UK share prices are, for the most part, struggling to make headway during Monday’s session. Fresh fears over the global spread of Covid-19 continues to drain investor confidence. However, the Lookers (LSE: LOOK) share price is having no problems moving northwards following the release of fresh trading details.
At 71.1p per share, the car retailer is now trading 2% higher from Friday’s close. This takes total 12-month gains to a shade above 160%.
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Lookers has risen after reporting “strong momentum in trading” in 2021 so far. It said that strong positive trends had continued into May and June “where we have seen robust consumer demand and ongoing outperformance of the UK retail new car market.”
The UK retail share said that used vehicle margins had remained strong in part thanks to improved residual values. It added that its improved multi-channel offering and restructuring efforts undertaken last year had helped drive performance.
Lookers warned that it faces some uncertainty in the second half as the pandemic stretches on and supply issues worsen. But it added that full-year performance should still be “significantly ahead of current expectations” thanks to robust trading between January and June.
UK defence share falls as takeover talks end
The Ultra Electronics Holdings (LSE: ULE) share price hasn’t fared nearly as well today. It spiked on Friday on frenzied takeover speculation. The day before, Cobham declared its interest in snapping up its defence market peer. But the FTSE 250 firm is down today after it rebuffed proposals in an after-hours statement last week.
Cobham declared late last week that it was considering combining its operations with Ultra “with a view to creating a global defence electronics champion.” It said “both [companies] have long heritage as innovators, and share advanced complementary capabilities delivering mission critical solutions to the US, UK and other key allies.”
But Ultra subsequently said that an alliance of the companies was not forthcoming. It said that it had engaged in “the very early stages of exploratory discussions” about combining some or all of its Ultra’s Intelligence and Communications Strategic Business Unit and entities within Cobham’s CAES Group. However, the UK share added that “these discussions have now been terminated by Ultra.”
The talks took place under a mutual confidentiality agreement between Ultra, Advent International Corporation — which took over Cobham in January 2020 — and the parent company of Cobham’s CAES Group. And the agreement limited the discussions to private M&A transactions to execute any transaction, meaning that a breach of the Takeover Code did not occur.
Both Advent and the parent company of CAES Group confirmed that they were not actively considering an offer for Ultra’s shares in the agreement, Ultra said. It added that it had not received a takeover proposal from CAES Group, Cobham, or Advent.
At £22.22 per share, Ultra’s share price is now 3% lower from Friday’s close. The FTSE 250 company is now 10% more expensive than it was 12 months ago.