News & Tips: AstraZeneca, Vodafone, Bloomsbury Publishing, PV Crystalox …

March 21, 2013 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

Equities are down a little today as they continue their sideways tracking of recent days and The Trader Dominic Picarda, although confident of more gains, is warning against jumping in too soon and getting stuck in a holding pattern.


Sell recommendationAstraZeneca (AZN) has launched a new wide ranging growth strategy today and also announced partnerships with the Karolina Institutet of Sweden and Moderna Therapeutics. We retain our sell rating until management proves its new strategy is gaining traction.

Vodafone (VOD) has signed a partnership agreement with Polkomtel for the Polish market. We keep our buy rating.

Simon Thompson recommendation Bloomsbury Publishing (BMY) reports that it traded in line with expectations for the year finished 28 February. Buy.

Fellow Simon Thompson recommendation PV Crystalox Solar (PVCS) shipped just 108MW worth of solar wafers in 2012, down from 384MW in 2011 as the company deliberately scaled back production due to a punishing pricing environment. The outlook remains poor but the cash conservation actions of management meant the company ended the year with €89.4m in the bank and should be able to fulfil its promise to return cash to shareholders this year.

Industrial adhesives specialist Scapa (SCPA) has admitted that it is in talks with a South Korean private equity investor over a joint bid for South Korean tape manufacturer Tapex. We keep our buy rating.

Sell recommendationAPR Energy (APR) has announced a 25 per cent leap in pro forma revenues for 2012 and a 10 per cent rise in pro forma pre-tax profit. The company ended the year with an order back log 80 per cent higher than the year before.


Retail giant Next (NXT) continues to defy the gloomy state of the high street. Another solid set of results for 2012 showed group revenues up 3.2 per cent to £3.4bn and underlying pre-tax profit 9 per cent better at £621.6m. Again the online Directory business outperformed the high street shops with growth of 9.5 per cent against flat growth.

Ted Baker (TED) is also performing strongly, albeit from a smaller base. Its pre-tax profits grew by 19 per cent after an 18 per cent uplift in sales, driven by 11 per cent sales growth in UK and Europe and 68 per cent in the US and Canada.

Premier Oil (PMO) grew production by 43 per cent in 2012 to 57,700 barrels of oil per day and also increased its reserves by 51 per cent to 773m barrels. This fed through into record post tax profits of $252m.

Vesuvius (VSVS), the foundry business which demerged from Cookson late last year, has issued full year results showing a trading profit of £150m, down from £190m the previous year due to tough market conditions. The company says talks to dispose of its precious metals division are advanced.

A tough 2012 is reflected in results from oil and gas engineering services business Lamprell (LAM) which showed a dip in revenues and an operating loss of $84.5m, against a profit of $90.2m the previous year.

AG Barr (BAG) enjoyed a decent 2012 with revenues growing by 6.6 per cent and operating profits by 4.3 per cent. Talks continue with the Competition Commission in an attempt to get clearance for its merger with Britvic.


New Britain Palm Oil (NBPO) has seen recent production hit by heavy and sustained rainfall in Papua New Guinea with total fruit processed down 5 per cent on last year.

A proposed £4m investment by Antisoma (ASM) in GVC Holdings (GVC) to support its acquisition of parts of the Sportingbet business was not required in the end, so the funds, which were held in an escrow account, are to be returned to Antisoma.

Mediterranean Oil Gas (MOG) has renewed a gas sales contract with Repower for production from its Guendalina gas field in Italy.

Solo Oil (SOLO) and Aminex (AEX) have confirmed that discussions remain ongoing with several parties interested in the Rovuma Basin gas discovery offshore Tanzania.

Turbo Power Systems (TPS) shares have soared this morning on news of a $2.4m purchase order.

A profit warning has hammered shares in online electronics retailer Expansys (XPS).


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