Updates from Lenovo and QinetiQ


A 100-point rally for the FTSE 100 on Thursday, surging 1.55%. A +3.71% Vodafone climb to 223.90p helped plus a 3.33% gain from Nurofen and Dettol maker, Reckitt Benckiser. Losses were light, with Randgold Resources slipping -1.59% to 4336p.

Across the water, the Dow Jones powered 1.22% forward, to 15,628.

We start with news that Google has snapped up an almost 6% stake in Chinese PC maker Lenovo worth $750m, according to new information from the Hong Kong stock exchange. A total of 618.3m shares were bought, at $1.213 per share at the end of January.

It transpires the deal was part of the Motorola Mobility sell-off which Lenovo and Google announced via the Hong Kong stock exchange; Google sells the Motorola operation having paid more than $12bn for it two years ago.

Google though hangs onto much of the Motorola patents, including patents for Android software. Lenovo has been growing fast thanks to a largely acquisition-led strategy. It releases earnings mid February.

Next, QinetiQ reaffirms its previous guidance for Group performance in the full year to 31 March 2014 despite "the continuing challenging markets". EMEA Services delivered a "robust" performance while US operations performed in line with expectations.

Its Global Products side continues to be impacted by the drawdown of military forces. "Foreign Military Sales are partially offsetting reduced US Government spending but visibility of further significant orders and their timing remains limited."

Recently Merrill Lynch upgraded the stock to a Buy; its shares have seen some pressure since mid January.

Finally, property investment trust Shaftesbury claims continued demand with high occupancy numbers. Despite adverse weather conditions over Christmas and New Year, visitor numbers and spending, particularly in its restaurants, cafes and bars, have been resilient it claims.

"With continuing strong demand for all uses our portfolio remains substantially fully let," the predominantly London West End operator adds, "and our numerous refurbishment and reconfiguration schemes are letting quickly on completion."

As for acquisitons, in the period up to 31 December 2013 it acquired five properties at a total cost of £10.5 million and agreed terms to acquire a further three properties totalling £9.25 million.