After a roller-coaster ride for investors in the Aim-listed satellite operator Avanti Communications this year, news of a deal with the telecoms giant Vodafone called it up nearly 10 per cent higher.
Avanti agreed a three-year contract to supply 3G services to a Vodafone subsidiary in Europe.
Toby Morris, senior sales trader at CMC Markets, said: “Avanti was the stand-out performer. The move may well have been magnified by the stock’s performance so far in 2014, which prior to this had them down near 20 per cent.”
Avanti soared 20.25p to 225.25p.
Vodafone is embarking on a share consolidation – investors will receive six new shares for every existing 11 Vodafone shares – as it announced they will receive around 102p a share after it sold its stake in the US group Verizon Wireless for $130bn (£78bn).
Vodafone eased 0.65p to 223.35p.
The wider market was lacklustre. The FTSE 100 edged up just 0.28 points to 6796.71.
Investors were hoping a smart new website would mean smarter sales and profits at Marks & Spencer. Jefferies, which raised its rating to buy, said the new website is now “industry-leading” and gave M&S a 480p price target, up from 600p for shares that were 4.7p better at 501p.
AstraZeneca was bottom of the pile, dragged down largely by going ex-dividend. But investors also lost interest in the pharmaceutical giant after news that the Dublin-based drugs maker Actavis bought New York’s Forest Laboratories in a $25bn deal. Some punters had hoped Astra would buy the group and it fell 105.5p to 3,987p.
Mid-tier listed hedge fund Man Group was reported to be on the hunt to buy another asset-management business but eased 0.25p to 83.25p.
The online-trading platform Plus500 announced its maiden results. Liberum Capital, the house broker, upped its price target to 500p (from 275p) and it advanced 90.5p to 425p.
Aim-listed Allergy Therapeutics got approval of a clinical trial application for its allergic rhinitis product by Health Canada, the Canadian health authority, and was 1.125p healthier at 14.25p.