Overnight, Asian stocks - bar Japanese stocks - continued to rise with the Australian market hitting a three-and-a-half year high, 5,003.70, helped by better banking numbers.
First, Tullow Oil. Full year sales revenues for the oil and gas player expand 2% to $2,344 million (2011: $2,304 million) thanks to higher sales volumes. Profit from continuing activities before tax is upped 4% to $1,116 million (2011: $1,073 million). However net profits slip to $624.3 million (2011: $649.0 million).
The Tullow Board is maintaining the final dividend payment of 8.0 pence per share, bringing the total payout for the year to 12 pence per share. (However note that Tullow has had its "sell" rating recently reiterated by equities researchers at Investec.)
"We materially enhanced the business," says chief exec Aidan Heavey, "with a basin-opening oil discovery in Kenya, by adding highly prospective new licences in Africa and the Atlantic Margins, refinancing our debt and partially monetising our Ugandan assets. The Jubilee Field in Ghana is now approaching its full potential."
The flu and cold season also gave Reckitt a boost with Q4 like-for-like growth of +6% reflecting steadily improving in-year performance. The Reckitt Board is recommending an +11% increase in the final dividend to 78p per share bringing the total dividend for 2012 to 134p (+7% versus 2011).
"While much has yet to be done and markets remain challenging," says chief exec Rakesh Kapoor, "we approach 2013 with the confidence that we have the right strategic focus, the right organisation and culture, and with the right innovation platforms."
Lastly, an interim from Oxford Instruments covering the period 1 October to date. Growth continues in the Nanotechnology Tools sector though there is continued softness in the Industrial Products sector, reported in its half year statement, the company acknowledges.
In December Oxford announced the acquisition of Asylum Research Corporation, a provider of Scanning Probe Microscopes (SPM) for a debt free, cash free consideration of US$32.0 million with a deferred element of up to US$48.0 million payable over three years dependent on its performance.
"Our broad spread of geographies and technologies," the company said, "and our strong pipeline of new products help us to remain resilient in the current uncertain economic environment. The Board anticipates that Oxford Instruments will continue to make good progress, in line with its expectations for the remainder of the financial year."