Updates from Easyjet and Wood Group

The FTSE 100 plummeted -2.12% yesterday as US debt uncertainty climbed. The Board lost 140 points sinking to 6,419. The losses were echoed with the Dow Jones ending -1.43% lower at 14,960. European losses were severe, with the French Cac 40 down -1.87%.

Overnight, the Nikkei was down -0.85% at 12,904 with the Hang Seng down -1.08% at 21,831. %VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%We start with prelim numbers from chemicals company Johnson Matthey. Revenue is down -11% to £10.7bn with sales excluding precious metals flat at £2.7bn. Underlying profit before tax and underlying earnings per share is cut by -9% and -2% respectively.

Johnson claims however that the balance sheet remains strong. There's a final dividend of 41.5p recommended, resulting in the full year dividend raised +4% to 57.0p.

"Although underlying earnings per share," says chief exec Neil Carson, "in the year were 2% lower than 2011/12, the board is recommending an increase in the full year dividend of 4% reflecting its confidence in the medium term prospects for the group."

Next, Wood Group Mustang says it has won a contract by The Dow Chemical Company to provide a set of pipelines and stations as part of Dow's plan to connect its US operations with feedstocks available from supplies of US shale gas, the company says.

However there's no detail on how much the contract is worth. Wood Group Mustang will provide engineering, field services and construction management on the project through its Houston and Angleton, Texas offices.

"We are proud," said John Ellison, president of Wood Group Mustang's Pipeline Business Unit, "that Dow recognized the differentiators that set Wood Group Mustang apart from our competitors and is entrusting us with the responsibility of executing this prestigious project."

Lastly, Easyjet numbers for May. Passenger numbers climbed +3.4% to 5,609,351 while the rolling 12 month numbers increased +5.6% from 56,884,857 this time last year to 60,048,534. The company recently saw its Buy rating reiterated by analysts at Prime Markets.

Deutsche Bank analysts also repeated their Buy rating in a research note to investors last week, May 29th, with a 1,370p price target on the stock (currently 1,234p).

EasyJet's Gatwick focus has increased recently, agreeing to stump up £20m for take-off and landing slots held by Flybe.

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