UK share prices watch: NMC Health soars
NMC Health (LON:NMC) has been one of today’s UK share prices to watch as the company updated investors on its 2019 earnings guidance and announced the closing of a recent transaction. Investors meanwhile are likely to see a quiet corporate Wednesday tomorrow, with little scheduled in the London-listed companies’ calendar.
NMC Health shines on Tuesday
NMC Health is outperforming the broader market after announcing the closing of the definitive agreements over the formation of the joint venture NMC KSA Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. As a result, the company lifted its revenues and earnings guidance for the current year, with revenue projections increasing by about three percent and EBITDA forecast rising by about two percent, compared to the company’s earlier guidance. NMC Health’s shares are up by about 3.5 percent in early afternoon trade, lending support to the benchmark FTSE 100 index which is about 0.08 percent higher.
Shares in Aviva (LON:AV) have started rising in afternoon trade as the Financial Times reported that the blue-chip insurer was preparing to unveil a big-shake-up its UK business next week under the company’s new chief executive Maurice Tulloch. Observers told the newspaper that one option was to split the UK business — the company’s largest operation — into two parts. A move to break up the company, however, would reverse the company’s decision back in 2017 to merge its two main businesses. Aviva’s share price is about 1.2 percent higher intraday.
Bunzl (LON:BNZL) meanwhile has given up early morning gains, with the shares spiking on news that the company had poached Galliford Try’s (LON:GFRD) chairman. Shares in Bunzl are trading about 0.3 percent higher, while Galliford has gained more than two percent after it emerged that the company had rejected an offer for two of its units from Bovis Homes (LON:BVS).
“Although exact terms were not disclosed, we estimate the deal would have implied Bovis shareholders holding 58 percent of the combined entity and Galliford Try owning 42 percent, assuming Bovis’ last share price of 995p,” analysts at UBS commented, as quoted by Proactive Investors. “The news is a reversal of Galliford Try’s unsolicited merger proposal in 2017 when Galliford shareholders would have owned 52.25 percent of the combined entity and Bovis shareholders 47.75 percent.” Bovis’ shares meanwhile are about 0.6 percent higher.
Elsewhere in the London market, Thomas Cook (LON:TCG), whose shares recently suffered a heavy battering, has climbed higher as Berenberg raised its rating from ‘hold’ to ‘sell’ amid bids which the company has said it has received for its airline unit.
“The deterioration in Thomas Cook’s financial position leaves the company looking for a white knight to pay a fairly punchy multiple for the airline,” the analysts pointed out, as quoted by Reuters. Thomas Cook’s shares have added more than 12 percent so far today.
Paddy Power Betfair (LON:PPB) is also outperforming the broader UK market, with investors responding positively to news that the company has changed its name Flutter Entertainment (LON:FLTR), effective yesterday. The group’s shares are changing hands more than two percent higher in early afternoon trade.
Overall, market sentiment has been upbeat today, with UK investors returning from a three-day weekend to digest the results from the European Parliament elections. Proactive Investors quoted Daiwa Capital Markets as commenting that yesterday had been a broadly positive day for European equities yesterday as the results from the European Parliament elections provided no major surprises – with, for example, the nationalist parties overall performing no better than had been expected”.
London-listed miners have been in demand, tracking iron ore prices higher. Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) has been the session’s biggest riser, with the shares changing hands more than three percent higher.
UK share prices to watch tomorrow
While the earnings season is over, the annual general meeting season is in full swing. Sports Direct (LON:SPD) is likely to be among tomorrow’s UK share prices to watch as it prepares to hold its AGM after announcing today that it had agreed to sell its Shirebrook headquarters for £120 million. The company, which will take a 15-year lease on the property, said the proceeds would be used for group operations and to boost its working capital.
Aveva Group (LON:AVV) meanwhile is due to post its finals tomorrow after saying in a trading update last month that the positive performance seen in the first nine months of its financial year had continued in the fourth quarter, with the company having delivered low double-digit revenue growth on a full year, pro forma IFRS 15 basis, compared to the prior year.
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