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The Most Followed report is a summary of the most interesting corporate stories of the day, including the most popular stock exchange statements, the hottest topics on message boards, the biggest movers of the day as well as rumours and speculation.
Friday's most followed: Range Resources, Falkland Oil and Gas, Fiberweb, Symphony Environmental, TClarke, Tribal Group, Ted Baker, SpectrisJanuary 13 2012, 12:44pm
Range Resources (LON:RRL) emerged atop the list of the most searched for companies today a day after its partner Red Emperor Resources (LON:RMP) became the most followed company in the sector with traders discussing the potential of the group’s Puntland assets.
Excitement over the potential of the two companies’ operations in Somalia, where they hold a total 40 percent in two oil and gas blocks, showed no signs of waning today with Range rallying eight percent to 10.5 pence per share.
On message boards, investors following Range also noted that the company also holds assets in Texas and Trinidad, which they said could also provide a boost to the share price.
In Texas, Range is currently drilling the Albrecht-1 appraisal well on the North Chapman Ranch project, hoping to prove up reserves in the South East portion of the license area.
It would also support a re-classification of current Possible (P3) reserves into the Probable (P2) and Proved (P1) categories. If successful, Albrecht-1 may be followed by another four wells.
In the meantime, the closely followed exploration campaign in the Falkland Islands against emerged among the dominant themes of the day in the sector owing to a fundraising announcement by Falkland Oil and Gas (LON:FOGL) that topped the list of the most read RNS statements.
The company is looking to raise £48.5 million through a share placing to fund its preferred drilling programme in the Falklands. The first well of the programme will target the Loligo prospect, while the second well will test the Scotia prospect.
Scotia has been estimated to hold a resource of one billion barrels of oil.
Other talked about stocks included Fiberweb (LON:FWEB) and Symphony Environmental Technologies (LON:SYM) both fell 10 percent as their trading updates disappointed investors.
Industrial materials firm Fiberweb revealed that it swung to a pre-tax loss of £7.4 million in the six months of the year on revenues of £151.5 million. The group said trading in the second half has been challenging with volumes falling in southern Europe and in construction in north America.
In addition, Fiberweb lost £3 million as a result of temporary sales disruptions and operating costs during the planned closure of a plant at Königswinter, Germany and the transfer of the business to a new line in Berlin.
Fiberweb shed 5.5 pence to trade at 49.5 pence, while Symphony Environmental Technologies lost 0.63 pence, falling to 5.5 pence after Seymour Pierce reduced its target price for the stock from 19 pence to 12 pence on the back of today’s statement.
The plastic technology specialist expects its full year revenues for 2011 to be in line with the £8.5 million posted in 2010; however, profits will be materially below 2010 as a result of additional expenditure on expanding product ranges, sales and marketing and product studies.
The response to today’s reports from building services group TClarke (LON:CTO) and school inspector Tribal Group (LON:TRB) was far more positive with the companies emerging among the top risers in London markets.
Shares in TClarke were in demand this morning, rising 7.5 percent to 40 pence as the group said it expects to hit its full year 2011 targets and reported an increase in its forward order book from £187 million in November to £190 million.
TClarke added that more than a half of the current year’s order requirement has been secured.
Tribal Group also did well, rallying 17.5 percent after reporting a strong performance for the final quarter of 2011. As a result, Tribal now expects its full year pre-tax profit to be significantly ahead of expectations, while its expectations for 2012 remain unchanged.
In addition, Tribal Group announced that it has been appointed as preferred bidder to supply its student management systems to the Australian government’s Student Administration and Learning Management (SALM) programme.
The deal is expected to have a value in excess of A$40 million over the multiple year contract term.
Other notable risers of the day included Ted Baker (LON:TBK), whose “excellent” Christmas trading results ranked high on the list of the most popular stock exchange statements of the day.
The designed brand revealed a good performance across all of its markets, posting a 15.7 per cent increase in retail sales in the eight weeks to January 7 compared to the same period last year. It added that trading since Christmas has been strong, keeping it on track to hit its pre-tax profit target for the full year.
Likewise, the markets welcomed the news that midcap industrial controls group Spectris (LON:SXS) posted record sales and profits. Trading during 2011 was strong, resulting in a 23 percent jump in revenues compared to the previous year and an increase in operating profits from £142.1 million to £200 million.
Furthermore, the businesses acquired in 2011 performed well with Omega Engineering topping expectations.
“Looking ahead, the macro-economic outlook is uncertain. Our recent acquisitions bring more resilient earnings whilst providing opportunities in growth markets and the Board is therefore confident that Spectris is strategically well positioned for the coming year,” said chief executive of Spectris John O'Higgins.
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