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STOCKS NEWS EUROPE-Hammerson weak on capital raising talk
January 15, 2009 / 2:08 PM / 9 years ago

STOCKS NEWS EUROPE-Hammerson weak on capital raising talk

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Stocks on the move [HOT-RTRS] Real-time Equity News [E] [WEU/EQUITY]

14:05GMT 15Jan2009-Hammerson weak on capital raising talk

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Shares in property firm Hammerson (HMSO.L) shed 3.8 percent, tracking a weak sector and market trend as capital raising rumours persist and after credit rating firm Moody's cut its outlook for the UK group on Wednesday.

Moody's changed the outlook to negative from stable for Hammerson's Baa2 issuer rated debt, says JP Morgan in its latest 'Property Ticker' note.

The broker says its "neutral" view on Hammerson does not change because of Moody's downgrade but says the clear issue remains the property firm's bond covenants, which could be breached if the company does not take some action.

However, JP Morgan believes Hammerson is aware of this and is considering its options, like for example disposing of its largest asset at Bishops Square, valued at 560 million pounds at June 2008, and/or undertaking an equity issue.

The broker says it has currently factored in to its valuation model a 500 million pound disposal and 100 million pound equity issue by Hammerson.

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13:03GMT 15Jan2009-Clinton Cards up on better-than-expected Christmas

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Shares in Clinton Cards CLCA.L rise 15.8 percent as the card retailer posts a 4.1 percent drop in sales in the four weeks to Jan. 4, which is not as bad as analysts feared.

"The better-than-expected sales performance could lead to an increase in forecasts," says David Stoddart at Altium Securities, who has a "sell" recommendation on the stock. "The group like-for-like sales decline has improved from minus six percent in first 16 weeks to about minus five percent in the most recent seven weeks."

But he adds the stores may have benefited from increased footfall driven by other retailers' promotional activity, which will not be sustained.

For more click on [ID:nLF555602], company statement [ID:nRnsO6643L]

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12:41GMT 15Jan2009-UK small caps fall 1.3 percent midday

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The FTSE Small Cap index .FTSC falls 1.3 percent in midday deals, while the blue chips .FTSE slip 0.4 percent and the midcaps .FTMC are 1.9 percent weaker.

The FTSE Developed European Small Cap index .FTDEUSC is off 0.2 percent, while the FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 is flat.

Britain's biggest nightclubs operator Luminar LMR.L slides nearly 12 percent after it warns full-year results will be below expectations and says it will not be paying a final dividend, prompting brokers to cut earnings forecasts.

Concrete supplier Ennstone ENN.L, meanwhile, leaps 50 percent after the company announces late Wednesday afternoon it has sold its wharf facility in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to West Penn Aggregates, Inc. for a cash consideration of $1.73 million.

For more on Luminar double click on [ID:nLF303588]; for more on Ennstone double click on [ID:nWLA5015]

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12:25GMT 15Jan2009-Tate & Lyle falls on concerns of earnings outlook

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Shares in Tate & Lyle (TATE.L) reverse earlier gains, down 1.5 percent as traders point to talk on the Web site FT Alphaville that there is "vague rumours of a profit warning" from the sugar refiner and sweetener maker.

Tate & Lyle, which is expected to issue a trading update later this month, declines to comment.

Tate & Lyle shares are down 1.1 percent.

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12:15GMT 15Jan2009-Casino climbs as Q4 sales reassure

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Shares in Casino (CASP.PA) climb as much as 4.9 percent to 50.83 euros after the French supermarket group met forecasts after Wednesday's market close with a 9.3 percent rise in fourth-quarter sales, with strength in its international and discount businesses offsetting a drop in sales at its French hypermarkets.

"These figures and management's confidence that it can meet full-year results expectations should reassure the most sceptical investors of the Casino model's resilience despite the worsening environment," Citi analysts say, adding the group's 15 percent share price discount to peers is not justified.

"We believe Casino's French business is very well positioned in this environment with a better format mix and a higher penetration of own label," Bernstein analysts add, comparing the firm to France's biggest supermarket group, Carrefour (CARR.PA), which posts fourth-quarter sales later on Thursday.

Carrefour shares are down around 2 percent.

For more information please click on double click on [ID:nLE713010]

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12:07GMT 15Jan2009-Sceptre Leisure higher after results

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Shares in Sceptre Leisure SCEL.L gain 6.5 percent as the leisure and gaming group says first-half 2008 revenue increased more than threefold to 18.5 million pounds, with earnings per share before exceptional items at 1.7 pence, up from 0.1 pence.

"Investors in Sceptre Leisure are buying into a story of high earnings per share growth over the next two forecast years ... driven by organic growth in the core business and synergies from the integration of the Sceptre and GamingKing businesses," Seymour Pierce says in a note.

The broker initiates coverage on the stock with an "outperform" rating, saying it believes continued strong operational performance will reduce indebtedness and strengthen the balance sheet, and pointing out that the company represents an excellent platform for industry consolidation.

For more double click on [ID:nRn1O6636L]

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