Most followed: Entertainment One, Thorntons, Randgold Resources, Gemfields, Ariana Resources


Monday should have been a day of celebration for Entertainment One (LON:ETO) shareholders after the company’s success at the Oscars.

The film distributor notched up seven gongs in total for its work on 12 Years a Slave, Dallas Buyers Club and documentary 20 Feet from Stardom.

But investors failed to respond to the news as the shares slipped 1.2% to 340p even though Oscar success typically spells higher DVD sales and downloads.

eOne’s shares have however still enjoyed a strong rise in 2014, up 32% in the first two months, valuing the company at close to £1 billion.

The stock is a favourite of JPMorgan, which has an ‘overweight’ recommendation, Investec, which recently became a ‘buyer’, as well as N+1 Singer, which has the same rating.

Thorntons (LON:THT) provided a rare fillip for investors on a day when stocks fell as the Russian invasion of Crimea spooked the market.

The chocolatier saw revenues rose 4.5% to £139.7mln in the six months to 11 January, helping pre-tax profits ump 47.3% to £7.2mln.

The improvement is thanks to its shift in strategy from own store sales, which are being shut down, to focus on higher margin sales in supermarkets.

“Overall we continue to be encouraged with the progress which has been made in implementing our strategy of rebalancing the business, revitalising the brand and restoring profitability and we look forward to the key spring seasons of Mother's Day and Easter with confidence,” said chief executive Jonathan Hart.

The shares rose 1.1% to 155.2p against a falling market.

The FTSE 100’s losses increased as midday approached, down more than 100 points to below 6,700.

Companies exposed to Russia and Ukraine were particularly affected as Kiev readies itself for war with its neighbour.

Ferrexpo (LON:FXPO), which produces iron ore pellets in Ukraine, slumped 12%, Russia-focused exhibition organiser ITE Group (LON:ITE) tumbled 13%, while Russian steelmaker Evraz (LON:EVR) lost 10% of its value.

Russia-focused Petropavlovsk (LON:POG) also took a 8% hit, missing out on the rise enjoyed by gold stocks as punters took shelter in the safe haven asset.

Randgold Resources (LON:RRS) and Fresnillo (LON:FRES) were among the few companies to make gains on the Footsie, up 3.8% and 0.7% respectively.

Fear of gas supply disruption meanwhile helped BG Group (LON:BG.) and SSE (LON:SSE) higher on Monday.

Also on the radar was Gemfields (LON:GEM), which said demand for coloured gemstones remains upbeat as the AIM-listed company unveiled a 137% jump in revenues for the last six months of 2013.

The Zambia-focused gemstone miner and retailer said revenues surged to US$65.7mln from US$27.7mln as underlying earnings (EBITDA) dipped to US$18mln from US$19.5mln.

The shares traded flat at 35.7p.

Among the small-cap stocks seeing large volumes of their shares traded are Ariana Resources (LON:AAU), up 7% at 1p, Premier Gold Resources (LON:PGR), down 6%, and Medusa Mining (LON:MML), which shone 11% higher at 124.8p.

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