Kingfisher, Europe's largest home improvement retailer, rose strongly after it said it would return 200m pounds to shareholders this year and expand into new markets after profits improved by a tenth in the 12 months ended February 1st. The company, which owns B&Q and Screwfix in the UK, said it would embark on a new multi-year programme of additional capital returns.
Analysts at Credit Suisse have lifted their price target on shares
of easyJet to 2,021p from 1,988p following the budget airline's improved guidance for the first half of 2014, while reiterating their 'outperform' recommendation on the shares. "We continue to see easyJet as a multi-year value proposition", the broker said, adding that the company should be able to capitalise on attractive medium term volume and pricing opportunities.
Builder's merchant Wolseley was also rising strongly after revealing it is eyeing more disposals as it bids to cash in on good trading in the US and a recovery in the UK and France. Wolseley's Chief Executive Ian Meakins said the group was looking at selling an unidentified business in the US and was considering one or two other divestments, although he did not give details.
TUI Travel was up ahead of tomrow's pre-close trading update, which is expected to reveal an upbeat first quarter. In February, the travel operator said it narrowed its underlying operating loss by £8m to £108m on the back robust trading with growth in January bookings. Demand for unique holidays and an increase in online bookings helped drive results in the first quarter.
Petrofac was rising one day after the group announced it had secured an engineering and procurement contract with Petroleum Development Oman to provide services for its Rabab Harweel Integrated Project.
Miner Anglo American was also higher despite halting operations at its Los Bronces copper project in Chile due to violent protests by workers. Investec said: "Our analyst would expect only a negligible impact on earnings if this dispute with contractors gets resolved reasonably quickly."
Meanwhile, cruise line operator Carnival fell after it registered flat earnings per share during the first quarter of its fiscal year. Net revenue yields during the period fell by 2.1% in comparison with 2013, but were ahead of the company´s guidance for a drop of 3-4%.
Royal Mail was one of the other few stocks on the FTSE 100 in the red after saying it is to begin talks with its unions about cutting a net 1,300 back office jobs in order to save £50m per year from 2016 onwards.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Kingfisher (KGF) 429.90p +5.76%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,700.00p +4.17%
SABMiller (SAB) 2,950.00p +4.06%
Wolseley (WOS) 3,424.00p +3.63%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 1,866.00p +3.55%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,489.50p +3.44%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,276.50p +2.74%
TUI Travel (TT.) 440.80p +2.73%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,427.00p +2.51%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 950.50p +2.48%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Carnival (CCL) 2,338.00p -4.80%
Royal Mail (RMG) 567.50p -2.83%
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 925.00p -1.75%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 210.50p -0.80%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 308.00p -0.77%
Tesco (TSCO) 293.00p -0.12%
Centrica (CNA) 331.30p -0.06%