Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Taking Stock

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Taking Stock

Article excerpt

BANKING AND FINANCE First-quarter profits at JPMorgan Chase jumped to a new record, fuelled by fees for advising companies on mergers and takeovers.

Profits leapt 55% to $4.79 billion ([pounds sterling]2.4 billion) and JPM lifted its dividend for the first time in six years.

BUILDING AND PROPERTY AIM-listed Metnor traded at record highs after posting a 134% rise in pre-tax profits on Monday. It recently completed its transformation from metal galvanising to property services. Teather & Greenwood has upped its target price to 500p.

CONSUMER Pet shops chain Pets at Home fuelled speculation it could soon be sold when it reported a 14.7% jump in profits last year to [pounds sterling]46 million.

The company, bought by privateequity firm Bridgepoint in 2004, opened 21 new stores in the year.

ECONOMICS The dollar fell across the board today amid concerns about slower economic growth. Figures out yesterday showed the United States' rate of inflation slowing sharply, exerting downward pressure on the country's interest rates and the greenback.

ENGINEERING BAE Systems has won a [pounds sterling]6.3 million order to supply 17 Bradley Advanced Training Systems to the US Army. It has also won a contract for the drydock survey, maintenance and repair of a container deck barge from Matson Navigation.

HEALTH Acambis will give extra information about its ACAM2000 smallpox vaccine to a US FDA advisory committee on 17 May. The regulator then has until 31 August to decide on marketing permission for the shots, sought by Acambis last year.

INDUSTRIALS Packaging firm DS Smith's profits for the year will beat market forecasts. The group's shares jumped more than 7% as it said full-year profits before tax would be at least [pounds sterling]70 million. Its performance improved through the secondhalf.

LEISURE Altium is telling clients to lock in profits at Sportingbet after downgrading its rating from hold to sell on regulatory worries about online gambling in Turkey. Sportingbet has been in bid talks with Austria's bwin Interactive Entertainment since last month.

MEDIA ChoicesUK, Britain's secondbiggest video store after Blockbuster, today issued a profit warning only weeks after claiming its stores closures and redundancies plan was paying off. …

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