Tuesday's most followed: Falklands Oil & Gas, Borders & Southern, BP, Weir Group, GKN, Provexis, Premier GoldReported by Proactive Investors on Tuesday, 31 July 2012 (on July 31, 2012)
Today’s most read RNS statements came from Falkland operating *Falklands Oil & Gas (LON:FOGL) *and* Borders & Southern (LON:BOR)*.
Borders announced the completion of its two well drilling programme in the Falklands, saying that it has now plugged and abandoned the disappointing 61/25-1 well that targeted the Stebbing prospect.
The Leiv Eiriksson rig in Borders & Southern’s programme will now be moved to FOGL’s acreage in the East Falkland basin to drill the huge Loligo prospect, after which the company has one further well contracted with the rig.
Meanwhile, Borders has yet to reveal the results of its analysis of the Darwin gas-condensate discovery, where it is currently assessing the relative liquid content.
Borders fell four percent to 17 pence in early deals, while FOGL climbed 2.5 percent to 71.25 pence.
Oriel Securities today downgraded Borders to “reduce”, saying that Darwin looks like a challenging development given the water depth and its distance from the Falklands. He added that further resources need to be discovered to advance the project and the company is not funded for further drilling.
According to the analyst, FOGL’s Loligo well could be worth £85 per share on success.
Other popular statements included results reports from oil and gas supermajor* BP (LON:BP.)* and fellow FTSE 100 constituent engineering group *Weir (LON:WEIR)*.
BP was the heaviest faller in the top flight today, slumping four percent to 426.55 pence as its quarterly report showed that it took a US$847 million charge resulting from the disastrous Macondo oil spill in 2010.
The group has so far paid out US$8.8 billion in individual and business claims and government payments related to the oil spill.
Since the start of 2010, BP has agreed to sell assets worth US$24 billion and is targeting to reach US$38 billion by the end of next year.
Adjusted profit for the June quarter came in at of US$3.7billion, compared with US$5.7 billion in the same period in 2011 and US$4.8 billion for the first quarter of 2012.
BP said the results reflected weaker oil and US gas prices together with reductions in output due to extensive planned maintenance, particularly affecting high-margin production from the Gulf of Mexico and lower income from its Russian joint venture TNK-BP.
“Moving into 2013, we expect earnings momentum to build as we complete payments into the Trust Fund, as high-value production comes back on line, and as the impact of new projects ramps up,” said chief executive of BP Bob Dudley.
Weir also showed up among the heaviest fallers in the top flight after saying that its oil and gas business is being affected by challenging conditions in the pressure pumping market.
The group said its full year pre-tax profits should be between £440-460 million with the low end of the range reflecting no improvement in upstream oil and gas.
The report was otherwise positive with Weir saying that its revenues surged 29 percent to £1.33 billion in the 26 weeks to June 29, resulting in a 27 percent jump in pre-tax profits to £226 million.
Earnings per share climbed 27 percent to 76.4 pence and the group’s interim dividend was raised by eight percent to eight pence per share.
“In the second half we anticipate a strong performance from the minerals and power & industrial divisions and some improvement in oil & gas upstream pressure pumping aftermarket demand relative to the second quarter, although the timing of any improvement remains uncertain,” said chief executive of Weir Keith Cochrane.
Car and aeroplane parts manufacturing *GKN (LON:GKN) *did better after unveiling its half-yearly results.
Sales for the first six months of the year came in at £3.25 billion, up 16 percent from the same period of 2011, while pre-tax profits jumped 43 percent to £289 million, prompting GKN to hike its interim dividend by 20 percent to 2.4 pence per share.
All of GKN’s four divisions saw improvement in margins and sales with its newly acquired businesses, Stromag and Getrag Driveline Products, also performing well.
“The macroeconomic environment continues to be uncertain, with increasing headwinds in European auto markets,” said chief executive of GKN Nigel Stein.
“However, with the benefit of a good first half and the Group's broad exposure to global markets, our expectations for 2012 remain unchanged.”
BP, Weir and GKN all were among the most searched for UK stocks this morning as traders monitored market reaction to today’s reports. They also searched for* Provexis (LON:PXS) *to find out the reason behind today’s slump in its share price, which dropped nearly 20 percent to 1.51 pence in early deals.
The sports nutrition products firm posted a loss of £4.33 million for the full year to end March compared with £2.48 million a year earlier, partly as a result of non-cash amortisation and impairment charges totalling £1.39 million and restructuring costs of £0.46 million.
Provexis had £1.45 million in the bank at the end of March compared with £7.55 million a year earlier.
The group said that the economic climate remains challenging and it did not expect this to change this year.
However, chief executive Stephen Moon said Provexis could benefit from the interest in sports that the Olympic Games will generate and the firm expected to achieve its growth target for the full year.
During the year the firm also cut non-core pipeline projects to reduce costs, such as its Crohn’s disease trial resulting in savings of £1.15 million, while also reducing costs by developing the ingredients used in its healthy heart Fruitflow products.
Provexis was the heaviest faller in London markets this morning, while *Premier Gold (LON:PGR)* topped the leaderboard with a 25 percent surge to 0.32 pence.
The gold explorer, which operates in the Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan, kicked off an exploration programme on the Cholokkaindy licence in June to establish a geological resource on the licence in 2013.
As part of the work programme this season, the company expects to drill a total of 1,500 metres in the target area of the Talbaital prospect, as well as the Jarkonush prospect.
A minimum of six holes will be drilled to depths of 250 metres with initial results expected in the final quarter of the year.
The programme is designed to extend and define the length and depth of the known surface mineralisation and support the correlation of mineralised structures across the targeted area.
“This is an exciting time for Premier Gold as we move in to the next stages of developing the prospect which will provide a maiden geological resource by 2013, the start of the process of proving up a commercial scale resource capable of driving real value for shareholders,” said chief operating officer of Premier Richard Nolan.
On message boards, some traders said demand for the company’s shares was driven by expectations of positive sampling and trenching results from the project.
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