RBS (LSE: RBS), Inmarsat (LSE: ISAT) and Rentokil (LSE: RTO) all please the markets.
The FTSE 100 (UKX) climbed a bit today, up 64 points to 5,726, despite yesterday's hoped-for positive statements from European leaders turning into yet more wishy-washy "We'll do something, sometime, maybe" half-promises.
The banks were partly responsible for offsetting the eurozone disappointment, after RBS posted results that were better than expected (not that very much was expected, mind). Here's a quick look at it, plus a couple of others from the FSTE indices...
Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE: RBS) put on 10.2p (5%) to 215p on the day it released interim results -- and a day after speculation was rife that the government is considering fully nationalising it.
The results themselves don't look like much cause for celebration, after the bailed-out bank reported a net loss of £1.9bn for the six months. But that was after an accounting charge of £2.9bn, and the bank did claim a "core operating profit" of £3.2bn.
It also set aside £260m for compensating customers for its recent technological problems, which badly affected customers of NatWest and Ulster Bank, and to cover mis-selling of insurance. Overall, the results weren't as bad as many had expected.
Shares in Inmarsat (LSE: ISAT), which have been recovering nicely of late, stormed up another 41.7p (8.6%) to reach 526p today, after interim results from the satellite communications operator recorded a 13% increase in revenue from its Maritime operations.
Overall revenues were pretty flat at $684m, and pre-tax profit fell a little to $233m (from $255m), but growth in maritime communications is key to Inmarsat's future, and the firm felt confident enough to lift its interim dividend by 10% to 16.94 cents.
With the apparent turnaround, and dividends of 5.6% and 6% forecast for the next two year-ends, the shares could be a bargain right now.
Rentokil Initial (LSE: RTO), once a byword for steady dividend growth, enjoyed a 4.45p (6.2%) surge to 76.1p on the release of interim results. Troubles at the firm's City Link division look to be resolving, after it recorded reduced losses and said it should become profitable by the fourth quarter.
Overall, revenues for the half year rose 2.9% to £1.28bn, with adjusted pre-tax profit 7.3% ahead at £78.1m. And we do have a dividend proposed -- it is only 0.67p per share, but it's the first interim payout in 3 years.
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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.