The strong start to the week got a dose of reality from poor cooperate updates today, with a number of firms concerning investors by scaling back 2014 forecasts. The list was headlined by Rolls Royce, who lead the industrials sector lower to act as the major drag on the FTSE
which has lagged behind most of mainland Europe.
Rio Tinto are making good on their pledge for greater investor returns, announcing a 15% hike in dividend after a surge in H2 profits. The cost cuts and scaling back of large projects have also boosted cash flows by 22% and led to a greater than expected reduction in debt. The stock’s initial move was higher, but was dragged back by the overall sector move by mid-morning.
An otherwise fairly robust set of results from Lloyds was tarnished by further provisions for mis-sold products, an all too familiar story from the UK banks. The bank have set aside a further £3.5bln for claims and missed analyst expectations for 2013, but will still risk an outcry from politicians and taxpayers for a £1.7m bonus to CEO Antonio Horta-Osorio.
Tate and Lyle took a dive on the open after weaker sales and sucralose prices led to a reduction in full year outlook. Sucralose sweetener prices have been pegged back by cheap supply from China and are due to take a further hit of up to 15% in the current quarter. Full year profits are now expected to be broadly in line with last year which at £329m is below prior analyst expectations of £340m. The stock trades down 17% on the news, which is especially harsh given its flat performance from November up to the release, while the rest of the market enjoyed such a stellar run
Another firm pegging back expectations is Rolls Royce, who said defence cuts in Europe and the U.S will stifle growth this year. Shares tumbled 11% on the update, which adds another name to the list of firms warning that 2014 could be a tough year for investors. Shares have increased 3 fold since the depths of the financial crisis, so many long term holders have obviously felt the timing is right to trim their holdings at the expense of the biggest single day dent to the price in years.
CMC Markets is an execution only service provider. The material (whether or not it states any opinions) is for general information purposes only, and does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment or other advice on which reliance should be placed. No opinion given in the material constitutes a recommendation by CMC Markets or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.