Home > UK share prices watch: SLA slides on Wednesday

UK share prices watch: SLA slides on Wednesday

August 7, 2019 By Tsveta Zikolova

Standard Life Aberdeen (LON:SLA) has been one of today’s UK share prices to watch, falling to the bottom of the FTSE 100 leaderboard following its half-year update. The asset manager reporting season meanwhile is set to continue tomorrow, with Aviva’s (LON:AV) results due out.

SLA falls sharply on Wednesday

Standard Life Aberdeen is trading deep in the red even as it reported today that its assets under management and administration had climbed five percent to £577.5 billion in the first half of the year, with assets on the group’s platforms up 11 percent to £66 billion. The company further posted a rise in IFRS profit after tax attributable to equity shareholders, from £111 million to £636 million. Investors, however, have instead focused on the company’s cautious outlook, with SLA pointing out in its results statement that “the current environment for asset management remains tough as macroeconomic and political uncertainties continue to affect investor sentiment”.

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“These numbers were a little below market forecasts and showed a continuation of the outflows that the business has been suffering from in recent years but progress is being made nonetheless,” declared Steve Clayton, the manager of the HL Select UK Income Shares fund, which is a holder of the stock, commented, as quoted by Proactive Investors. SLA’s shares have given up nearly six percent in early afternoon trade, as compared with about a 0.8-percent gain in the FTSE 100, which has staged a partial recovery following the previous sessions’ selloff.

Fellow asset manager Legal & General (LON:LGEN) is also underperforming the market, albeit to a smaller extent, as it also updated the market on its interim performance, posting an 11-percent rise in operating profit for the first half of the year. The company, however, also disclosed that its return on equity had inched to 20.2 percent during the reported period, down from 20.3 percent a year ago. Legal & General’s shares are about 0.3 percent down.

Flutter (LON:FLTR) has also been among today’s UK share prices to watch, trading higher as the company updated investors on its half-year performance. The company posted a 19-percent rise in revenue, benefitting from growth in Australia, the US and its online segment, which helped offset a decline in retail revenue. Flutter’s share price is trading about 4.5 percent higher.

Commodities giant Glencore (LON:GLEN) is underperforming the market after posting a slump in half-year income attributable to equity holders, along with a hefty fall in EBITDA.

“Our performance in the first half reflected a challenging economic backdrop for our commodity mix, as well as operating and cost setbacks within our ramp-up/development assets,” the group’s chief executive Ivan Glasenberg commented in the statement, further adding that its “African copper business did not meet expected operational performance”. Glencore’s shares are changing hands more than two percent in the red.

Phoenix Group (LON:PHNX) is up by about 2.4 percent   as the company reported a rise in operating profit and said that it expects to be toward the upper end of its 2019 cash generation target range of between £600 million and £700 million.

“We also continue to make good progress across all phases of our transition programme and remain on track to meet the £1.2 billion total synergy target announced in March,” the company’s chief executive officer Clive Bannister commented in the statement.

If you want to  check how stocks and indices on the other side of the Atlantic are faring this week, take a look at our new article with target areas to watch for the S&P 500, or take a look at this week’s Day Trading Stock Picks – US and Canadian Lists.

UK share prices to watch tomorrow

Aviva is due to post its results tomorrow and IG reports that the company is expected to unveil operating profit of £1.38 billion, while earnings per share are expected to have fallen 0.9 percent to 26.6p.

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“Aviva continues to retain an attraction for investors as a dividend stock. As an insurer, it has a powerful stream of income from customers, which allows it to maintain a healthy pay-out for investors,” IG’s chief market analyst Chris Beauchamp commented in a note this week, adding, however, that when compared to European peers, the blue-chip insurer has lagged, with the firm’s various acquisitions having so far “failed to provide the hoped-for boost to earnings, while £9 billion in debt is an impressive pile that will take time to reduce”.

Evraz (LON:EVR) will also be among tomorrow’s UK share prices to watch, with the group results to come after the company said in a trading update last month that its consolidated crude steel output had remained flat quarter-on-quarter in the three months to June 30.

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