In a research note issued this afternoon, analysts at Shore Capital have decided to retain their "buy" stance on shares
of supermarket Tesco, despite the company's extremely poor results in Europe.
What the broker most wants out of the firm are more cautious - and realistically achievable - forecasts. "Bruised but not battered, we retain our "buy" stance," they said. Shares of the company are now at the top of the leader-board following the large falls seen throughout the past two weeks. This "positive" endorsement comes on the heels of some mixed market commentary on the stock today, although analysts at Citi and the Financial Times's Lex column also seem to be relatively sanguine.
Consumer goods giant Unilever was also heading north; the group earlier this week issued a profit warning, sending shares plummeting. The group, which owns brands such as Dove and Persil, revealed that it has experienced weakening in the market growth of many emerging countries during the third quarter and as such expected underlying sales growth of 3-3.5% for the three-month period compared to the 5.0% seen in the previous two quarters.
BP shares also got a boost. The British oil major announced the decision by the US appeals court to halt some payments related to claims over the giant oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico back in 2010. Deutsche Bank analysts were quoted in the FT as saying that this was "clearly a welcome development for BP with the District Court seemingly now being required to issue a narrower injunction which will limit payments to those suffering actual losses from the spill and in doing so stem some of the more egregious claims seemingly being made under the PSC [Plaintiffs' Steering Committee] settlement".
Vodafone was also a strong riser after the group announced its Chief Financial Officer is set to depart the telecoms company once the sale of Verizon Wireless has completed. Andy Halford will be replaced by Nick Read, who currently heads up the company's Africa, Middle East and the Asia Pacific region operations.
Meanwhile, product testing group Intertek fell today; the group said this morning that it had paid £45m to buy Global X-Ray & Testing Corporation (GXT), a US company that provides testing services to customers in the US oil and gas industry.
Sports Direct International was in the red after its Chief Executive Dave Forsey and Finance Director Bob Mellors each netted £6.4m after selling shares from a bonus plan.
Falling metal prices dampened the share prices
of the miners today with Vedanta, Randgold Resources, Fresnillo, and Anglo American all registering losses.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Tesco (TSCO) 365.95p +2.22%
Unilever (ULVR) 2,359.00p +1.72%
BP (BP.) 439.35p +1.63%
Aviva (AV.) 414.00p +1.60%
Whitbread (WTB) 3,003.00p +1.56%
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 1,570.50p +1.55%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 222.20p +1.48%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 379.30p +1.42%
ITV (ITV) 176.90p +1.26%
BAE Systems (BA.) 453.80p +1.23%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Vedanta Resources (VED) 1,069.00p -1.93%
Intertek Group (ITRK) 3,204.00p -1.90%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 695.50p -1.83%
Fresnillo (FRES) 918.50p -1.76%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,328.00p -1.55%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 340.90p -1.47%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 812.50p -1.40%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,364.00p -1.30%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,483.00p -1.30%
Wolseley (WOS) 3,208.00p -1.29%