International Personal Finances shares
jumped in today's session after its profit came in slightly ahead of expectations. Profit before tax leapt 24 per cent, prompting a 20 per cent increase to the dividend. Despite this, Panmure Analyst, Keith Baird, said: "Regulatory threats remain the chief risk, especially in Poland (half profits), which prompted our 'sell' recommendation."
Software designer CSR rose strongly on the news it is to return $50m this year to shareholders as it increased 2013 revenues by a better-than-expected 9.3% to $722m. The company, which makes applications for consumer electronics, also said it expects first quarter 2014 revenues to be in the range of $170m-$190m.
Greencore Group climbed after Investec upped its target price from 240p to 265p and upgraded the stock to 'buy' following the company's decision to acquire Lettieri's, a US-based manufacturer of food-to-go products. Numis also provided a lift, taking its target price from 250p to 265p, while Panmure Gordon raised its target price from 215p to 275p and upgraded the group from 'hold' to 'buy'.
St James's Place was a high riser after JP Morgan took its target price from 811p to 868p, maintaining an 'overweight' rating, and Barclays raised its target price from 871p to 917p, keeping an overweight rating. The group's shares rocketed yesterday after the financial advisory firm reported a strong set of full-year results.
Mining group Centamin announced Wednesday that its stake in Ampella Mining, via its wholly-owned subsidiary, Centamin West Africa Holdings, totalled 51.14%, giving it the right to take effective control of Ampella's operations.
Meanwhile, Beazley led the downside after going ex-dividend, alongside Taylor Wimpey, Brewin Dolphin Holdings, and Playtech.
Kentz Corporation was also a big faller despite announcing that its joint venture, UGL, has scored a contract for the structural, mechanical and piping construction package for the Ichthys Project onshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) Facilities in Australia.
FTSE 250 - Risers
International Personal Finance (IPF) 553.00p +9.72%
CSR (CSR) 724.00p +6.71%
Greencore Group (GNC) 261.90p +6.03%
St James's Place (STJ) 866.50p +3.77%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 55.40p +2.97%
Ladbrokes (LAD) 159.00p +2.85%
Pace (PIC) 415.00p +2.82%
Afren (AFR) 156.90p +2.55%
Rotork (ROR) 2,698.00p +2.24%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 619.50p +2.23%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Beazley (BEZ) 258.10p -7.29%
Essar Energy (ESSR) 67.65p -5.71%
Kentz Corporation Ltd. (KENZ) 737.50p -5.02%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 122.40p -4.30%
Playtech (PTEC) 801.00p -4.24%
St. Modwen Properties (SMP) 391.50p -4.16%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 412.00p -2.99%
Rank Group (RNK) 138.10p -2.95%
Brewin Dolphin Holdings (BRW) 324.10p -2.85%
COLT Group SA (COLT) 131.60p -2.81%