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
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams' “Happy” was the most searched-for song lyric of 2014
musicThe power of song never greater, according to our internet searches
Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Roffey says: 'All of us carry shame and taboo around about our sexuality. But I was determined not to let shame stop me writing my memoir.'
books
News
Danielle George is both science professor and presenter
people
News
i100
News
Caplan says of Jacobs: 'She is a very collaborative director, and gives actors a lot of freedom. She makes things happen.'
people
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

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Equity | New York

Not specified: Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Global Equity | New Yor...

Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation

Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...

Selby Jennings: Oil Operations

Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015