Top US stocks to watch: Streaming stocks, Big Tech and IHS Markit

Big Tech remains under the regulatory spotlight, streaming stocks face new rules within the UK, IHS Markit beats expectations, Intel restructures itself, the CDC starts investigating heart inflammation cases linked to Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and there’s IPO news from Dingdong and Embark.
Big Tech
The House Judiciary Committee will examine six antitrust bills today as pressure on Big Tech continues to create , potentially paving the way for them to succeed in the ground of the House within the future.

The bills primarily specialise in the role of the likes of Apple, Facebook, Alphabet and Amazon, all of which have opposed efforts to reform regulations for the tech industry. Two bills will check out how companies like Amazon and Google can establish platforms for other businesses to use then compete with them, with one proposing they sell assets to rectify the matter and therefore the other favouring new rules to prevent them from using these anti-competitive practices.

Another bill would ban Big Tech from acquiring other business unless it doesn’t directly compete with it, another is looking into how user data is handled, et al. are looking to boost the allow antitrust cases. The bills have sparked support and resistance from both Democrats and Republicans, with those against them arguing it stifles innovation within the country’s most successful industry and will weaken them against foreign rivals.

Amazon, Netflix and Disney
Reports have surfaced that the united kingdom is looking to shake-up rules for streaming services within the country, potentially paving the way for tighter regulations to be imposed on the likes of Netflix, Amazon and Disney.

There are currently gaps in regulations for streaming services. for instance , they are doing not need to abide by an equivalent rules as public TV broadcasters and, because they’re based overseas, can escape regulator Ofgem’s remit.

The government is about to consult on the difficulty this summer before making a choice on whether streaming services should be brought under an equivalent scope of rules as broadcasters.

IHS Markit
Information and analytics specialist IHS Markit beat expectations when it released second-quarter results this morning as all of its divisions reported growth within the period.

Revenue rose to $1.18 billion from $1.02 billion the year before, with adjusted Ebitda rising to $517.4 million from $454.0 million. That beat the $1.13 billion of revenue and $505.7 million of earnings expected by Wall Street.

Revenue from Transportation jumped 41% year-on-year, the overwhelming majority of which was organic. Financial Services revenue increased 11%, Consolidated Markets & Solutions was up 2% and Resources edged-up 1%.

Intel said it’s creating two new business units, one to chase the opportunities in creating new software and therefore the other to pursue new high-performance computing and graphics technology.

The company said Greg Lavender has joined as chief technology officer and takes charge of both of the new divisions. It also charged Raja Koduri with responsibility for its new computing systems and graphics group.

It also announced that it had been restructuring its Data Platform Group into two new units. the primary are going to be Datacenter and AI focused on data center and cloud-computing products led by Sandra Rivera. The second will Network and Edge Group, focused on networks, IoT and connectivity solutions led by Nick McKeown.

Pfizer and Moderna
A meeting of advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will happen later today to debate the likelihood that the coronavirus vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna are linked to cases of heart inflammation.

The health ministry in Israel flagged the possible link earlier this month and therefore the CDC has been investigating cases of heart inflammation among young men for several months. Details of over 300 cases are going to be presented today, but this is often still a fraction of the 138 million-plus people to possess been vaccinated thus far , 20 million-or-so of which are below the age of 24.

Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley has warned that staff and clients won’t be ready to enter the bank’s ny and Westchester offices if they’re not fully vaccinated, consistent with Reuters.

The new rule is predicted to return into force on July 12 but also will scrap the necessity to wear masks or adhere to scoail distancing rules. Unnamed sources said people who aren’t fully vaccinated would need to still work remotely.

Tesla said it’s opened its first charging station in China using its own solar and energy storage systems.

The station is in Lhasa city and can be solar powered, storing energy for it to charge vehicles when needed. it’s utilising the technology from SolarCity, which it bought back in 2016.

Chinese groceries app Dingdong us aiming for a valuation of over $6 billion through its initial public offering and lift up to $357 million to assist cement its position in an increasingly competitive market.

The valuation would compare to the $5.1 billion tag achieved when Softbank invested within the business last month.

The listing comes as competition heats up from rivals including Alibaba-backed Hema, Meituan Maicai, Tencent-backed Missfresh, and JD Daojia.

Self-driving truck technology company Embark is about to travel public by merging with SPAC Northern Genesis Acquisition to boost around $614 million in cash and earn a valuation of $5.2 billion.

The proceeds are expected to fund the corporate until 2024 and none of the prevailing shareholders decide to sell shares as a part of the offering. the corporate is eagerly looking to commercialise its technology after testing out its self-driving trucks over the last five years.

Top UK Stocks to Watch: Berkeley Group profits return to growth

Berkeley Group says it remains committed to London, Persimmon and Aviva bow to pressure from the CMA over leaseholds, Vodafone’s European business goes green, Joules Group delivers impressive growth, and Liontrust Asset Management celebrates a stellar year.
Top News: Berkeley Group confident London can flourish again
Berkeley Group said it remains committed to London which the capital will recover from the pandemic because it revealed profit returned to growth during a troublesome year.

Revenue rose 14.7% within the year to the top of April to £2.20 billion from £1.92 billion the year before. It delivered 2,825 homes during the year at a mean price of £770,000. That compared to the two ,723 homes delivered the year before at a price of £677,000.

Berkeley Group had previously said profits would be broadly flat from the £503.7 million booked within the last fiscal year , but surprised the markets with pretax profit of £518.1 million this morning. That was also before the £516.5 million forecast by analysts. Although the return to growth are going to be welcome, profits are still way below the £775.2 million delivered within the 2019 fiscal year .

Basic earnings per share rose 4.5% to 339.4 pence from 324.9p.

Berkeley Group reaffirmed its commitment to return a minimum of £280 million to shareholders annually through to 2025 via dividends and buybacks, but it’s likely to return considerably more to investors within the new fiscal year . the corporate dished out £145.5 million in dividends during the year and an extra £188.6 million in buybacks for a complete of £334.1 million, which was up from £280.3 million the prior year.

It said it intends to return £222 million of scheduled returns within the new fiscal year and an extra £228 million of surplus capital this September through a replacement share scheme which will be followed by a share consolidation.

Berkeley shares have significantly underperformed its peers over the past year, partly due to concerns has greater exposure to London at a time when people are leaving cities, but said it remains committed to the capital and believes this ‘does not represent a permanent structural shift’ which the trends will eventually reverse and benefit Berkeley thanks to a scarcity of housing supply. Berkeley currently produces around 10% of all new private homes inbuilt London.

Berkeley Group said it expects annual output to rise by 50% by 2024/25 compared to 2018/2019 levels. the very fact 23 of its 29 long-term complex regeneration projects are now in production will go an extended thanks to supporting that ambition.

‘We ended the year in great shape, with net cash of £1.1 billion, cash due on forward sales of £1.7 billion and therefore the estimated future margin of profit in our land holdings increased to £6.9 billion, with an extra £0.6 billion within the near-term pipeline,’ said chief executive Rob Perrins.

‘This may be a very strong platform from which to continue serving the foremost under supplied housing markets within the country once the disruption caused by the pandemic dissipates and London is again ready to flourish as a worldwide destination for culture, entertainment, education, recreation and business,’ he added.

Where next for the Berkeley Group share price?
Berkeley Group share price trades between its flat 50 & 100 sma during a broadly neutral position. the worth has been trading during a tight range since early April capped on the upside by 4900 and on the lower band by 4450p.

The RSI has turned southwards and moved into bearish territory suggesting that there’s more downside to return .

A break below 4500 the 100 sma and 4450p the lower band of the horizontal channel could see the sellers devour traction and head towards 4195/4200 zone, a neighborhood which offered support several times across the beginning of the year.

Any recovery within the share price would wish to retake the 50 sma at 4625p and 4700p the June high, before testing the upper band at 4900p. Beyond here bulls could look towards 5300p the December 2019 high.

Persimmon and Aviva strike deal over leaseholds with CMA
The Competition & Markets Authority said it’s secured landmark commitments from Aviva and Persimmon that ought to help thousands of leaseholders across the united kingdom .

The CMA launched enforcement action against four housing developers last year, also as companies that had bought an outsized number of freehold sites then leased them out. the opposite three developers aren’t listed and named Brigante Properties, Abacus Land and Adriatic Land.

Aviva has pledged to get rid of all leasehold contracts that were doubling the quantity of rent payable by leaseholders every 10 to fifteen years and are now linking any increases to RPI. The doubling clause in contracts meant many leaseholders struggled to sell their properties on. Aviva is additionally repaying homeowners who were suffering from the doubling clause within the past.

Meanwhile, housebuilder Persimmon has promised to permit leaseholders the choice to shop for the freehold of their property at a reduction and can also make payments to previous customers who have bought their property.

Notably, Persimmon stopped selling leasehold properties back in 2017 so this is applicable to historic purchases.

‘This addresses concerns raised by consumers with the CMA, and native Trading Standards, that they were led to believe they might buy their freehold at a particular price, only to seek out out later that this price had increased by thousands of pounds with no warning. It also means those individuals who have already bought their freehold will receive a refund, meaning they do not miss out,’ the CMA said.

Persimmon is additionally getting to make it clearer to customers about the annual costs of shopping for a home and can give prospective buyers longer to exchange contracts once they need reserved a property after the regulator complained it had been too short and not giving buyers enough time to weigh up their options.

Persimmon, in its own statement, said it had been extending its existing Right to shop for scheme that permits leaseholders to shop for their freehold at below market price and said the ‘informal voluntary undertakings agreed today largely extend existing schemes Persimmon has in situ and are made with none admission of wrongdoing or liability.’

‘This may be a real win for thousands of leaseholders – for too long people have found themselves trapped in homes they will struggle to sell or been faced with unexpectedly high prices to shop for their freehold. Now, they will breathe a sigh of relief knowing things are set to vary for the higher ,’ said CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli.

‘It’s good that Aviva and Persimmon have responded positively to the present investigation, enabling these issues to be fixed for leaseholders. But our work isn’t done. We now expect other housing developers and investors to follow the lead of Aviva and Persimmon. If not, they will expect to face action ,’ Coscelli added.

Persimmon shares were trading 1.5% lower in early trade this morning at 2992p, while Aviva shares were down 0.5% at 414.6p.

Vodafone’s European network goes green
Vodafone said its entire European network – from its networks and data centres to its retail stores and offices – are going to be 100% powered using electricity generated from renewable sources from next month, marking a serious step toward its goals to be more environmentally-friendly.

‘From 1 July 2021, Vodafone’s customers across Europe are often reassured that the connectivity they use is entirely powered by electricity from renewable sources. this is often a serious milestone towards our goal of reducing our own global carbon emissions to net zero by 2030, helping our customers reduce their own environmental footprint and continuing to create an inclusive and sustainable digital society altogether of our markets,’ said chief executive Nick Read.

The achievement forms a part of Vodafone’s ambition to be a net-zero carbon emissions business by 2030, and for its wider value chain to follow by 2040. Originally, Vodafone was getting to have its European network powered by renewables by 2025 before accelerating its efforts last year.

Vodafone said it intends for its operations across Africa to travel green by 2025.

Vodafone shares were trading 0.7% higher in early trade this morning at 131.44p.

Joules Group delivers impressive growth despite lockdowns
Clothing and homeware firm Joules Group said it delivered strong growth and returned to profit within the recently-ended fiscal year as its strong digital offering cushioned the blow from the lost sales in-store during lockdown.

The company said revenue rose 4% within the year to the top of May to £199.0 million rom £190.8 million the year before. While it had been a troublesome year for physical store sales, Joules Group benefited from its strong digital offering, growing customer numbers and therefore the added contribution from the acquisition of Garden Trading Co in February.

Retail revenue, which mixes sales made future and online, rose 9% within the year because the 41% fall in own-store sales was quite offset by a 48% rise in sales on its own websites.

‘The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the lives of consumers, the extent of disruption and pace of change within the retail sector over the past 12 months has been truly unprecedented. i’m delighted that, against this backdrop, Joules has been ready to deliver a really solid financial performance and powerful strategic progress. This outcome primarily reflects, firstly, the strength and relevance of the Joules brand to an increasing number of consumers and, secondly, the increasing importance of our digital proposition both to customers and within our business model, with approximately 77% of our retail sales now generated online,’ said chief executive Nick Jones.

Joules said pretax profit before exceptionals should be within the range of £5.5 million to £6.5 million. which will be welcomed considering it booked a £2 million loss the year before, and is well before analyst expectations.

Despite the positive news, Joules Group shares plunged 9.4% in early trade this morning at 266.0p. Still, the stock has risen over 50% since the beginning of 2021 alone.

Joules has been encouraged by the performance of its stores since they reopened in April. Sales within the first eight weeks since reopening the doors are above pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, Garden Trading has performed better than expected within the first few months of ownership, with revenue 78% higher year-on-year.

Joules Group ended May with net cash of £4.7 million and £39 million of headroom within its existing credit facilities.

‘As we enter the new fiscal year , Joules is now a stronger and more diversified business than ever before. The continued success and growth of our Friends of Joules digital marketplace and our strengthened position within the home, garden & outdoor sector following the acquisition of Garden Trading means we now offer significantly more products across more categories and supply our customers with more choice and reasons to buy with us. As a results of the strength of the Joules brand and therefore the increasing diversification of the Group’s digital-led business model, we believe that the Group is extremely well positioned to still deliver its ambitious growth plans,’ Jones said.

Liontrust Asset Management hikes dividend after stellar year
Liontrust Asset Management said it’s hiked its dividend after almost doubling the quantity of assets under management during its recently-ended fiscal year , during which it also delivered stellar growth in revenue and profits.

Revenue within the year to the top of March increased 54% to £164.0 million from £107.0 million the year before. It ended the amount with assets under management of £30.9 billion, almost double the £16.1 billion on the books a year earlier. Notably, that has increased further to £33.27 billion by June 18.

The independent fund manager said adjusted pretax profit increased 69% to £64.3 million from £38.1 million the year before, with reported pretax profit quite doubling to £34.9 million from £16.5 million.

Liontrust said it’ll pay a final dividend of 36.0 pence, taking the entire payout for the year to 47.0p, up 42% from the 33.0p paid out last year. That hike came as net inflows jumped 30% to £3.49 billion from £2.69 billion. Dividends have now grown by a mean of 33% per annum since 2017.

‘Liontrust has strong momentum and is well positioned to continue growing. we’ve excellent investment teams, with impressive long-term performance and investment processes. This has received extensive independent recognition over the past year,’ said chief executive John Ions.

‘We have successfully been diversifying our product range and distribution to make sure we will continue the rise in net flows,’ he added.

Equity Briefing: Berkeley Group, Joules Group and IHS Markit

Housebuilder Berkeley Group is thanks to publish full-year results this morning while clothing and homeware designer Joules Group is about to release a pre-close update. Information specialist IHS Markit is thanks to report second-quarter results later today.
Berkeley Group
Berkeley Group will report full-year results covering the 12 months to the top of April this morning.

Berkeley shares have significantly underperformed the broader market over the last year, trading up just 2% compared to the 26% rise within the FTSE 350 Construction & Building Materials index. That comes despite the housing sector remaining resilient during the pandemic, with construction allowed to continue during lockdown and therefore the market buoyed by the stamp tax holiday.

This is partially because Berkeley has greater exposure to London at a time when people are leaving cities, which has caused a drop by reservations and bookings. Plus, there are concerns that its decision to delay a number of its projects until the economy reopened could now cause problems as reports build that materials and labour are harder to urge hold of and costlier .

The housebuilder said in February that benchmark pretax profit should be largely in-line with the £503.7 million reported within the last fiscal year , but analysts expect Berkeley to surprise with a profit of £516.5 million. Still, which will be considerably less than the £775.2 million booked in 2019.

Berkeley has committed to returning £280 million per annum through dividends and buybacks and has done so since 2016.

Joules Group
Joules Group will release a pre-close trading update for the full-year to the top of May today.

The clothing and homewares company revealed in early May that revenue would are available above the £187 million expected by analysts which pretax profit before exceptional items would beat the £4.1 million forecast.

That provides hope that revenue could still grow from the £190.8 million delivered within the previous year and any profit are going to be welcomed considering it booked a £2 million loss the year before.

It has proven resilient during the pandemic because of its online sales and results have also received a lift from the acquisition of homewares firm Garden Trading Co in February, while store sales have picked-up since being allowed to reopen in April.

The focus are going to be on the outlook now that things are beginning to normalise and when Joules Group’s results can return to pre-pandemic levels.

IHS Markit
Later today, before US markets open, IHS Markit will release second-quarter results covering the three months to the top of May.

The company, which deals in providing critical information and data analytics, said it had made a positive start to the year when it released first-quarter leads to March because it began to see a robust recovery in its end markets, enough in order that it said full-year results would be at the upper end of its guidance ranges.

Analysts expect revenue to rise to $1.135 billion within the second quarter from $1.027 billion the year before. Adjusted Ebitda is predicted to rise to $505.7 million from $454.0 million while adjusted EPS is forecast to extend to $0.8 from $0.69.

Notably, IHS Markit is currently within the process of merging with S&P Global under a $44 billion deal struck last year, which is predicted to be completed before the top of 2021.

What is market liquidity? Definition, calculation, and examples

Market liquidity may be a key component of a functioning financial market, because it determines how briskly trades are often executed at the well-liked price. Discover what market liquidity is, how it’s measured and what the foremost liquid markets are.
What is meant by market liquidity?
Market liquidity is that the extent to which an asset are often bought or sold at the present market value , without impacting its value. it’s simply how briskly you’ll exchange something for cash. Liquidity applies to any financial market, from stocks to precious metals, but some are more liquid than others.

When people mention liquidity, they’re usually either pertaining to market liquidity or accounting liquidity.

Market liquidity – this is often the measure of how efficiently a market (such because the stock exchange or forex market) enables participants to shop for and sell assets at stable prices. it’ll be characterised by high trading volumes and an in depth bid-ask spread
Accounting liquidity – this is often a term wont to describe whether a corporation can meet its financial obligations with the assets available to them. This metric is usually employed by investors and analysts to work out how strong a company’s record is
What causes market liquidity?
Market liquidity is caused by trading activity. When there are high levels of trading activity – meaning there’s both supply of, and demand for, the asset in question – individuals are going to be ready to easily complete transactions. Finding someone willing to require the opposite side of an exchange is simpler , so there’ll be little effect on the market value .

In a market with low activity, one sale can take tons longer to finish thanks to a scarcity of willing buyers and sellers. Once a transaction has taken place, it can have a way larger impact on the market value to account for the shortage of willing participants.

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How to measure liquidity within the market
Market liquidity is difficult to live because it doesn’t have a hard and fast value. But there are a couple of indicators which will be wont to assess how liquid a market is. These are:

Trading volume – this is often a measure of the entire number of a given asset that was traded over a particular period. High volume typically mean more liquidity and better execution, while low volume means there’ll be fewer counterparties available
Bid/ask spreads – the difference between the costs buyers and sellers are willing to simply accept will lessen in liquid markets and widen in illiquid markets. When the spread within the underlying market is lower, it means your provider are going to be ready to charge you lower spreads to execute your trade
Turnover ratios – share turnover may be a means of calculating liquidity in equity markets by dividing the entire number of shares traded during a period by the typical number of outstanding shares for an equivalent period. In theory, the upper the share turnover, the more liquid the market
Accounting liquidity is measured with specific ratios. The three commonest are:

Current ratio – the amount of current assets divided by current liabilities
Quick ratio – the entire sum of money , assets and equities divided by liabilities
Cash ratio – the entire amount of money divided by liabilities
Is market liquidity good or bad?
Liquidity may be a excellent thing. Financial markets need enough market liquidity to make sure that traders can efficiently exchange assets and investment instruments. High levels of liquidity will make it easier to open and shut positions quickly and cause a tighter bid-ask spread. These favourable conditions then only increase the amount of active market participants, which successively adds to liquidity.

When a market isn’t liquid, it becomes difficult to shop for or sell goods, so you’ll either need to wait an extended time for a counterparty to return along or hand over on your transaction altogether. In an illiquid market, buyers and sellers cannot agree on the worth of the market, which usually results in wider bid-ask spreads and better execution costs.

What are the foremost liquid markets?
The most liquid market is cash because it can instantly be converted into other assets. Meanwhile, markets that deal in physical assets are less liquid – like land and art – because the sale process takes for much longer .

Here are a number of the opposite most liquid markets:

Forex – the forex market is assumed of because the most liquid market within the world. Major pairs are traded by governments, banks, and even individuals when they’re happening holiday. Unlike other highly liquid markets, the forex market doesn’t have stable pricing. The forex market is legendary for its volatility, which is what makes it so exciting to traders. Minor pairs and exotic pairs are less well traded, which makes them less liquid
Stocks – the stock exchange as an entire varies in terms of liquidity, with large-cap stocks being generally more liquid than small caps. These more liquid shares will have more stable prices and are likely to possess a better number of active traders willing to shop for and sell them
Commodities – each commodity market will have different levels of liquidity. Oil is that the most highly traded commodity, which usually means it’s a liquid market – although issues like storage shortages are known to steer to liquidity risk when nobody is willing to shop for the commodity.

Top US stocks to watch: Alphabet, GameStop and Plug Power

Alphabet comes under the regulatory spotlight again, GameStop capitalises on the surge in its share price, Plug Power misses expectations, Delta Air Lines plans to rent 1,000 new pilots, Europe orders more Moderna vaccines, and Sanderson Farms might be exploring a purchase .
Regulators within the European Union have launched a fresh investigation into Alphabet’s Google to think about whether its dominance within the digital advertising market is stifling competition by favouring its own online services over that of rival publishers, advertisers and tech firms.

Separately, YouTube is celebrating a win after Europe’s top court ruled that online platforms aren’t responsible for people uploading unauthorised work without copyright unless they fail to require swift action to get rid of it. The court said platforms might be liable if they are doing not make an attempt to introduce new measures to stop infringement of copyright .

‘As currently stands, operators of online platforms don’t , in theory , themselves make a communication to the general public of copyright-protected content illegally posted online by users of these platforms,’ the EU Court of Justice said. ‘However, those operators do make such a communication in breach of copyright where they contribute, beyond merely making those platforms available, to giving access to such content to the general public .’

GameStop said it’s raised $1.12 billion by selling 5 million shares within the ‘at-the-market’ offering because the company capitalises on the surge in its share price to boost funds to fuel its plans to show the business around and make it fit the digital age.

GameStop had told investors back in April that it might issue up to an extra 5 million shares after it raised $551.7 million by issuing 3.5 million shares that month. GameStop shares are up over 1,000% since the beginning of the year and have risen over 18% since it completed the last equity raise.

The news comes at some point after GameStop’s new chief executive Matt Furlong, one among variety of Amazon executives recruited in recent months to spearhead its new strategy, formally took his position on the board of directors.

Plug Power
Hydrogen firm Plug Power missed expectations within the half-moon of its new fiscal year after facing variety of operational challenges that it hopes will abate because the year goes on.

Gross billings rose to $73.7 million from $43.0 million the year before, but that missed the $76.9 million expected by Wall Street. Its pretax loss of $60.7 million was wider than the $37.5 million loss booked the year before and came in much larger than the $44.9 million loss forecast by analysts. It reaffirmed its raised guidance for the full-year.

It was a busy quarter for the corporate , which raised $2 billion from shareholders and secured an extra $1.6 billion from Korean outfit SK Group. It also struck a replacement partnership with Renault and unveiled plans to create the most important green hydrogen production facility within the US in Western ny , where it’ll also build the primary PEM and electrolyzer Gigafactory.

Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines is preparing to rent over 1,000 pilots by next summer, consistent with a memo seen by Reuters.

The report said Delta is expecting US leisure visit return to pre-pandemic levels this month which business travel continues to recover, paving the way for it to report a pretax profit within the last half of 2021. The note sent to employees by chief of operations John Laughter said it had been ‘remarkable’ that Delta Air Lines was getting to return to profit in June, just 15 months after suffering the most important crisis to hit the aviation industry in history.

Notably, the news comes only one day after it had been reported that American Airlines had to cancel many flights over the weekend and trim its flight schedule in July by 1% due to a shortage of staff also as increased maintenance and weather-related problems.

The European Commission has exercised an choice to buy 150 million further doses of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine and is functioning on a replacement deal to secure supplies for ‘new generation vaccines’ designed to tackle evolving variants of the virus.

The doses are going to be delivered in 2022 and form a part of the 300-dose order outlined in February. President of the ecu Commission Ursala von der Leyen confirmed the news via a tweet and said the new negotiations would make sure the bloc has the pliability to secure adapted vaccines to guard people from new variants.

Sanderson Farms
Chicken producer Sanderson Farms is considering selling-up, consistent with reports from the Wall Street Journal.

The company is assumed to be exploring a purchase after attracting interest from buyers as a results of rising demand for its products as restaurants reopen. Continental Grain, an agricultural investment company that owns a smaller chicken processor named Wayne Farms, is assumed to be among those interested.

If Continental Grain made a move and was successful, it might create the second largest chicken firm within the country in terms of volumes, only narrowly behind Pilgrim’s Pride.

Pear Therapeutics
Pear Therapeutics is getting to go public by merging with SPAC Thimble Point Acquisition during a deal which will raise $400 million for the business and provides it a worth of around $1.6 billion.

The company has developed app-based therapy to assist people with the likes of insomnia or drug abuse , which it believes has huge potential when combined with traditional pharmaceuticals.

The company is backed by Softbank, which has said prescription digital therapeutics ‘are creating a replacement category of medicine’.

Quanergy Systems
Quanergy Systems, a developer of self-driving car technology, is preparing to travel public by merging with SPAC CITIC Capital Acquisition to boost $278 million and value the business at around $1.4 billion.

The company provides LiDAR systems and 3D perception software and said its CMOS OPA solid state technology utilized in its LiDAR sensors is ‘poised to rework the automotive and IoT industries by driving down the value of solutions while enabling powerful levels of automation and insights.’

The deal is predicted to shut within the last half of 2021.

Chip company stocks to watch in 2021

Chip companies are within the spotlight thanks to the worldwide shortage of semiconductor supply caused by increasing demand during Covid-19 – and this high demand has been great for semiconductor stock prices. Discover how chip stocks have performed and therefore the companies to observe .
What are semiconductors?
Semiconductors, also referred to as chips, are utilized in electronic circuits to conduct current – but only partially, because the name implies. Most semiconductors are made out of silicon and are an important a part of all electronics. Without them, there would be no smartphones, radios, TVs or computers.

What are chip companies?
Chip companies are the companies involved within the design and/or manufacture of semiconductor chips and related parts. they’re thought of as a part of the technology sector but also are manufacturers – as like all manufacturer , a chip company’s supply chain is reliant on commodities.

Chip companies are the drive behind tons of trends because of their use in just about every sort of device . a number of the foremost prominent trends are:

Connectivity – including 5G mobile networks
Computing – like graphics processing units (GPUs) for gaming
Healthcare – for instance within the automation of surgeries through robotic assistance
Military systems – like computers, sensors, switches and amplifiers
Transportation – most notably the increase of electronic vehicles (EV)
Semiconductor industry performance
Semiconductor stocks generally performed extremely well in 2020 as they were shielded from the continued health crisis by a boom in consumer electronic sales, also as cloud computing and online gaming.

And as demand for chips reached new highs, supplies ran low, causing a worldwide shortage of semiconductors. Demand for mobile-device chips was expected in 2020 with the shift to 5G but increasing demand for PC chips amid Covid-19, caused massive issues with supply chains. The chip shortage didn’t really hit the broader market until car manufacturers – including General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co – announced they’d need to halt production on some models thanks to the shortage of semiconductors.

If the shortage continues, it’s expected that this may only push chip stocks into higher valuations. In fact, most chip companies are reporting above expected earnings for 2020, surprising markets and pushing share prices even higher.

As a result, the PHLX Semiconductor index was performing well above benchmark indices the S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite in February 2021. It had gained 433% within the past five years, compared to only 104% and 208% for every benchmark respectively.

The semiconductor industry remains extremely volatile, which may present opportunities for going both long and short. you’ll speculate on rising and falling markets with CFDs.

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Who are the highest semiconductor manufacturers?
The top five chip companies within the world by revenue are:

Intel – $77.9 billion 1
Samsung – $60.39 billion2
TSMC – $45.05 billion3
Broadcom – $23.88 billion4
Qualcomm – $23.53 billion5
Micron – $21.44 billion6
ASE Technology Holding – $17.12 billion7
NVIDIA – $16.68billion8
Texas Instruments – $14.46 billion 9
STMicroelectronics NV – $10.22 billion10
In terms of nations , South Korea currently leads with a 25% share of the world’s advanced chipmaking capacity, followed by Taiwan, Japan and China. The dominance of those countries, particularly China, caused concern for US politicians who believed it had been a threat to US commercial and military developments. US chipmaking capacity has plunged from a 3rd of the market in 1990 to only 11% in 2021.

Chip company stocks to observe
There are quite 750 companies within the semiconductor industry, all competing to create subsequent hot device or power future tech. So, with plenty to settle on from, your decision about whether to trade an outsized cap, mid cap or small cap conductor chip will depend upon your strategy and therefore the research you’ve done. Remember, past performance is not any guarantee of future results.

We’ve compiled an inventory of six popular chip companies to observe . While a number of these stocks also are on the list of largest semiconductor producers, there are some smaller companies that have also caught tons of market attention.

  1. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSM) shares
    Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSM) is one among the most important independent pure-play foundries – businesses that only create chips and don’t have any design capabilities themselves. This leads most other semiconductor companies to outsource their manufacturing to TSM.

Taiwan Semiconductor has been one among the highest performing stocks within the industry but was a surprise star for several . TSM stock gained over 25.2% in January 2021 alone after Intel discussed outsourcing a number of its processor production to the corporate .

When the worldwide chip shortage occurred, TSM took matters into its own hands and has already checked out expansion opportunities in Japan and has secured a affect Apple (APPL) to develop a complicated display technology.

  1. Broadcom (AVGO) shares
    Broadcom may be a global designer, developer and supplied of semiconductor devices. In it’s Q4 2020 earnings, it reported a 11.9% revenue growth and 56.3% net growth. Semiconductor solutions’ revenues (75% of Broadcom’s total net revenues) totalled $4.83 billion, which was a rise of 6% from Q4 2019.

This boost was because of 5G sales coming in above expectations, which was because of increasing spending by telecommunications companies, also as higher cloud spending by data centres. Broadcom’s business model also includes a large enterprise software unit, a rarity within the semiconductor sector.

For the financial year ending October 2021, the chipmaker is predicted to earn $26.28 per share, which is a rise of 18.6% from the previous year.

  1. Qualcomm (QCOM) shares
    Qualcomm (QCOM) may be a semiconductor and telecommunications company that designs and sells wireless communications goods. Most telecommunications companies use its code division multiple access technology (CDMA) which may be a core component of wireless developments.

Qualcomm also creates Snapdragon chipsets for mobile platforms, which are designed to be extremely fast and efficient – they’re expected to be one among the most beneficiaries of the move to 5G connectivity. In fact, Qualcomm noted on its Q4 earnings call that its chips for 5G handsets were one among the core drivers of growth.

  1. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
    Advanced Micro Devices surprised the market in January 2021 with its record Q4 income statement – smashing all expectations for revenue growth and earnings. This was largely because of demand for the company’s higher-end processors – approximately 1 million units of its latest Ryzen 5000 processors were shipped during the quarter.

The company’s earnings were also boosted by the booming demand for semiconductors from cloud computing giants Microsoft and Google.

AMD was significantly underperforming compared to competitors about six years ago, with massive failures in its processing units. But now it’s dominating gaming computer processing units (CPUs), leaving competitors like Intel to scramble for market share. It still features a thanks to go before its market share rivals that of our top ten, but its growth thus far has put it on the radar of Wall Street.

  1. NVIDIA (NVDA) shares
    NVIDIA reported a record revenue of $5 billion for its Q4 2020 – which may be a massive 61% rise from the previous year. the corporate dedicated this achievement to its gaming and data centre platforms. NVIDIA has seen an enormous uptick in demand for its GeForce RTX 300 series GPUs, which enable gamers access to realistic graphics and cutting-edge AI .

As NVIDIA has always been a GPU manufacturer, it’s still miles before most other companies during this area – with spending on the tech expected to around $110 billion by 2024. But it’s other areas of revenue intake too, like its data-centre networking acquisitions and connectivity hardware acquisitions.

  1. Ambarella Inc (AMBA) shares
    Video chip developer Ambarella (AMBA) has burst onto most semiconductor stocks to observe lists after strengthening its position within the AI (AI) space. the corporate is creating a variety of imaging solutions to form cameras smarter, therein they will extract data from live video streams.

Ambarella’s products are utilized in a good sort of human and computer vision applications, including security, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), drive recorder, autonomous driving, and robotic applications. there’s significant optimism that this computer vision (CV) will still play a task in industrial automation.

Currently, Ambarella earns most of its revenue from Taiwan.

Top UK Stocks to Watch: Taylor Wimpey restarts dividends

Taylor Wimpey confident it can recover after a troublesome year, Renishaw shares pop to an all-time high because it puts itself up purchasable , Travis Perkins enters the red, and Flutter Entertainment’s revenues quite double.
Top News: Taylor Wimpey hit by lockdown but expects to recover in 2021
Taylor Wimpey said revenue and profits plunged in 2020 because it built fewer houses due to the pandemic, but said it had been resuming dividends and assured about its prospects thanks to its record order book.

The housebuilder said it only managed to construct 9,799 homes during 2020 compared to 16,042 homes in 2019. This was primarily thanks to a shutdown in activity within the second quarter of the year when the pandemic erupted, with construction levels returning to ‘near normal levels’ within the last half .

Notably, Taylor Wimpey said it still expects output in 2021 to be adequate to about 85% to 90% of the amount completed before the pandemic in 2019.

Revenue dropped by quite one-third to £2.79 billion from £4.34 billion. That, twinned with a way tighter operating margin of just 10.8% versus 19.6% the year before, saw operating profit plunge by 65% to £300.3 million from £850.5 million. Pretax profit was down 68% to £264.4 million from £835.9 million.

Taylor Wimpey is hoping its operating margin will improve to 18.5% to 19% this year and it’s still targeting 21% to 22% over the medium-term.

Taylor Wimpey said it had a record forward order book that stood at 10,685 homes at the top of the year, up from 9,725 at the top of 2019. Taylor Wimpey is 50% sold for 2021.

The housebuilder said it had been restarting dividends with a final payout of 4.14 pence per share. that’s underpinned by a robust record with net cash having climbed to £719.4 million from £545.7 million during the year, bolstered by over £500 million raised in equity in June 2020.

‘The 2021 selling season has started well, following on from the stronger than expected recovery of the housing market within the last half of 2020 and reflecting the underlying strength of demand, underpinned by low interest rates and stable mortgage lending,’ Taylor Wimpey said.

Where next for the Taylor Wimpey share price?
Taylor Wimpey shares are trading over 3% higher in early trade because the stock attempts to maneuver out of the holding channel within which it’s traded since early December.

Taylor Wimpey has pushed above its 50 sma sand trades above its 100 sma, whilst the RSI is supportive of further upside.

A meaningful break through the upper band of the channel at 172 could see TW head towards 180p and level last seen in early March.

However, 172p has capped several attempts to maneuver higher over the past three months. Should the resistance hold, a move lower to check the 50 sma support at 161p might be on the cards. an opportunity below this level could see the 100 sma at 150p tested, although this looks unlikely near term.

Flutter Entertainment sees revenue quite double in 2020
Flutter Entertainment said revenue and adjusted earnings quite doubled in 2020 because of its transformational merger with the celebs Group.

Flutter Entertainment said revenue rose to £4.39 billion in 2020 from just £2.14 billion the year before, with adjusted Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation jumping to £889 million from £425 million. That was predominantly because of the acquisitions of the celebs Group.

However, the acquisition costs weighed on its bottom-line, with pretax profit plunging to only £1 million from £136 million in 2019. No dividend was declared for the year.

The company said it had managed to take care of its leadership online, with 96% of its revenue coming from digital products. It said it’s maintained it leadership within the US with 40% of the web sports betting market and 20% of the web gaming market.

‘We delivered a really strong financial performance in 2020, taking advantage of our scale and diversification. We still grow our recreational player base across all key regions, in Q4 alone the group had over 7.6 million monthly online players. Nowhere has our growth been more evident than within the US where we’ve consolidated our #1 position during this crucial market, with customer economics that still exceed our expectations, finishing the year because the first US online operator to succeed in over $1.1 billion in gross gaming revenue,’ said chief executive Peter Jackson.

Flutter Entertainment said it had seen momentum integrate 2021, with revenue up 36% within the seven-weeks to February 21. Still, lockdown within the UK and Ireland means its physical stores are still closed and costing around £9 million in earnings per month.

Flutter Entertainment shares were up 0.4% in early trade at 14428.0.

Croda International ups dividend after mixed performance
Croda International said it delivered a record performance from its Life Sciences division during 2020, partly driven by its involvement within the distribution of vaccines and other pandemic equipment, which it’s restructuring other parts of the business that found it tougher .

Croda International said revenue rose 0.9% to £1.39 billion from £1.37 billion the year before, with core sales rising 2.2%.

Adjusted operating profit declined 5.9% to £319.6 million and fell 9.3% on a reported basis to £290 million. Adjusted pretax profit was down 6.7% to £300.6 million and dropped 10.9% on a reported basis to £269.5 million.

Still, Croda said it had lifted its dividend for the year by 1.1% to 91.0 pence from 90.0p in 2019.

Croda said its Life Sciences division had a record year as revenue jumped 14.6% and adjusted operating profit leapt 20.8%. That has been boosted by the acquisitions of Avanti and Iberchem during the year, and a serious contract to assist with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

It said it had been now combining its care , Home Care and Fragrances divisions to make one ‘market-leading Consumer Care platform’ after sales suffered during lockdown as people stayed reception and purchased fewer beauty and ‘going-out’ products.

Its smaller Performance Technologies division reported a 3.2% drop by sales and a fall in adjusted operating profit of twenty-two .2%.

‘While continued COVID-19 restrictions make the near-term outlook for elements of our Consumer Care and Performance Technologies sectors difficult to predict, 2020 sales exit rates were encouraging with consumer and industrial end markets showing signs of recovery. Life Sciences is predicted to stay strong. the advantages of recovery, along side the complete year impact of Avanti, Iberchem and our Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine contract, are expected to support profitable growth across the business,’ said Croda.

Separately, Croda said it’s bought Alban Muller for EUR25 million. The French company creates and supplies natural and botanical ingredients for the worldwide beauty industry and generated EUR18 million revenue during the year to the top of June.

‘The acquisition expands Croda’s portfolio of sustainable active ingredients for patrons in care markets, complementing our industry-leading positions with Sederma and Crodarom,’ said the corporate .

Croda International shares were up 0.4% in early trade at 6320.0.

Fresnillo benefits from higher prices and lower costs
Fresnillo said production dipped in 2020 but that revenue and earnings both improved significantly because of higher prices and lower costs, because it hopes to cause new output capacity this year.

The gold and silver miner said silver production was down 2.9% in 2020 to 53.0 million ounces while gold output suffered a bigger fall of over 12% to 769,618 ounces.

Still, revenue benefited from higher prices and rose almost 15% to $2.43 billion from $2.11 billion the year before. gross profit margin soared over 90% higher to $879.4 million from just $461.7 million.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation increased 73% to $1.16 billion from $674 million. Pretax profit leapt to $551.3 million from just $178.8 million in 2019.

The company said it’ll pay a final dividend of 23.5 cents for a complete dividend of 25.8 cents, which is up from 14.5 cents in 2019.

Fresnillo said production declined partly due to measures introduced to enhance safety during the pandemic, which has also delayed a number of its new projects. The miner said it the commissioning of the Juanicipio plant has been pushed back to the fourth quarter of 2021 which it expects it to be running at 40% to 50% by the top of this year. Fresnillo said ‘Juanicipio are going to be a serious think about the group’s future silver production’.

Production also will be boosted this year by the new Pyrites Plant at the Fresnillo mine that was brought online within the final quarter of the year, although final inspections are delayed due to the virus. The new floatation plant at the mine designed to require lead and zinc has also been completed and will benefit output this year.

‘Looking ahead, silver volumes will rise by steadily increasing production at Juanicipio, and therefore the multiple ongoing operational improvement programmes to extend production at Fresnillo. Lower ore grade at Ciénega, along side a reduced activity at Noche Buena following a change to the mining sequence and therefore the fewer available areas because the mine approaches its planned closure, also as slightly lower volumes at Herradura, are likely to steer to reduced gold production. However, the longer-term prospects for gold are good, supported by the potential new mines at Rodeo and Orisyvo,’ said Fresnillo.

Fresnillo shares were down 0.8% I nearly trade at 898.7.

National Grid tweaks dividend policy as investment to rise
National Grid said annual dividend increases are going to be linked to CPI instead of RPI from the 2022 fiscal year because it warned it’ll need to invest larger sums over the approaching years.

The grid operator’s dividend grows annually in line with the Retail price level (RPI) and this may remain the case within the current fiscal year thanks to end in 2021. However, from the 2022 fiscal year , the payout increase are going to be linked to the buyer Prices Index including occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH).

National Grid said the choice had been made following the foremost recent review conducted by regulator Ofgem, which proposes rules on what proportion market players can charge and descriptions what proportion they need to spend and invest annually .

‘We expect to take a position around £10 billion of capex through the course of the 5 year control , across our electricity and gas transmission networks. At nearly £2 billion once a year on the average , investment are going to be substantially above the RIIO-T1 control ,’ said National Grid.

However, National Grid said it might be appealing against Ofgem’s methodology wont to calculate the value of equity, and said this may kickstart a six-month process if it’s accepted by the regulator.

‘We believe that the methodology Ofgem wont to set the value of equity ignores evidence for higher total market return and risk-free rate levels. We also maintain the view that the outperformance wedge, a downward adjustment to allowed returns in expectation of future outperformance, is conceptually and practically flawed. We were disappointed it remained within the Final Determination,’ said National Grid.

‘If the CMA accepts to listen to our appeal, the six-month process will begin from April. supported timelines for similar processes, provisional findings would be expected around July with Final Determinations in early October,’ it added.

National Grid shares were up 0.9% in early trade at 831.0.

Top UK Stocks to Watch: Entain raises takeover bid for Enlabs

Entain ups its bid for Enlabs, BT’s chairman announces plans to retire, Morrisons and McColls expand their partnership, Bunzl forecasts another year of growth after performing well in 2020, and Electrocomponents buys a second PPE provider.
Top News: Entain ups Enlabs bid to convert shareholders
Online bookmaker Entain said it’s raised its tender offer for Enlabs to SEK53 per share from its previous offer of SEK40 after some Enlab shareholders argued the first offer was too low, stating it’s a final offer which will not be increased again.

Enlabs creates entertainment and gaming content and claims to be the ‘largest iGaming operator within the Baltics’ with ambitions to become a number one online gaming business.

Enlabs shares have risen since the first offer was made and shares currently trade at slightly below SEK45 per share. The new offer values Enlabs at around SEK3.7 billion, adequate to around £316 million.

Some Enlabs shareholders had rejected the first offer from Entain but the increased offer has now won over the bulk of investors and therefore the Enlabs board.

‘In a highly competitive and controlled industry, where consolidation may be a key theme, Entain is in a position to supply the size and platform needed to further support Enlabs’ long-term growth, and that we firmly believe that Entain are going to be the simplest home for Enlabs, its employees and customers,’ said Entain’s chief treasurer and deputy chief executive Rob Wood.

‘Against this background, we’ve decided to form a final offer of SEK53 to all or any shareholders, providing a chance to exit their investment at a really attractive valuation. We are pleased that shareholders with around 51% have now irrevocably agreed to simply accept the offer and would urge other shareholders to try to to an equivalent by 18 March,’ he added.

Where next for the Entain share price?
Entain shares jumped over 2% in early trade. The stock trades above its 20 & 50 sma on the 4 hour chart in an ascending channel pattern dating back to mid-January suggesting a longtime bullish trend.

The RSI is additionally in bullish territory supportive further gains whilst it remains out of overbought territory.

Immediate resistance are often seen at 1465 the yearly high. A move beyond here could see the bulls attach the upper back of the ascending channel at 1485 before targeting the all time high of 1494.

On the flip side horizonal support are often seen at 1425 ahead 1400, the confluence of the 20 sma and therefore the lower band of the channel. it might take a move below the 50 sma at 1360 to negate the present bullish trend.

Morrisons extends wholesale affect McColl’s
Morrisons has extended its wholesale supply affect shop chain McColl’s.

Morrisons has been supplying McColl’s and converting its stores to Morrisons Daily. The pair said around 30 McColl’s stores had been converted in recent months which the extension will see 300 more outlets change brands. Morrisons also will still supply McColl’s stores for subsequent three years until 2027 as its only wholesale supplier.

‘McColl’s has been a crucial customer since 2017, and through that point wholesale supply has grown very quickly into a profitable business for Morrisons. We currently supply over 1,200 McColl’s stores, including over 230 of its biggest convenience stores which we’ve began to supply over recent weeks. Morrisons supplies McColl’s across all ranges, including brands and therefore the popular Safeway own brand, which we’ll be developing further within the coming months,’ said Morrisons.

Morrisons shares were trading 0.8% higher at 171.8 in early trade, while McColl’s shares jumped 9.2% higher to 26.2.

Bunzl expects another year of growth after strong 2020 results
Bunzl reported strong growth in revenue and profits during 2020 as its logistical expertise became invaluable during the pandemic, prompting it to boost its dividend and forecast another year of growth in 2021.

The international distribution and services group reported an 8.4% rise in revenue to £10.11 billion in 2020, with adjusted pretax profit jumping almost 24% to £715.6 million. On a statutory basis, pretax profit climbed almost 23% to £555.7 million.

‘The pandemic has served to spotlight the vital role that Bunzl plays in ensuring supplies of essential products also because the benefits of our diversification. As a results of our extensive supply chains and our Asia sourcing and auditing operation, we were ready to quickly source and deliver significant quantities of quality assured Covid-19 related products, like gloves and masks. Consequently, we were ready to offset the negative impact that restrictions had on many of our customers’ businesses, particularly within the foodservice and retail sectors,’ said chief executive Frank van Zanten.

Bunzl raised its dividend by 5.5% to 54.1 pence from 51.3p in 2019, marking the 28th consecutive year of dividend growth. Cash conversion remained strong within the year at 103% and net debt equals 1.5x Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, giving it many financial headroom.

‘Overall in 2021 we expect robust revenue growth over the prior year at constant exchange rates, after excluding larger Covid-19 related orders which we don’t expect to repeat. We anticipate that the recovery in sales of other products, as restrictions ease, will broadly offset the decline of smaller Covid-19 related orders, with recent acquisitions making an increasing contribution to the group’s performance. it’s a part of our proven and consistent strategy to use our strong record and cash flows to consolidate the fragmented markets we operate in,’ van Zaten said.

Notably, Bunzl said 2020 was the second biggest year for acquisitions within the company’s history because it unveiled three new purchases that ought to help fuel growth going forward. it’s purchased healthcare distributor Deliver Net, food-service disposable product distributor Disposable Discounter, and Canadian cleaning and hygiene distributor Pinnacle.

‘I am pleased to welcome Deliver Net, Disposable Discounter and Pinnacle into the Bunzl family. All three businesses demonstrate our continued specialise in growing Bunzl through the acquisition of top quality businesses. Further, these acquisitions demonstrate Bunzl’s continued acquisition momentum, with our pipeline remaining active and discussions ongoing,’ said Bunzl’s chief executive.

Bunzl shares were down 1.6% in early trade at 2191.5.

BT Group chairman Jan du Plessis to retire
Telecoms giant BT Group said its chairman Jan du Plessis has announced his plans to retire from the board before the top of this year. He will stay in his position until an appropriate successor are often found.

The chairman joined BT as a non-executive in 2017 and was appointed as chairman within a couple of months.

‘BT may be a fantastic company and it’s an enormous privilege and responsibility to be its chairman. But after 17 years of demanding roles as chairman of serious FTSE companies, i do know the time is now right on behalf of me to step down and specialise in other interests. Until I fork over to my successor, I remain fully committed to BT and helping Philip still deliver for all our customers, colleagues and shareholders,’ said du Plessis.

BT Group shares were up 2.2% in early trade at 125.68.

Aggreko says markets are recovering after being hit in 2020
Aggreko said it’s well placed to recover because the economy recovers this year after being pushed into the red during 2020.

The company, which hires out the likes of power generators, heaters and chillers to industrial sectors, said revenue slumped to £1.36 billion in 2020 from £1.61 billion in 2019.

The company reported an adjusted operating profit of £136 million from £241 million but was pushed to a £39 million loss when £175 million worth of outstanding charges were taken under consideration . These associated with extra costs booked due to the pandemic and write-downs of its power assets to reflect lower oil prices and therefore the transition to lower carbon technologies.

Adjusted pretax profit almost halved to £102 million from £199 million, and swung to a £73 million loss when the exceptional items were included.

The company said it had been paying a final dividend of 10.0 pence per share to require the entire dividend for the year to fifteen .0p. this is often up from the 9.83p paid call at 2019 when it only made an interim payout.

‘We enter 2021 well positioned for the recovery which we are seeing in our markets and this momentum supports our confidence within the business going forward,’ said chief executive Chris Weston.

Aggreko has seen demand increase for its Power Solutions division as contracts that had been delayed during the pandemic start to kick-in, and it’s also starting its work on the Tokyo Olympics that are thanks to plow ahead later this year.

‘We have also began our strategy for the energy transition, providing industry-leading commitments to be net zero by 2050, while achieving profitable growth and mid-teens ROCE within the medium-term. We are pleased with our progress within the transition so far , recently winning a solar-hybrid contract for a mine in Chile, and starting work on upgrading our Dumbarton facility into a hub for our net-zero initiatives. Reflecting the board’s confidence within the outlook for the business and our financial strength, we are proposing a final dividend for the year of 10 pence per share,’ he added.

Aggreko shares were down 0.4% in early trade at 800.8.

Electrocomponents buys PPE supplier John Liscombe
Electrocomponents has announced it’s bought John Liscombe, a ‘leading supplier’ of private protective equipment (PPE) and industrial safety gear, for £11 million.

John Liscombe supplies blue-chip customers within the UK and therefore the Netherlands. The acquisition has been made on a cash-and-debt-free basis and can boost adjusted earnings per share immediately, with the value of capital expected to be covered within the primary year.

The purchase builds on the recent acquisition of Needlers, which provides PPE to the food manufacturing sector. The pair are going to be combined and together, John Liscombe and Needlers ‘will provide a full range offer and expertise across key sectors within safety and PPE’.

‘The combination will enable the group to capture a greater share of wallet with existing customers and establish a meaningful presence during a product category during which we anticipate attractive underlying growth over the future ,’ said Electrocomponents.

Electrocomponents shares were up 1.3% in early trade at 983.0.