Market Report: Imagination could see its market share slip to 32 per cent, according to the analysts

 

Smartphone microchip designers have received mixed signals from the City.

Analysts at Credit Suisse called for punters to hang up on Imagination Technologies because they predict that the growth in smartphones sales will begin to drop off and the company's market share will slip from about 40 per cent this year to around 32 per cent by 2015.

Credit Suisse cut its target price to 235p and rated Imagination underperform and the shares faded 17.8p to 244.2p

In contrast, scribblers at HSBC rated larger rival Arm Holdings a buy because of its rising royalty rates. They gave it a 1,120p price target for shares that added 9p to 964p.

The wider market was flat as conflicting news out of the US and a lack of upbeat news from Europe left traders in limbo. The FTSE 100 added just 0.25p to 6681.33.

November's slowing factory growth in China held the miners back and Fresnillo was the weakest, down 41p to 863.5p.

Top of the table was chemical group Johnson Matthey, the world's largest maker of catalysts to control car emissions. It drove up 116p to 3,210p after posting a 13 per cent rise in first-half profit, boosted by a rise in demand for speciality catalysts for cars and trucks.

Capita rose 4.5p to 983.5p after Southampton City Council extended its 10-year contract for another five years – days after the outsourcer announced that its chief executive, Paul Pindar, will retire and leave the group in February.

Citi analysts rated AstraZeneca neutral and raised its price target to 4,900p, and the drugs group advanced 92p to 3,400.5p.

A relief rally for defence, aerospace and security group Qinetiq after its update was better than expected helped it up 14.3p to 211p.

Goldman Sachs took a look at the central London property sector and sang the praises of property groups Derwent London (up 23p to 2,442p) and Great Portland Estates (8.5p to 563.5p) and said the latter is "geared to a sweet spot for the London office market".

There was further woe for Finnish nickel miner Talvivaara. Its stock lost another 0.55p to 3.4p after admitting it failed to raise additional capital, and it has not ruled out bankruptcy.

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