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UK market update – EasyJet rejects takeover offer, 888 buys William Hill assets

Stock MarketsSep 09, 2021 08:33
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© Reuters.

By Samuel Indyk – At 08:32BST, the FTSE 100 is trading lower by 0.9% at 7,034. The midcap FTSE 250 is trading lower by 0.4% at 23,753.

In FX markets, GBP/USD is trading at 1.3782, EUR/GBP is trading at 0.8579. The US Dollar Index is flat.

Today’s calendar highlights include the ECB meeting, US jobless claims, and weekly oil and natural gas inventory data.   


888 Holdings (LON:888) - Confirms agreement with Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ:CZR) to acquire William Hill’s non-US business for £2.2 billion.

Morrisons (LON:MRW) - Two year group like-for-like sales ex-fuel/ex-VAT up 8.4% in H1. Total revenue including fuel up 3.7% to £9.05 billion. Maintains guidance for profit before tax. Continues to recommend CD&R’s takeover offer of 285 pence per share. Shareholder meeting to take place in or around week commencing 18th October.

EasyJet (LON:EZJ) - Recently received an unsolicited preliminary takeover approach that was unanimously rejected. The potential bidder has since confirmed that it is no longer considering an offer for the Company. Separately, the company has undertaken a fully underwritten rights issue to raise gross proceeds of approximately £1.2 billion.

JD Sports (LON:JD) – Reportedly considering an investment in online fashion website Missguided, which could involve an outright takeover. JD Sports' proposal is said to involve the acquisition of a controlling interest in Missguided. (Sky News)

AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) (NASDAQ:AZN) - Says PT027 PhIII asthma trials met primary endpoints. PT027 significantly reduced the risk of severe exacerbations compared to albuterol in patients with moderate to severe asthma in MANDALA trial when used as a rescue medicine in response to symptoms.

Genus (LON:GNS) - FY revenue up 4% to £574.3 million. Adjusted operating profit ex-JVs up 28% to £76.9 million. Recent volatility in the Chinese porcine market is expected to continue for some months, creating a short-term headwind in FY22.

Computacenter (LON:CCC) - H1 revenue increased 29.2% to £3.18 billion. Will endeavour to beat last year's second half performance not just match it.

Unite Group (LON:UTG) - Agreed a £450 million sustainability-linked unsecured revolving credit facility from HSBC, NatWest and Royal Bank of Canada.

Spire Healthcare (LON:SPI) - H1 revenue increased 13.5% vs H1 2019. EBITDA of £96.0 million in line with H1 2019. NHS waiting list continues to rise, supporting growth in self-pay. Near-term margins impacted my measures to maintain Covid-secure environment.

International Public Partnership (LON:INPP) - Portfolio has continued to perform in line with expectations. Increases dividend by 2.7% to 3.78 pence per share.

Lookers (LON:LOOK) - H1 revenue of £2.153 billion. Record H1 underlying profit before tax of £50.3 million. Intends to resume dividend payments as soon as possible and will next review the position when releasing its 2021 full year results. Trading during July and August remained strong, exceeding expectations. Current expectations for underlying profit before tax for 2021 remain unchanged.

Cairn Homes (LON:CRN) - H1 revenue up 61% to €130.6 million. Operating profit more than doubles to €11.7 million. Recommencing annual ordinary dividend programme and has declared an interim dividend of 2.66 cent per ordinary share. 2021 operating profit is now expected to be c. €52 million, increasing to c. €85 million in 2022.

STV Group (LON:STVG) - Advertising recovery continues, with Total Advertising Revenue  up 32% in H1 and expected to be up 25-30% for the 9 months to end of September. Board proposes interim dividend of 3.7p.

Speedy Hire (LON:SDY) - Continued to benefit from the positive momentum experienced at the start of the current financial year and is trading in line with the Board's expectations.

Boohoo (LON:BOOH) – Upgraded to outperform from neutral at Credit Suisse (SIX:CSGN).

Croda (LON:CRDA), Avast (LON:AVST), Polymetal (LON:POLYP), CRH (LON:CRH) and Melrose Industries (LON:MRON) all go ex-dividend today.

UK market update – EasyJet rejects takeover offer, 888 buys William Hill assets

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