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FTSE Down, Pearson Gains After Solid 1st Half, College App Launch

Pearson Gains After Solid 1H, College App Launch

Shares in Pearson rise 1% after the education publisher said it was on track to hit full-year targets despite lower 1H profit and launched a new direct-to-consumer app for U.S. college students. Citigroup says the results were solid and comfortably ahead of expectations, but some caution in the outlook signals limited change to full-year consensus forecasts. Citi says the new app is important because it makes Pearson's products more available to college students and heralds a new subscription model. "It shows Pearson's new CEO Andy Bird is willing to be more bold than perhaps originally anticipated," Citi analysts say.

Companies News: 

NatWest Swung to 2Q Pretax Profit, Resumes Dividend, to Launch GBP750 Mln Share Buyback

NatWest Group PLC on Friday reported a swing to a pretax profit ahead of market views for the second quarter of 2021 and said that it intends to launch a significant share buyback program after resuming its dividend.


Cineworld Secures $200 Mln in Loans, Trading Recovering on Reopening

Cineworld Group PLC said Friday that it has secured $200 million of incremental loans from a group of existing lenders, and trading has continued to improve since cinemas reopened in April.


Babcock Intl FY 2021 Pretax Loss Widened, Pandemic Still to Weigh on FY 2022

Babcock International Group PLC said Friday that its fiscal 2021 pretax loss widened after booking higher costs and that fiscal 2022 will be a year of transition.


Pearson 1H Pretax Profit Fell; Sees Full-Year on Track

Pearson PLC said Friday that first-half pretax profit fell and that it is on track to meet its expectations for the full year, as it launched a new direct-to-consumer app for U.S. college students.


Jupiter Fund Management 1H Pretax Profit Rose, Assets Under Management Hit Record

Jupiter Fund Management PLC reported on Friday a rise in pretax profit for the first half of 2021 and said that funds under management hit a record high in the period.


Kerry Group 1H Pretax Profit, Revenue Rose

Kerry Group PLC said Friday that its first-half pretax profit rose on higher revenue.


ConvaTec Says 1H Profit Improved; Raises 2021 Revenue Growth Guidance

ConvaTec Group PLC said Friday that its first-half profit rose, and raised its revenue guidance for 2021 but downgraded the margin outlook due to higher-than-expected cost inflation.


Paragon Banking Nine-Month Performance Strong

Paragon Banking Group PLC said Friday that its performance for the first nine months to June 2021 was strong, adding that it is confident about the prospects of the group.


Minoan Group Raises GBP350,000 via Share Placing

Minoan Group PLC said Friday that it has raised 350,000 pounds ($488,635) via a share placing without saying what it will use the money for.


Pendragon Raises 2021 Guidance as Tight Used Car Market Boosts Profits

Pendragon PLC on Friday raised its financial guidance for 2021, as conditions in the used car market are driving exceptional gross profits per unit.


YouGov Says FY 2021 Underlying Revenue, Profit Grew Across All Divisions

YouGov PLC said Friday that it delivered underlying growth in both revenue and profit across all divisions and markets in fiscal 2021, and that a buoyant sales pipeline gives it confidence for the year ahead.


AIQ Shares Fall After Warning on Uncertain Future

Shares in AIQ Ltd. fell Friday after the company warned that it faces an uncertain future, reported a widened pretax loss for the first half of fiscal 2021 and forecast that full-year revenue will be lower on year.


Anglo African Agriculture Shares Fall on Widened 1H Loss, Chairman Departure

Shares in Anglo African Agriculture PLC dropped Friday after it reported a loss for the first half of the fiscal year and said Nonexecutive Chairman David Lenigas is stepping down.


ImmuPharma CEO to Leave; Chairman Named Successor

ImmuPharma PLC said Friday that Chief Executive Dimitri Dimitriou is stepping down to pursue other external opportunities.


IAG to Ramp Up 3Q Capacity But Still Can't Provide Full-Year Guidance

International Consolidated Airlines Group SA said Friday that it was ready to take advantage of a surge in air travel demand in line with increasing vaccination rates but it remains unable to provide full-year guidance.


Nostrum Oil & Gas Expects 1H Revenue to Exceed $92 Mln

Nostrum Oil & Gas PLC said Friday that it expects revenue for the first half of the year to exceed that of a year earlier.


Airea Shares Fall Amid Slow Recovery, Concern on Raw-Material Inflation

Airea PLC shares fell Friday after it said its pretax profit and sales recovered at a slower pace than expected and cautioned on raw-material price inflation and supply-chain strains.


Tufton Oceanic Assets to Raise up to $12.4 Mln in Tap Issue for Pipeline

Tufton Oceanic Assets Ltd. said Friday that it will hold a tap issue of shares, raising up to $12.4 million, to capitalize on an attractive pipeline of secondhand-vessel opportunities.


DaVictus Shares Fall After Being Restored to Trading

Shares in daVictus PLC fell on Friday after the U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority lifted the suspension of trading on the London Stock Exchange's official list.


BiVictriX Plans to Raise GBP7.5 Mln in London IPO

BiVictriX PLC, a drug-development company focused on cancer treatments, on Friday outlined plans to float on London's junior AIM and said it is seeking to raise 7.5 million pounds ($10.5 million) at a valuation of GBP13.2 million.

Market Talk: 

IAG's Capacity Outlook Not as Positive as That of Rival's

0815 GMT - Although International Consolidated Airlines Group's first-half numbers look to be broadly in line with analyst forecasts, management's omission of any profit guidance for 2021 sums up the degree of uncertainty still being faced by the airline industry, Keith Bowman at interactive investor says. The company's net debt is up and marginally ahead of forecasts, but its capacity outlook is not as positive as that of rival Air France-KLM, Bowman says. "While an 80%-plus gain in the share price since late October 2020, and just prior to vaccination development success, should not be forgotten, a consensus analyst fair price estimate of 237 pence per share has to date left overall market opinion pointing towards a 'buy'," he says.


Paragon Banking Nine-Month Performance Shows Strong Momentum

0812 GMT - Paragon Banking Group's performance for the third quarter was strong, boosting its year-to-date performance for the nine months to June, Shore Capital says. The specialist U.K. property-and-business lender's performance showed continued new business momentum, the U.K. investment group says, noting the better-than-expected impairment result. However, Shore says it prefers rival OneSavings Bank. Shore has a target price on the stock of 548 pence. Shares are up 0.2% at 549.00 pence.


Intertek 1H Falls Short of Hopes; Shares Fall

0757 GMT - Shares in Intertek Group drop 8% after the testing and inspection group reported a worse-than-expected first half. Stockbroker Davy says the results were in line with its forecasts, but below consensus expectations and towards the bottom end of a wide forecast range. "There is no H1 dividend increase--we forecast a 5% increase for the year," Davy says. "Our forecasts are clearly not moving up on this and consensus may be too high."


Aveva's 1Q Was Good but Sheds Little Light on Future

0741 GMT - Aveva's first-quarter update was solid with constant currency revenue growth of 11% and while it was a good start, trends over the coming few quarters will be difficult to interpret, Jefferies says. The engineering and industrial-software company has had a number of deals slip from the second quarter into the third--and given the upfront nature of Aveva's revenue recognition, this makes for tougher comparisons between quarters, making underlying trends hard to read, the bank says. Aveva's good results also don't particularly advance or alter the investment case, given the recent capital markets day event and updated midterm targets, Jefferies says. The bank retains its buy rating and price target of 4,600 pence. Shares are down 1.3% at 3,857.0 pence.


NatWest's 2Q Earnings Focus Set on Share Buyback Plans

0717 GMT - NatWest Group beat market views for most of the key metrics of its second-quarter results, but eyes will be set on its capital returns plans, Goodbody says. "Expectations had been building coming into this release with the stock price performing well ahead of the numbers, but we think this update will drive it higher in early trading," the Irish brokerage says on the FTSE 100 listed bank. Shares are currently down 0.6% at 203.70 pence.


Contact: London NewsPlus, Dow Jones Newswires; +44-20-7842-931

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 30, 2021 04:54 ET (08:54 GMT)

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