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Tuesday 01st of March 2011
February 24, 2011    

Britvic drops nearly 12 percent on profits warning

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by Elaine Frei
Britvic drops nearly 12 percent on profits warning

Most European equities markets were lower again Thursday as concerns remain about unrest in Libya and the resulting rise in oil prices which, it is feared, could harm economic recovery.

The FTSE 100 fell 0.06 percent to 5,919.98 in London, while the FTSE 250 dropped 0.97 percent to 11,409.7, with losses on the 100 held down after a US consumer confidence survey showed American buyers more confident than they have been in nearly three years, while there were fewer new jobless claims filed in the US last week.

The biggest decliner on the 250 was soft drinks maker Britvic (LSE: BVIC) which dropped 11.72 percent after it said that the cost of raw materials could hold profits down this year, while the biggest loser on the 100 was oil company and power generator Essar Energy (LSE: ESSR), which was down 4.66 percent in an energy sector that was mostly higher.

Business processing outsourcer Capita Group (LSE: CPI) added 7.16 percent for the best perofmrance of the day on the 100, seeing gains on more orders and a gain in net profit last year.

Beverage can manufacturer Rexam (LSE: REX) added 2.38 percent after Credit Suisse upgraded it from “neutral” to “outperform” and raised its target share price, while engineering group GKN (LSE: GKN) dropped 2.33 percent after Citigroup cut its recommendation to “hold”.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group (LSE: RBS) dropped 3.63 percent on a full-year loss that was worse than predicted, although it managed to post a profit in the fourth quarter.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 0.54 percent to 1,145.81 while the CAC-40 fell 0.09 percent to 4,009.64 and the Dax dropped 0.89 percent to 7,130.5, but the IBEX added 0.13 percent to 10,647.6.

Most Asia-Pacific markets were lower as Libya turmoil continued and as oil prices were higher again.

The Nikkei 225 fell 1.19 percent to 10,452.7 in Tokyo, while the Topix index was down 1.34 percent to 934.22 and the Mothers market dropped 4 percent to 476.22, with exporters hurt by the strength of the yen and shippers dropped again as shipping rates dropped once more.

Among shippers, Nippon Yusen (TYO: 9101) and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (TYO; 9107) were each 2.5 percent lower.

Carmakers dropped, with Honda Motor (TYO: 7267) and Mazda Motor (TYO: 7261) each falling 1.4 percent, while Toyota Motor (TYO: 7203) dropped 1.7 percent.

Camera and copier maker Canon (TYO: 7751) was 1 percent lower and consumer electronics manufacturer Sony (TYO: 6758) was down 1.5 percent.

Tobu Railway Co (TYO: 9001) dropped 12 percent after it said it will sell new shares.

Other decliners in the region included South Korea’s Kospi, which was down 0.6 percent, while in Australia the Sydney Ordinaries dropped 0.7 percent to 4,901.1 and the S&P/ASX200 fell 0.76 percent to 4,809.3.

The Straits Times Index was 0.96 percent lower to 2,973 in Singapore, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.34 percent to 22,601 and the Sensex dropped 3 percent to 17,632.4.

Taiwan’s Taiex added 0.15 percent to 1,949.88 and the Shanghai Composite gained 0.56 percent to 2,878.6.

New York equities markets were mixed as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.57 percent to 12,036.7 and the S&P 500 had dropped 0.5 percent to 1,300.87, but the Nasdaq Composite added 0.13 percent to 2,726.46, all in early afternoon trade.

The Commerce Department reported that new home sales in the United States were down by 12.6 percent in January, while mortgage applications are near a 15-year low.

In a separate report, the Commerce Department also said that while durable goods orders were up 2.7 percent overall in January, but when orders for aircraft and cars are excluded orders were down 3.6 percent last month.

The Labor Department had news that was a little better when it reported that first-time unemployment claims dropped by 22,000 last week, to 391,000.

The price of crude oil was up again, with April contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude up $1.28 to $99.38 per barrel at just past 1 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange after trading above $103 per barrel earlier in the session, while at last report Brent crude had added another $3.10 to $114.35 per barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London after going to nearly $120 per barrel earlier.

Gold and copper prices were both higher, but silver prices were down slightly, all in New York trade.

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