Updates from Apple and Crest Nicholson

The FTSE 100 suffered another major hit yesterday, tumbling 1.70% to 6,550.6. BG Group took the worst punch by some margin, diving almost 14% to 1082p on Egyptian production anxiety. Hargreaves Lansdown shares gave away 5.30% to 1429p.

The Dow Jones fared a little better slipping 0.26%, or 41.23 points, to 15,837. %VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
We start with a shares plunge for Apple. Apple stock fell 8% after it declared flat profits at $13.1bn for the last quarter. Although Apple's earnings are well up to speed, Apple has dipped the outlook for the rest of the year - hence the share nerves.

"We are really happy with our record iPhone and iPad sales, the strong performance of our Mac products and the continued growth of iTunes, Software and Services," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO.

Revenues climbed to $57.6 billion. Apple declared a cash dividend of $3.05 per share. The company has also suffered from the dipping Japanese yen, as well as some home turf US weakness.

Next, new numbers from house builder Crest Nicholson, and clearly boosted by the Government's Help to Buy scheme. Housing legal completions climb 15% to 2,172 (2012:1,882) with open-market legal completions up 35% at 1,806 (2012: 1,342).

Turnover at £525.7m climbs 29%. Overall, private home completions "were up 35% over the year and we took almost 600 reservations under the 'Help to Buy' scheme," says chief exec Stephen Stone.

Operating profit margin edges 18.5% (2012: 18.0%) higher while profits before tax climb 40%. 1,895 plots have been added to the short-term land bank across 19 sites.

Finally, an interim from British Land reporting improved operational performance in Offices and Retail with like-for-like occupancy up 30 bps to 97.1%; overall occupancy including recently completed developments are at 96.5% the company claims.

"We continued," says chief exec Chris Grigg, "to take advantage of the increase in investor demand to sell selected assets. At the same time, we have continued to leverage our deal and property skills to secure value accretive transactions."

This includes £405 million of sales since the end of the half year (£122 million since the half year results) including the sale of Eastgate Shopping Centre Basildon for £89 million, ahead of valuation, claims the company.

Read Full Story