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

Icaps profits left some investors feeling short-changed, but Numis is telling its clients to keep buying. With pressure mounting to return some of the [pounds sterling]300 million surplus cash to shareholders, Numis has raised its target to 620p from 580

p.

BUILDING AND PROPERTY

Builder Barratt is a shoo-in to the FTSE 100 at next months quarterly review, says Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander, and this could act as a spur to the stock.

After its merger with Wilson Bowden, it is 85th in terms of market cap at [pounds sterling]3.84 bi

llion.

CONSUMER

While Kesas first-quarter trading update was better than expected by some, Numis has repeated its reduce advice, noting that with fierce price deflation in flat screen TVs, Kesa will have to have sell a lot more just to stand still.

ECONOMICS

Japans trade surplus with the rest of the world rose 51.8% in April, the sixth monthly gain in a row, although exports to the US fell for the first time in two years, highlighting a cooling US economy and the greater importance of China as an export market.

ENGINEERING

Cookson, maker of ceramics for industrial purposes, warned the weak dollar will reduce the rate of sales growth at its US-facing businesses. But a strong first four months of the year means it still expects a good improvement in 2007.

HEALTH

More bad news is on the way for GlaxoSmithKline, says Morgan Stanley, which predicts that recently panned diabetes drug Avandia is likely to get a black-box warning from US regulators limiting its use.

INDUSTRIALS

Silverdell, which deals with asbestos in unwanted places, has been unfairly valued at the bottom end of its peer group, says broker Edison. It says the shares deserve to be rerated as the quality of earnings is recognised.

LEISURE

Luxury goods maker Richemont, owner of brands including Cartier and Montblanc, said demand for high-end watches and jewellery was so high that the outlook for its business was broadly positive. Profits last year surged 21% to e1.33 billion ([pounds sterling]904 million).

MEDIA

WPP has been downgraded to hold from buy by Collins Stewart after a visit from chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell left it worried further expensive strategic acquisitions in digital capabilities will begin to act as a drag on their return on capital. …

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