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Watchstone shares tick higher as it sells Canadian healthcare services

A look at some of the top risers and fallers in London today

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Watchstone shares jumped 23%

Shares in Watchstone Group PLC (LON:WTG) ticked higher after the technology firm announced the sale of its Canadian healthcare services business for C$36.2mln (£22.3mln).

Watchstone, formerly known as Quindell, said the selling price may rise by up to C$8000,000 depending on whether the sold business hits certain revenue targets.

The net cash proceeds of the sale will be kept on deposit until a distribution to shareholders can be effected.

Shares jumped 23% to 115p. 

2.40pm: Springfield Properties a bright spot on dark day for housebuilders

It has not been a good day for shares in housebuilders but Springfield Properties PLC (LON:SPR) was an exception after its full-year results.

While the big housebuilders were hit by a government report that said the Help to Buy programme has gone on for too long, Springfield, which builds houses in Scotland, was up 3.8% to 410p.

The company saw a handy improvement in its gross margin in the year to the end of May to 18.0% from 15.7%. Adjusted profit before tax shot up 69% to £16.5mln from £9.8mln.

12.40pm: Zambeef sizzles after sale of underperforming asset

Zambeef Products PLC (LON:ZAM) has announced the disposal of its Sinazongwe Farm in Zambia as part of its strategy to sell underperforming assets.

The news sent shares in the beef producer up 12.5% to 5.6p.

Zambeef will sell the farm to Chenguang Biotech (Zambia) Agri-Dev Limited for US$10mln. The group is selling off non-core assets to reduce debt and focus on more profitable areas of the business.

Petro Matad Limited (LON:MATD) shares declined 20.3% to 5.4p after saying the Red Deer 1 exploration well has failed to find hydrocarbons.

The Mongolian focused explorer said the well was drilled down to 2,000 metres and no hydrocarbon bearing zones were identified. Red Deer 1 will now be plugged and abandoned.

11.30am: Murgitroyd shares up as profits jump 

Murgitroyd Group PLC (LON:MUR) shares advanced nearly 15% to 570p after the intellectual property attorney firm posted a 16.5% rise in annual pre-tax profit.

Pre-tax profit rose to £4.2mln in the year to 31 May from £3.6mln last year as revenue grew 7.5% to £48mln, boosted by the acquisition of Chapman IP in February.

The company gave a positive outlook for the coming year, saying it is “well placed” to deliver on its expectations and is “confident” it can achieve its financial and operating objectives while maintaining its progressive dividend policy.

Staffline Group PLC (LON:STAF) shares dropped 22% to 119p after issuing a profit warning as it swung to a half-year loss.

The AIM-listed recruiter said it now expected to report an adjusted operating profit of just £20mln for the full year due to “weak consumer confidence” denting demand for its services and “unprecedented levels of uncertainty” associated with Brexit.

The group made a £7.7mln pre-tax loss in the first half, compared to £10.5mln profit, after a slowdown in new contracts following a delay to the publication of its 2018 results earlier this year.

9.30am: Sirius Minerals PLC in deep poo-tash after ditching US$500mln bond issue 

Sirius Minerals PLC (LON:SXX) shares plummeted 45% to 5.4p after ditching a proposed US$500mln bond issue, blaming tough market conditions.

The potash miner also said the US$400mln raised in this spring’s convertible bond issue, currently held in escrow, will also be returned to investors.

For this reason, the group’s North Yorkshire mine development project has stalled.

Trackwise Designs PLC (LON:TWD) was also on the back foot as it warned that it expects full-year revenue and profit to miss market forecasts.

The provider of products using printed circuit technology said adjusted operating profit in the first half fell to £61,000 from £113,000 last year and revenue dropped to £1.5mln from £1.8mln. The company said the weaker revenue reflected a poor performance in the radio frequency division, which was hit by challenging market conditions.

“Market conditions have not improved since the half-year and the board now anticipates a material reduction in revenue and operating profit for the year in comparison to market expectations,” it warned.

Orosur Mining Inc (LON:OMI) shares jumped after saying a court in Uruguay has approved a payment plan agreement between the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Loryser SA and its creditors.

Loryser will sell its assets in Uruguay and Orosur will issue 10mln shares to satisfy money Loryser owes to its creditors.  The court approval of the payment plan means Intervenor's control over Loryser ceases.

Shares rose 35% to 5.7p.

Spectra Systems Corp. (LON:SPSY) shares gained 9.3% to 128.5p after announcing that it has received funding approval for a US$1.3mln contract with an undisclosed G7 central bank to deliver three control units for making banknotes using the company's materials.

The company, which produces machine-readable high-speed banknote authentication, brand protection technologies and gaming security software, said execution of the contract is scheduled for later this month.

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