Proactiveinvestors United Kingdom articles http://www.tech-capital.com Proactiveinvestors United Kingdom articles RSS feed en Thu, 19 Apr 2018 14:54:14 +0100 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Genera CMS action@proactiveinvestors.com (Proactiveinvestors) action@proactiveinvestors.com (Proactiveinvestors) RESAAS Services Inc welcomes expanded scope of agreement with Rhode Island Association http://www.tech-capital.com/companies/news/195295/resaas-services-inc-welcomes-expanded-scope-of-agreement-with-rhode-island-association-195295.html Wed, 18 Apr 2018 13:19:00 +0100 http://www.tech-capital.com/companies/news/195295/resaas-services-inc-welcomes-expanded-scope-of-agreement-with-rhode-island-association-195295.html Lite Access Technologies names Arun Gupta as new finance chief http://www.tech-capital.com/companies/news/195192/lite-access-technologies-names-arun-gupta-as-new-finance-chief-195192.html Tue, 17 Apr 2018 14:48:00 +0100 http://www.tech-capital.com/companies/news/195192/lite-access-technologies-names-arun-gupta-as-new-finance-chief-195192.html Netflix, Tesla, Celanese Corp and more - PRE-MARKET http://www.tech-capital.com/companies/news/195155/netflix-tesla-celanese-corp-and-more-pre-market-195155.html Tue, 17 Apr 2018 07:45:00 +0100 http://www.tech-capital.com/companies/news/195155/netflix-tesla-celanese-corp-and-more-pre-market-195155.html Crimson Tide, the smart mobile group, set for significant expansion after investing in its future http://www.tech-capital.com/companies/news/194924/crimson-tide-the-smart-mobile-group-set-for-significant-expansion-after-investing-in-its-future-194924.html Fri, 13 Apr 2018 08:01:00 +0100 http://www.tech-capital.com/companies/news/194924/crimson-tide-the-smart-mobile-group-set-for-significant-expansion-after-investing-in-its-future-194924.html Universal mCloud partners with Silicon Valley's Cypress Envirosystems to grow smart-building monitoring market in Canada http://www.tech-capital.com/companies/news/194755/universal-mcloud-partners-with-silicon-valley-s-cypress-envirosystems-to-grow-smart-building-monitoring-market-in-canada-194755.html Wed, 11 Apr 2018 09:05:00 +0100 http://www.tech-capital.com/companies/news/194755/universal-mcloud-partners-with-silicon-valley-s-cypress-envirosystems-to-grow-smart-building-monitoring-market-in-canada-194755.html Information Services hails C$5.6mln tech contract with Yukon government http://www.tech-capital.com/companies/news/194277/information-services-hails-c56mln-tech-contract-with-yukon-government-194277.html Wed, 04 Apr 2018 15:41:00 +0100 http://www.tech-capital.com/companies/news/194277/information-services-hails-c56mln-tech-contract-with-yukon-government-194277.html Internet of Things making strides with New Hope joint venture; reaches channel agreement http://www.tech-capital.com/companies/news/194271/internet-of-things-making-strides-with-new-hope-joint-venture-reaches-channel-agreement-194271.html Wed, 04 Apr 2018 10:10:00 +0100 http://www.tech-capital.com/companies/news/194271/internet-of-things-making-strides-with-new-hope-joint-venture-reaches-channel-agreement-194271.html Universal mCloud's China roll-out continues with SCN partnership; shares up http://www.tech-capital.com/companies/news/194255/universal-mcloud-s-china-roll-out-continues-with-scn-partnership-shares-up-194255.html Wed, 04 Apr 2018 09:15:00 +0100 http://www.tech-capital.com/companies/news/194255/universal-mcloud-s-china-roll-out-continues-with-scn-partnership-shares-up-194255.html Smart Employee Benefits well positioned for growth in fiscal 2018 after watershed year http://www.tech-capital.com/companies/news/194184/smart-employee-benefits-well-positioned-for-growth-in-fiscal-2018-after-watershed-year-194184.html Tue, 03 Apr 2018 14:33:00 +0100 http://www.tech-capital.com/companies/news/194184/smart-employee-benefits-well-positioned-for-growth-in-fiscal-2018-after-watershed-year-194184.html RESAAS Services set to start trading on TSX Venture Exchange http://www.tech-capital.com/companies/news/194174/resaas-services-set-to-start-trading-on-tsx-venture-exchange-194174.html Tue, 03 Apr 2018 11:13:00 +0100 http://www.tech-capital.com/companies/news/194174/resaas-services-set-to-start-trading-on-tsx-venture-exchange-194174.html Wheatley reckons 2017 will be StatPro's best year ever http://www.tech-capital.com/companies/stocktube/7105/wheatley-reckons-2017-will-be-statpro-s-best-year-ever-7105.html Releasing 2016 results, Justin Wheatley, StatPro's chief executive, told Proactive that the firm was looking forward to an exciting 2017.
Last year saw revenue for its cloud-based analytics platform grow 48% year-on-year on a constant currency basis, while group revenue rose 24% to £37.55mln.
"I think that 2017 is going to be our best year ever," he told Andrew Scott.
"The forward contracted revenue book looks good at £46mln," he said, adding that ten clients were already using Revolution Performance already, with 30 others interested.

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Wed, 15 Mar 2017 07:26:00 +0000 http://www.tech-capital.com/companies/stocktube/7105/wheatley-reckons-2017-will-be-statpro-s-best-year-ever-7105.html
CUI Global Inc's bioMethane contract is huge opportunity, says Bill Clough http://www.tech-capital.com/companies/stocktube/6937/cui-global-inc-s-biomethane-contract-is-huge-opportunity-says-bill-clough-6937.html William Clough, of Energy tech group CUI Global Inc, said it latest contract valued at over $750,000 from a major European industrial company to provide its bio-methane-to-grid system was a "huge opportunity".
"They chose us after a very intense search for what they felt would be the best and most efficient biomethane terminal creator in Europe and that was us. We've done almost 22 of these now in the UK," he said.
The company boss added that these are large scale biomethane terminals that connect the biomethane producer, whether that be a landfill, big brewery or big farming consortium to the network.
"We think this is a huge opportunity for us, especially in continental Europe," he told Andrew Scott.

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Fri, 17 Feb 2017 10:56:00 +0000 http://www.tech-capital.com/companies/stocktube/6937/cui-global-inc-s-biomethane-contract-is-huge-opportunity-says-bill-clough-6937.html
Keywords Studios Spov acquisition offers synergies to both companies, says Day http://www.tech-capital.com/companies/stocktube/6931/keywords-studios-spov-acquisition-offers-synergies-to-both-companies-says-day-6931.html Andrew Day, chief executive at the video games service provider, talks us through the rationale behind the £1.2mln purchase of Spov, which supplies visual special effects to video games and movies.
"It takes a very high-end, rather small scale business in Spov and allows us to introduce it (Spov) to our client base of hundreds  of game developers around the world," he tells Proactive's Andrew Scott.

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Fri, 17 Feb 2017 06:11:00 +0000 http://www.tech-capital.com/companies/stocktube/6931/keywords-studios-spov-acquisition-offers-synergies-to-both-companies-says-day-6931.html
Convergence of telecoms and IT increasingly required, says AdEPT Telecom's finance director http://www.tech-capital.com/companies/stocktube/6862/convergence-of-telecoms-and-it-increasingly-required-says-adept-telecom-s-finance-director-6862.html AdEPT Telecom plc's finance director John Swaite talks Proactive through the firm's new revolving £30m credit facility and its latest acquisition of Our IT Department Limited -  a specialist in IT services.
"The convergence of telecommunications and IT is an increasing requirement - not only across the AdEPT customer base, but through customers in general.
"We are targeting  that enterprise and public sector base and this highly skilled team at Our IT  is just going to complement and enhance AdEPTS existing products and services."

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Mon, 06 Feb 2017 15:33:00 +0000 http://www.tech-capital.com/companies/stocktube/6862/convergence-of-telecoms-and-it-increasingly-required-says-adept-telecom-s-finance-director-6862.html
2016 transformational for Aggregated Micro Power Holdings plc, says boss http://www.tech-capital.com/companies/stocktube/6629/2016-transformational-for-aggregated-micro-power-holdings-plc-says-boss-6629.html 2016 has been very much a 'transformational' year for energy and biomass group Aggregated Micro Power Holdings plc (LON:AMPH), said boss Richard Burrell.
The chief executive spoke to Proactive about among other things, the latest half year results and its latest acquisition - the fourth in the wood fuels space this year and his confidence  on the years to come.
PEL is a wood pellet supplier for commercial boilers and was bought for 6.6mln new company shares and £500,000 in cash. It serves around 400 boilers mainly in Yorkshire, East Anglia and Lincolnshire.
Coupled with acquisitions earlier this year of Forest Fuels, Midlands Wood Fuel and the customer base of Mi-Generation Limited, the deal sees the group gain about 20% of the wood pellet market and 10% of the wood chip market.

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Mon, 19 Dec 2016 14:08:00 +0000 http://www.tech-capital.com/companies/stocktube/6629/2016-transformational-for-aggregated-micro-power-holdings-plc-says-boss-6629.html
Broker spotlight, including Direct Line, Admiral, Zoopla and Intertek http://www.tech-capital.com/columns/broker-spotlight/22292/broker-spotlight-including-direct-line-admiral-zoopla-and-intertek-22292.html Broker heavyweight JP Morgan Cazenove has its sights on UK insurers and has dialled up Direct Line (LON:DLG) with an upgrade.

It moves the shares to 'overweight' from 'neutral' prevously, while the target is punted up to 349p from 240p.

"UK non-life insurers are facing a tough environment at the moment, with all the profit drivers (i.e. underwriting, investment income and ancillary income) under pressure," says analyst Ashik Musaddi.

But  any hint of rising pricing would be good for any pure play motor insurers such as Direct Line, Admiral, and Esure.

Admiral (LON:ADM) has its target driven upward to 1,388p from 1,134p while the rating remains 'underweight'.

Esure (LON:ESUR) is kept at 'overweight' with  the target lifted to 299p from 280p.

US broker gives property portal Zoopla (LON:ZPLA) a kick today, raising the target to 400p from 269p and repeating a 'buy'.

"In our view, the acquisition of uSwitch has raised the bar with respect to the services offered by property portals and enhanced the customer journey. We also believe that this enhanced offering will be very difficult for its competitors to replicate or match. We expect the acquisition to be significantly earnings enhancing," it said in a note.

On the downgrade front today, Deutsche is downbeat on Intertek (LON:ITRK), downgrading the stock to 'hold' from 'buy'. The target price is also reduced to 2654p from 2725p.

"We believe that there is a considerable opportunity for the incoming CEO, André Lacroix, to effect a degree of cultural change in the business (more focus on cross selling, possible changes to incentive structures) but that this may take sometime to effect and is now partly priced in," the broker said.

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Thu, 28 May 2015 09:03:00 +0100 http://www.tech-capital.com/columns/broker-spotlight/22292/broker-spotlight-including-direct-line-admiral-zoopla-and-intertek-22292.html
Broker spotlight including DCC, Royal Mail, Burberry and Glaxo http://www.tech-capital.com/columns/broker-spotlight/22268/broker-spotlight-including-dcc-royal-mail-burberry-and-glaxo-22268.html Energy distributor DCC (LON:DCC) gets an upgrade from analysts at German bank Berenberg today, who lifted the target price on the shares to £5,850 from £4,780.

It comes after the group's acquisition of Butagaz, France’s second largest LPG business and DCC’s largest acquisition to date.

"We believe the lower oil price is putting increased pressure on oil majors to dispose of downstream assets and view DCC, the market leader in Energy distribution in Europe, as a likely beneficiary," said the broker, rating the shares 'buy'.

Royal Mail (LON:RMG) was delivered an upgrade from City firm Cantor, which lifted the rating to 'hold' from 'sell'. Shares in the London-listed postal giant did well in early trades.

Cantor also rose its target price on the shares to 500p from 440p.

Heavyweight JP Morgan Cazenove repeated an 'underweight' rating on GlaxoSmithKline (LON:GSK) and lowered its target to 1,320p from 1,380p previously.

Fashion group Burberry (LON:BRBY) gets its target price slashed to 2,319p today from 2,513p by Goldman Sachs.

Last week, the group's full year results got a disappointed reaction from investors.

Positives on revenues and pre-tax profit were overshadowed by a 1.1% drop in adjusted profits, with FX costs weighing, and a cautious outlook statement.

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Tue, 26 May 2015 09:24:00 +0100 http://www.tech-capital.com/columns/broker-spotlight/22268/broker-spotlight-including-dcc-royal-mail-burberry-and-glaxo-22268.html
Broker spotlight, including HSBC, Plus500, Rio Tinto, ITV, Reed Elsevier... http://www.tech-capital.com/columns/broker-spotlight/22220/broker-spotlight-including-hsbc-plus500-rio-tinto-itv-reed-elsevier-22220.html US broker Bernstein has downgraded HSBC (LON:HSBA) as the risk/reward balance is evenly matched at the Asia-focused bank.

Potential upside drivers such as the yield and US rate rises are priced in, but they also provide downside support leaving the shares with little place to go.

“We don’t see any clear avenues for management to break out of this deadlock now – especially in an environment where income is sluggish.

“Looks like a slog to keep income and costs flat and continue to build capital.” 

‘Market perform’ in the new rating with a 650p target price. 

Spread bet firm Plus500 (LON:PLUS) tumbled yesterday as it froze 55% of UK accounts due to money laundering checks.

Liberum remains a buyer following the decline, but says how many clients it loses and the longer term brand damage are the key issues. 

Its price target is under review but fair value is 490-570p, says the broker.

Bwin.party digital entertainment (LON:BWIN) has been kept as ‘underperform’ by Credit Suisse with a target price of 80p despite the recent outbreak of bid interest.

The broker says there is strategic rationale for the potential acquisition of bwin.party by GVC or 888 Holdings, with significant synergy potential.

But the broker sees limited upside to the current share price, even in a scenario where a deal completes. 'Fair value' from a deal is 114p, Credit Suisse adds.

US broker Jefferies remains switched on to broadcaster ITV (LON:ITV), rating the shares a 'buy' and lifting the target price to 291p from 231p.

"ITV remains a focused way to play the UK..," says analyst David Reynolds, who add that the broker thinks it's uniquely positioned to leverage international syndication opportunity.

"The M&A debate continues to rage and ITV looks more attractive not less as Crozier's business model transformation sustains."

In another upgrade, heavyweight Goldman raises its rating on information provider Reed Elsevier (LON:REL) to 'buy' from 'neutral'. 

The broker note boosted the shares, which were up 2.1% making the company  the second biggest gainer on Footsie.

Sage Group (LON:SGE) was given a price target upgrade by Jefferies to 650p, from 575p, and the recommendation was a repeated 'buy'.

Among the big losers was miner BHP Billiton (LON:BLT) which shed 2.84% to 1,431p.

HSBC moved its rating on the group to 'reduce' from hold, while JP Morgan Cazenove also had the daggers out.

It lowered the target price to 1,425p from 1,600p and retained a 'neutral' stance.

Rival mining giant Rio Tinto (LON:RIO), meanwhile,  has finally signed off the huge underground development plan for the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine in Mongolia. 

Bank of America Merrill Lynch say it is good news though it had already included underground production commencing in 2019, in its forecasts, hence the target price remains 2,700p and the rating ‘underperform’.

Satellite communications group Inmarsat (LON:ISAT) should not be affected longer term by the rocket failure that delayed its latest satellite launch, Merrills said.

The rocket would have launched I-5 F3, the satellite required for global mobile coverage, but the delay is expected to have a small negative effect on 2015 earnings. Buy says the broker.

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Tue, 19 May 2015 11:23:00 +0100 http://www.tech-capital.com/columns/broker-spotlight/22220/broker-spotlight-including-hsbc-plus500-rio-tinto-itv-reed-elsevier-22220.html
Broker spotlight, including Bwin.party, 888 Holdings, Royal Mail Group, SABMiller and BHP Billiton http://www.tech-capital.com/columns/broker-spotlight/22207/broker-spotlight-including-bwinparty-888-holdings-royal-mail-group-sabmiller-and-bhp-billiton-22207.html Online betting group Bwin.party (LON:BP.Y) was in the news this morning and received an upgrade from banking group Exane BNP Paribas, which raised the stock to 'neutral' from 'underperform'.

It came as 888 Holdings (LON:888), itself the subject of a failed £700mln takeover bid by bookmaker William Hill in February, confirmed market talk that it had made a takeover proposal to Bwin.

Elsewhere, postal group Royal Mail (LON:RMG)  was sent positive vibes from the investment bank Investec, which moved to 'buy' from 'reduce' on the stock.

Earlier this month,  the group was boosted after Dutch-owned postal firm Whistl, formerly TNT, has suspended deliveries after private equity backer LDC pulled its funding to help expand the business.

JPMorgan Cazenove is upbeat on brewer SABMiller (LON:SAB), repeating an 'overweight' stance and the share price target lifted to 4,100p from 4,000p. Last week, it announced it was quenching its thirst for craft beers with a move to buy London-based brewer Meantime.

The biggest loser on Footsie was diversified mining giant BHP Billiton (LON:BLT), down 4.21%, to 1,467p. It was  downgraded to 'hold' from 'buy' by Morningstar.

Another notable downgrade on Monday was BP (LON:BP.), which was lowered to 'sell' from 'neutral' by heavyweight Goldman.

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Mon, 18 May 2015 08:49:00 +0100 http://www.tech-capital.com/columns/broker-spotlight/22207/broker-spotlight-including-bwinparty-888-holdings-royal-mail-group-sabmiller-and-bhp-billiton-22207.html
Broker spotlight: Tullow Oil, Travis Perkins, Talk Talk, SuperGroup and Sunrise Resources http://www.tech-capital.com/columns/broker-spotlight/16622/broker-spotlight-tullow-oil-travis-perkins-talk-talk-supergroup-and-sunrise-resources--18269.html Tullow Oil (LON:TLW) investors enjoyed a favourable weekend ruling by an international maritime tribunal that allowed it to continue developing its TEN oil field off the coast of Ghana.

Last month, investors became aware of a maritime border dispute between Ghana and Ivory Coast which could delay Tullow's multi-billion dollar Tweneboa, Enyenra and Ntomme (TEN) oil project.

But The Hamburg-based International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) ruled on Saturday the project could continue on the condition that Ghana does not start any new drilling in the area.

Broker VSA thinks that whatever the final outcome is, Tullow will be able to pursue the development of the TEN field within either country.

“Having this project on stream by mid-2016 is important for Tullow as it would provide the necessary cash flow for the company to support its debt related payments.”

JP Morgan, meanwhile, said it anticipates a repeat of commentary on TEN in this week’s trading update from Tullow.

“We also look for an update on the status of pipeline negotiations across Kenya and Uganda and an update on the potential to increase contingent resources in the South Lokichar basin given recent drilling and ongoing extended well tests.”

The weekend DIYer may be a rarer breed these days but that isn't stopping the building trade in general making progress, if JP Morgan's upgrade to Travis Perkins (LON:TPK) is anything to go by.

It shunts the target price on the shares up to 2,300p from 2,100p before. The rating is "overweight".

The broker said the bears have been saying the construction market may slow pre- general election or see aggressive action from the competition.

"However, trading year to date suggests neither is happening; the market remains robust and the group continues to take share. Management has reiterated FY revenue guidance. The group remains committed to its expansion plans and is unconcerned by competitor rollout of similar formats," said analyst Emily Biddulph.

Also in broker land today, telecoms group Talk Talk (LON:TALK) gets a thumbs up from Credit Suisee, which raises the share price target to 425p from 300p. The rating is a repeated 'overweight'.

It reckons the firm will exceed its revenue growth guidance (driven by fibre, TV and mobile subscriber growth) and therefore get close to its implied full year March 2017 underlying earnings target of £475mln. The broker forecasts £465mln - 14% ahead of consensus.

Conversely, the same broker is downbeat on global equipment giant Rotork (LON:ROR), cutting the price target to 2,315p from 2,535p, saying oil and gas headwinds are building.

It has reduced its group 2015 EBITA forecasts by 4% to £148mln. US broker Jefferies has also taken a red pen to the shares - cutting them to 2340p.

Fashion chain SuperGroup (LON:SGP) has been given a boost in the form of an upgrade from RBC Capital. It raises the rating on the shares to 'outperform' from 'sector perform' and advances the target to 1,150p from 1,000p.

Among the small caps, recent testwork at Sunrise Resources’ (LON:SRES) County Line project in the US showed a diatomite product could be generated to commercial standards for use in  filtration, the firm told a wider update on its Nevada projects.

Diatomite is mainly used, after heat treatment with or without flux addition, in the filtration of beer, wine, fats and fruit juices and also as industrial filler.

House broker Northland Capital Partners said: "The initial production of the higher-value filtration grade diatomite product from the County Line Diatomite deposit is a very important development for the company.

“Previously the large proportion of broken diatoms from Sunrise’s preliminary testing seemed to be a potential limiting factor in the production of filter grade product.

“This latest work demonstrates that this is not the case and significantly improves the attractiveness of the project.”

Alecto Minerals (LON:ALO) has unveiled an initial non-JORC code resource of almost a quarter of a million ounces of gold at the Kerboulé project in Burkina Faso, which it acquired last year from Kaizen Discovery

The positive result was hailed by Northland, which said it demonstrates why the Company acquired the Kerboule Gold Project last year.

“In the current market conditions where assets are considerably undervalued, it makes sense for juniors acquire post discovery projects when ounces in the ground can be bought at a lower cost than would be required to drill them.”

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Mon, 27 Apr 2015 12:14:00 +0100 http://www.tech-capital.com/columns/broker-spotlight/16622/broker-spotlight-tullow-oil-travis-perkins-talk-talk-supergroup-and-sunrise-resources--18269.html
Broker spotlight - BHP Billiton, Vedanta, Rio Tinto, Pearson, Virgin Money http://www.tech-capital.com/columns/broker-spotlight/16530/broker-spotlight-bhp-billiton-vedanta-rio-tinto-pearson-virgin-money--18174.html Citi got the red pen out and scrapped its 'buy' rating on iron ore heavy major BHP Billiton (LON:BLT) this morning in a bearish note on the miners.

The research entitled ‘End of the Iron Age’, predicts iron ore prices to now average US$45/t in 2015 and sinking further to US$40/t in 2016.

As a result, analysts at the US bank moved their sector stance down to 'neutral' from 'bullish.

"We think the self-help, cost cutting and improving capital structure catalysts have played out and the sector is increasingly more vulnerable to lower commodity prices and macro conditions, in particular a strengthening US$, slowing Chinese economy and Citi’s view of continued oversupply in the bulk commodities."

It sees a  tough one- two years ahead for the sector.

On BHP, Citi is now 'neutral' and has a target price of £15.50 per share, down from its previous £18.

“The reduction in our target price and the change to our recommendation are largely driven by the iron ore price downgrade,” it said, adding that other commodity prices have also been lowered, including coking coal.

Citi has also moved to 'neutral' on  BHP, Glencore and Rio Tinto, and downgraded to 'sell' recommendation on Anglo American and Vedanta. 

"We also downgrade Gem Diamonds and Lonmin to Neutral," it told the note to clients.

Elsewhere, Jefferies took a look at publishers Pearson and Reed Elsevier (LON:REL) but takes a considerably different view of both. 

On the latter, the broker upped its target price to 1060p per share from 884p, keeping its 'hold' rating.

Analyst David Reynolds said Reed appeared to "have constructed something of a 'dull but reliable' reputation in recent years, something of a turnaround for the REL of the noughties... And while we remain holders, in many ways REL seems to be navigating the digital challenge more ably than PSON."

Pearson (LON:PSON), meanwhile, the owner of the Financial Times, was cut to 'underperform' from 'buy' and had its share price cut by 50p to 1184p. 

It says the share price has risen to a "lofty multiple" and the broker believes that the major restructuring may prove to be simpler than the firm delivering in what is now a "digital world".

"We see real digital advances beginning to emerge as tablet, iTunes U and Google Apps for Education deliver real utility. Top educators now seek to publish 'text books' for free; execution risks are rising," it said.

Meanwhile there’s much to like about Virgin Money (LON:VM) , according to analysts at German bank Berenberg who have initiated a 'hold' rating on the challenger bank with a 400p price target. The currrent price is 418.30p.

It reckons the stock should prove a "relative winner" in the sector, on which the broker generally is negative.

“While UK mortgage growth remains subdued, intermediaries are gaining market share, a result of regulation that incentivises third-party distribution. 

“An established intermediary offering means Virgin Money is well placed to take advantage of this structural trend.”

In small caps, Richland Resources (LON:RLD) has started pre-production work at its Capricorn sapphire project in Queensland.

Samples run through a pilot plant have recovered sapphires and work is underway to finalise the pit design, layout and mining plan.

Charlie Long, analyst at broker Sanlam, said the Capricorn mine was potentially the largest sapphire mine in the world. 

“Previous owners did not brand the mine’s product, so Richland will be the first company to promote Australian sapphires in a significant way,” he said.

“Given the potential volumes of the mine, Richland is entering a transformational period.”

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Mon, 13 Apr 2015 08:07:00 +0100 http://www.tech-capital.com/columns/broker-spotlight/16530/broker-spotlight-bhp-billiton-vedanta-rio-tinto-pearson-virgin-money--18174.html
Broker spotlight - easyJet, Ryanair, IAG and Marks & Spencer http://www.tech-capital.com/columns/broker-spotlight/16492/broker-spotlight-easyjet-ryanair-iag-and-marks-spencer-18135.html As many travellers used the Easter break to jet away, broker heavyweight JP Morgan Cazenove has European airlines on its radar.

It says it favours the low cost carriers over the legacy firms as the budget flyers offer better potential for investors, due to the unrelenting pressure from Middle East flyers and stagnating margins for the legacies.

EasyJet (LON:EZJ) is rated 'overweight' while the target price flies up to 2050p from 1815p. Ryanair (LON:RYA) is upgraded to 'overweight' from 'neutral', while British Airways owner IAG (LON:IAG) is downgraded to 'neutral' from 'overweight'.

The broker kicks off coverage on Central/ Eastern Europe low-cost flyer Wizz Air with an 'overweight' rating and price target of 1,700p (current price - 1,460p). 

"Wizz is a low-cost, virtual airline, outsourcing wherever possible. It enjoys high aircraft utilisation, has a robust ancillary menu, a meaningful cost advantage over Legacy peers, and an appetite for growth."

Analyst Jamie Baker notes that sluggish consolidation in the sector suggests the industry is incapable of the restructuring seen in the US, for example, which is currently the most profitable market.

"....without meaningful European hub closures and significant labour cost harmonisation, we don’t envision a time when the returns of, say, Lufthansa could rival those of Ryanair," he says.

High Street bellwether Marks (LON:MKS), meanwhile, caught the eye of US broker Jefferies, which has lifted the price target on the shares to 625p from 550p and repeated a 'buy' stance, following fourth quarter numbers last week.

"Online sales have returned to good growth which is encouraging for FY15/16. 

"Unfortunately FX and macro-economic instability have hit international profits but despite this we increase our FY15E and 16E PBT by 3-4% and raise our price target to 625p to reflect this upgrade and the market's re-rating," analyst Caroline  Gulliver said in a note to clients..

Meanwhile, German bank Berenberg today repeats a 'buy' call on troubled construction group Balfour Beatty (LON:BBY) following its 2014 results, saying it believes the firm is "fixable".

The firm has the most blue-sky upside in its (the broker's) construction contractors coverage but it highlights risks remain.

"Recovering profitability is mainly dependent on improving the internal risk management process, not just cost savings. 

"Furthermore, even after recognising the additional £118m risk provision at the FY 2014 results, our working capital analysis suggests the balance sheet is not especially conservative."

Elsewhere, in brokerland Liberum analyses the reported talks of broadcaster ITV (LON:ITV) over buying  the TV production business of The Weinstein Company -  set up by Hollywood moguls Bob and Hervey Weinstein.

Among the points noted, the broker says this will further move ITV into the states and  if it goes ahead, will likely be taken positively, as was the Talpa (the firm behind The Voice) deal previously. ITV is rated 'buy with a target price of 310p. Shares are now at 253.3p.

In the small caps, Premier African Minerals (LON:PREM) shares advanced over 9% today as it had the Environmental Impact Assessment for at its RHA tungsten mine approved by the Zimbabwe authorities, with permission to mine also granted.

House broker Shore Capital said this was "very good new" as expected, which means permission has therefore been granted to operate RHA.  

PREM is targeting first production in early June 2015.

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Tue, 07 Apr 2015 10:29:00 +0100 http://www.tech-capital.com/columns/broker-spotlight/16492/broker-spotlight-easyjet-ryanair-iag-and-marks-spencer-18135.html
Broker Spotlight - Persimmon, Redrow, Gulf Keystone, UBM, ASOS http://www.tech-capital.com/columns/broker-spotlight/16485/broker-spotlight-persimmon-redrow-gulf-keystone-ubm-asos-18128.html Builders Persimmon and Redrow both saw downgrades on Thursday, so did Gulf Keystone, but Intermediate Capital Group and UBM were marked up.

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Thu, 02 Apr 2015 09:39:00 +0100 http://www.tech-capital.com/columns/broker-spotlight/16485/broker-spotlight-persimmon-redrow-gulf-keystone-ubm-asos-18128.html
Broker spotlight: Cairn Energy, Diageo, Kingfisher, Lloyds Banking, miners, Sky, Vodafone http://www.tech-capital.com/columns/broker-spotlight/16479/broker-spotlight-cairn-energy-diageo-kingfisher-lloyds-banking-miners-sky-vodafone-18121.html Jefferies catches up with events at Lloyds Banking, upgrading the lender to 'hold'. Cazenove makes a few downward adjustments to price targets for the miners.

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Wed, 01 Apr 2015 11:51:00 +0100 http://www.tech-capital.com/columns/broker-spotlight/16479/broker-spotlight-cairn-energy-diageo-kingfisher-lloyds-banking-miners-sky-vodafone-18121.html
Broker spotlight, including Marks & Spencer, Homeserve, Tesco and Savills http://www.tech-capital.com/columns/broker-spotlight/16465/broker-spotlight-including-marks-spencer-homeserve-tesco-and-savills-18106.html High Street bellwether Marks and its fourth quarter numbers  due on Thursday has the analysts busy on Monday, with several brokers covering the retailer

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Mon, 30 Mar 2015 11:08:00 +0100 http://www.tech-capital.com/columns/broker-spotlight/16465/broker-spotlight-including-marks-spencer-homeserve-tesco-and-savills-18106.html