Market Report: Is Amec beginning to regret its £2bn takeover of Foster Wheeler?


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The Independent Online

The papers are all signed, but perhaps Amec is beginning to regret its £2bn takeover of Foster Wheeler.

The oil and gas engineer tumbled 63p to 993p after the US counterpart missed analysts’ forecasts by a long way with its third-quarter earnings. Liberum reiterated a sell recommendation for Amec, warning that Foster Wheeler’s results “appear consistent with our view that the environment for oil service shares is deteriorating”. Others in the sector suffered as a result – Petrofac slipped 31p to 1049p, Hunting dropped 37.5p to 695.5p and Wood Group fell 32.5p to 632.5p.

Their performance wasn’t helped by a general slump among oil and gas explorers after Saudi Arabia announced an unexpected cut in the price of oil sold to the US. Tullow Oil slipped 25.4p to 457.9p, BG Group lost 36.9p to 999.1p, BP fell 13.3p to 430.4p, Royal Dutch Shell gave up 62p to 2220p, Afren tumbled 5.45p to 69.7p, Ophir Energy declined 11.6p to 178.3p and Premier Oil dipped 14.6p to 242p.

The doom and gloom in the sector pushed the bluechip index to its second consecutive day of loses, down 34 points at 6453.97.

Hedge fund Man Group climbed 6.4p to 129.8p on the mid-cap index on the back of twin endorsements from HSBC and Credit Suisse.

A profit warning saw TT Electronics collapse 50p to 112.5p. The company, which provides sensors to the medical, automotive and aerospace industries, said the higher than expected cost of its operational improvement plan meant results for the year would be at the low end of expectations, while 2015 would also be weaker than forecast.

Keep an eye on African Minerals – traders report that punters are lining up to short the company, whose chairman Frank Timis this week announced he was buying the Sierra Leone mining assets of the collapsed London Mining. Drug discovery and development specialist Physiomics jumped 0.02p to 0.15p on Aim after revealing that US pharmaceutical giant Merck is using its products.

Mobile payment group Proxama advanced 0.27p to 2.67p after announcing plans to snap up Aconite Technology for £3.8m.