Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cookson on the Rise as 54m Shares Are Traded; Market Report

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cookson on the Rise as 54m Shares Are Traded; Market Report

Article excerpt

Byline: MICHAEL CLARK

TROUBLED engineer Cookson has begun nudging back towards the 25p level at which it launched last year's pound sterling278 million rescue rights issue.

Today the shares rallied 13/4p to 221/2p as a large institutional seller, which had been overhanging the market, completed its business. Two lines totalling 48 million shares, or 2.5% of the company, went through on the ticker at 211/2p as part of a delayed trade.

Total turnover in the shares reached 57 million. Despite having collapsed from the 272p level during the past five years, Cookson still boasts a plethora of institutional investors on its shareholder register.

Chase Manhattan has 391 million shares, or 21%, Fidelity Investment, 282 million, or 15%, and Morley Fund Management 152 million, or 8%. Last week, Cookson reported a 3% increase in sales to pound sterling408 million for the first quarter. In March it reported reduced losses but passed on the 4.5p dividend, maintaining that the group was over the worst.

Some good first-quarter figures from pharmaceutical giants GSK and AstraZeneca encouraged the market despite a weak Wall Street opening. The FTSE 100 index, up three points to 3930.8, helped round off April with its biggest monthly gain for more than a decade.

Orange fell 15p to 5071/2p as US securities house Citigroup Smith Barney downgraded from outperform to neutral because of fears that new subscriber growth numbers have started to slow. New customers were being signed but they were proving to be the wrong mix for the group. CSB also complains that recent numbers had proved disappointing. A post-results presentation for brokers and fund managers was described as cautious with revenue growth forecasts of 5% falling below the predictions of its parent company France Telecom. …

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