Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Taking Stock Your at A-Glance Guide

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Taking Stock Your at A-Glance Guide

Article excerpt

BANKING AND FINANCE

Broker Keefe, Bruyette & Woods likes the fact that Provident Financial has not been fined after a Competition Commission inquiry into the doorstep lending market. KBW has Provident stock on market perform with the shares worth 660p.

BUILDING AND PROPERTY

Arbuthnot Securities is broking e100 million ([pounds sterling]67 million) share fundraiser as part of as AIM listing for C&N Marina, a newinvestment company looking to buy luxury marinas around the Mediterranean and in the US.

CONSUMER

Unlikely to be much festive cheer at Wal-Mart this year. The US retailer is already warning that same-store sales during December will be no better than 1% higher than last year. This follows its first sales decline in 10 years.

ECONOMICS

Oil prices eased today as traders took profits ahead of a cold weekend that will boost demand in the US and news that Opec could add Ecuador, Angola and Sudan as new members. US light crude was 50 cents lower at $62.63 a barrel while Brent crude fell 36 cents to $63.90.

ENGINEERING

Dresdner Kleinwort is worried about the weak dollar's impact on forecasts at Morgan Crucible, and has downgraded the electrical components supplier from add to reduce.

Progress is being maintained, but margin targets look vulnerable.

HEALTH

Drugs firm Goldshield, whose executives Ajit andKirti Patel face criminal charges of defrauding the NHS, warned full-year profits would fall below expectations. Recently the firm admitted Ajit Patel is working on a bid to take it private.

INDUSTRIALS

Miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto have vastly underperformed peers Anglo American and Xstrata, says Citigroup. It believes the only way the stocks will be re-rated is by massive share buybacks, asset disposals or takeovers in the sector.

LEISURE

Daniel Stewart has been encouraged by Sportingbet's first-quarter results and its ability to grow other parts of the business, such as Europe and Australia, following its forced withdrawal from the US.

It has raised shares in the online gambler from hold to buy.

MEDIA

AIM-listed Talent Group has been commissioned by Cartoon Network UK to produce a second series of Skatoony, an animated games show with child contestants. …

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