Sterling Could Stabilize Even if BOE Delays Rate Rise

0754 GMT - The Bank of England is likely to hold off on raising interest rates at its December 16 meeting but that won't have a material impact on sterling, Commerzbank says. "The current coronavirus situation and the uncertainty in this context make a rate hike in December seem increasingly unlikely," Commerzbank currency analyst You-Na Park-Heger says. However, this is largely priced in by the market so sterling could stabilize at current levels for now, she says. GBP/USD rises 0.1% to 1.3280 and EUR/GBP drops 0.1% to 0.8503. (renae.dyer@wsj.com)

 
Companies News: 

Elliott Calls on SSE to Restore Investor Confidence

Elliott Advisors (UK) Ltd., one of the largest shareholders in SSE PLC, on Tuesday called on the company to restore investor confidence.

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Ashtead Posts Improved 2Q Profit, Sees Full-Year Performance Ahead of Views

Ashtead Group PLC on Tuesday reported a higher profit for the second quarter of its fiscal year, and said it expects full-year performance to be ahead of its previous expectations.

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Ferguson 1Q Revenue, Profit Rose; Raises Full-Year View

Ferguson PLC said Tuesday that its performance for the first quarter of fiscal 2022 was marked by a rise in operating profit and revenue, and raised its full-year outlook.

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British American Tobacco Backs 2021 Revenue Growth Guidance

British American Tobacco PLC backed its revenue growth guidance on Tuesday, and said that it recognizes the value of a share buyback.

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Babcock International Swung to 1H Pretax Profit

Babcock International Group PLC on Tuesday reported a swing to pretax profit for the first half of its fiscal 2022 as it recovered from coronavirus-related effects.

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Inchcape to Buy Interamericana Trading, Simpson Motors

Inchcape PLC said Tuesday that it has agreed to buy Interamericana Trading Corp. and Simpson Motors from the Simpson Group for an undisclosed amount.

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UK Regulator Says Veolia, Suez Merger Raises Competition Concerns

The merger between Suez SA and Veolia Environnement SA could lead to a loss of competition in the supply of water-and-waste management services, the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority said Tuesday.

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PageGroup Raises 2021 Operating Profit Guidance to Around GBP165 Mln

PageGroup PLC said Tuesday that it has raised its guidance for 2021 operating profit after positive momentum continued in the period from Oct. 1 to Nov. 30.

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Mercia Asset Management 1H Pretax Profit Rose on Higher Revenue

Mercia Asset Management PLC on Tuesday reported a 38% rise in pretax profit for the first half of fiscal 2022 and said it expects the strong momentum to continue.

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Somero Enterprises Raises Guidance on Strong 2H Performance

Somero Enterprises Inc. said Tuesday that it has raised its guidance for 2021 after experiencing strong business momentum in the second half of the year.

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Paragon Banking FY 2021 Pretax Profit Rose on Credit Loss Provision Release

Paragon Banking Group PLC on Tuesday reported an 80% rise in pretax profit for fiscal 2021 as it released Covid-based provisions booked previously against credit losses.

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CareTech FY 2021 Pretax Profit, Revenue Rose; Increases Final Dividend

CareTech Holdings PLC said Tuesday that fiscal 2021 pretax profit and revenue rose, and that it has increased the final dividend after robust performance in its core activities.

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Premier Miton Group FY 2021 Pretax Profit Rose, Increases Dividend

Premier Miton Group PLC on Tuesday posted a rise in pretax profit for fiscal 2021 and increased its dividend payout.

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Tritax EuroBox FY 2021 Profit Rose

Tritax EuroBox PLC said Tuesday that its fiscal 2021 profit rose on increased rental income and improved property valuations.

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Carr's FY 2021 Profit, Revenue Rose Ahead of Management Views

Carr's Group PLC said Tuesday that its fiscal 2021 pretax profit and revenue rose ahead of management's improved expectations, and raised its dividend.

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Supreme 1H Pretax Profit Rose on Higher Revenue, Declares Dividend

Supreme PLC said Tuesday that its pretax profit for the first half of fiscal 2022 has increased, backed by higher revenue, and it declared a dividend payout.

 
Market Talk: 

SSE Change of Course Could Be Distant Despite Shareholder Pressure

0907 GMT - Following Elliott's letter to SSE calling for the company to separate the renewables and the networks businesses, RBC Capital Markets says it agrees with most points being made by Elliott, although a change of course from SSE management could be some way away. Elliott, one of the largest SSE shareholders, says the group has potential for a 2,100 pence share price, implying GBP5 billion upside from current levels. However, RBC values the FTSE 100 energy company at 1,800 pence. "Hence we see less upside to our valuation on the renewables side and see plenty of attractive alternatives for investors to gain exposure to this there (notably RWE and Enel)," the Canadian bank says. (jaime.llinares@wsj.com)

Ferguson's Strong 1Q Means Upgrades Are Likely

0859 GMT - Ferguson's strong performance in the first quarter exceeded expectations, and upgrades are likely for both growth and margin performance forecasts given the momentum built up, Citi says. The plumbing-and-heating products distributor's outperformance was driven by strong growth in the U.S. and higher margin performance, while it continues to benefit from inflationary tailwinds and better management of supply-chain pressures, the U.S. bank's Ami Galla says. "We expect upgrades to both consensus organic growth expectations and margin performance on the back of the strong first-quarter growth momentum, and expectations of persistent inflation in finished goods benefiting fiscal 2022," Citi says, retaining its neutral rating and 11,100 pence price target. Shares are up 4.7% at 12,115 pence. (joseph.hoppe@wsj.com)

Babcock International Needs Closer Look After 1H Results

0858 GMT - Babcock International's first-half interim results, at first glance, show progress through the deep restructuring undertaken, with revenue and underlying profit both up, but greater scrutiny is needed, Shore Capital says. Market forecasts for the U.K. engineering-services company will almost certainly be revised given the results, but the half-year report has to be looked at more closely and considered alongside further guidance from Babcock on working capital and cost lines, Shore says. "From an investors standpoint, we note the importance of free cash flow and that, at least for the moment, this is negative and we need to model progression to positive status carefully," the investment group says. Shore retains a hold rating on the stock for now. (joseph.hoppe@wsj.com)

BAT Share Buyback Comments Seen as Crucial Trading-Update Takeaway

0858 GMT - The crucial point of British American Tobacco's trading update is management's language around cash returns, which appears to be strengthening after its CEO Jack Bowles confirmed clear value is seen from a share buyback at the current valuation, Citi says. "With its broad portfolio of combustibles and next generation products and geographies, and with technical support from potential cash return likely to come sooner than later, the risk reward is firmly skewing to the upside," the U.S. bank says. The update, which was broadly in line with expectations, should see shares react positively, it adds. Citi rates the stock at buy and has a target price of 3,200 pence. Shares trade 1.7% higher at 2,669.5 pence. (kyle.morris@dowjones.com)

 

Contact: London NewsPlus, Dow Jones Newswires; Dow Jones Newswires; paul.larkins@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 07, 2021 04:26 ET (09:26 GMT)

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