independent

Friday 18 April 2014

ISEQ index marks time as Glanbia posts strong year outturn

IRISH shares were little changed yesterday. Strong annual results from Glanbia were not enough to boost the overall market.

By the close in Dublin the ISEQ Overall Index had dropped 0.18pc, or 6.97 points, to close at 3,858.63.

On a day when nearly twice as many stocks fell as rose, the market veered between gains and losses throughout the session before finally settling just below its opening level.

In percentage terms, the big faller of the day was Zamano. The mobile technology company dropped 36.4pc a day after it more than doubled on Tuesday on the back of strong annual results.

Ryanair dropped 1.4pc to €5.76. As first revealed in the Irish Independent earlier this week, the budget airline is on the verge of sealing a deal for close to 200 jets with Boeing.

Glanbia fell 1.4pc to €8.39. The dairy and nutritionals firm beat expectations with its annual results yesterday, but the shock decision by Glanbia co-op not to re-nominate two directors to the board of the public company threatened to start a new round of infighting in the group.

Paddy Power dropped 1.1pc to €65.45. The bookmaker has had a mixed Cheltenham Festival so far. There were three Irish winners on Tuesday, while the overwhelming favourite won the feature race yesterday.

Elsewhere, most European stocks declined as various earnings reports offset an increase in US retail sales, the highest in five months.

National benchmark indices declined in 10 of the 18 markets in western Europe. France's CAC 40 lost less than 0.1pc, the UK's FTSE 100 fell 0.5pc and Germany's DAX added 0.1pc. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell less than 0.1pc.

"At this point, we don't necessarily expect a substantial correction," Daniel Morris, a market strategist at JPMorgan Chase. "Fundamental support for equities is still good. We still look for equities' appreciation for the rest of the year."

Share sale

Commerzbank tumbled 9.7pc, the sharpest decrease in 15 months, after Germany's second-biggest lender announced a €2.5bn share sale to repay investments by a German government fund and Allianz.

Direct Line Insurance slid 3pc in London after Royal Bank of Scotland sold a stake in the UK's biggest home and motor insurer, raising £507m (€583m). RBS slipped 1.7pc.

Prudential advanced 8.7pc, its highest price since January 2000, after the biggest UK insurer by market value raised its 2012 dividend 16pc. The company reported a 25pc increase in operating profit to £2.53bn in 2012, beating analyst estimates.

Thomas Cook surged 16pc, the highest since July 2011. The 171-year-old UK tour operator said it will raise as much as £150m (€172m) from disposals and is increasing cost cuts to achieve profitability targets.

Irish Independent

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