IT firm Spirent Communications chose to reward shareholders with a special dividend on Thursday after the West Sussex-based group saw profits grow 27% in its most recent fiscal year.
Go-Ahead Group: JPMorgan downgrades to 'Underweight' with a target price of 1355p.
BHP Billiton: Citigroup downgrades to Neutral with a target price of 1350p.
Spirent Communications was upgraded to 'buy' from 'hold' by Jefferies on Thursday as the testing company has "refocused" the business on markets that could drive stronger growth.
Spirent Communications's risk-reward profile justifies the current premium embedded in its valuation, more so given that markets may begin to factor-in the possibility of a take-over, Citi analysts said.
Spirent Communications: Citigroup upgrades to Buy with a target price of 145p.
Stocks began the morning with a small upwards push, tracking similar sized gains overnight on Wall Street, with traders looking towards official US non-farm payrolls data later on Friday.
London´s top flight index was being called to start the session higher, with traders now focused on Friday's US jobs report for February and the ensuing reaction in the Treasury market, as Thursday´s ECB meeting faded in the rear-view mirror.
Spirent Communications posted its full-year results for the 2016 calendar year on Thursday, with revenue softening to $457.9m, compared to $477.1m in 2015.
Spirent Communications reported a drop in operating profit in the third quarter as revenue declined but the group said it was on track to meet full-year expectations.
Royal Bank of Scotland's chairman, chief executive and finance director have together spent £1m buying shares as the state-owned bank hit its lowest levels for three and a half years.
Talktalk Telecom Group: HSBC downgrades to hold, cuts target price to 260.00p.
Citi downgraded Spirent Comunications in light of worsening demand from the telecoms industry, where capital expenditure is now expected to decline 8% and 10% in the next two calendar years.
Weakness in wireless has sent Spirent shares spiralling back down towards the seven-year low they set almost a year ago, though directors still were confident underlying results would remain in line.
Weir Group: RBC Capital Markets upgrades to sector perform, raises target price to 1200.00p. UBS reiterates to buy, cuts target price to 1600.00p. Goldman Sachs reiterates to buy. Target price: 1550.00p.
UBS downgraded Spirent Communications to 'neutral' from 'buy and cut the price target to 84p from 95p.
Shares in Spirent Communications tumbled after the company warned that profits for the year will be materially below its expectations, as it posted a pre-tax loss for the first half.
Pharmaceutical company Indivior reported a drop in first-quarter net revenue but impressed with results of trials for its new treatment for schizophrenia.
Sales slumped more than expected at Spirent Communications in what was expected to be a slow first quarter but the mobile phone testing company said stronger momentum since meant it was confident in hitting its full year targets.
Technology company Spirent Communications said its order intake exceeded the group's expectations during the last quarter of the year of 2014.