|No. of shares out||71,172m|
|No. of shares floating||70,930m|
|No. of employees||67,905|
|Trading volume (10 day avg.)||105.7m|
|Profit before tax||£11,652m|
|Earnings per share||4.34p|
|Cashflow per share||8.17p|
|Cash per share||90.47p|
Lloyds in rude health, says Interactive Investor
Lloyds (LLOY) profits may have marginally fallen short of expectations but 2018 results show a bank in ‘rude health’ with a ‘clear vision’, according to Interactive Investor.
Analyst Richard Hunter hailed the bank’s streamlined business model and market-leading digital presence, and analyst Richard Hunter said a £3 billion investment into the business should reap benefits as it moves into financial planning via a tie-up with fund group Schroders.
He noted post-tax profit was up 24% and net interest margin had improved. ‘Negatives within the results are few and far between,’ he said.
‘The share price has suffered in a way the company has clearly not. This therefore leads to the dilemma of whether investors should take the plunge, since in the event of a positive Brexit result, the stock would surely be subject to a significant reappraisal.
‘The market certainly seems to think so – the current consensus of the shares comes in at a strong “buy”.’ The shares jumped 4.7% to 61.1p yesterday.
|No. of shares out||2,203m|
|No. of shares floating||2,196m|
|No. of employees||52,800|
|Trading volume (10 day avg.)||5.4m|
|Profit before tax||£1,429m|
|Earnings per share||12.72p|
|Cashflow per share||42.80p|
|Cash per share||88.10p|
Sainsbury’s and Asda merger on the rocks
The Sainsbury’s (SBRY) merger with Asda has been put into jeopardy by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the supermarkets can no longer be sure of a favourable ruling, says Hargreaves Lansdown.
The CMA has raised competition concerns about the deal but left the door open for the supermarkets to sell off assets to complete it, although analyst Laith Khalaf said ‘it’s clearly not keen on that solution’.
‘The supermarkets will now have to bend over backwards if they want to proceed with the merger, and even then, wouldn’t be guaranteed a favourable ruling from the CMA,’ he said.
Khalaf said they would have the extra pressure of finding buyers for the assets sold and if they do sell enough to push the merger through ‘the combined entity may damage competition by being too weak, rather than too strong’.
Sainsbury’s shares slumped 18.6% to 234.5p yesterday.
|No. of shares out||1,355m|
|No. of shares floating||771m|
|No. of employees||2,589|
|Trading volume (10 day avg.)||2.1m|
|Profit before tax||£392m|
|Earnings per share||15.05p|
|Cashflow per share||14.44p|
|Cash per share||16.61p|
Intu in a ‘right mess’, says AJ Bell
Shopping centre owner Intu (INTU) is selling property in a weak market that shows ‘how desperate it is’, says AJ Bell.
The real estate investment trust (Reit) swung into the red last year as more than £1.4 billion was wiped off the value of its property portfolio.
Analyst Russ Mould said the group was in ‘a right mess’ as the retail sector had become a ‘poisoned chalice’ for property companies, and investors were suffering as they are being denied a dividend.
‘The company is trying to sell assets and has received some unsolicited offers for properties in Spain,’ he said.
‘Selling assets into a weak market shows how desperate it is. Any buyer would have the upper hand in pricing negotiations. In time Intu could emerge a leaner business but for now it will have to keep taking the headache tables and do its best to survive the turmoil.’
The shares slumped 7.8% to 109p yesterday.
|No. of shares out||336m|
|No. of shares floating||329m|
|No. of employees||17,595|
|Trading volume (10 day avg.)||0.6m|
|Profit before tax||£621m|
|Earnings per share||93.50p|
|Cashflow per share||132.01p|
|Cash per share||99.31p|
Bunzl at a high but it’s still a good play, says Shore Capital
Outsourcing business Bunzl (BNZL) remains a ‘high quality defensive play’ for Shore Capital despite the shares trading at an all-time high.
Analyst Robin Speakman retained his ‘buy’ recommendation on the shares, which were trading at £25.15 yesterday.
‘Trading at all-time-high share price levels, we remain positive on prospects for the provider of working capital efficiency-focused products and services,’ he said.
He said margins remained stable and the outlook was positive, although with ‘perhaps lower global economic growth levels to leverage this year and perhaps for 2020’.
‘Bunzl remains a high-quality defensive play,’ said Speakman. ‘The cashflow generation capability continues to drive growth… we look for a flow of modest underlying upgrades to continue – sustaining share price performance over the medium term.’
|No. of shares out||812m|
|No. of shares floating||300m|
|No. of employees||1,981|
|Trading volume (10 day avg.)||0.3m|
|Profit before tax||£43m|
|Earnings per share||-12.81p|
|Cashflow per share||-6.21p|
|Cash per share||13.26p|
Peel Hunt: Low & Bonar shares to recover
Peel Hunt has reinstated coverage of Low & Bonar (LWB) on the expectation that the shares will recover as the packaging group deleverages the balance sheet.
Analyst Dominic Convey moved to a ‘buy’ rating and a target price of 25p on the stock as he said the ‘£50 million proceeds of the placing and open offer removes the threat of covenant breach and provides the management team with sufficient headroom on the balance sheet and financial flexibility to continue to deliver the turnaround strategy’.
He said the medium-term targets set by the group were clear and sustainable.
‘As the balance sheet continues to deleverage and progress is made on the turnaround, we expect the shares to recover,’ he said.
The shares were trading at 17p yesterday.