cashing in as customers head out for drinks and food despite rising prices.
The group, which also owns chains such as Toby Carvery and Harvester, recorded a 9.7 per cent rise in sales in its fourth quarter to September 23.
He said cost pressures were “easing” for the company after a year in which hospitality businesses were hit hard by rising inflation, supply chain issues and rising staff wages.
Sales growth has also been strong despite the ongoing cost of living crisis: Food sales in the fourth quarter rose 11.6 percent, while beverages rose 6.4 percent. The shares rose 4.3 per cent, or 9.2 pence, to 223.8 pence.
Hydrogen fuel cell maker Ceres Power said half-year losses rose from £22.6 million in 2022 to £26.3 million this time. Shares in the company, which recently rose to the FTSE 250 index, fell 0.8 per cent, or 2.6p, to 326.8p.