Ashtead Group H1 Adj. Profit Rises; Group Revenue Up 18% At Constant Currency
Ashtead Group Plc (AHT.L) said its reported record first half performance with clear momentum across the business. Revenue increased 18%, while rental revenue was up 20% for the period. This revenue growth, combined with strong operational execution, resulted in adjusted profit before tax increasing 43% to $979 million, the Group said. Adjusted earnings per share, in cents, was 161.9 compared to 113.3.
Statutory profit before tax was $890 million compared to $646 million, previous year. Earnings per share, in cents, was 147.0 compared to 106.4.
Group revenue increased 19% (18% at constant currency) to $3.88 billion against COVID-19 affected comparatives.
The Board has increased the interim dividend 28% to 12.5 cents per share.
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CMA Finds Competition Concerns In Veolia-Suez Deal – Quick Facts
The Competition and Markets Authority or CMA in the UK has found that the merger of Veolia (VE) and Suez could lead to a loss of competition in the supply of several waste and water management services. This could lead to councils paying higher prices, with a knock-on effect on taxpayers, the CMA said.
Veolia and Suez have 5 working days to submit proposals to address the CMA’s concerns. The CMA noted that, if suitable proposals are not submitted, the deal will be referred for an in-depth phase 2 investigation.
China Cuts Reserve Requirement Ratio
China’s central bank lowered its reserve requirement ratio for the second time this year in order to support growth that is widely expected to weaken at the end of the year.
The People’s Bank of China decided to cut the RRR for major commercial banks by 50 basis points. The reduction will take effect on December 15.
The current cut in reserve requirement ratio is set to release CNY 1.2 trillion in long-term liquidity.
The latest PBoC announcement came after Premier Li Keqiang last week said the central bank will reduce the RRR in a timely way.
The bank had reduced the RRR by 0.5 percentage points in July.
The latest RRR cut will have only a small economic impact, Julian Evans-Pritchard, an economist at Capital Economics, said. However, it will form part of a wider effort to push down interest rates.
The economist expects policy rate cuts before long, but said that there still appears to be little appetite at the central bank for a sharp rebound in credit growth.
This RRR cut gives a signal to the market that the government has turned from aggressive policy actions in the second half of this year to stabilizing the economy in 2022, Iris Pang, an economist at ING, said.
ING expects the RRR cut to boost fixed asset investment in infrastructure, transportation and telecommunications in 2022, and this would be the main engine of economic growth.
Pre-market Movers: OP, SLHG, ARDX, WORX, LGVN…
The following are some of the stocks making big moves in Wednesday’s pre-market trading (as of 07.00 A.M. ET).
In the Green
OceanPal Inc. (OP) is up over 56% at $8.15
Skylight Health Group Inc. (SLHG) is up over 47% at $1.95
Ardelyx, Inc. (ARDX) is up over 28% at $1.46
SCWorx Corp. (WORX) is up over 22% at $1.83
Context Therapeutics Inc. (CNTX) is up over 10% at $7.60
Box, Inc. (BOX) is up over 9% at $25.65
Altimeter Growth Corp. (AGC) is up over 9% at $13.96
BeyondSpring Inc. (BYSI) is up over 8% at $13.90
180 Life Sciences Corp. (ATNF) is up over 7% at $6.85
Eros STX Global Corporation (ESGC) is up over 7% at $0.39
In the Red
Longeveron Inc. (LGVN) is down over 20% at $20.87
Aditxt, Inc. (ADTX) is down over 18% at $0.95
CTI BioPharma Corp. (CTIC) is down over 17% at $1.85
Cumberland Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CPIX) is down over 10% at $4.52
NLS Pharmaceutics AG (NLSP) is down over 7% at $1.87
Clarus Therapeutics Holdings, Inc. (CRXT) is down over 6% at $5.36
Why Vera Bradley Stock Falling In Pre-market?
Vera Bradley, Inc. (VRA) reported a decline in profit for the third quarter that also missed Wall Street estimates. Consolidated third quarter net revenues increased 7.9% over last year. The company’s updated guidance was also below market view.
Third-quarter adjusted profit per share was $0.18 compared to $0.30, prior year. On average, five analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report profit per share of $0.26, for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.
Net profit was $5.78 million or $0.17 per share compared to $8.87 million or $0.26 per share, a year ago.
Consolidated net revenues were $134.7 million, an increase of 7.9% from $124.8 million, a year ago. Analysts on average had estimated $138.01 million in revenue.
For the fourth quarter, the company’s updated expectations include: consolidated net revenues of $155 to $160 million; and EPS of $0.24 to $0.29. Analysts expect the company to report profit per share of $0.40 on revenue of $165.62 million.
Based on fourth quarter expectations, the company’s updated expectations for fiscal 2022 include: consolidated net revenues of $546 to $551 million; and EPS of $0.65 to $0.70. Analysts expect the company to report profit per share of $0.90 on revenue of $559.29 million.
Shares of Vera Bradley were down 15% in pre-market trade on Wednesday.