Market Report: Analysts played down fears of action against the 'crack cocaine' of gambling, fixed-odds betting machines
Friday 21 February 2014
Playtech was popular with punters yesterday on news that it was returning cash to shareholders.
After a bumper year that included selling its stake in William Hill Online last year it is returning £100m to investors and it charged up 44p to 785p. Playtech, whose customers also include Paddy Power and Betfair, is also providing software to revive Ladbrokes' ailing online business.
Bookmakers remained in focus after gambling analysts at Exane BNP Paribas rated both William Hill and Ladbrokes a buy and tried to allay fears about the impact of a government review into "the crack cocaine of gambling" – fixed-odds betting machines. Exane said that "any measures taken will likely be mild" and expect a "mix of self-imposed rules" and "lower stakes" which will be less onerous than previously expected. William Hill advanced 10.4p to 356.2p, but Ladbrokes lost 1.7p to 147.9p – both will report results next week.
After spending most of the day in the red following weak Chinese economic data, the FTSE 100 finished the day up 16.28 points to 6,812.99 as US manufacturing data was better than expected.
Mid-tier listed wealth manager Rathbone Brothers' outgoing chief executive, Andy Pomfret, said the stock market could breach the 7,000 barrier this year as it reported pre-tax profit up 15 per cent and was 3p ahead at 1,788p.
Back on the benchmark index, the defence and aerospace engineer BAE Systems reported that 2013 profits had nosedived by 81.6 per cent and it fell 36.4p to 400.4p.
The oil group Petrofac won a contract in Oman for BP worth $1.2bn (£720m) and was up 30p to 1,360p.
The FTSE 250-listed diamond digger Petra Diamonds moved into profit for its first half and was 8.5p brighter at 165.1p.
The previously struggling interactive white board-maker Promethean World won a 10,000-classroom contract in Florida and lifted 3.5p to 37.75p.
Better margins in the second half of the year for the Aim-listed mobile hotel group Snoozebox could mean it has finally turned a corner after a difficult year. It was up a whopping 6.75p to 13.125p, but still below its 40p float price.
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 'Do not give them a reason': Baltimore man divides police and rioters in hope of avoiding violence
- 3 X Factor in crisis as numbers of people auditioning plummets
- 4 Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
- 5 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
General Election 2015: Tories suspend candidate who said she would never support 'the Jew' Ed Miliband
Bali Nine executions: Indonesia confirms killings of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran will go ahead
The four utterly contradictory polls that tell the story of this election and why it is pointless trying to predict the outcome
General Election 2015: Prospect of Labour-SNP coalition makes one in four voters less likely to support Ed Miliband, says survey
Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
iJobs Money & Business
£Basic (OTE) + Uncapped Commission: Guru Careers: A Stockbroker (qualified / p...
£20000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you recently QCA Level 4 qu...
£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Application Support Analyst / 1st L...