Ferguson FY21 Profit Climbs, Lifts Dividend; Sees Good Growth In New Year

EKF Diagnostics Announces Acquisition Of Advanced Diagnostic Laboratory LLC

EKF Diagnostics Holdings plc (EKF.L) has agreed to acquire the entire issued capital of Advanced Diagnostic Laboratory LLC, a Texas based PCR-focused testing laboratory for high complexity testing, for an initial consideration payment of $10 million payable in shares on completion, with further performance-based consideration payable over the following three year.

EKF Diagnostics said the ADL Health business is cash generative and the acquisition is anticipated to be immediately earnings enhancing. ADL Health’s laboratory covers the fields of clinical, forensic and microbiological tests.

Dollar Tree Climbs 11%, Raises Share Repurchase Authorization To $2.5 Bln

Shares of discount store company Dollar Tree, Inc. (DLTR) are up 11 percent on Wednesday’s trading after the company raised its share repurchase authorization to $2.5 billion. The company also unveiled plans to include new price points above $1 across all Dollar Tree Plus stores.

The company’s Board of Directors raised the share repurchase authorization by $1.05 billion to an aggregate amount of $2.5 billion, which includes around $1.45 billion made available for repurchases under the Board’s earlier repurchase authorization approved on March 2.

Dollar Tree also recently announced that on the basis of positive customer reaction and the success of its new Combo and Dollar Tree Plus store formats, it has plans to include new price points above $1 at all its Dollar Tree Plus stores and will soon start testing additional price points above $1 in selected legacy Dollar Tree stores.

Currently at $97.45, the stock has traded between $84.26 and $120.37 during the past 52 weeks.

Pre-market Movers: GOVX, ITRM, GREE, RGS, MTNB…

The following are some of the stocks making big moves in Wednesday’s pre-market trading (as of 6.00 A.M. EDT).

In the Green

GeoVax Labs, Inc. (GOVX) is up over 33% at $5.57

Iterum Therapeutics plc (ITRM) is up over 20% at $0.67

Greenidge Generation Holdings Inc. (GREE) is up over 15% at $27.50

Regis Corporation (RGS) is up over 10% at $4.55

Matinas BioPharma Holdings, Inc. (MTNB) is up over 10% at $1.56

Lucid Group, Inc. (LCID) is up over 9% at $26.78

Editas Medicine, Inc. (EDIT) is up over 6% at $55.92

Sarcos Technology and Robotics Corporation (STRC) is up over 6% at $9.50

U.S. Well Services, Inc. (USWS) is up over 6% at $0.89

Molecular Data Inc. (MKD) is up over 5% at $0.31

In the Red

PetroChina Company Limited (PTR) is down over 5% at $47.30

ABVC BioPharma, Inc. (ABVC) is down over 5% at $2.75

Borqs Technologies, Inc. (BRQS) is down over 5% at $0.60

EQT Corporation (EQT) is down over 4% at $21.00

DatChat, Inc. (DATS) is down over 4% at $13.97

Sensex slumps 410 points, Nifty drops below 17,750

Bharti Airtel was the top loser in the Sensex pack, followed by Tech Mahindra, Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Finserv, HCL Tech and Infosys.

Equity benchmark Sensex tumbled by 410 points on Tuesday, tracking losses in Infosys, ICICI Bank and HDFC twins amid a weak trend in global markets.

After plunging over 1,032.35 during the session, the 30-share Sensex pared some losses to end 410.28 points or 0.68% lower at 59,667.60. Similarly, the Nifty declined 106.50 points or 0.60% to 17,748.60.

Bharti Airtel was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding nearly 4%, followed by Tech Mahindra, Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Finserv, HCL Tech and Infosys.

On the other hand, PowerGrid, NTPC, Sun Pharma, Titan, Kotak Bank and Dr Reddy’s were among the gainers.

"Following negative global cues and profit-booking in IT and realty sectors, the domestic market hit rough weather, however, it witnessed a rebound towards the closing," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

A rise in U.S. bond yields and crude oil price along with the Chinese crisis acted as key headwinds to the ongoing rally in the global market, he added.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai and Hong Kong ended with gains, while Tokyo and Seoul were in the red.

Stock exchanges in Europe were also trading on a negative note in mid-session deals.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude rose 0.89% to $79.42 per barrel.

Ferguson FY21 Profit Climbs, Lifts Dividend; Sees Good Growth In New Year

British plumbing and heating products distributor Ferguson Plc (FERG.L) reported Tuesday that its fiscal 2021 profit before tax was $1.89 billion, 46.4 percent higher than prior year’s restated $1.29 billion.

Basic earnings per share grew 57.8 percent to 674.7 cents from 427.5 cents last year.

Underlying trading profit was $2.10 billion, up 31.8 percent from $1.59 billion a year ago. Headline earnings per share were 688.1 cents, compared to 508.0 cents last year.

Adjusted EBITDA increased 28.8 percent from last year to $2.27 billion.

Revenue of $22.79 billion increased 14.3 percent from last year’s $19.94 billion with accelerated market share gains. Revenue was 13 percent higher on an organic basis with a further 1.5 percent from acquisitions.

Further, the company announced final dividend of 166.5c per share, bringing total dividend to 239.4c per share, an increase of 15 percent.

Looking ahead, Kevin Murphy, Group Chief Executive, said, “The Group started the new financial year with strong momentum, with organic revenue growth at similar levels to Q4 2020/21. We expect a year of good growth overall but we anticipate a tapering in the second half on tougher prior year comparatives.”

Citing the strong momentum in the business and the agility of its business model, the company said it is well positioned to have a year of good growth and the Board continues to look forward to the medium term with confidence.