Computer games retailer drops nearly 7%, while BP bounce is not enough to lift leading index
Game Group has continued its recent decline on worries about its future.
A number of negative weekend reports about the outlook for the computer games retailer in the wake of last week’s news it would not be stocking Mass Effect 3 helped push its shares nearly 7% lower to 4.8p.
There has been renewed speculation recently that US rival GameStop might bid, with MCV reporting it was only the store overlap in Australia which was putting the Americans off. An alternative suggestion was that GameStop might be waiting in the wings to see if Game succeeds in finding a way out of its financial difficulties. If not, it could be there to pick up the pieces.
Among the major companies, BP bounced 8.1p to 504.6p after its $7.8bn (£5bn) settlement relating to the Gulf of Mexico disaster over the weekend, despite concerns that there were still details of the deal, which involves 110,000 private claims, to be worked out. Analyst Stuart Joyner at Investec said:
In perhaps the most positive single development post the Macondo spill, BP agreed a settlement with the plaintiffs’ steering committee at the weekend which, at $7.8bn, is below most market estimates, and does not increase the $37.2bn provision. Whilst uncertainty remains, it is diminishing and fast. Our target price [of 595p] includes a pre-tax deduction of $42bn for the net cost of Macondo to BP.
But despite BP’s gains, the overall market has lost ground again, on worries about a possible Greek default if it does not reach a deal with its private bondholders. News that China has cut its growth targets has also helped send the FTSE 100 down 36.31 points to 5874.82.
The Chinese news hit mining shares, given the importance of the country for commodity companies. Kazakhmys, which unveiled disappointing figures last week, was down 48.5p to 951.5p while Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation closed 24p lower at 675p. Glencore fell 16.65p to 403.35p after its in-line figures, while its proposed merger partner Xstrata lost 59p to 1137.5p on disappointment there was no news of better terms for the deal.
Serco slipped 33p to 527p after Bank of America/Merrill Lynch cut its rating on the outsourcing specialist from buy to neutral, saying the share price was up with events.
Essar Energy fell 6.7p to 107.1p ahead of its likely demotion from the FTSE 100, based on Tuesday’s nights closing prices. Also expected to depart the leading index are Cairn Energy, down 4.9p at 332p, and Hargreaves Lansdown, 0.2p lower at 445.3p.
The biggest riser in the leading index was Intertek, up 58p at £23.72 after the testing company reported a 23% rise in full year profits. Oil services group Petrofac put on 21p to £15.95 following a 25% rise in full year profits and a confident outlook statement.
Defensive stocks were back in favour, with GlaxoSmithKline up 14.5p at £14.04 and AstraZeneca adding 23.5p to £28.41.
Tesco dipped 1.55p to 316.7p despite unveiling plans to create 20,000 jobs over the next two years. Fitch said the move should lure back some customers although Tesco would have to keep adjusting prices to keep its market share close to current levels.
Among the mid-caps Dunelm, the homewares retailer, fell sharply after news that former chief executive Will Adderley and his wife had cashed in around £36m worth of shares in the business.
Adderley, the son of the company’s founder who remains executive deputy chairman, and his wife sold 7.5m shares in a placing managed by UBS. The shares represent around 2.5% of Dunelm’s share capital. Adderley told the company the move was to diversify his share portfolio, and he agreed not to sell more shares for at least six months. His remaining stake gives him around 32.4% of the company, while the Adderley family in total retain 56.2%.
Dunelm dropped 25.7p to 482.8p.
Lower down the market GCM Resources rose 7.63p to 89p on talk of an imminent deal.
Finally Energetix added 1.75p to 27.5p after ScottishPower agreed to trial the company’s combined heat and power boilers. Energetix claims the boilers can reduce fuel bills and provide income for the customer since they generate electricity which can be sold back to the grid.
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