What a dreadful start to December for the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE)!
After opening the first week of the month with a 55-point fall yesterday, by early afternoon today the index of top UK stocks is down a further 50 points to 6,545. With very little news its hard to say what’s behind it all, but maybe it’s just an overdue correction after a bit if sombre reflection.
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But are there are any shares on the way up today? There are a few, but we have to look outside the top index to find much in the way of newsworthy rises:
Betfair Group shares are up 37p (3.6%) to 1,067p today to take the price up more than 40% over 12 months. First-half figures revealed a 56% rise in underlying pre-tax profit to £32.5m with earnings per share up 51% to 26.2p. The interim dividend was lifted by a whopping 50% to 60p per share, although a similar rise at year-end would still only yield 1.8%.
Chief executive Breon Corcoran told us that “the progress we have made in the first six months means we expect underlying EBITDA for the full year to be between £82m and £87m“, which bodes well for the current analysts’ consensus for a pre-tax profit of around £48m.
Full-year results gave ITE Group a boost, sending its shares up 8.9p (3%) to 303.6p after the exhibition and conference organizer told us of record full-year results.
With revenue up 12% to £192m, headline pre-tax profit up a similar 12% to £59.4m and EPS up 9.4% to 14p, the company lifted its dividend 7.7% to 7p per share for a modest yield of 2.3%.
Chief executive Russell Taylor said that “The Group has now firmly established itself in the Asian exhibition markets” through moves into India, Malaysia and now China, and that “trading is in line with our expectations and we are well placed to continue our growth, both organically and through selective acquisitions“.
IP Group (LSE: IPO), whose business is the commercialization of intellectual property (IP) from its partner universities, got a nice rise of 4.7p (2.6%) to 185p today after news of a couple of new agreements.
The firm has entered into IP commercialization partnerships with the University of Pennsylvania and with Columbia University. Both deals are for an initial 18 months and will explore “early-stage, proof of principle opportunities“.
The IP Group share price is now up more than 65% over the past 12 months.