Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Business Analysis & Features

The week ahead: Monitise will show it is on the move

Why are people waving their phones around at the cash desk to pay for their shopping? Why is a mobile easier than putting your hand in your pocket for some cash or swiping your debit card? Well, more than 18 million people think paying for your lunch by swiping your mobile is the way to go. That's how many customers the mobile payments specialist Monitise has.

Experts at Goldman Sachs reckon Monitise is on to a good thing. They think it "remains a key player in the evolving mobile money value chain". Its first-half results today will show that even more customers have signed up. Goldman rates the stock a buy with a 60p price target.

Monitise joined AIM in 2007, and raised £100m during an equity issue in December. Goldman, its adviser, has been working on where it might list next. Nasdaq has been mooted, but from the latest chat it looks as if London's main market could still be in the running.

Goldman expects Monitise to make a £15m loss, up from £9m in 2013, driven by expansion costs. But even it admits the outlook for Monitise is not without challenges, including a possible "lack of scale and execution affecting expansion".

Results/Updates: Avation, Kofax, Monitise, Fidessa, Essar Energy.


Tomorrow we will hear all about bonus cutting and job culling at Barclays. For the bankers turfed out on their ears or unhappy with their lack of bonus, they may be turning to pawning their Rolexes for some extra cash. But the boom for pawnbrokers fuelled by rising gold prices has waned. Last year, Albemarle & Bond, which has 235 pawnbrokers up and down the country, said gold-buying profits had slumped. Tomorrow, analysts expect its half-year results to show that it is still in line with expectations. But Andrew Wade at Numis rates the retailer a sell – or reduce – and forecasts profit of £9.5m – down from £11.5m – for the second half. Its acquisition-focused store expansion programme may not be enough to halt the decline of its gold-buying business. Mr Wade gave the shares a 225p share price target.

Results/Updates: Albemarle & Bond, Dunelm, Sinclair IS Pharma, Barclays, Dragon Oil, Hibu, United Drug, Volex, Xstrata.


Finding oil is an expensive business and the costs of even getting a well ready to start pumping oil is high. Investec's Brian Gallagher is concerned about Tullow Oil's exploration programme ahead of its results on Wednesday. Mr Gallagher is worried that its focus on the costly production part of its business is holding back the quality of its exploration portfolio. He rates the stock a sell, with a share price target of 1,000p.

Results/Updates: Town Centre Securities, African Barrick Gold, Anglo Pacific, Reckitt Benckiser, Telecity, Tullow Oil.


The aerospace giant Rolls-Royce has had plenty of issues to overcome. The Serious Fraud Office was called in amid claims of bribery and corruption in the Far East, and the US's budget for defence is still an issue, while closer to home it has faced union anger on its plans to shed jobs at its plants in Derby and Bristol. But Jefferies' scribe Sandy Morris doesn't expect these to be lasting issues for the business. Analysts forecast it will report steady growth in earnings and dividends. Mr Morris retains his buy rating and keeps his price target at 950p – even though it is currently below the current 976p share price. He said: "We propose not to risk changing our price target prematurely."

Results/Updates: Amec, Electric Word, Morgan Crucible, Rio Tinto, Rolls-Royce, Shire, SVG Capital, Halma, Helical Bar, Norcros.


On Friday, results from Darty will give the market a look into France's shopping habits. The retailer is in better shape now that it has offloaded the UK high street chain Comet and has sold its Italian business. It is examining options for its struggling divisions in Spain, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Investors will be hoping to get an update on the progress. The group has appointed Frenchman Regis Schultz to replace Thierry Falque-Pierrotin, who left last year.

Results/Updates: Anglo American, Darty, Severn Trent, Treatt.

Economics Diary


Lloyds Employment Confidence Survey


Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors house prices data, Producer prices, Office for National Statistics house price data, Consumer price index data, Retail price index data.


Bank of England inflation report.


Bloomberg Economic Survey for February.


UK retail sales figures.