Updates from Legal & General, London Stock Exchange and IP Group
A two-point drop for the FTSE 100 on Tuesday, taking the Big Board to 6,686.5. Shire - taking aim at US rival Baxalta - and Coca-Cola HBC AG were down heavily, taking 5.8% and 5.6% falls while ARMHoldings was also down hard, to 948.50p, a 4.5% drop. Meggitt shares however soared almost 8% helped by two new contract wins.
Stateside there was a 47.5-point drop to 17,550.6 not helped by Apple shares moving below its 200-day overall average as worries about Chinese sales reared; US crude though climbed 1.4% to $45.80 a barrel.
The big blue-chip name this morning isL&G; the insurer claims operating profit is up 18% to £750m with adjusted earnings per share rising 15% to 9.79p. The interim dividend climbs 19% higher to 3.45p per share.
Demand for pension risk transfer strategies remains high; L&G claims almost two thirds of large defined benefit (DB) schemes in the UK are looking to take de-risking action; it's also expecting to underwrite £200m of lifetime mortgages new business this year.
L&G also claims it should deliver £80m of operating cost savings across the Group, reducing costs from £1,250m in 2014 to £1,170m, "whilst incurring £40m of restructuring costs in 2015."
Next,London Stock Exchange Group. Adjusted operating profit is up 27% at £366.1m (H1 2014: £ 288.8m) while the interim dividend is upped 11% to 10.8 pence per share (6 months to 30 September 2014: 9.7 pence per share).
LSE Group claims good progress with the integration and development of global indexes business, FTSE Russell, and with the sale of Russell Investment Management
"As a leading international, open access market infrastructure business we continue," says boss Xavier Rolet, "to see attractive opportunities for growth in a changing regulatory and competitive landscape."
We finish the bulletin with IP Group. The intellectual property developer says net assets excluding intangibles and the Oxford equity rights asset was upped to £700.6m (HY14: £449.4m; FY14: £451.3m).
There's adjusted profit before tax of £70.1m (HY14: £15.0m; FY14: £16.2m), excluding the amortisation, says the company, of intangible assets and reduction in fair value of Oxford Equity Rights asset of £3.7m (HY14: £2.4m; FY14: £6.7m).
"We were particularly proud," says chief exec Alan Aubrey, "to be a cornerstone investor in Oxford Sciences Innovation plc while Modern Biosciences plc reached the first development-related milestone in its agreement with Janssen Biotech, Inc."
Investing for income at a time of low interest rates
Five shares to watch in 2015
Five things to consider for growth investors