Marlet Report: Enterprise Oil falls from grace after production target warning

High flying Enterprise Oil crashed 43p to 609p after chief executive Pierre Jungels warned its production target would be missed.

Speaking at an oil industry conference in Norway he said the group's much-vaunted ambition to produce 320,000 barrels a day would have to be put back until 1999.

Although this year's output had been rather lacklustre Enterprise had appeared confident as recently as September that it was still on course to meet its signalled production levels. But Mr Jungels said next year's output was likely to be similar to this year's. His comments were immediately viewed as a disguised profit warning. They flowed over to Lasmo, off 6p at 275p.

Enterprise has had a heady stock market run. At one time shares were riding at 729.5p with a range of bullish stories going the rounds. They were pulled back as the market came off the boil but were still regarded as one of the better performing blue-chips.

The oil group's fall from grace was a major factor in Footsie's 21.6 points fall to 4,845.4.

But at least Enterprise's negative contribution was genuine; Williams' 37p advance to 390p was entirely fictional.

For most of the session the fire protection and security group was traded between 346p and 351p. Then as the market closed there was an order-book trade at 390p for just 1,000 shares. Clearly some mistake. Even so Williams was elevated to top of the blue-chip leader board with the alleged 390p close, representing a 10.5 per cent gain, used in the final Footsie calculation.

The latest order-driven fiasco comes as pressure mounts for the Stock Exchange to make the system more friendly to agency brokers and small investors.

The market remained preoccupied with Far Eastern affairs. Another rally in Tokyo was undermined by a further setback in Hong Kong and suggestions the Japanese market was set for a bumpy ride overnight.

Hopes of a financial deal still drifted around with National Westminster Bank up 12.5p to 883p. There is a growing conviction that NatWest has re-opened talks with Deutche Morgan Grenfell for the sale of its securities operation.

Vodafone misdialled, falling 15.5p to 341.5p. A series of price cuts triggered suggestions it was starting a mobile telephone war. The company denied it was launching a price-cutting campaign. It claimed the market should be growing at a faster rate and "it is appropriate for the market leader to lead this new phase of growth". Orange was caught on the Vodafone line, giving up 9p to 242p.

Cadbury Schweppes shrugged off the appearance of another lemonade rival in the US. PepsiCo is launching a lemonade-style soft drink to challenge Cadbury's Seven-up and Coco-Cola's Sprite. Cadbury shares ended 1.5p higher at 614.5p.

The latest takeover block by Margaret Beckett, President of the Board of Trade, lowered Sears 3.5p to 54.5p. Sears, denied the chance of selling Freemans to Littlewoods, said it intends to demerge its home shopping operation with a cash hand- back to shareholders.

Northern Ireland Electricity, another handing over cash, improved 14.5p to 488.5p. Its exercise is, in effect, part of a name change - to Viridian.

Talk of bids, probably a management buy-out, gave Racal Electronic a 9.5p boost to 224p.

Billiton fell 5p to 170p despite warming noises from Societe Generale Strauss Turnbull. Although the securities house regards the metals group as a buy it has lowered its earnings forecasts.

Ronson, the luxury goods group, lost an early gain to stick at 11p after saying takeover talks with third parties continue. The shares have fallen from more than 20p since August when negotiations were revealed.

Ilion, the computer distribution group, was the worst casualty, falling 90p to 172.5p after warning that year's profits would not meet hopes of around pounds 8m. The group, formerly Persona, expects an out-turn in the pounds 6m to pounds 6.5m range.

Costain, the civil engineer, lost 3.5p to 32.5p, lowest since its return. Majestic Wine bubbled 11p to a 320p peak on Christmas sales hopes and expectations of cheerful interim figures next week.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Sport
Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
News
The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
arts + ents
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
people

Watch the spoof Thanksgiving segment filmed for Live!
Sport
Billy Twelvetrees will start for England against Australia tomorrow with Owen Farrell dropping to the bench
rugbyEngland need a victory against Australia today
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of The Guest Cat – expect to see it everywhere
books
Sport
Tyson Fury poses outside the Imperial War Museum in south London ahead of his fight against Dereck Chisora
boxingAll British heavyweight clash gets underway on Saturday night
News
i100 Charity collates series of videos that show acts of kindness to animals
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Austen Lloyd: Company Secretary

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: EAST ANGLIA - SENIOR SOLICITOR LEVEL ROLE** -...

Citifocus Ltd: German Speaking Client Specialist

£Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: Prestigious asset management house seeks a...

Citifocus Ltd: Performance & Risk Oversight

£Negotiable: Citifocus Ltd: This is a varied role focusing on the firm's mutua...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Sales Director - SaaS (SME/Channel) - £140,000 OTE

£90000 - £140000 per annum + benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: Are you a high achievin...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game