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MARKET REPORT: Just the beginning for ‘partner of choice’ Ocado

Grocery delivery giant Ocado got a boost after a broker labeled it the “partner of choice” for supermarkets looking to capitalize on the online shopping boom accelerated by the pandemic.

Analysts at Jefferies said online shopping “still has a long way to go”, noting that groceries purchased online in the UK still made up just 12 percent of the total, but added that many supermarkets would need to redesign their business models to delivering groceries to customers, who incur costs that are ‘out of the appetite’ of many.

As a result, these businesses need ‘a partner with a heritage in the grocery store’ [and] automation’. “In our view, Ocado remains a preferred partner in this regard,” analysts said.

Tipped: Broker Jefferies raised Ocado from underperform to hold and nearly doubled their 950p price target from 950p to 1850p. The stock rose 0.8%, or 13p, to 1633.5p

Jefferies noted that Ocado’s partnership with Marks & Spencer, signed in 2019, was “proof of the pudding” for its ability to run an effective online delivery service.

The company’s technology arm, which provides robots that can automatically package orders, was an “economically viable” option.

The broker increased Ocado from underperform to hold and nearly doubled its 950p price target from 950p to 1850p. The stock rose 0.8 percent, or 13p, to 1633.5p.

The FTSE 100 fell 0.04 percent or 2.85 points to 7337.05, while the FTSE 250 fell 0.04 percent or 7.74 points to 23,230.43.

Inventory Monitoring – Equals Group

1639014071 288 MARKET REPORT Just the beginning for partner of choice Ocado

Shares in Equals Group traded near a two-year high after it said it “significantly exceeded expectations”.

The international payments and money transfer company has so far raked in turnover of £40.4 million – 51 per cent higher than the same period in 2020 – with revenues more than doubling in October and November to £11.6 million.

The number was boosted by a transaction with a ‘major corporate client’ during the period which generated £1.5m in revenue. Shares rose 8.7 percent, or 5.5p, to 68.5p.

Markets were upset by the seemingly imminent return of Covid restrictions in the UK, with the government planning to introduce vaccine passports and force people to work from home again.

Games Workshop, maker of Warhammer combat figures, took a hit after higher costs weighed on profits, which are expected to be at least £86 million for the six months to November 28, down from £91.6 million over the same period. year ago .

Turnover is expected to be a minimum of £190 million, from £187 million. It fell 0.7 percent or 70p to 9690p after it unveiled a deal with virtual reality company Nexon to develop games based on Warhammer properties.

British Gas owner Centrica struck an £800m deal to sell its Norwegian oil and gas assets as part of downsizing plans. The sale includes the Statfjord oil field on the British-Norwegian border in the North Sea.

Shares fell 0.2 percent, or 0.1p, to 67.58p.

Mid-cap miner Centamin recorded the largest increase in gold reserves in a decade at a mine in Egypt of more than 1 million ounces.

The expansion supports plans to produce 500,000 ounces per year over the next ten years.

Shares, however, fell 0.8 percent, or 0.74p, to 91.38p after analysts at broker Liberum said increased gold reserves would be overshadowed by higher costs.

AIM heavyweight Clinigen has agreed to a £1.2 billion acquisition deal with British private equity firm Triton Investment Management.

The pharmaceutical group’s shareholders will receive 883 pence in cash for each share they hold, a premium of 41 percent to the closing price on December 1, the day before the offer was first announced.

Shares rose 11.3 percent or 92.5 pence to 910 pence, suggesting investors should expect a higher bid.

Meanwhile, mid-cap oil company Diversified Energy rose 2.8 percent, or 2.8 pence, to 104.6 pence after lenders approved a 32 percent increase in its credit limit.

It now has access to £623 million from banks, which has been attributed to a recent rise in oil and gas prices and a takeover.

Blue chip chemicals company Croda rose 2.2 percent, or 225p, to 10,285p after UBS upgraded its stock from “neutral” to “buy,” saying it expected higher-than-expected profits in 2022.

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